Utah’s housing affordability crisis is nothing if not a vital issue. The growing housing crisis needs to be solved in order to accommodate new families and to attract new members of the workforce. However, one of the most pressing motivators for closing the housing gap is Utah’s economy.

During the past decade, the state has experienced remarkable success, leading the country in employment and demographic growth. This growth has increased strain on the housing market, causing demand to shrink as prices skyrocket. Because of this rapid change, the median sales price of a home in Utah’s metropolitan areas now rivals the likes of Boise, Las Vegas, and Phoenix: three cities the state competes with for new business expansions. According to an economic report by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the housing price gap with these cities makes Utah’s economic development efforts less competitive and the state less attractive as a business location.

How can we turn the tide on the housing crisis before it begins to stifle our economy and businesses? Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), says the key is viability without slowing growth.

“We need to grow sustainably, smartly, and in a way that continues to create economic prosperity for everyone in the state,” Foxley said. “Housing is fundamental to this.”

Possible solutions include supporting building fee reductions, adopting more inclusionary zoning ordinances, and continuing to promote the production of single-family homes that fit in a working-class budget. By doing so, we encourage smart and viable growth, so that Utah’s business can experience the same.

As businesses, you can play a role. We will be sharing videos from trusted community partners that we encourage you to share widely — along with articles and blog posts with vital information on the housing crisis each Utahn now faces. Together, we will work to close the gap and ensure that we — and our children and grandchildren — can continue to access safe and affordable housing in our great state.

If you would like to share your story of how the housing crisis is affecting your business, please reach out to Ginger Chinn, Vice President of Public Policy at gchinn@slchamber.com.