Shared Housing

(Formerly known as Single Room Occupancy, or SROs)

The Latest - updated proposal relating to Shared Housing uses

The Council has received an updated proposal relating to Shared Housing uses (formerly known as Single Room Occupancy Housing or SRO). The proposal was revised in response to feedback received during the Council’s April 23, 2019 public hearing and November 19, 2019 work session discussion.

During the Council's November 19, 2019 work session meeting, Planning Division staff explained how current zoning limits higher density housing within the City. This limits the proposed locations for Shared Housing.

When identifying locations for Shared Housing, the Planning Division included areas that currently allow similar levels of intensity such as multi-family residential dwellings.

The Council expressed interest in adopting the proposal due to the immediate need for more affordable housing options, but suggested Planning take a closer look at the City’s current zoning and identify obstacles to constructing housing.

In response to this feedback, the Planning Division worked on a revised proposal that:

  • Changes the land use title from 'Single Room Occupancy (SRO)' to 'Shared Housing.’
  • Defines Shared Housing as:
    • A residential building, or part of, that contains smaller housing units consisting of one or more sleeping rooms and contain either a private kitchen or private bathroom, but not both. Building tenants share whichever amenities are not in the individual units. Tenants occupy these units on a weekly or monthly basis. In the updated proposal, units could contain multiple sleeping rooms, rather than limiting the unit to one sleeping room. This change allows Shared Housing developments to serve families.
  • Adds ADA accessibility requirements as outlined in federal and state laws.

All occupancy and square footage requirements proposed for individual sleeping rooms still apply.

Next Steps:

The Council will hold a follow-up discussion in the coming weeks.

Continue scrolling to read additional background, summaries of the Council's discussions, and to provide your feedback.

What is Shared Housing Unit?

A Shared Housing unit is an affordable, smaller living unit. The unit consists of one or more sleeping rooms and may contain either a private kitchen or private bathroom, but not both. Building tenants share whichever amenities are not contained within the individual unit.

Shared Housing developments provide weekly rental options allowing those who cannot afford a full months’ rent to acquire shelter with smaller payments. This also provides property management the ability to immediately evict tenants who aren’t following the rules.

Shared Housing Proposal - Rename and redefine the use and expand areas where allowed

The Shared Housing proposal aims to support goals identified in the City’s Growing SLC: A Five-Year Housing Plan. Goals include increasing housing options and promoting affordability.

The proposal includes "qualifying provisions" that address

• occupancy limits

• square footage requirements

• property management requirements. This includes a 24-hour on-site manager and security camera monitoring.

Qualifying provisions are restrictions as a result of zone changes, to ensure compatibility with the surrounding property.

Currently, Salt Lake City requires a Shared Housing unit to have all amenities located within the unit and not exceed 500 square feet in size.

This inhibits the development of true shared housing. The updated proposal would rename and redefine the use in City code to allow true shared housing in designated areas of the City.

When identifying possible locations for Shared Housing development, the Planning Division used the following criteria:

• Areas with existing design standards.

• Areas that already permit uses with similar characteristics/levels of intensity.

• Areas that are in near frequent public transit stops.

• Areas located near amenities and employment that are accessible by foot or bicycle.

Map of proposed SRO districts

The criteria prioritized neighborhood compatibility and character as well as providing potential shared housing tenants with access to opportunities.

This map shows proposed locations for Shared Housing developments within Salt Lake City. Click on the map to expand or view district-specific maps here.

Shared Housing across the City

Below is a summary, based on the current proposal, of where Shared Housing development would be allowed in each Council district.

District 1 (Fairpark, Jordan Meadows, Rose Park, Westpointe)

Around North Temple from 900 West to 2200 West and along Redwood Road between 200 South Street and Northstar Drive (300 North).

District 2 (Fairpark, Glendale, Poplar Grove)

Along the north/south corridors of I-15, Redwood Road and 5600 West, and along 2100 South.

District 3 (Avenues, Capitol Hill, Federal Heights, Guadalupe, Marmalade)

Allowed in sections of the Marmalade neighborhood largely west of 300 West.

District 4 (Central City, Downtown, East Central)

Much of District 4 would allow Shared Housing developments. Along 400 South, the Transit Station Area (TSA) zoning already in place allows SROs as a permitted use to slightly past the 900 East Street intersection.

District 5 (Ballpark, Central Ninth, East Liberty, Liberty Wells)

Largely west of State Street. The 9th and 9th area is largely zoned Commercial Business and wouldn’t allow shared housing developments.

District 6 (Bonneville Hills, East Bench, Sunnyside East, Wasatch Hollow, Yalecrest)

Shared housing developments would not be permitted in District 6.

District 7 (Sugar House)

Primarily along 2100 South west of 1300 East, as well as on either side of Highland Drive between 2100 South and I-80.

Council Meeting Recaps

November 19, 2019 Council discussion

The Council received a follow-up briefing about changing single room occupancy (SRO) uses in the City. Discussion focused on potential long-term effects of adopting any proposed changes, short-term housing needs of people earning low incomes, and questions about SRO placement throughout the City. The Council provided Planning Division staff with direction and asked for an updated ordinance be submitted.

Read the Council staff report to learn more or watch the discussion.

Next steps: The Council will schedule a discussion upon receiving an updated proposal from the Administration.

April 23, 2019 public hearing

The Council heard public comment from more than 30 individuals about a text amendment that would expand the use of single room occupancy (SRO) housing. Read the April 23 Council staff report or watch the public hearing to learn more.

After their public hearing, the Council asked the Administration to respond to the public’s concerns related to the SRO proposal. Concerns expressed centered around fair housing laws and restricting SROs to certain areas of the City. The Council also asked for background on how the zoning districts were chosen for SRO expansion when drafting the proposal.

Next steps: The Council is expected to receive an update from the Administration in the coming months.

March 19, 2019 Council discussion

The Council discussed a proposed ordinance that would amend various sections of Salt Lake City Code pertaining to single room occupancy (SRO) uses. Discussion centered on how potential properties would be managed, and balancing neighborhood concerns with the City’s need for affordable and diverse housing types. Read the Council staff report or watch the discussion to learn more.

Next steps: The Council will hold a public hearing on April 23, 2019 at 7 p.m.