State provides millions for hundreds of affordable housing units in Salt Lake City, across Utah

Five developers landed tax credit financing from the state housing corporation to help construct hundreds of low-income housing units in Salt Lake City. 

Among them is one of the only low-income housing projects on the city’s east side and another that could remove some of the scant remaining commercial space in Glendale.

The projects are part of an awards process from Utah Housing Corporation that helps to make affordable housing projects all over the state pencil for private developers and nonprofit organizations.

In all, this funding round will help lead to more than 300 units of housing that’s affordable to people making about $20,000 to $40,000 a year without spending more than a third of their income on housing.

East Central: Victory Heights

At 1060 E. 100 S., Victory Heights represents a rare step toward equitability for low-income housing in the capital city.

While the city ideally aspires to have mixed-income housing in neighborhoods throughout the city, that by and large has not happened due to a mix of existing zoning, resident backlash and high land and construction costs.

It would be among the only low-income housing projects east of 700 East. The project would see an old and operating medical facility converted into 88 affordable homes.

The project is being proposed by the affordable housing arm of Brandon Blaser, one of the lead developers of the Post District and a major landholder in the Granary District.

Whereas those have largely been market rate projects, Blaser’s group plans to retrofit the medical building into 88 new apartments that are affordable for people making about 43 percent of the area median income in Salt Lake County.

Victory Heights Unit Breakdown
  • Studio: 66
  • One-bed: 0
  • Two-bed: 0
  • Three-bed: 18
  • Four-bed: 4
  • Total: 88 homes

Glendale: Glendale Gardens 

Glendale would see an existing commercial space converted into two buildings with 120 new apartments that are affordable for people making 60 percent AMI under another project that was awarded funding.

The site is currently home to Glendale Plaza, which has a Family Dollar, insurance agency and Jugos Y Tortas El Padre. 

It’s the second significant commercial space on the neighborhood’s interior that would be turned into housing. The nearby Tejeda’s Market closed earlier this year and sold to developers who won approval for a 57 townhome project on the site. (Those developers are hoping to sell the property and planset, and have not responded to requests for comment.)

At Glendale Gardens, Peter Corroon said it’s unlikely his project would include retail space.

“We looked at incorporating retail but the investors don’t like retail with affordable housing projects, and generally require it to be condominiumized or require a master-lease agreement,” Corroon said.

“The project is a 120 unit project in two buildings. We did not receive 9% tax credits but received a 4% bond allocation and an Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund loan,” he said. “Because the project did not receive the 9% credits, the rents had to be increased from an average of about 43% to 60% AMI with no homeless units.  We will also be seeking a Salt Lake City or Salt Lake County loan. The Richman Group would be the tax credit syndicator.”

Glendale Gardens Unit Breakdown
  • Studio: 12
  • One-bed: 36
  • Two-bed: 12
  • Three-bed: 0
  • Four-bed: 0
  • Total: 60 homes

Ballpark: 1512 South Apartments

300 West is teed up to continue a transformation from a car sewer with adjacent auto-centric businesses to a car sewer with adjacent housing, and this project is no exception.

1512 South Apartments under the successful application would bring 60 new affordable apartments to the Ballpark neighborhood at 1512 S. 300 W. The units would be affordable to people earning about 43 percent of the median income, which is between very low and extremely low income, according to county guidelines.

The project is nearby the Gail Miller Resource Center and would provide more affordable housing in the Ballpark neighborhood.

1512 South Apartments Unit Breakdown
  • Studio: 6
  • One-bed: 29
  • Two-bed: 19
  • Three-bed: 6
  • Four-bed: 0
  • Total: 60 homes

Central City: Stratford Apartments

The building that’s known as Second and Second appears to be slated for a rehab that would include 46 units that are affordable to people making 25 percent of the area median income for the next 50 years.

The Stratford Apartments would include all studio apartments under the proposal that received $1.13 million through the state program.

The project would be a retrofit at 169 E. 200 S., a building known as Second & Second.

The applicant was Shawn McMillen, executive director of the First Step House, which provides housing for low- and no-income people suffering from drug addiction and behavioral health issues.

Stratford Apartments Unit Breakdown

  • Studio: 46
  • One-bed: 0
  • Two-bed: 0
  • Three-bed: 0
  • Four-bed: 0

Guadalupe/Fairpark: Citizens West

The Guadalupe/Fairpark neighborhood, which also shares a community council boundary with Capitol Hill, would see 80 low-income units built at 509 W. 300 N. 

This area just west of the railroad tracks and east of Interstate 15 would likely see a warehouse replaced by housing. The project is being led by the Giv Group, which is known for a number of affordable projects throughout Salt Lake City.

It’s too soon to say whether this project would be similar to the housing it mirrors across the tracks, in the Hardware District. That area is becoming known for turning its back on the transit rich nature of the neighborhood.

The project was approved for $2.7 million to complete its units, which would be affordable to people making about 43 percent of the area median income. 

Citizens West Unit Breakdown

  • Studio: 43
  • One-bed: 0
  • Two-bed:0
  • Three-bed: 25
  • Four-bed: 10

Others across Utah

These were the Salt Lake City-specific awards, but millions of dollars were also awarded to firms and nonprofits working to bring low-income housing across the Wasatch Front and throughout the state.

As is custom in Salt Lake County, the capital city is attracting the lion’s share of low-income apartments. That’s likely due to suburban zoning that makes it difficult at best or impossible at worst to build attached housing elsewhere.

Email Taylor Anderson

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Editor’s Note: This story originally identified a neighborhood as Capitol Hill. In an effort to properly recognize neighborhood boundaries and instill a stronger sense of neighborhood identity throughout Salt Lake City, the story has been updated to confirm that the neighborhood is Guadalupe, which shares a boundary with Fairpark and Capitol Hill.

Posted by Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson grew up near Chicago and made his way West to study journalism at the University of Montana. He's been a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, Bend Bulletin and Salt Lake Tribune. A move from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City opened his eyes to the importance of good urban design for building strong neighborhoods. He lives on the border of the Liberty Wells and Ballpark neighborhoods.