A new fund announced recently will help provide affordable housing to people in need across Utah. Intermountain is partnering with the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, the Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, and Zions Bank to contribute $20 million to launch the new Utah Housing Preservation Fund. The fund is aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage and affordability challenges.

Organizers hope other groups, including the state legislature, will also contribute to the fund to reach more than $100 million in contributions.

The fund aims to preserve Utah’s existing affordable housing so the units aren’t bought and remodeled to be leased at sky-high prices. The fund will initially finance the purchase and refurbishing of existing affordable housing units from Salt Lake County’s housing authority. This will not only keep existing residents in their homes, but will also allow the county housing authority to reinvest the sales proceeds and create another 100 dwellings for low-income families.

The goal is to prevent the monthly rent on units from rising from $800 a month to $1,800 a month or more and displacing families. Contributors hope the fund will eventually preserve 500 to 800 affordable units which would be made available for households earning below 50 percent of the area median income.

Mikelle Moore, Intermountain’s senior vice president and chief community health officer, said supporting the Utah Housing Preservation Fund is a way Intermountain can help patients have safe homes where they can heal and maintain their health. Intermountain will partner with the Utah Partners for Health to provide direct health services for people living in homes refurbished by the fund, Moore said.

The units bought by the preservation fund will be rent-subsidized and managed by the Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, which will also work with housing authorities, service providers, and other organizations throughout the state to secure housing for low- and moderate-income Utahns.

Read more about the fund in this Salt Lake Tribune article.