Agency set to provide short-term housing

The Grand Junction Housing Authority is close to purchasing a 27-unit apartment block at 2910 Bunting Ave. in Fruitvale.

“The proposal is to ... use a third of the units (nine) as transitional housing for families who have experienced homelessness to get them out of the shelter,” said Jody Kole, executive director of the Housing Authority.

The Housing Authority anticipates closing on the $1.9 million property next month, she said.

The city of Grand Junction donated $361,000 toward purchasing the building, she said.

“Part of the reason we really like this property is that it is within walking distance of the (Mesa County) Work Force Center,” Kole said.

On May 18, Mesa County authorized spending $600,000 of federal Temporary Aid to Needy Families funds on the project. The Housing Authority gave its assurances to the Mesa County Commission that until at least 2024, nine of the units will be used for families needing housing assistance.

The transaction might not have occurred if not for the state Legislature ordering municipalities to spend down their TANF reserves in 2008, Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said.

The Bunting Avenue apartments will allow families in need of assistance to stay for one year while the Housing Authority helps them get back on their feet financially and find new homes, Kole said. With the economy in recession, assistance such as the apartments on Bunting Avenue is in high demand, she said.

“The Homeward Bound (of the Grand Valley) homeless shelter on North Avenue is experiencing all-time highs with families experiencing homelessness ... that is not the best environment for children to be growing up in,” Kole said.

Four units in the complex are unoccupied now, and the Housing Authority will wait for five more tenants to leave to attain the nine, transitional units it seeks.


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