The current rental market is pricing people out who are ending up on the streets.
Downtown Salt Lake City homeless camp at 700 West 200 South: Kevin and Brooke are trying to stay hydrated and cool despite the 105-degree record-breaking heat.
Both were gainfully employed when they found themselves priced out of the housing market, unable to get into affordable housing.
Brooke is a single mother, she was paying $1,000 per month in rent in Provo, Utah and when her rent was doubled, she was unable to find any apartment she could get into with her children even with her government assistance.
Kevin moved to Salt Lake City from Logan to relocate doing his trade as a painter. He says he had $12,000 saved from the sale of his townhome, and he ended up spending all of his savings on hotels and motels. Kevin says he applied to over thirty units, but his low-credit score prevented him from getting into a place.
Utah offers a “rapid-rehousing program” that offers people who are homeless for the first time assistance in getting funds together for the first/last month’s rent and deposit. Kevin said that he qualified for this program, but the funding wasn’t provided after his new lease was signed. When asked what organization was supposed to provide this financing, he said it was likely the Utah Housing Authority, but he can’t remember.
Brooke added that while there are “affordable housing units” being developed in and around the major cities along the Wasatch Front, there is now “low barrier” housing, meaning applicants still must have a job and decent credit to qualify. She said that nobody in this homeless camp could qualify for this type of housing.
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