SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) – A partnership has brought nine new affordable homes to the city of South Jordan.

South Jordan City and Ivory Homes are celebrating the completion of nine new affordable homes for city and local school district employees through a workforce housing collaboration. The Bingham Court Workforce Partnership includes innovative zoning and infrastructure cost-sharing to allow for deed-restricted, affordable homes.

Organizers say this comes as demand for housing and affordability challenges in Utah are at an unprecedented level.

“We simply don’t have enough housing to meet the current demand and projections show we are going to need substantially more,” says South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. “The City of South Jordan wanted to be proactive and expand housing options, especially for those who serve its community and greatly appreciate our partnership with Ivory Homes to make that possible. This is exactly the type of collaboration our state needs to address this critical issue.”

Recent estimates show Utah is experiencing an extreme housing shortage – estimated at 50,000 units – as well as robust demand and limited new supply creates pressures to have the median sales price of a home in the Salt Lake area at $736,000 in the next 25 years.

In the past year, the Salt Lake area has had a nearly 20% increase in home values, according to RedFin.

“Utah has a very real housing crisis, both in terms of availability but also affordability that goes beyond our community’s most vulnerable and quickly pricing out first-time homebuyers and our frontline employees,” says Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes. “We’re so appreciative of South Jordan’s leadership and collaboration on this effort. I am hopeful that other city leaders will look to this partnership and collaborate to keep Utah an affordable place to call home.”

Since 2018, Ivory Homes has helped more than 400 individuals and families achieve homeownership through their Utah Workforce Housing Priority, which reserves the most affordable homes for the community’s critical workforce and first-time homebuyers.

“As a mother of six, I want my kids to live in the community they grew up in, but our resident surveys have made it clear that it’s the cost that’s preventing so many of our young people from being able to live here in this community,” Ramsey says.

In addition to supporting efforts to rezone the property, the City contributed to infrastructure costs of the project to make those units more affordable to construct.

Through a South Jordan Redevelopment Agency housing program, these employees are able to apply for up to $20,000 toward the purchase of a home in the city. Primarily, the applicant, along with all others who will reside in the residence, must have a combined household income of no more than 80% of the area median income for the County.

Once all of the dedicated homes are purchased, this affordable housing option isn’t done. Homes will have deed restrictions to guarantee that they will stay in the affordable housing pool in South Jordan beyond the first homeowner.