The Fox Files is a weekly message from EDCUtah President & CEO Theresa Foxley.
Thanks to our Board of Advisors Members for attending this week’s BOA meeting. Our BOA is constituted as the place for our public sector and our private sector members to combine to give us strategic feedback and direction.
At this quarter’s BOA meeting we had a great panel of experts delve into an issue that is front of mind for economic developers statewide: the intersection between housing and economic development. We were joined by Mayor Troy Walker of Draper City, James Wood from the Kem C. Gardner Institute, and Thomas Wright of Sotheby’s International. I appreciated the unique insight each of them brought to the discussion.
There were a few key takeaways from our conversation:
1. For the first time in decades, new housing starts lag behind new household formation to the tune of 30k+. That dynamic is driving costs up, especially for entry-level buyers.
2. If we are to continue to grow our state’s economy and maintain the quality of life through affordability, air quality, and access to employment centers, we need additional integration between our housing, transportation, and economic development systems.
3. Most policy-people agree that density will be key to driving that system integration, but there can be challenges in implementing density and transit solutions at the local levels. Everyone loves the idea of density until their neighborhood is being re-zoned.
Based on the conversation we had and what we continue to learn about this important part of the economic development ecosystem, we are committed to working with our transportation, transit, and local stakeholders, so our efforts are complimentary to finding innovative and locally driven solutions to this major issue.