What Utah Valley’s Population Increase Means for Affordable Housing
With the world getting closer and closer to normal, more and more people are returning to work in a workplace setting. If you’ve found yourself wondering if the roads you take on your commute are more crowded than they were before the pandemic, it’s not just you. There really are more people on the roads. Utah Valley’s population is increasing rapidly. So what does that mean for housing?
Despite the pandemic triggering an economically challenging environment, businesses are generally doing quite well in Utah Valley, all things considered. A business-friendly environment has made Utah a desirable place for businesses to set up. This has led to the development of places like Silicon Slopes. When combined with the comparably affordable cost of living that we’ve historically had in Utah, it’s easy to see why people would be interested in moving here. And move here, they certainly have.
All those people moving in need places to live. The stereotypical story going around now usually involves someone moving in from out of state after having sold their home and then using that money to pay cash for a home here. Because the home values where these people are coming from are so high in comparison, cash offers are sometimes far above the asking price for the home. This is a huge part of what’s driving up home values in the area, and makes it very tough for first-time home buyers and those who are already living here to make competitive offers.
So what’s being done? You may have noticed a lot of new housing being developed. Addressing the short supply of housing when compared to the demand for it is one part of the equation. Building new apartment complexes and single family houses is a good place to start. Communities in general benefit from having a variety of housing options available. This tends to require diversity in zoning areas, which means involvement at a local level, as local governments are generally the ones who govern zoning decisions.
As Utah Valley’s population increases, so does the strain on resources, including housing. Affordable housing is harder to find, and will continue to be so until we find a solution to help balance the demands for housing from a growing population. It’s a complex issue, there is no doubt, but if we all come together, we can find a solution.Interested in being a part of the solution? Join the Housing Gap Committee to start making a difference in your community.