In an effort to boost low-income housing availability, Cedar City Council to pursue grant

The Cedar City Council votes to move forward in applying for a community development block grant for affordable housing, Cedar City, May 26, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The effort to provide low-income housing in Cedar City got a boost Wednesday night, as the council voted to move forward and apply for a community development block grant.

(L-R): Cedar City Council members Scott Phillips, Tyler Melling and Ronald Adams during discussion in the meeting April 14, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, Cedar City News

During its regular action meeting in the council chambers, the Cedar City Council held a second public hearing about pursuing the grant. No comments were made in opposition, and the application can proceed.

“It’s a community development block grant given through HUD (Housing and Urban Development),” Cedar City Housing Authority Executive President Heidi Miller told Cedar City News.

The block grant totals a potential $300,000, broken up into payments of $200,000 for the first year and $100,000 for the second year. Miller said those funds will be used to purchase units that can be used for low-income housing.

Miller said the block grant will be welcome as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find low-income housing in Cedar City.

In fact, the market for low-income housing locally might be the tightest it has ever been.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it this bad,” Miller said.

Like most communities in Utah, Cedar City is experiencing a housing boom.

“Construction costs are going up,” Miller said. “Pricing is going up for rentals and for home buying as well. Low- and moderate-income families are having a very difficult time finding housing.”

Council member Scott Phillips said during the meeting that it will be a challenge to find units to buy in Cedar City that fit within the price range of the block grant, especially in the second year with the $100,000 award.

Miller told the council that the housing authority will add funds of its own to increase the award amount.

“We’ll work something out,” Miller said.

The next step in the process is to submit the application. Miller said she wasn’t sure when the money would be awarded if the application is approved.

“We will submit our final application today,” Miller said. “Then unless something strange happens we should be awarded the funding, and we’ll start looking for a place to purchase.”

Ed. Note: The story has been updated to reflect that Miller said that the housing authority will contribute funds.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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