Demand for affordable housing increasing in Heber City
The affordable housing crisis is getting worse in Heber City.
Heber City Planner Jamie Baron tells KPCW the city currently needs about 600 more homes for households that earn less than the Area Median Income, which was approximately $90,000 in 2020.
Baron told the City Planning Commission on Tuesday the city is “oversupplied” on houses that are only affordable to upper-class buyers.
Baron said projections show Heber’s population will grow by about 2,000 in the next five years. During that time, he estimates the demand for more affordable homes will increase by about 400, but that need could be satisfied by new projects in the pipeline.
“I’m glad I moved here in ’98, because there’s no way I could afford [coming to] the Heber Valley now,” said Sid Ostergaard, city planning commission member. “This is one of my things that I’m strongly for, is to hold new developers coming in to a standard of getting affordable housing. I have six kids; only one of them lives here currently. The Heber Valley, as I call it, is God’s country. Everybody wants to live here, so we need to make it affordable for our kids.”
The presentation was an update to the city’s five-year housing plan.
Baron also said the city would need to focus on meeting the needs of households with even lower incomes. That could require federal help.
“Each of those income brackets, about the only way to hit those are federal tax-credit developments, where they’re actually receiving rebates and things like that in order to house those people,” Baron said.
He offered Elmbridge Apartments in northern Heber and Liberty Station apartments near Walmart as examples of affordable homes that were created with federal assistance.
Planning commission members agreed affordable housing needs to be a priority going forward.