Category Archives: Housing

Get a HAND up from Salt Lake City

The city of Salt Lake has several programs to help residents buy or fix their homes. So long as the property is within the Salt Lake City limits, lower income residents can benefit. Run by Housing and Neighborhood Development, there are two main programs Fairpark residents can put to use.

For existing homeowners, repair options are available. Older and disabled homeowners who make less than 80% of the area median income can qualify for free, minor home repairs through the handyman program. Regardless of age or ability, so long as you make less than 80% AMI, homeowners can benefit from the Home Repair Helping-Hands Program. This is a low interest loan that may have deferred payments to help improve a property.

Prospective homeowners can make their monthly payments more affordable through the Welcome Home SLC loan program. This lending program doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance which can save hundreds of dollars a month. It also has a low interest rate of only 3% allowing people with smaller incomes to still buy a home. Buyers need $1,000 of their own money for closing costs and a 620 credit score to qualify.

To get more information on these programs and to apply, visit or call 801-535-7228.

Fairpark Community Council Hosts SLC Mayoral Candidate Forum

The Fairpark Community Council hosted a Candidate Forum for Salt Lake City Mayor to a packed house at its meeting on June 25 at the Northwest Community Center in Fairpark.  All 5 candidates, or their representatives, participated in the brief introduction and overview of their races, followed by a group Q&A session. (Channel 4) recorded the session and posted their piece here.

The following is a recap of the candidate presentations.

Mayor Ralph Becker

Mayor Ralph Becker

Ralph Becker – Mayor Becker is has been in office for 8 years.  His administration has rejuvenated the downtown, made significant improvements in transportation and has implemented equal rights policies in housing and employment.  The city boasts #1 status in the U.S. for job creation and is in the top 10 cities for sustainability and livability. The city has initiatives in place that have decreased the carbon footprint, but there is much work still to be done, according to the Mayor. While the city has increased prosperity, the city has initiated a “5,000 Doors” campaign due to the increasing disparity with people regarding income and housing.

Jackie Biskupski

Jackie Biskupski

Jackie Biskupski – Jackie Biskupski’s representative was on hand as she was at a scheduled campaign event. “She will listen” was the prevailing theme of her platform. Biskupski was a legislator for 13 years and enjoyed a close working relationship with the city during her tenure on many issues. She understands the West Side issues, including resources for things like infrastructure, street lights, clean river, a safe community, protected bike lanes, safe crosswalks, and economic development.

George Chapman

George Chapman

George Chapman – According to Chapman, issues have been ignored with regards to transportation, homelessness, safety and many other city issues. Chapman’s platform is based on the need for more police, more transit service, protection of open space and better air quality.


City Council Chair Luke Garrott

City Council Chair Luke Garrott

Luke Garrott – Currently a Salt Lake City Council Chair, Garrott’s campaign is focusing on public transit, clean energy production and affordable housing options in all neighborhoods. All neighborhoods should have better resources and be engaged in “participating budgeting” to have a voice in what is funded in their areas.


Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson – Robinson is a first time candidate for office in the political system. An owner of multiple businesses, he has a strong interest in building and development. Robinson’s platform will focus on better public transportation, homelessness, the rights of property owners, issues that affect the housing market and affordable housing.


Q & A (Ms. Biskupski was not represented in the formal Q&A due to her prior commitment)

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Coalition Seeks City Commitment to Affordable Housing

The Salt Lake Valley is facing a crisis in the availability of affordable housing. There is abundant construction of apartments and condos, but limited construction of housing affordable to individuals and families with limited income.

In recognition of this situation, Salt Lake City’s long-time low-income service and advocacy organization, Crossroads Urban Center, is sponsoring the Low-income Housing Action Coalition- a coalition comprised of local community agencies and church congregations. Crossroads Picture

Tim Funk, spokesman for the Coalition, states that the group isn’t presenting any sort of new idea. “These approaches to meeting the housing needs of low-income people have been with us for decades. The idea is to not segregate low-income families into specific areas of a city; but to make affordable housing a part of all new housing construction.”

Funk notes that Salt Lake City is in an apartment-building frenzy. Over the past several years hundreds of market rate units have been built and hundreds more are under construction or are planned. While this a good thing for our city in general it does nothing for our poor and near poor individuals and families.

Funk states that Salt Lake City is in a low income housing crisis. According to the 2013 Housing Market Study commissioned by the city there is a shortage of 8,240 affordable rental units for households with incomes below $20,000 a year. The city study says, “More than one third – 35 percent – of the city’s renter households earn less than $20,000 per year. Just 13 percent of the rentals in the city are in their affordability range.

It is the position of the Coalition that, while Salt Lake City has aggressive plans for new housing, especially along developing transit corridors (think North Temple), the City has made little commitment to ensuring that a portion of this housing is affordable to low-income families.

Funk acknowledges that many neighborhoods, especially those on the westside, shudder when the term “low-income” is spoken; “we’re not talking about creating enclaves for the poor; we’re talking about ensuring that a percentage, say 20%, of the housing in the City’s new “Transit Areas” be affordable to low-income families.”

“Where will your elderly parents live?” asks Funk. “Where will your grown children live?” Without a commitment to ensure the inclusion of affordable housing in new housing construction, they won’t be living close to you.”

Tim Funk will be making a presentation to the Fairpark Community at its Thursday, January 22nd meeting.