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Article Archives: Utah

Committed to Ending Chronic Homelessness

The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City is committed to ending chronic homelessness in the city and is in the sixth year of a 10-year campaign. The housing authority’s primary goal is to find homes for low-income residents using traditional rent subsidies or vouchers. Several key programs, however, address homelessness, particularly among chronically homeless veterans. The housing authority provides military veterans with comprehensive case management, job training, and placement services through partnerships with Volunteers of America, Utah; the Road Home; and other local providers of services for the homeless.

The housing authority has developed and rehabilitated several properties, including a number of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program projects that have more than 300 units of transitional and permanent supportive housing for very low-income people. The housing results in a reduced burden on society, because studies indicate that in Utah, the homeless, who represent 10 percent of the population at any given time, use 15 percent of social services such as shelters and emergency rooms. Many veterans suffer from physical and mental disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Support services within individual apartment buildings help residents to better access various sources of income, including veterans’ benefits. According to the authority’s staff, the program has had a positive impact on residents.

Banks have supported the housing authority and its partners with operating grants for supportive services, and with bank staff volunteers who provide technical assistance and training. To help or to learn more about the Salt Lake City housing authority’s activities, phone Bill Nighswonger, Executive Director, at (801) 487-2161, or e-mail bnighswonger@qwest.net.
[Published in Community Developments Investments, February 2012]

Individual Development Account Opportunity in Utah
The Utah Individual Development Account Network (UIDAN) is a statewide individual development account (IDA) program and a subsidiary of Utah Issues. Utah Issues is a 30-year-old nonprofit striving to improve the quality of life in Utah by seeking long-term solutions to poverty through various means, including asset-based community development. UIDAN was established in 2004 and, in its first year generated more than 30 savers with more than $22,000 in combined funds from savings accounts and matched funds.

UIDAN proposes to match savers' deposits at a ratio of three to one. As with most IDA programs, UIDAN solicits investments for operating and matching funds. Program participation has expanded to include low-income urban, rural, and tribal communities outside of the original Salt Lake City service area. UIDAN plans to expand, again, into southwestern Utah.

For more information, contact Martha Wunderli, UIDAN's Coordinator, at Martha@utahissues.org.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments Investments, Spring 2006]