WHERE DO WE SPEND OUR MONEY?
Every month we spend a significant portion of our household budgets on housing and transportation. The less we spend on housing and transportation, the more we have to spend on other priorities. By keeping these costs low, we can enjoy a life that isn’t defined by bills.
WHY DOES KEEPING THE COST OF LIVING REASONABLE MATTER TO EVERY UTAHN?
It is important to keep the cost of living affordable for all Utahns because it leads to an overall stronger economy and vibrant communities. Workers and employers are drawn to the area. Also, there will be a reduction of intergenerational poverty, foreclosures, and the cost of social services. But maybe most importantly, you, your friends, and family will be able to stay in Utah!
A UTAH WE CAN AFFORD
For most people, housing is the single largest monthly expense. In urban areas, land close to existing job centers is rapidly disappearing, and if we’re not careful about how we grow, housing costs could skyrocket and force many of our good, hard-working neighbors elsewhere— excluding from our communities teachers, fire fighters, and our own children as they get their start in life. The further Utahns live from where they work, shop and play, the more they spend on car-related expenses.
Utah has already come a long way to provide a wide range of housing options for more people. Consider that when Envision Utah first looked at the state’s growing housing needs in 1997, most housing units that were being built were out of reach for many hard-working citizens.
Since that time, market forces and more flexible regulations have allowed our housing supply to shift so that most communities now include townhomes, apartments and homes on smaller lots that are within reach of more families. These lots use less water and allow more citizens to live closer to where they work, shop and recreate. Large lot homes are still available for those who want and can afford them, but they’re no longer the only choice potential homeowners have.
Utahn’s housing needs change over time due to changes in family size, job locations, or for other reasons. The chart below is one example of how a family’s housing needs might change over time. Providing a variety of options helps to ensure that we all have a comfortable and affordable place to call home.