In Salt Lake City affordable rental units have become increasingly scarce. Salt Lake rents are increasing at one of the fastest rates in the nation. The city’s rental vacancy rate is hovering around 3 percent, indicating that the current housing supply is not effectively catching up to the demand and, in turn, making it easier for landlords to raise rents.
Construction has started on a new development that will add both market rate and affordable units to the Central Ninth/Ballpark neighborhood. That project, TenFifteen Apartments, will be a 54 unit residential development on the 1000 South block of 200 West. Just over 20 percent of the units (11 units) will be reserved for people earning 50 percent of the Area Median Income (about $25,000 a year for a single resident). The unit mix includes 39 one-bedroom units and 15 studio apartments.
The development will be five stories with an office and fitness center on the ground floor and loft-style apartments on the fifth floor.
The project will occupy a 0.80-acre parcel that was previously vacant. The residential building will front 200 West with minimal setbacks. The development will include surface parking instead of structured parking. Parking will be behind the main building and include 54 stalls, a 1:1 parking ratio.
In April, the Salt Lake City Council approved the developer’s loan request of $380,000 from the SLC Housing Trust Fund.
The project is in City Council District 5. Councilmember Erin Mendenhall, the district’s representative, has been an advocate for more affordable housing east of Interstate 15.
City officials estimate that there is a deficit of 7,500 affordable housing units in the city. The gap is slowly being filled; there are several hundred affordable units under construction and even more units expected to start construction within the year.
With that new growth, several council members, including Mendenhall, feel that new affordable housing units should be dispersed throughout the city and not on the city’s west side where for decades affordable housing has been concentrated. In July, Mendenhall convinced the council to consider pulling funds from various sources to create a nearly $5 million housing fund to encourage more affordable housing in the city’s east side. Council will vote on the proposed housing fund in the fall.
The TenFifteen Apartments is one of three developments under construction to include at least 20 percent affordable units. The other two projects: 616 Lofts and 9th East Lofts at Bennion Plaza will add a combined 340 affordable units to the downtown and East Central neighborhoods respectively and 100 percent of the units will be designated as affordable.