It’s June 2021, and if you are interested in entering the housing market in Utah — or if you have any friends or family members who are – chances are, you are fully aware that we have a full-blown housing affordability crisis on our hands.

The Salt Lake Chamber has long been aware of our state’s growth trends and has seen that this growth cannot be accommodated by the current number of housing units on the market. The Salt Lake Chamber formed the Housing Gap Coalition in May 2018, and have commissioned breakthrough research on these trends and met monthly — pushing for policy solutions to this issue and championing bills that encourage an increase in the amount of housing inventory in the state.

But in 2020 a global pandemic exacerbated an already fraught situation. To quote Jim Wood, a Utah housing expert working in the space for nearly 50 years, we “have never seen anything like it.” Available housing inventory is at an all-time low, and prices are skyrocketing. Whereas the average days on the market of a home in the Wasatch Front in Q1 2020 was 23, within a year that average has plummeted to 5 days — showing incredible scarcity that puts huge pressure on affordability. The value of a single-family home has gone up 17% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. We cannot afford to look away from this issue. It will take all of us to come together to solve the Housing Gap. 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 build the gap closed and ensure that we — and our children and grandchildren — can continue to access safe and affordable housing 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.