As Utah Legislature prepares to debate housing affordability, some call for tougher penalties on cities that don’t comply

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(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Snow falls on the Utah Capitol, as seen on Dec. 4, 2017. As the 2019 Utah Legislature readies to take up the issue of housing affordability, some are saying the state’s approach isn’t tough enough on Utah cities.

The latest state ideas for improving Utah’s housing affordability picture give cities lots of flexibility, but officials with the Salt Lake Chamber and Utah’s largest homebuilder say that approach isn’t tough enough. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

As they met Friday to finalize a package of proposals before the Legislature convenes Monday, members of the state Commission on Housing Affordability clashed over a key proposal to withhold transportation investment cash from cities that don’t create plans to encourage moderately priced homes within their communities.

That provision is a crucial part of the commission’s SB34, along with an expanded list of steps cities can take to promote affordable housing, such as approving mother-in-law apartments, lowering so-called impact fees for developers and promoting high-density housing near transit lines.

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