Housing is the backbone of every community. Housing has direct and indirect links to all aspects of community and economic development and serves as the foundation for a high quality of life. The Moab Area needs an adequate and accessible supply of housing for residents and employees in order to sustain its reputation as a world-class destination and a great community in which individuals and families can live, work, and play. To that end, this housing plan shall guide future policy-making, budgeting, and programmatic development at various levels of local government.
Housing affordability has become a primary challenge for communities across the country. Regardless of size, location, economic profile, or political character, demand for affordable housing has never exceeded supply by such a large degree, as supported by the data presented in this plan. The imbalance is exacerbated in amenities-rich communities throughout the American West. Although Moab is not alone in trying to overcome the housing challenge, it must find solutions appropriate to the local context.
The following data sources were used during the research, analysis, and writing of this report. Zacharia Levine, Grand County Community Development Director, conducted all quantitative analysis and modeling. Where tables from the 2009 plan were updated, equivalent methodology was employed.
In 2009, the City of Moab and Grand County jointly adopted their first Housing Study and Affordable Housing Plan. The plan was created through a collaborative, multi-year study and public planning process. Meeting facilitators included representatives from the City of Moab, Grand County, Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah (HASU), Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), and Bureau of Economic Business Research (BEBR) located within the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. Stakeholder participants represented a broad cross-section of the community, including employers, government officials, housing user groups, contractors, financiers, brokers, and concerned citizens. Details of the process followed to create the plan, key findings, housing needs projections, and an associated action plan can be found in the 2009 report.
You can find the full 2009 Affordable Housing Plan here.
The impetus for creating a new housing plan is multi-faceted. First, housing affordability has declined further since 2009. Second, the Interlocal Housing Task Force, which is a byproduct of the 2009 effort, has been revitalized under new leadership. The Task Force meets regularly and believes additional action would be of great benefit to the community. Third, this document is required by the State of Utah and is often referenced by local entities seeking state and federal funds for affordable housing development projects. For example, HASU requires updated market study information in order to remain competitive in receiving low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) critical to the financing and construction of affordable housing for very low- and low-income households. Fourth, Moab’s community and economy continue to evolve rapidly and an updated plan is needed to reflect recent changes and possible future scenarios.