Deeply Affordable Housing with Mike Barben of the St. George Housing Authority

In this interview I talked to Mike Barben, executive director of the St. George Utah Housing Authority. He shares about how he came to be in his current role and some of the specifics about what the organization does to help individuals find deeply affordable housing. They are in a challenging situation with very limited resources, but the housing authority makes a  huge difference for the people it serves. Find out more about what the authority does by listening to our discussion.

Photo of Mike Barben and Jenny Chamberlain
photo of St. George Housing Authority building and sign that says "Dixie Sun Manor"

Deon Spilker & David Damschen and the Utah Housing Corporation on Affordable Housing

Deon Spilker is the vice president of mortgage banking at Utah Housing Corporation, and David Damschen is the president of the organization. In this episode we have a conversation about what the organization does, who some of the key stakeholders are in affordable housing in Utah, and what are some of the complications attendant to solving the problem of unaffordable housing on the state level. This interview was a great pleasure for me. I loved to hear insights from two of the most knowledgeable people in our state on affordable housing.

Here are a couple of highlight quotes from our discussion. 

“It takes all of us together to do the building, and the lending, and to do the tax credits and to have the knowledge.”  – Deon Spilker

Spilker also pointed out that she frequently hears the phrase “We couldn’t have without you” in the context of getting into a home.

A couple more quotes I liked: “You need all hands on deck for problems of this complexity and magnitude.” – David Damschen

“Smart government, working hand-in-hand with the private sector can be very constructive and very helpful, but you want to have a light touch.” – David Damschen

We also talked about Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which I have wanted to understand better for a long time, and I loved hearing Mr. Damschen’s insightful explanation of how they work.

If you want to learn more about the Utah Housing Corporation, you can see their website here. There is a great calculator on there if you are interested in FHA loans or are a first time home buyer.

It was such a pleasure for me to talk to people who are truly making a difference for Utah families who need affordable housing every day. I hope you enjoy listening to this interview as much as I enjoyed having it.


Planning commission and Defining NIMBYism with Michelle Cloud

Michelle Cloud is in her second term as a planning commissioner for Hurricane City. She recently sent me an article about the Ivins City open house about affordable housing, and in this episode we discuss that article as well as what NIMBYism is and what her role is as a planning commissioner for the city of Hurricane.


Housing and Short-Term Rentals with Hurricane Mayor Nanette Billings

In this episode I talk with Mayor Nanette Billings about what the current housing situation is, her views on density and attainable housing, and what the short-term rental policy is in the city of Hurricane. I’m grateful for her squeezing some time from her busy schedule for this conversation. Hurricane Mayor Nanette Billings