Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones, solution for growing Utah?

Mar 14, 2023, 2:53 PM

As Utah leaders work to accommodate a population boom, some cities are considering Housing and Tran...

FILE: Homes under construction in Herriman are pictured on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY—As Utah leaders work to accommodate a population boom, some cities are considering Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones to help.

An HTRZ allows a city to use tax dollars to develop housing around existing public transit stations, like TRAX and Frontrunner.

The zones were made possible by Legislation passed in 2021.

Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council said these zones can help in more ways than one.

“These are really good areas to absorb more growth and housing to make it more affordable … and also give people easier access to the transit system,” Gruber said.

Gruber also said Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones could help with future traffic congestion problems. That is if more people decide to use public transit.

“The combination of housing and transportation costs being reduced will help make sure that Utah remains an affordable, livable and wonderful place to live for decades to come,” Gruber said.

But Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones may not work for every city. Namely, because they require big commitments.

For example, one requirement is that, of every 50 units per acre of the zone, 10% must be affordable housing.

Since lawmakers passed a measure two years ago, only two cities have approved an HTRZ: Sandy and Vineyard.

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Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones, solution for growing Utah?