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53 units of affordable senior housing coming to Durango

Project will be built next to Mercy Regional Medical Center
Volunteers of America plans to build a 53-unit housing complex along Wilson Gulch Road in Three Springs. It has been at least a decade since a senior-specific affordable housing project was built in Durango, said Lisa Bloomquist Palmer, executive director of HomesFund, a Durango nonprofit.

Low-income seniors in Durango will have a new option for housing in about two years.

Construction of a planned 53-unit housing project in Three Springs along Wilson Gulch Road is expected to start in 2019 and may be complete in fall 2020, said Doug Snyder, senior development coordinator with the Volunteers of America.

The project will help meet a clear need for affordable housing in the community, said Sheila Casey, director of La Plata County Senior Services.

“Every month, I meet people that can’t afford their homes,” she said. Typically, those residents are renters, she said.

Some seniors in need of housing may be downsizing from homes they can no longer care for or moving to Durango to be close to family members, she said.

New senior residents sometimes move to rural La Plata County but become socially isolated if they do not have transportation, she said.

To help make the project happen, the city of Durango sold 3 acres for $10, Snyder said. The building will be about two blocks from Mercy Regional Medical Center.

The project will be designated as affordable housing for the next 40 years, said Megan Herrera, a spokeswoman with Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

CHFA recently approved the low-income housing tax credits to fund the project.

It is the third tax-credit funded project in Durango over the last five years to receive funding.

The housing will be reserved for those making between $16,500 and $37,680 per year, Snyder said. The income qualifications for housing will be adjusted as the median income in the community rises.

Residents will pay between $400 to $1,000 a month in rent to live in the complex, he said.

The apartment complex will have 49 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. It will also have community spaces for events and potentially gardens for residents to care for, Snyder said.

VOA will manage the building and employ a service coordinator, who will help residents with health benefits, access to transportation and other needs, Snyder said.

The nonprofit expects the average age of residents to be in the mid-70s, he said.

A second phase of the project will add 47 units to the complex, but that will require additional tax-credit financing, Snyder said.

Residents interested in living in the project should contact Cedar View, the VOA senior housing complex on 32nd Street. The management can be reached at 259-7600.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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