(KUTV) -- Crossroads Urban Center and Alliance for a Better Utah launched a video on social media Monday about the homelessness crisis in Utah.
The video released outlines the growing affordable housing issue in Utah and asked the question about impacted Utahns, “where do they go?”
Statistics in the video report a 40 percent increase in unsheltered individuals within the last year with families making up 35 percent of the homeless population in Utah.
Additionally, statistics show in 1992 the average home cost was $123,000 and since then prices have increases by 5.7% yearly, which translates to the average home cost in 2018 as $365,500 - yet incomes have stayed roughly the same, the video details.
In addition to the video, a petition in English and Spanish was made public that called on Gov. Gary R. Herbert to include financial resources in his 2019 budget. The petitions specifically ask for the budget increase to provide for increased affordable housing and rapid rehousing options for singles and families facing homelessness was also made available.
Jessica Roadman, community outreach coordinator for Crossroads Urban Center, stated in a press release:
Unsheltered homelessness rates are up in Utah. A solution has been presented by elected officials in the form of three new shelters to replace the downtown shelter, but the reduced number of shelter beds in this proposal will not be adequate to address the growing problem of homelessness in Utah. With housing prices rising exponentially in the state, we call on Governor Herbert to include room in his 2019 budget to address this issue.
The video was previewed in its entirety last week, but the remainder of it will be released in three segments over the next three weeks. The first segment can be found here. The petition can be found here (English) and here (Spanish).
Chase Thomas, policy and advocacy counsel for Better Utah, issued a prepared statement:
Utahns’ wallets are feeling the pinch of rising housing costs,” stated “There are families in our neighborhoods that are just one incident away from unsheltered homelessness. Communities coming together to discuss this growing issue is the next step in making positive change for our state. We hope Governor Herbert will heed the voices of his constituents calling for funding to reduce homelessness.