Group breaks ground on affordable housing development

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Updated Rendering of the Bodhi Apartments as designed by the Vecino Design Build.
Updated Rendering of the Bodhi Apartments as designed by the Vecino Design Build.
Low resolution, updated rendering of the Bodhi Apartments as designed by the Vecino Design Build.

A mix of affordable and market-rate housing is coming to the Fairpark neighborhood.  On Thursday, representatives from the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Community Action Program (SLCAP) joined the Vecino Group, to break ground on the Bodhi, a mixed-income affordable housing project directly west of Interstate 15 on the 700 West block of South Temple.

In the spring, representatives from the Vecino Group and the Housing Authority presented the project to residents of the Poplar Grove and Fairpark community councils.  The project straddles the border of both councils.  During both presentations, residents expressed frustration with more affordable housing being built in their communities.

The City Council members representing west-side residents, James Rogers and Andrew Johnson, agree that the more affordable housing isn’t needed on the west side and should be in other parts of the city.  In March, Rogers and Johnson joined Council Member Erin Mendenhall in voting against a resolution allowing the County to develop the Bodhi in city limits.

The apartment will be five-stories with 80 residential units.  The majority of the units will be affordable, with 60 income-restricted units and 20 units designated as market rate.  Over half of the affordable units will be reserved for residents earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income ($36,100 a year for a family of four).  Twenty-three of the units will be reserved as supportive housing with five units designated for the chronically homeless, nine units for persons with a diagnosed mental illness and nine units for those with a disability that affects mobility.

The Vecino Group, a Missouri-based developer that specializes in affordable and student housing, and the Housing Authority are the project’s developers, but SLCAP will manage the property’s operations after construction is completed.

The project will cost an estimated $12 million and is funded through Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $1 million from the Olene Walker Housing Trust.

A google map aerial view of the proposed site for the Bodhi Apartments pinned at 750 West South Temple. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
A google map aerial view of the proposed site for the Bodhi Apartments pinned at 750 West South Temple. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
About Isaac Riddle 537 Articles
Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.
  • Soren Simonsen

    Locating housing near a freeway will greatly increase the residents’ risk and susceptibility to heart and lung diseases, including cancer. Case studies and research have been well documented over at least the past two decades. Children and seniors—often the residents of affordable housing projects like this one—are particularly vulnerable. Planners and architects continue to largely ignore this research. If the purpose of planning and zoning is to improve the health, safety and welfare of people in our community, this proposal is a fail.

  • Zac Wright

    Does anyone know how this project made it to this list twice, breaking the $1M cap? https://utahhousingcorp.org/PDF/awarded_2016.pdf

  • Building Salt Lake

    According to the document, Bodhi is listed twice because it was awarded both Federal and Utah housing credits.

  • zionita

    Housing needs to be banned within 500 feet of freeways, reserving that area for light industrial and office. I’ve read the same studies and the risk is generally greatest within 500 feet.

  • Soren Simonsen

    Agreed. I’ve seen references to 100 meters, about 300 feet, as a minimum buffer.

  • zionita

    I read a couple of studies that said living within 500 feet of a freeway causes mini strokes. I just googled and couldn’t find those, but I did find one that said 150 meters. 😉

  • zionita

    This study says 1,500 feet. Although, I’d be happy if they banned housing within 500 feet of freeways.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/03/04/study-ultrafine-particles-details-health-risk-living-near-highways/5QbVELgmlxGc05NXfg0qmO/story.html