Utah’s economy is booming, bringing great prosperity and economic opportunity. This strong economic growth has also brought new challenges, including a massive housing shortage that is driving up housing prices and making it very difficult for lower-income residents to live in this great state.
It is critical that we expand the supply of available housing to meet this need. Keeping housing affordable will only be possible with a mixed development strategy that includes higher density housing and mixed-use developments. But it is critical that these higher-density developments be planned well, ensuring our public transportation infrastructure can keep up with increased demand and ensuring adequate parking and green space to help keep Utah a great place to live. We can’t just build lots of condos and hope that our infrastructure issues will take care of themselves; that won’t happen.
We need to make sure that the state legislature are working together with city and county councils, to ensure we have a coordinated approach to our transportation challenges. We need to avoid unfunded mandates from the state that create additional financial burdens for our local governments. If the legislature wants to make something happen, they need to find the money to fund it directly without expecting our cities to pick up the bill.
Blocking density at all costs would ensure that over time Utah would face the same housing challenges we have seen in Silicon Valley and price out hundreds of thousands of lower-income Utahns that call this place home. We need to make sure that our children will be able to afford to live here too.