UNAFFORDABLE UTAH

Gov. Cox reveals 2025 budget plan with focus on starter homes

Dec 5, 2023, 2:48 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — With the backdrop of a new development of single-family homes, Gov. Spencer Cox announced his budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year Tuesday morning.

He chose the neighborhood of West Haven to highlight one of his top priorities: a plan to get some 33,000 new starter homes in Utah by 2028.

“Homeownership provides stability,” Cox said. “Home ownership is critical to building wealth and upward mobility. Homeownership encourages people to start a family.”

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Cox highlighted his concern for younger generations that might find homeownership unattainable at current market prices.

“I believe this is an existential threat, not just to the American dream, but to our way of life as a state and as a country,” he said.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaking about his budget proposal for 2025 with the focus on getting starter homes for Utah families. (KSL TV)

The 155-million dollar plan to build more starter homes would include assistance with infrastructure to help bring prices down and community land trusts enabling buyers to purchase the home, but lease the land they’re built on to lower prices further. The goal would be to get starter home prices below $400,000 and eventually around $300,000.

Cox adds that keeping those homes in the market and away from large investors would be important.

“You can deed-restrict to prevent institutional buyers from coming in,” Cox said. “So big corporations coming in and buying these up and prevent them from becoming secondary rentals in those those zones with these new starter homes that will allow them to stay in the supply.”

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The governor’s proposed 29.5 billion budget includes about 850 million for public education, 122 million for transportation and air quality initiatives, and 170 million for rural Utah, including investments in agriculture production and community and hospital infrastructure.

The complete budget proposal is available online on the Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget website.

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Gov. Cox reveals 2025 budget plan with focus on starter homes