Officials Break Ground on New Affordable Housing Project

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Friday, the Grand Junction Housing Authority broke ground on a new affordable housing complex. Officials say it's just a small step in solving what they call a serious issue.

"We went from apartment to apartment and put applications in everwhere," said Sarah Prunty, who lives in an affordable housing unit.

She recalls what it was like when she and her family were looking for a place to live. Housing officials say it's a struggle that is becoming more and more common.

"Our workforce, there is no housing for them," said Don Hartman, who works for the Grand Junction Housing Authority. "We have a waiting list of about fourteen-hundred people."

The Housing Authority says fewer people are building apartment complexes in Grand Junction, and that as market values continue to skyrocket, house that people could rent are being sold.

"It's one of the foundational things when you're looking at a community," said Jon Wickre, who works for the Grand Junction Housing Authority. "Employment and jobs are one thing, but if they don't have a place to live, what are they going to do?"

That's a problem the Housing Authority says it's trying to change. Friday, it broke ground on Arbor Vista -- an affordable housing community that will give 72 families a place to call home.

"We're really excited about this project," said Hartman.

Officials say this new development will be similar to their last development, Linden Pointe, which was built two years ago. Residents there say they understand what it's like trying to find a place they can afford and a place they're proud to call home. They say if their complex is any indication, the people who get to move into the new apartments have a lot to look forward to.

"It's a lot safer than in town," said Prunty. "There's not as much crime up here, it's nice and quiet, and safe for my child."

But they say the best thing Arbor Vista residents will experience is knowing there's one less thing to worry about as they move forward with starting a life in the Grand Valley.

"I was really happy," said Prunty. "It was really, really nice."

The Housing Authority says it hopes to have several units in Arbor Vista ready for families to move in by January of next year.