This housing series kicked off with a novel angle into the housing issues that The Times-Independent had long been covering: The impact on employers. In planning the article, however, we realized that we had an opportunity to take a more rigorous and sweeping approach over the course of the coming weeks.
The next week, we covered existing plans to address affordable housing that the city and county had been neglecting for years. It was accompanied by a piece by my colleague Sophia Fisher about how cities similar to Moab were grappling with similar housing issues.
The next week was slower because of a holiday, so we keyed in on two statistics that helped tell the story of Moab’s housing crises and explained their significance: The affordability gap, and the decline in multi-family housing locally.
The next week, we dug into the city’s and county’s land use regulations to examine how they impacted the housing situation locally. We used a white paper produced by University of Utah researchers as a template to compare best practices with actual practices in Moab.
We closed the series by talking to local political leaders. Through the conversations, the conclusion that Moab needs leadership to start addressing its housing issues became clear. It turned out the series and story were well-timed, as city mayoral and council elections were set to be held a few months later.