Celebrating New Housing for Frontline Workers
This past week, South Jordan City and Ivory Homes celebrated the completion of nine new affordable homes for city and local school district employees through a unique workforce housing collaboration.
"Utah has a very real housing crisis, both in terms of availability but also affordability that goes beyond our community's most vulnerable and quickly pricing out first-time homebuyers and our frontline employees," said Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes.
"We're so appreciative of South Jordan's leadership and collaboration on this effort. I am hopeful that other city leaders will look to this partnership and collaborate to keep Utah an affordable place to call home."
The Bingham Court Workforce Partnership includes innovative zoning and infrastructure cost sharing to allow for deed-restricted, affordable homes for frontline workers. This comes from unprecedented levels of demand for housing and affordability challenges in Utah.
South Jordan Police Officer Weeks and his wife, Jessika, one of the nine homebuyers shared their appreciation for the opportunity to live in the city in which he works.
"This is a huge opportunity for us to deliver equity and opportunity to very valued city employees," Ivory said.
Joshua Timothy, a city employee who is buying one of the homes, shared with KSL just how important it is that homeownership is now possible for his family.
"It's been stressful watching the house prices go up faster than you can save money for," he said. "We had to honestly decide not to buy a home this year. We were just going to pile up money and maybe in a couple years think about it. Finding a program like this was crucial just to be able to get into the market in a hard time."
Since 2018 when the program was introduced, Ivory Homes has closed more than 400 of these Workforce Housing Priority homes across the Wasatch Front. The program reserves the most affordable homes for our community's critical workforce and first-time homebuyers.
"We simply don't have enough housing to meet the current demand and projections show we are going to need substantially more," said South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. "The city of South Jordan wanted to be proactive and expand housing options, especially for those who serve its community and greatly appreciate our partnership with Ivory Homes to make that possible. This is exactly the type of collaboration our state needs to address this critical issue."
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute estimates Utah's extreme housing shortage, estimated at 50,000 units, robust demand, and limited new supply are creating pressures to having the median sales price of a home in the Salt Lake area at $736,000 in the next 25 years. Just in the past year, the Salt Lake area has had a nearly 20% increase in home values according to research by RedFin.
"We are all in this together to make sure our kids and our City employees - our police and firefighters - and educators can afford to call our communities home, now and in the future. They make our City great, and this partnership with Ivory gave us the tools to give them a chance to make a brighter future for themselves and their families," Ramsey said.