ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Dixie State University is one of Washington County’s major employers, with nearly 2,000 people on staff.
“Dixie State has a challenging time hiring faculty, Intermountain is having a hard time hiring nurses and other folks because they can’t find housing here,” says Shirlayne Quayle, the Director of Economic Vitality, and Housing for the City of St. George.
As St. George is dealing with historically low housing and higher home prices, leaders from DSU say they’re struggling to find housing for new employees moving from out-of-state, making it harder to find and keep qualified staff.
“We’re trying to come up with solutions, we’re connecting them to realtors, and everyone is doing their best, I do know one example, our faculty and staff is reaching out and doing as best as they can, we have a professor who is helping a postdoc, who has been hired here and she’s just letting her stay with her at her house,” says Jyl Hall the Public Relations Director for Dixie State University.
Data shows the average salary for faculty is between $55,000-64,000, but the average price for a new home in Washington County is $500,000.
“Actually some newly hired employees have had to settle for living arrangements that don’t meet their family and lifestyle needs for example some new hires have had to rent smaller apartments instead of buying or renting single-family homes like they were really looking for,” says Hall.
DSU leaders say they are working to find more permanent solutions for their staff, during this state-wide housing crunch.