'I'd like to work for you, but I don't have a place to live': Southern Utah's housing squeeze gets tighter

Newly-built homes line the streets inside The Ledges development in northern St. George beneath the white sandstone cliffs above Winchester Hills.
Newly-built homes line the streets inside The Ledges development in northern St. George beneath the white sandstone cliffs above Winchester Hills.

For the better part of a decade, southwestern Utah has seen its housing crisis only get worse, with high home prices and high rents outpacing wages and squeezing working-class residents into increasingly precarious positions.

In recent months, rising interest rates and inflation have put a dent in the number of home sales, making it even more difficult for first-time buyers and lower-income residents to entertain the idea of attaining home ownership.

And for local employers, including public ones like the City of St. George and the Washington County School District, the high cost of housing has made it hard to attract teachers, police officers and other key workforces.

“It’s probably the toughest part of moving here,” said Kolby Nelson, 24, a recent move-in from Ogden who said he has been living in a basement apartment in St. George while he looks for more permanent accommodations elsewhere.

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