The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) closed out 2020 with a $171,000 distribution for affordable housing expenditures in Salt Lake City. Supporting affordable housing to promote equity and workforce housing needs is a key strategy in UIPA’s Strategic Business Plan, the authority board said.

UIPA’s tax differential cost-sharing model was modified through legislation in 2020 (HB347) to resemble a traditional redevelopment agency model. Municipalities receive 25 percent of the UIPA property tax differential generated from land located with the jurisdictional area, with an additional 10 percent for affordable housing from the UIPA allocation.

Based on 2019 baseline tax increment numbers, Salt Lake City would have been allotted $40,000 for affordable housing. With the existence of the Utah Inland Port Authority and the amended legislation, the city received four times that amount, the authority said in a press release.

“We worked very hard with Salt Lake City on this compromise to ensure local communities are in a better place tomorrow than they are today,” said Jack Hedge, executive director of the Utah Inland Port Authority. “This is the first tangible benefit of that effort and we are committed to helping cities address the housing issues facing our state.”

“In my roles with both the Port Authority and Salt Lake City, I was a key member of the city’s team when negotiating with UIPA,” said Salt Lake City Councilman James Rogers. “As the City Council representative for the neighborhood where the port jurisdiction is located, it is critical that we see direct benefits to our citizens.”

Demand for housing statewide is driving up home prices and rental rates at a faster pace than wage increases, resulting in a shortage of affordable housing. According to Salt Lake City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development, nearly half of renter households in the city are cost-burdened, with housing costs absorbing more than 30 percent of their income.

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