Salt Lake County Council approves terms to bail out Shelter The Homeless

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake County Council has voted unanimously to approve the term sheet for a bridge loan up to $21 million for Shelter The Homeless.

The non-profit organization is overseeing the construction of three homeless shelters in Salt Lake County as part of the Rio Grande Project.

The project, which launched on August 14, 2017, is an effort to improve homelessness in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City.

On Wednesday, ABC4 spoke with the county. “The terms approved by the county council yesterday will require Shelter The Homeless pay back the county for all costs including interest,” said Darrin Casper, Salt Lake County Chief Financial Officer. “The money will initially come from fund balance from Salt Lake County. The county at any time would have the upwards of $100 million or so in fund balance. The intent is that there will be no impact to taxpayers.”

The money is anticipated to cover a $13 million shortfall that’s currently causing a delay in the shelter’s completion.

ABC4 reached out to Shelter The Homeless for comment. By email, its executive director Preston Cochrane said, “Shelter The Homeless hasn’t received the final term sheet from Salt Lake County which will be circulated for the Shelter The Homeless Board’s approval.”

According to documents provided to ABC4 by Salt Lake County, the construction budget for the centers was initially $52 million.

Due to increases in labor costs and steel tariffs as well as seasonal changes, the budget is now around $64 million.

“If Shelter the Homeless were to renege on the payments then part of the agreement also includes the collateral be held by the county,” said Casper. “We’re required to hold a 120% collateral as security for the loans.”

Meaning Salt Lake County would own at least a portion of the land and the buildings.

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