In the coming weeks, the Council will discuss a proposal that would redefine Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing and permit SROs in more zoning districts than currently allowed. The proposal supports goals identified in the City’s Growing SLC: A Five Year Housing Plan – increase housing options, promote affordability, and build more equitable and fair housing.
The proposal also includes the creation of a new section in the Zoning Ordinance that would apply “qualifying provisions” to proposed SRO developments. The provisions address minimum floor areas, communal areas, a requirement that a property manager be on-site 24 hours a day, and security camera monitoring.
What is an SRO?
An SRO is an affordable, smaller living unit. Each unit consists of one combined living and sleeping area and may contain either a private kitchen or private bathroom, but not both. Whichever amenities are not contained within the individual unit are shared by other SRO tenants within the building. SRO units house 1-2 tenants each, depending on size.
An SRO provides weekly rental options. This allows those who cannot afford a full months’ rent to procure shelter with smaller payments, and provides management with the ability to immediately evict tenants who aren’t following the rules.
Due to having smaller rooms and shared amenities, the SRO housing type may cost less to build which could result in lower rental rates.
Proposed definition of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Use
Currently, the City defines SROs similar to a studio apartment, requiring each individual unit be self-contained (have all amenities located within the unit), and not exceed 500 square feet in size. This definition inhibits the development of true SRO housing. The proposal would redefine the SRO use in City code to allow true SRO housing in designated areas of the City.
Map of proposed areas where SROs would be permitted within the City
City zoning currently permits SROs in some Transit Station zones. The map below shows the proposed areas that would allow SRO housing within Salt Lake City. View district specific maps here.