Salt Lake Community College is close to securing financing for its on-campus housing project following a delay in March.
The college planned for construction of student housing to begin on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus this spring, with an expected opening of fall 2023, but inability to secure an adequate investment package delayed the project.
“We are in the process of going back into the bond market to get financing for this project,” said Chris Martin, vice president of finance and administration at SLCC. “We are hoping the bond sale closes in late October or early November.”
Once financing is secured, the project can start moving again, Martin said.
The housing project comes amid a rise in housing prices across the Salt Lake Valley. Last year, rent costs in Salt Lake County rose by 10%, and the median home price rose by 25%, according to a study from the University of Utah Policy Institute.
A majority of students at two-year colleges, 52%, reported experiencing some form of housing insecurity in a 2020 survey conducted by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, and 29% reported not being able to fully pay for utilities.
“[Rising costs] makes planning stuff really hard,” said Joshua Cortez, an audio and video production student. “It’s understandable why a lot of young adults our age are not looking to buy housing, and [apartments] are more attractive because it’s cheaper overall.”
Completion of the housing project would place SLCC among the minority of two-year institutions nationwide that offer student housing. Only 28% of all community colleges currently do, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
The Globe previously reported that the initial set of planned dorms at SLCC may include 350 to 400 beds for single students. However, school officials have not made a formal announcement thus far.
To help students who faced financial disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, SLCC introduced the Students in Crisis Fund, which the college continues to support, now called the Bruin Emergency Fund.
To learn more about the emergency fund, visit its SLCC web page.