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Salt Lake City mayor, councilman oppose North Temple sites for homeless support housing

Mayor Ralph Becker passes out water bottles with the Jazz Bear after he presented the State of the City Address at Whittier Elementary School in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.
Mayor Ralph Becker passes out water bottles with the Jazz Bear after he presented the State of the City Address at Whittier Elementary School in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.
Chelsey Allder,

SALT LAKE CITY — The mayor and a city councilman of Salt Lake City have raised opposition to a proposal to fund housing along North Temple for chronically homeless individuals.

In a news release issued Friday, Mayor Ralph Becker and Councilman James Rogers said that while they support the effort to construct permanent supporting housing for Salt Lake City's homeless residents, they don't believe it should be located along the North Temple corridor.

The potential locations along North Temple, they said, "are inconsistent with the vision, development goals and housing policies … developed over many years in collaboration with the residents and business of this neighborhood."

The Pioneer Park Coalition has petitioned the Utah Legislature for $1 million toward the project. A total of $4.4 million in public and private funding has been identified to construct and furnish 100 units of permanent supportive housing, including $1.25 million from Salt Lake County, $1 million from the LDS Foundation, $1 million from Larry H. Miller Group, $20,000 from Morgan Stanley, and $145,000 from Pioneer Park Coalition members.

Two possible sites for the housing, according to information given to lawmakers by the coalition, are a 2-acre parcel at 1528 W. North Temple, the location of the former Diamond Lil's steak house; and a 5.7-acre parcel at 1849 W. North Temple, an existing office complex. The latter is within a block of the Department of Corrections' Orange Street community corrections center for women.

The private, nonprofit organization is part of a public-private partnership committed to building 300 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals and families. The housing would be a transit-oriented development and utilize low-income housing tax credits, according to the proposal.

Becker and Rogers pledged their support in identifying a location for the permanent housing, emphasizing that the site must be evaluated in cooperation with residents and businesses, as well as comply with area ordinances and housing policies.

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