Affordable housing a growing concern across the spectrum, officials tell state lawmakers

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  • Technical Solutions Brian Head, UT
    June 30, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    The key issue is affordable housing without a subsidy, as it will then create a free market that will fuel expansion. In order to do this the construction cost must come down drastically. To lower the cost you have to re-think what basic housing is and get expectations in line with budgets. Entitlement thinking has to go away.

    Jamming a bunch of people into high density apartments is not the only solution. As people age so do their needs. I favor the flexible housing, polyaptum, concept personally. While quite popular overseas, it has not taken hold in the USA to date.

    Companies like Flexxee and Southern Utah University are trying to change this with their open architecture approach.

    However, the real appeal to me is to have developers design out obsolescence from day one. Thus a home that can be one bedroom one day and four bedrooms the next with NO remodeling costs seems like a great solution for affordable housing.

    Rather than move families from one home to another as their needs change, flexible housing seems like the way to go.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 23, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    Third try screen name asks "How's that Medicaid plan working out for you?"

    My son qualified for the Medicaid expansion and he has insurance coverage now for other first time in five years. The answer is "very, very well". We--and he--are profoundly grateful to everyone who had a hand in the Health Care Reform Act.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    June 19, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    What is affordable for one is not for another. People at different ages find themselves in the situation that they have not had much credit so will not be financed and haven't saved up the tens of thousands required for even a modest home so cannot buy cash either.

    It's much cheaper to buy than rent and more and more homes are rented.

    There are those who think that 57% of their fellow Americans are inferior because they don't earn enough to pay income tax, they are often unemployed or on a fixed income having retired.

    I'm all for self reliance to the full extent possible, but it's not true to assume that everyone in dire straits has brought it upon himself, or that the rich are honest and the poor irresponsible. I believe that what the scriptures say about the wealthy is usually true, likewise the learned and the worldly-wise.

    I don't believe in socialism but belong to a Church that seeks to inspire its members to voluntarily consecrate all they have and are to their fellow members, to be administered by sound judgment and inspiration. There are undeserving poor and undeserving rich.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    June 19, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Why does the DN keep publishing socialist
    articles and fail to mention struggling middle
    class taxpayers who are footing the bill for subsidies .
    My family cannot afford to subsidize
    those who work for low wages then get
    food stamps and reduced housing. They
    should go to their family.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    June 19, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Paying a living wage? Let's address that as the separate subject it is. It is too bad that so many supposedly intelligent people fail to prepare for their own later years. Social security was never intended to be enough to retire on, and it isn't. All the years I lived in UT, I saw most skilled labor, making GOOD money, buying new cars, 4X4s, and boats, but never putting a dime towards retirement. I lived near Philly PA for many years. A story hit the media of a school janitor, who saved from his "meager" income. He retired on a small stipend and his savings. When he died at 75 he left an endowment of $200,000 for a scholarship. His bank account had an additional balance of $200,000. He was noted for talking to students around the school about saving for emergencies.

    If your job doesn't pay a "living wage," leave it. Either get the education or move to a location where the pay is higher. You make choices in life! Move to W.TX or N. Dakota. I saved and don't want to have my savings taxed to salvage your mistakes.

  • my two cents777 ,
    June 19, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    While I certainly understand the need for low income housing - especially for the elderly who can no longer earn any income- the US Gov't should not, nor should they have ever been, in the housing business. We have already raised several generations of people who are content to let the Gov't provide their living essentials for them while doing little or nothing to help themselves. The cycle needs to be broken. Now is a good time to start. It's too late for the elderly to "take care of business" but it is not to late for anyone under the age of 60. Now, put your shoulder to the wheel and take care of your own families like the rest of us have struggled to do- successfully, I might add.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 19, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    My observations have often noted that government regulation has become a dirty word. Regulations by their very existence cause prices to go up. We need to be able to create incentives for good choices. Instead, government seems bent on control and wealth - noting how many of our elected government leaders seem to come into wealth during their terms in office. Government was supposed to provide infrastructure and so forth.

    There was a homesteading act which awarded parcels to people willing to put in a crop, build a house and so forth. These properties because profitable for the occupants willing to work and provided a tax base for the government. Couldn't we do something similar with all the vacant properties that seem to be present in every city? Let people occupy these places, fix them up, grow a garden and as long as improvements and expectations are met, they have a roof over their head and an incentive to contribute to their own prosperity. I know its not that simple, but somehow people need a chance to build their own lives.

  • Elwood P. Suggins BEAVERTON, OR
    June 19, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Is the Deseret News turning socialist on us? I see an article on the government needing to help families (more handouts), and now an article on the need for affordable housing... We don't need the government to provide these things. We need the government to stay the heck out of the way and make sure that laws are enforced and that very basic services (that can't be done in any other way), are provided. When someone is subsidized, it means money is confiscated from someone else in order for that to happen.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Seen the word subsidy in the article. Like President Reagan said,
    "The Government doesn't solve problems; they subsidize them."
    Sad, so sad.

  • 100%TruePAtriot cincinnati, OH
    June 19, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Notice there is a direct relationship between the sher number of immigrants and the affordable housing problem?

    It is a fact that when given a finite set of resources and you increase demand for those resources, prices will increase accordingly.
    It is part of the law of supply and demand.

    Either reduce demand (preferred) or increase supply.

    Note: greedy landlords aren't helping keep prices down. Rents generally go up at a significanty higher percentage than the cost of living (currently hovering about 2%).
    I have seen landlords that know how much social security gives for an increase and raise rents *exactly* by that amount.

    Most housing is price fixed via landlords joining private organizations.
    One of those was called 'landlord summit' whereby landlords got together and 'price fixed' rents and twisted leases into unconscionable agreements that the tenant couldn't get out of.
    Example: having leases expire at times other than on the 1st of any given month just to squeeze additional month's rent from them knowing that other landlords will charge the tenant starting on the 1st.

    Section 8 won't usually allow for that but if you are on your own, caviet emptar so to speak.

  • yeehaw holladay, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    My2cents, you hit it on the nose. Construction use to be a career that you could raise a single income family on. Because of illegal immigration some trades barely make minimum wage. I am a electrician. I went to college for four years and make a decent wage for now. Unfortunately they are working to change the licensing requirements so the last good paying trades will be taken over by illegal workers. Illegals don't work harder, they work cheaper because they do not play by the rules. They say "Americans don't want to do these jobs" well that is because they can't make a living, not because they don't want to work.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    I noticed the word “subsidy” in conjunction with affordable housing. Heavens, anything is affordable if it is subsidized.

    Strategically people have not planned for retirement, for various reasons. Now they see government as the first source of help in subsidizing their desired life style. The middlemen as the providers of the housing, and related “services” also profit and hold influence with our part-time legislators who then increase the subsidy and corresponding burden on the citizens.

    Local government, i.e. planning and zoning authorities are leery of “subsidized” or “affordable” housing because it weakens the tax base and increases per capita use of utilities. Often the developers who get the project going, back out, go bankrupt and the project is in danger of becoming a long term problem without solution. See Midtown Manor in Orem as a development gone south.

    I notice that the concept of family involvement was not mentioned. We also have destroyed the idea that reliance upon family members is a good thing or even possible. Day care, school lunch, for example teaches the children that “government” is the provider of care and food. So why not Mom and Dad?

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    This is a good thing. We do need affordable housing. And, we also need to address the issue of paying a living wage to people.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    The allure of something-for-nothing will only create a greater need. Pushing off our responsibilities on government is a foolish plan. For example, how's that Medicaid plan working out for you?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    This is what happens when you let so many real estate developers into your legislature.

  • My house was stolen Roy , UT
    June 19, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    At 55 I was HAMP Scammed out of my house by Wells Farge tricking me to default to get a modification. After that the government threw me a small check and sent me down the road. Now at 59 and not able to buy a house, I must pay the high rents. There is something wrong with this system. There are no rights for the older person. I can only wonder when I get alot older and not be able to work with my home that was my retirement taken by a despicable bank, if I will be living in the streets. This is not the America I grew up in.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    June 19, 2014 5:16 a.m.

    This is a rather misleading story to perhaps earmark a lot of subsidy money for some contractors to build some high rise millions dollar penthouses for the rich with 2 or more homes. Of course it will be bid out as affordable housing but not for he poor but the rich.

    Utah is hardly what we could call affordable housing poor, we have thousands of cheap homes and empty properties to buy or rent so its not that they aren't affordable to the poor. Its becasue the poor are so underpaid by corporate Utah who is profiting in million dollar and hour stock market manipulation of labor costs and state and federal tax fraud by keeping illegal aliens employed so citiznes can't demand more pay to afford to live on and rent the properties that are empty. The citizens of Utah are so underpaid that poverty would be an improvement in their economic strife.

    Affordable housing means underpaid workers to prevent prosperity and tax fraud have priority over Americans and job earnings. Some housing is affordable if you have poverty income and its not related to unemployment, its all about labor fraud and manipulation.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 19, 2014 12:45 a.m.

    She bought a trailer before knowing if she could afford lot rent?