As Salt Lake City seeks to ease its affordable-housing crunch, the problem’s human dimension is coming into sharper focus. New information suggests thousands of the city’s children, single-parent families, minority residents and people with disabilities are getting trapped in poverty, their plight worsened by years of stagnant wages and rising housing costs. And the cycle is feeding a pipeline of those vulnerable to eviction and homelessness. “The system has really failed these people,” said Mike Akerlow, director of the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Development division. Half of the city’s renters are “cost burdened” by housing, meaning they spend at least 30 percent of their monthly incomes for a place to live. A quarter of them are “severely burdened,” forking over half their monthly pay or more to a landlord.
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