To: Governor Gary R. Herbert

Stop H.B. 139: Keep Housing Separate from DWS

Dear Governor Herbert,

We the undersigned are opposed to H.B. 139, "Department of Community & Culture Amendments," which moves the Division of Housing & Communtiy Development (HCD) under the administrative umbrella of the Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Many of the advocates and professionals in the housing field are opposed to this initiative.

We feel that this shift can and will result in harm to the programs that HCD operates. We are concerned that due to the complexity and level of oversight that housing and community development programs require, HCD will become a forgotten entity within DWS.

We applaud the state's dedication to saving money and operating efficiently. However, we believe that the projected savings of this move has already been realized; it is unecessary and unwise to make an administrative shift in these respective state entities.

Housing & Community Development provides a great benefit to Utah's overall economy. It creates jobs, provides housing for low-wage Utah workers, and brings outside investments to Utah communities.

Housing can and should have a place at the Governor's table. It is time for our lawmakers to provide housing with the level of priority and cultivation is deserves as a vital component of Utah's economic engine. H.B. 139 will take our state's commitment to affordable housing in the opposite direction. Please veto H.B. 139.

Why is this important?

H.B. 139 is a bill that would place Utah's division of housing & community development into the Department of Workforce Services. Advocates and professionals who work in the housing field agree that DWS is not an appropriate administrator for housing & community development programs because their missions and business cultures are vastly different.