2022 Community Needs Assessment
1. What are the major data changes from baseline? (prior needs assessment)
Average home prices increased; affordable housing units; number of homeless; availability of housing; gap in services to black/African American community.
2. What contributed to these changes?
- The Average Home Price increased by 24.3% in the state, with all 5 counties in our service area seeing increases from 8.6% up to 32%. More than 39% of people surveyed who were already housed expressed that their rent had increased in the last year, and an equal percentage of survey participants disclosed that their living expenses now exceed their income.
- In Beaver, Kane, and Washington Counties, agencies and landlords have worked hard to[CC1] advocate for tax credit and affordable housing. These counties have all built substantial apartment complexes through grants, collaboration and donated funding.
- Due to COVID19, many lost their jobs, which led to loss of housing, added mental health crises, and shelters to be running at full capacity.
- It is inferred that, during the pandemic, while most of Southern Utah’s economy did not suffer the way that most of the country did, many people from surrounding states rushed to move to our small communities. This made it much harder to find affordable rentals. 90% of calls coming into the CAP office and client walk-ins are community members in need of housing assistance (locating and financing).
- 2019-2022 Census data shows that 2.22% of the Black community in Iron County is living in poverty, yet only 1.29% of that population accessed services. This may be a problem in outreach and knowledge of services offered.
3. What barriers (specific to income) were made clear by the data?
- Criminal Background
- Poor credit
- Rental History
- Application fee requirements
- Fair Market Rent Amounts (HUD)
4. What gaps in service were noted for this issue?
- Ratio of low-income housing per capita
- Senior housing
- Individual (SRO) housing
- Housing vouchers
- No housing authority in Kane or Garfield CountiesOutreach services to the racially diverse in all counties
5. Are there individual/family/community unmet needs in this area?
The rental market is very competitive, allowing landlords and property managers to increase rent, deposits, and even application fees. This limits access to available housing for families and individuals in poverty.
6. What linkages (including partnerships) are needed to address barriers, gaps, and unmet need?
- What linkages (including partnerships) are needed to address barriers, gaps, and unmet need?
- Landlord relationships
- Cedar City, Beaver, and St. George Housing Authority
- Local shelters
- Sun Country Home Solutions
- USDA Rural Development
- University Dental Hygiene Clinic
- Rocky Vista University Medical Office
7. From reviewing the housing data, what has your agency learned about the root cause of poverty in your community?
The lack of affordable and available housing units is a huge barrier. Limited availability of housing options in addition to population growth has driven up housing costs across all 5 counties.