WHEREAS, Utah’s population growth is among the highest in the nation, the result of a strong economy, larger family sizes, and high quality of life measures; and
WHEREAS, the developable land in Utah’s most populated valleys is rapidly disappearing; and
WHEREAS, research conducted by the University of Utah has shown that for the first time in 40 years Utah has had more new households than new housing units provided, resulting in a housing shortage that is contributing to housing costs that financially strain many Utah families who are struggling to meet their housing needs; and
WHEREAS, since 2011 this “housing gap,” or shortage of housing, is estimated to be above 50,000 units and growing each year, even as Utah led the nation, in percentage terms, in housing construction last year; and
WHEREAS, "housing affordability" means the ability of a household to occupy a housing unit while paying no more than 30% of the household's income for gross housing costs, including utilities; and
WHEREAS, “affordable housing” refers to housing affordability for residents who earn less than the area’s median income and describes the availability of affordable housing units targeted for low-, very low-, and extremely low-income groups; and
WHEREAS, while the current affordable housing crisis in Utah is concentrated in households with incomes below the median income, with housing prices rising, the crisis may grow to affect households with incomes above the median income if the supply and availability of affordable housing units does not begin to satisfy demand, and affordable housing could become far more scarce, impacting a majority of Utah families; and
WHEREAS, accommodating a significant portion of Utah’s population growth in proximity to employment opportunities allows people to live closer to work, reduce driving, reduce air pollution, reduce household transportation costs, decrease infrastructure costs, and maintain and improve the quality of life for Utah’s residents; and
WHEREAS, cities that adopt measures encouraging and supporting housing affordability will improve overall prosperity and air quality, as well as reduce housing and transportation costs, not only for their cities, but for the region and state; and
WHEREAS, the Municipal Council of Provo City has included multiple measures supporting housing affordability and affordable housing in the city’s General Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Provo City Housing Authority found that 29 (62%) of 47 affordable housing projects in Utah County are located in Provo City, and that 1,093 (58%) of the 1,870 affordable housing units comprising these projects are located in Provo City; and
WHEREAS, the Municipal Council of Provo City supports the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Utah League of Cities and Towns in raising awareness about the choices to promote and increase housing affordability and affordable housing, to preserve our strong economy and protect the quality of life in the face of rapid growth.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PROVO, UTAH:
SECTION 1. Pledge of support. We, as municipal leaders of Provo City, pledge to consider housing affordability issues with a regional perspective. We also pledge that together with other Utah local governments and community stakeholders, Provo City will continue to work towards the goal of housing affordability for all Utah residents. We recognize our ability to implement various smart growth strategies to promote and maintain housing affordability, and we call upon other cities in Utah County to join with us as we endeavour to find solutions to the shortage of affordable housing.
Section 2. Measures to be taken. Within the context of the General Plan, the Municipal Council of Provo City pledges to:
1. Seek to minimize barriers to the provision of housing opportunities for all incomes and life stages;
2. Review existing practices that would negatively impact housing affordability;
3. Plan and seek to allow significant housing opportunities near employment centers, public transportation, and other amenities;
4. Increase public and government awareness and understanding of the housing affordability needs of our city, region and state;
5. Think, and coordinate regionally, about local land use decisions;
6. Seek to align housing, infrastructure, and economic development efforts; and
7. Promote collaboration with other communities, elected officials, and stakeholders on additional solutions.
Toward these ends, we will review and, as needed, update our General Plan, comply with the 2018 moderate-income housing legislation, and take other steps as appropriate.
SECTION 3. Effective Date. This resolution shall be effective immediately.
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