SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Almost 300 affordable housing units in Salt Lake County will be preserved and renovated thanks to new multi-million dollar federal funding.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Multifamily Housing announced it has closed a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transaction with the Housing Authority of Salt Lake County for its New City Plaza apartment site.

HUD is providing $39.8 million in rental assistance to preserve 299 low-income housing units for seniors and non-elderly disabled residents in Salt Lake County.  All units will be updated with broadband wiring, health/safety updates including generators and access systems along with modernization of units and common areas.

Broken down, the funds will provide about $133,110 per unit for construction. The program is fully financed through a commercial FHA-Insured mortgage loan, 4% low-income housing tax credits and HOME funds. 

The project will also connect two adjacent buildings managed by city housing officials — the City Plaza and the County High Rise — combining into one managed property.

“This project preserves much-needed affordable housing in downtown Salt Lake City, enabling residents to have access to affordable housing in an area close to jobs and opportunities,” officials say. “It will add a new one-story connecting breezeway to create a unified senior community in which residents have ease of access between these buildings.”

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program is designed to “help address the multi-billion-dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance in the public housing portfolio and to stem the loss of affordable housing that could no longer be kept to decent standards.”

Since the program’s creation, over $14.5 billion has been used to “improve or replace nearly 175,000 deeply rent-assisted homes, most of which house extremely low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.”

The RAD program converts public housing to project-based Section 8 rental assistance which requires residents to pay 30% of their income towards rent while the housing unit must continue “to serve those with very low and extremely low incomes, as was the case when the property was assisted through the public housing program.”