It is no secret that Utah, especially counties on the Wasatch Front, is experiencing a record-level housing affordability crisis.
While this crisis may seem recent, it has been years in the making. Since 2010, Utah has led the country in employment and demographic growth. This growth has produced an exceptionally strong demand for housing, which in turn has put upward pressure on housing prices. In May 2018, the Salt Lake Chamber formed the Housing Gap Coalition, an initiative that brings together the state’s brightest minds from business, academia, and government to tackle this threat to our long-term economic prosperity.
So, how can this issue be solved? Thomas Wright, President of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, says that a vital first step is by focusing on housing solutions for entry-level homebuyers.
“It’s important for Utahns to think of the housing market like a staircase — each step needs to have sufficient inventory for the entire market to function properly,” Wright explained. “Building missing middle housing stock will help all Utahns find more affordable housing options.”
By increasing the affordable housing inventory for middle-class families in Utah, the strain on the entire market will significantly decrease. The staircase functions more effectively the more steps we add. Together, we can tackle this problem to ensure that our valued community members — teachers, public safety employees, nurses, among many others — have safe and affordable housing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.