Group breaks ground on affordable housing development

Updated Rendering of the Bodhi Apartments as designed by the Vecino Design Build.
Low resolution, updated rendering of the Bodhi Apartments as designed by the Vecino Design Build.

A mix of affordable and market-rate housing is coming to the Fairpark neighborhood.  On Thursday, representatives from the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Community Action Program (SLCAP) joined the Vecino Group, to break ground on the Bodhi, a mixed-income affordable housing project directly west of Interstate 15 on the 700 West block of South Temple.

In the spring, representatives from the Vecino Group and the Housing Authority presented the project to residents of the Poplar Grove and Fairpark community councils.  The project straddles the border of both councils.  During both presentations, residents expressed frustration with more affordable housing being built in their communities.

The City Council members representing west-side residents, James Rogers and Andrew Johnson, agree that the more affordable housing isn’t needed on the west side and should be in other parts of the city.  In March, Rogers and Johnson joined Council Member Erin Mendenhall in voting against a resolution allowing the County to develop the Bodhi in city limits.

The apartment will be five-stories with 80 residential units.  The majority of the units will be affordable, with 60 income-restricted units and 20 units designated as market rate.  Over half of the affordable units will be reserved for residents earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income ($36,100 a year for a family of four).  Twenty-three of the units will be reserved as supportive housing with five units designated for the chronically homeless, nine units for persons with a diagnosed mental illness and nine units for those with a disability that affects mobility.

The Vecino Group, a Missouri-based developer that specializes in affordable and student housing, and the Housing Authority are the project’s developers, but SLCAP will manage the property’s operations after construction is completed.

The project will cost an estimated $12 million and is funded through Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $1 million from the Olene Walker Housing Trust.

A google map aerial view of the proposed site for the Bodhi Apartments pinned at 750 West South Temple. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
A google map aerial view of the proposed site for the Bodhi Apartments pinned at 750 West South Temple. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.