Op-ed: Rising inflation and housing crisis — Where is the American dream?

Written by: Peter Reichard

High housing costs. Rapidly rising interest rates. Surging oil prices. Escalating inflation.  If you don’t already own a home or if rising grocery costs don’t fit your budget, you might be excused for feeling a sense of dread. The American dream is built on homeownership and the idea that you can earn more in real dollars than your parents. But the elevated housing costs and surging interest rates are suddenly putting the first part of … Continued

Is Utah Losing Focus on its Children?

Written by: Peter Reichard

In this edition of Utah Thrives, Senior Analyst Christopher Collard and President Peter Reichard discuss the May 2022 Utah Foundation report, The Flowering of Youth: The Next Generation in Utah. The report is the sixth installment in the Utah Social Capital Series. The report revealed some surprising trends nationally, but also in a state that takes pride in its focus on youth. 

Op-ed: Utah should be broadening educational horizons

Written by: Peter Reichard

Few dividing lines in our nation are as bright as the line between those who have some form of post-secondary degree or certification and those who do not. A shortfall in post-secondary educational attainment diminishes both social capital and economic prospects. And the consequences echo through generations, as the children of those with low educational attainment are more likely to follow suit. Some of the steps to expanding post-secondary attainment involve long-term, bottom-up changes. But … Continued

Significant Statistics | Can Carpenters Afford the Homes They Build?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Having recently completed our “middle housing” project (see the project page here), the Utah Foundation continues to track Utah’s housing issues. A recent find is the Carpenter Index. AEI’s Housing Center created its Carpenter Index as a way of tracking housing affordability in the country’s 100 largest metro areas. The Index looks at the income for the average carpenter-headed household as a proxy for blue-collar Americans’ incomes. The gist of the question: Can carpenters afford … Continued

Utah Thrives Podcast | Broadening Utah Students’ Horizons

Written by: Peter Reichard

Broadening Educational Horizons, Bridging Socio-Economic Gaps How can Utah inspire K-12 students to look beyond a high school diploma? When looking beyond high school, some Utah students face low expectations, a shortfall in post-secondary readiness, a lack of knowledge around post-secondary options and financial challenges. Our new report, Broadening Horizons: Clearing an Early Path to Post-Secondary Success, not only explores these challenges, but also seeks to reveal the network of supports that can help smooth the … Continued

Video: The Missing Middle of the Housing Market

Written by: Christopher Collard

The Utah Foundation’s multi-part project on the “missing middle” of the housing market has been making waves among civic, business and policy leaders. Find out what middle housing is, why it matters and how to deploy it in this brief, engaging video.  

Utah Thrives Podcast | The Middle-Class and Social Cohesion

Written by: Peter Reichard

How does economic stratification look in Utah? Utah is unique among Western States on a key measure of social cohesion   In March, the Utah Foundation put out a new edition in our Utah Social Capital Series called The Soil of Common Ground: Social Cohesion in Utah. On maybe the most important metric, Utah came out on top nationally. On another, Utah stands alone in the Western states. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation Senior … Continued

Op-ed: America’s middle class is in trouble, but not in Utah

Written by: Peter Reichard

The nation’s middle class has gradually been shrinking. Fifty years ago, more than 60% of Americans were in the middle class. Now the percentage is less than 50%. It’s worth noting that the upper class grew during that time. But so did the lower class. In short, our nation is becoming increasingly stratified. This is particularly evident when we look at America’s major cities and the urban-rural divide. A robust middle class provides a pipeline … Continued

Utah Thrives Podcast | The Surprising Effects of the Pandemic on Families

Written by: Peter Reichard

Prior to Pandemic, Utah Family Life Saw Shocking Declines on Key Metrics The Pandemic Made Eye-Opening Impacts — both for Good and Ill   There’s only so much time in the day, and most parents need to know that they need to work intently to make sure family time is well-spent. And while families in Utah are well-structured, the time families spend at home may not be. That problem — and the surprising effects of the … Continued

Op-ed: How communities can change the playbook to expand housing options

Written by: Peter Reichard

Scanning the older cities of Utah (or indeed any state) you encounter in the historic core a mix of lot sizes and uses. You might see small setbacks and often find single-family homes alongside small multi-family housing. Often, these areas appear designed for pedestrian commuting, shopping and recreation. As you move away from the historic core into the suburbs, the old patterns dissolve into a new one: All of the residential lots are larger and … Continued