Think you can design a tiny home? Salt Lake City has cash prizes for winning ideas

Following up on its goal to build a master-planned tiny home community for the homeless, the city of Salt Lake has announced the Empowered Living Design Competition, which invites students and professionals to submit ideas for tiny homes that could supplement the city’s supply of affordable housing. Entrants must register at bit.ly/empoweredlivingdesign by Sept. 10, and submissions are due Oct. 29.

The winners will enter a “library of designs” that homeowners and city officials can use for their projects, which would expedite their building and permitting processes. Two first-place winners will receive $1,000 and may be asked to develop the design through a separate procurement and contract process. Runners-up will receive $500.

The competition, [said Blake Thomas. director of Salt Lake City’s community and neighborhoods department,] is meant to “raise the visibility and inspire creativity around the ever-pressing issues of housing affordability” and the need to expand choices for lower-income Salt Lake City residents.

“In Salt Lake City, a household needs to earn a combined wage of $23.15 an hour to afford a market rate, two-bedroom apartment. And as the median sales price of a single family home has soared to $551,000, both for purchasing and renting in our city are increasingly unattainable for Salt Lake City residents,” Thomas said. “Too many of our residents are being priced out of our great capital city due to stagnant wages and record-high housing costs.”

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