It is not easy to find and purchase a house that one can afford.
The Orem City Council said this issue deserves extensive discussion and decided Tuesday evening to spend an hour or so during the next few council meetings looking at the issues."It is getting harder and harder to find a good place to live," said Councilman James T. Evans. "And I think Orem should do its part in finding a solution to the situation."
On Jan. 8, Gene Carly, chairman of the Utah County Housing Development Task Force, presented the results of a countywide housing study to the council.
The members of the council were to decide this week if they agreed philosophically with the task force's recommendations.
Councilman H. Keith Hunt said he believes that everyone agrees there is a need for more low-cost housing in Utah County. But he felt that there needed to be more discussion on the relevant issues.
Mayor S. Blaine Willes said housing is a volatile issue. He remembers about 11 years ago when people were arguing adamantly against multifamily dwellings in a single-family dwelling area - something that the task force is proposing that each city pursue.
"It was a revolution that rocked the city," Willes said. "I don't think we need to bring back the same issue."
But he said he feels that multifamily dwellings are good, if an appropriate site can be found.
"There is a need for this type of housing in the community," said Councilwoman Joyce W. Johnson, who was on Orem's Planning Commission during the discussions 11 years ago. But, she said, it is difficult to integrate it into single-family areas.
She said she believes the issue of multifamily dwellings will take a lot of discussion to resolve.
Willes said he agreed with some of the recommendations of the task force, such as creating a developer/-busi-ness/renter coalition to examine the possibilities of better housing. But he said he feels other proposals would not work at all.
Carly said the task force is hesitant to proceed until it has some kind of consensus from the communities in Utah County.
Willes re-emphasized that he could give that consensus philosophically, but that he was skeptical about whether some of the recommendations could really be put into practice.
Hunt said he believes the issue of housing is important and timely and that the council should spend as much time discussing it as necessary to resolve concerns.