HOUSING + HOMELESSNESS

More starter homes in Utah top the Governor’s budget wish list

Dec 5, 2023, 1:28 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2024, 10:03 am

Gov. Spencer Cox explains portions of the proposal as he and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson sit down wit...

Gov. Spencer Cox explains portions of the proposal as he and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson sit down with Deseret News reporters and editors to discuss the state budget proposal, including his desire to build more starter homes, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (Scott G. Winterton /Deseret News 2023)

(Scott G. Winterton /Deseret News 2023)

Tune in to Dave and Dujanovic at 10:50!

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Gov. Spencer Cox released his budget for the 2025 fiscal year Tuesday. Among his long list of priorities to improve the Beehive State is building more starter homes.

“The single greatest threat to the future prosperity of our state is the price of a home … the unaffordability of homes in our state,” Cox said at a press conference Tuesday.

Funding more starter homes in Utah 

The Utah governor wants to invest $150 million into building 35,000 new starter homes by 2028. Most of the money would go to the State Infrastructure Bank to ease the cost of the infrastructure needed for new developments like water, sewer and roads. The State Infrastructure Bank can provide low-interest loans for publicly-owned infrastructure.

The governor would beef up the Utah First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program with an additional $50 million. That program offers certain Utahns up to a $20,000 loan to buy their first home. The money can go toward interest rates, to make a down payment, or to pay closing costs.

“This is about our kids … our future … the American dream and the Utah dream … and making sure it is available to the next generation,” Cox said.

Other budget items 

Other items included in the governor’s budget include:

  • $80 million to help Utah’s water and watersheds,
  • $122 million to help transportation and air quality,
  • $170 million for investments in rural Utah,
  • $193 million to combat statewide homelessness, and
  • $56.2 million for workforce expansion.

The Utah Legislature will take up the governor’s budget in January. All funding must be approved by state lawmakers.

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More starter homes in Utah top the Governor’s budget wish list