Affordable housing for low-income families is something that cities across the country are struggling to provide for their citizens. However, as the cost of living rises, basic housing costs in Salt Lake City are taking a higher and higher percentage of families’ wages and cutting into the funds that should be for other necessities, such as food, transportation, and health care.
The Deseret News reports that currently, “More than half of renters in Salt Lake City are spending more than 30 percent of their monthly incomes on housing costs. The same holds true for a third of city residents paying a mortgage,” and that it isn’t just the low-income (yearly salary of $10,000 or less) families that are experiencing this increase. The Deseret News reports that increased housing costs are also negatively affecting “moderate income families supported by professionals such as social workers, chefs, and educators whose household incomes range from $41,000 to $55,000 a year.”
Fortunately, there are quite a few actions Salt Lake City is taking that should improve the situation for these struggling families. For starters, The Road Home significantly helps low-income families with the organization’s Rapid Rehousing program. The Road Home helps people in need find housing providers who are willing to work with tenants who may not have strong credit backgrounds, and The Road Home assists with the housing costs. While families are in the process of gaining and maintaining stability with employment and their new housing, The Road Home will continue to work with them and help along the way.
Salt Lake City is also working toward providing much more affordable housing with Mayor Ralph Becker’s 5,000 Doors initiative, which he proposed in his budget for 2015-2016. Under this initiative, Mayor Becker hopes to “add and preserve 5,000 units of affordable housing in the city over the next five years to help close the 8,200-unit gap of available units.” This initiative intends to put low-income families first, as “half of the 5,000 units are targeted to extremely low-income renter households, which include seniors, people with disabilities, and people who live on fixed incomes such as Social Security.”
Hopefully, over the next five years, with the combination of The Road Home’s Rapid Rehousing program already underway and Mayor Becker’s 5,000 Doors initiative implemented, Salt Lake City will be able to improve its housing situation and provide ample housing for its low-income families, and in turn improve the quality of life for those families.