by Debra McKee
In March of 2023, the Economic Development & Visitor Services office participated in discussions with local stakeholders about the housing stock conditions in San Juan County. Also in attendance were professionals within the housing sector and public officials. This conversation sparked a desire to conduct a county-wide Housing Assessment to provide comprehensive information that could then be used for strategic planning of future development needs and to support the securing of funding sources. The larger group discussed community needs, concerns, and desires regarding housing in San Juan County. Some specific topics were current housing projects in the works, where funding for the Housing Assessment would come from, potential project partners, and what the specific outcomes desired from the Housing Assessment would be.
From this more extensive discussion, a subcommittee was formed to draft an RFP (Request For Proposal) that would eventually secure a consulting firm to conduct the county-wide Housing Assessment. It took several months of meetings, research, and collaboration to draft a comprehensive RFP. The subcommittee was very precise in ensuring that all San Juan County communities were part of this study, including the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute community of White Mesa. It was also very important that the chosen firm had previous experience communicating with Indigenous communities as holding public meetings are a required part of the study.
Be sure to attend one of the Housing Assessment Public Meetings to provide your input on this process.
January 29th, 2024 - 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm Hideout Community Center, 49 W 600 S, Monticello
January 30th, 2024 - 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm Blanding City Council Chambers, 50 W 100 S, Blanding
January 30th, 2024 - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm La Sal Community Center, UT-46, La Sal
The subcommittee has selected Points Consulting LLC to conduct the Housing Assessment. They have extensive experience in this process, and have partnered with a Native American consultant to provide valuable insight from an Indigenous perspective. The assessment is underway and is expected to be completed in April, 2024. The information obtained will be critical in moving the San Juan County housing market forward in a positive direction. Each municipality will have access to the findings to create their own strategies of how to better serve their communities.
The San Juan County Economic Development Department applied to host a Fellow through the Economic Recovery Corps program developed by the International Economic Development Council. Out of over 600 projects, the San Juan County Housing Assessment was chosen! This Fellow will be instrumental in assisting the municipalities in using the findings from the Assessment to develop strategic plans in moving their housing market onward. They will be in San Juan County for just over two years. The Fellow and their family will relocate to Southeast Utah to serve through the Fellowship term.
In addition, the San Juan County Economic Development & Visitor Services office applied for the Rural Opportunities Grant, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity awarded San Juan County $51,000. This grant funding will help pay a portion of the Housing Assessment. We cannot thank them enough for their assistance and support for San Juan County in this project.
Overall, we are looking forward to developing a better place to live for all new, and existing residents of San Juan County!