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LOGAN — The two candidates vying to represent House District 3, as far as Republican representation is concerned, finally got together in a Town Hall debate on KVNU’s For the People program this past Thursday.

Former representative Val Potter is challenging incumbent Mike Petersen in the primary election, to be held on June 28th.

Each candidate was asked what the state should or shouldn’t do when it comes to housing prices and rapid development.

Petersen said part of the problem, according to contractors he talks to, is too stringent building codes.  He said they are told……

“We need to change the materials we use, the way we build things so they’re more efficient. But really what happens is it makes it so that the homes are more airtight….(which leads to) higher costs, including more difficulty for people to get them.  So, this is really, I would say, primarily a local issue, but I think there are those couple of ways that I think the state could be involved. Helping to send kids beyond just the universities and for us to not do so much in the way of mandating how folks build homes,”  Petersen explained.

Potter responded to the question with the hope that with interest rates going up, supply and demand will change and housing prices should come down a bit.

However there is a limited amount of supply for housing right now, land is an issue, housing is going to continue to be a problem. I tried when I was in the legislature, I think we were successful, Senator (Jake) Anderegg and I passed a bill, SB 34. The bill required the cities to consider three options of a list of 23 that we gave them, and I don’t like any kinds of mandates from the legislature to the local government.  But this was one, we felt, it was reasonable,” Potter said.

He said the options presented included rehabilitating old housing, allow accessory dwellings in the cities and allow for higher density in cities. He thinks that would still help some.

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