Affordable Apartments for Rent in the Salt Lake Valley

April 20th, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Often the first thing one does when searching for a home to rent is assess their income. For many Utahans with large families, liabilities or low wages, this can seemingly be a discouraging task. Utah’s economy is increasing and therefore the population is swelling right along with it. This progress is in turn nudging, or rather, shoving the cost of renting an apartment in Utah to levels that are surpassing previous years. Over the past four years, [Utah] has seen the cost of housing, both rental and owner-occupied, rise more that 50 percent and rental vacancy rates drop to 4 percent or less (www.huduser.org/periodicals/pdrperio.html).

As daunting as this may seem, there are countless options for those who simply cannot afford these high rental rates. Realizing that this high cost of living drives away many important, but sadly underpaid community members such as school teachers, factory workers, small business owners and police officers, Utah’s legislature has passed the Utah’s Moderate Income Housing Law. This law requires communities to design individual strategies so that their low and moderate income inhabitants are encouraged to remain in the area. One of the programs that evolved with this process is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, also known as Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The tax credit program is quite literally the shining star of the Moderate Income Housing Law. This is because the LIHTC program was created as an incentive for investors and builders to construct or remodel buildings specifically for the low to moderate income population. Because the program provides credits to be used against sizeable tax liabilities, many large and successful corporations are taking part in the tax credit program, building beautiful, and often luxury apartment communities that are desirable to many and affordable for even more. While ‘low income’ or ‘affordable’ housing was once met with opposition from developers and communities alike, affordable apartments both in urban and rural areas are showing up all over the state.

The stereotype of the low income family as only one that is destitute with scores of children also no longer stands, since the program supports single adults as well as single parents (and countless other living arrangements); and although the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program does not provide its credits for student, transient or life-care housing, there are exceptions to many of the strict policies. Students (whether primary, secondary or collegiate) are permitted to reside at affordable housing communities so long as they meet the income requirements and there is at least one member of the household that is not a full time student. The tax credit program is also available for designated senior housing, active senior communities or 55+ apartment communities though care beyond social activities, amenities or basic housing is prohibited.

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