Utah searches for solution to homelessness

Utah searches for solution to homelessness (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)- In this week’s Housing and Urban Development study, polls found homelessness across the nation is up for the first time since the recession about .7%.

The state of Utah also falls in line with the trend of rising homelessness.

University of Utah assistant professor, Ivis Garcia, is a specialist in economic and urban development. She says mixed income housing is the best way to provide long-term housing to help the chronically homeless.

“A good way of avoiding people from becoming homeless is just to have a supply of housing,” Garcia said.

Mixed income housing splits up a single development into units of market rate, affordable, and low-income homes.

“When people are in the same community, there may be more opportunity for people who are low income,” she said. “The big benefit is that there’s no social exclusion, right? People can interact and be part of the same community.”

Garcia said having a mix of economic classes in a single area will help create a thriving community and give people of different economic backgrounds the same opporunities.

“When you see public or affordable housing that are mixed, you tend to see more upward mobility. And that’s the key.”

Instead of segregating rich and poor, they will both be paying for the same resources like schools, public utilities, and parks.

“How can we break that cycle of poverty? Through access of opportunity.”

In Utah, more families and single people are homeless than last year, but the study saw a decrease in the rate of homeless veterans, which is counter to the national trend.

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