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Salt Lake City mayoral candidates support dorm-style units throughout the city

SALT LAKE CITY — The two candidates for Salt Lake City mayor say they support the idea of dorm-style housing in the city for those who can’t afford to buy or rent.

Zoning for these kinds of units is something that the Salt Lake Council has considered changing in the past, but both Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla expressed that they wouldn’t want to see them only zoned in certain areas like the west side, they want them throughout Salt Lake City.

Both candidates spoke this weekend at the Crossroads Urban Center’s Poverty Summit saying they think people would go for this kind of living if they can’t afford to rent or buy especially if someone is just leaving homelessness.

The housing proposals the two spoke about are made up of one-bedroom units that share a bathroom or kitchen, like dorms.

Mendenhall and Escamilla say the city needs more affordable housing and they both said these single-room occupancy buildings could work and help those transitioning from homelessness, the older or disabled, or those who can’t afford to rent or buy.

Neighbors are worried about crime and the impact on the housing market.