So what’s the problem with growth?
Since 1991, Utah’s housing prices have increased at a faster rate than housing in Seattle.
As a member of Ogden’s planning commission, I have learned that we are not prepared for Ogden’s expanding housing needs. While the market determines what single-family homes cost, we simply do not have enough affordable rental workforce housing. This means rental housing that our first-year teachers, nurses, fire, police and recent college graduates can afford. Rental housing for the people who work at your coffee shop, at COSTCO, the servers at your favorite restaurant.
We can address this with inclusionary zoning (IZ), which cities across the U.S. are utilizing to address the very same rental housing affordability challenge. A city can implement IZ to apply to new, large residential or mixed-use developments of 10 units or more, and costs the city nothing. The developer is compensated with higher density (more units), reduction of required parking, federal dollar for dollar tax credit financing (LIHTC) and in exchange there are 20-25% of the units set perpetually below market rent for our workforce and lower incomes.
While there is no magic bullet for housing, IZ will allow us to relieve some of the affordable rental housing pressure. We need to take action now because if we don’t create housing affordability solutions, housing will become a prohibitive obstacle for our children, grandchildren, and aging parents within 10-15 years.
As mayor, I will address this impending problem by making housing affordability and mixed-use, transit-oriented development my top priority.