City Council Weighs Decision on Low-Income Housing

City Council Weighs Decision on Low-Income Housing

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Jed Boal ReportingThe Salt Lake City Council tonight weighed decisions that will affect people who struggle to pay for shelter. The city owns several low-income hotels on State Street, but their days are numbered, and that has residents concerned.

The city owns three old hotels on one block. About one hundred people live there, but long-term, the hotels do not fit into the city's redevelopment vision. Ultimately, the people will have to move, but where?

The Regis Hotel rents single-occupancy rooms for 320-dollars a month. For Dave and Ed and other residents it's their best option. Some lost their jobs, others are on disability.

Ed, Regis Resident: “I’m on a fixed income, can’t afford to live anywhere else.”

They talked with city council members as they looked around and considered what to do with the buildings and the tenants.

Ed: “If I didn’t live here, I’d be in the homeless shelter.”

For more than ten years Dave has called the Regis home. He takes pride in his room and says the hotel wasn't always safe.

Dave, Regis Resident: “People roaming the halls, no respect for the building.”

Some on city council say the hotels are not in good enough shape to rehab. But the residents need a place to go.

Carlton Christensen, Salt Lake City Council: “While we may have a legal obligation to do so, we need to offer an alternative place to live.”

Christensen likes the idea of private developments for public-assisted housing, like a new single-occupancy apartment complex called Liberty Metro. A person who earns less than 14-thousand dollars a year qualifies for a tax credit and can move in for 299 a month plus 199-dollar deposit.

Truly affordable housing is a dilemma for many people in Salt Lake. The low-income hotels on this block are the last stop before the shelter or the streets.

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