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Award praises efforts in affordable housing

SHARE Award praises efforts in affordable housing

Salt Lake City's director of housing and development recently received an award from NeighborWorks America for her work in revitalizing the city's neighborhoods.

LuAnn Clark has led the city in establishing 2,163 units of affordable and special-needs housing through the administration of the city's Housing Trust Fund and federal grants.

Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America, which financially supports and trains communities on how to revitalize their neighborhoods, commended Clark for her work in Salt Lake City, according to a news release from NeighborWorks America.

"LuAnn Clark has shown an unwavering commitment to and support for public policies that advance community revitalization goals," Wade was quoted as saying. "Her leadership has helped transform her community, and we are proud to honor her for invaluable and prolonged service to affordable housing."

Among Clark's successes is Citifront, a 155-unit development near 600 W. North Temple. Clark helped secure a $465,000 grant for a parking structure and a $1.2 million low-interest loan for land acquisition. She also worked to get $285,000 in impact fees paid for by Salt Lake City, so the city could continue to improve infrastructure.

"LuAnn recognizes the multiple dividends paid through affordable housing in the form of improved community safety, stronger civic engagement and better outcomes for low- and moderate-income families," Wade said.

Clark, who has been director for five years, said she was secretly nominated for the award and didn't find out until she received it.

"It's very exciting to help someone buy their first home," she said. "It's one of those really great moments."

One of Salt Lake City's upcoming projects is the Stratford, located about 175 E. 200 South, which caught fire June 29, 2005, and led to dramatic rescues by the fire department.

The developer who purchased the Stratford received a $225,000 loan from the Housing Trust Fund, which Clark administers. The developer will historically renovate the building and put in 46 affordable apartment units, Clark said. Plans include solar panels and other measures to make the building more energy efficient.

The Stratford is expected to be completed in six months.

E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com