Grand Junction Housing Authority marks 40 years
For the past 40 years, the Grand Junction Housing Authority has helped local families stay in their homes, offered programs for homebuyers and provided safe, affordable housing.
The agency celebrated its four decades during a luncheon on Monday at Two Rivers Convention Center.
Lori Rosenthal, the chief operating officer for the Housing Authority, said the group has been successful in housing a number of people identified in the vulnerability index, which catalogs those people who use the most public assistance. By getting the neediest off the streets, the community benefits when those people are not constantly using expensive services such as emergency rooms and psychiatric services.
“We have worked very hard to house as many of those people as possible,” she said.
Grand Junction police officer Cory Tomps, who is a member of the Homeless Outreach Team, agreed that getting people into housing can be less expensive for a community than trying to help homeless folks.
“It’s difficult to accomplish tasks if the day-to-day struggle is housing,” Tomps said. “You can’t take care of pressing needs until you have your survival needs addressed first. (The Grand Junction Housing Authority) has been a great partnership for us.”
Over the years, the Housing Authority has continued to expand its reach. Its latest project is the 72-apartment complex called Village Park, located off Patterson and 28 1/4 roads.
In 2013, the Housing Authority also increased its numbers of vouchers for military veterans to 165 and purchased land near St. Mary’s Hospital for future development of senior housing.
“As a fiscal conservative, I am a big fan of the Housing Authority,” said Chris Launer, chairman of the Grand Junction Housing Authority. “The Housing Authority is much like a private enterprise.”
Launer said most people would be surprised that 1,625 working families live in units managed by the Housing Authority.