A strong statement
July 8, 2006
The following is the text of the statement City Hall published regarding affordable housing. It is printed in the government’s "City Update ’06-’07," which was recently distributed.
Providing affordable housing to working class Parkites is a constant challenge. The free market has no problem satisfying the demands of upscale buyers who can afford $2 million condos and $5 million homes, but matching local wage scales with affordable shelter requires a tricky combination of incentives, persuasion, governmental ordinances and fancy financial footwork.
Some question why affordable housing is necessary. The answer is simple: a town that cannot house a portion of its work force is hollowed out. It is no longer a community but an often empty set of bedrooms. Our local workforce is the backbone of our service economy and those who live where they work often care more about providing the exceptional level of services the City thrives on. It’s also important when dialing emergency services like police, fire and EMT’s that the call is answered and responded to by locals and not routed to Salt Lake City or some other distant community. Having teachers, healthcare professionals, business owners and lift operators live where they work is part of Park City’s proud working class heritage.
Understanding the growing gap between wages and housing prices the City Council updated its 1999 affordable housing standards and guidelines and adopted new affordable housing requirements for annexations and developments that will help alleviate the growing affordable housing shortage.