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Gov. Cox and Lt. Gov. Henderson announce $150 million ‘Utah First Homes’ starter home program in budget announcement


Dec. 5, 2023 


Emma Williams 

Office of the Governor

(385) 303-4383,

Max Gruber

Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget

(801) 247-1899,

Gov. Cox and Lt. Gov. Henderson announce $150 million ‘Utah First Homes’ starter home program in budget announcement

Proposed FY25 budget also highlights service, homeless supports, education and workforce initiatives that strengthen families  

WEST HAVEN (Dec. 5, 2023) – Today, Gov. Spencer J. Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson unveiled their full budget recommendations and priorities for Fiscal Year 2025. On top of generational investments into a comprehensive statewide homelessness support system announced on Monday, Dec. 4, the budget includes a $150 million investment towards an ambitious goal of creating 35,000 new starter homes by 2028.

“The single greatest threat to our future prosperity, the American Dream and our strong communities is the price of housing. Our kids will never be able to call Utah home if we don’t start building starter homes again,” said Gov. Cox. “With the goal to build 35,000 new starter homes, the Utah First Homes Program would provide new funds for infrastructure, help for homebuyers through grants and sweat equity programs, funding to incentivize innovation and more. Under the leadership of our new Senior Advisor for Housing Strategy and Innovation, Steve Waldrip, Utah can show the rest of the nation how to solve the housing crisis and help Utah families keep the American Dream alive.”

The Cox-Henderson administration is committed to a future where every Utahn has the opportunity to own a home. The Utah First Homes Program includes $50 million for the First-Time Homebuyers Assistance Program, $75 million to expand the State Infrastructure Bank specifically for housing projects, and $25 million to bolster starter home innovation and construction projects. Gov. Cox also announced former state Rep. Steve Waldrip will serve as his new senior housing innovation advisor who will help develop a statewide Strategic Housing Plan.

The FY 2025 budget proposal also outlines specific recommendations to directly help Utahns succeed, including support for families, service initiatives, workforce alignment, investments in public education and teachers, and resources to support vulnerable populations and victims of domestic violence.

As Utah continues to grow, proactive investments and long-term planning will help Utah respond to the challenges and harness the opportunities growth brings. In addition to prioritizing pathways to homeownership, this budget recommends more than $80 million to support Utah’s water and watersheds, $162 million to enhance transportation and recreation opportunities across the state, and nearly $170 million of investments in rural Utah.

At a glance:

  • $185 million total investment in housing, including $150 million for Utah First Homes and $45.5 million in affordable and deeply affordable housing
  • $193 million in a comprehensive statewide homelessness support system
  • $68.8 million in strengthening families
  • $14.4 million to enhance service
  • $56.2 million for workforce expansion
  • $9.2 million for victims support
  • $81.6 million to protect our water and watersheds
  • $122 million for investments in transportation and air quality

You can find the governor’s entire budget proposal here.

Video of the full announcement is here.

A “Utah First Homes” graphic can be found here.

A budget highlights graphic can be found here.