Government entities that make up the Regional Housing Alliance of La Plata County have secured $3.8 million in grant money for affordable housing projects.
The grants from Colorado Department of Local Affairs have been distributed across projects in Durango, La Plata County and Ignacio
Each project underwent a thorough evaluation based on a range of criteria, including its readiness, capacity, impact on the housing needs, community support, provision of benefits to the community and consideration of sustainable development patterns.
The city of Durango was awarded $1 million for its Best Western conversion project.
“The Residences at Durango motel conversion project is part of the City’s multipronged strategy to address housing challenges throughout our community,” said Durango Housing Manager Eva Henson in a news release. “Housing is a top priority for our City Council, and increasing the community’s inventory of below-market housing units is crucial to ensure that everyone in Durango has a secure, affordable place to call home.”
The Best Western project will offer a total of 120 units at or below 60% average median income, which would include single-person households with a yearly income of around $41,212 or less, based on the AMI proportions presented by the city.
Ignacio also received $2 million for its Rock Creek housing development. Rock Creek could bring up to 115 housing units to Ignacio, a town trying to revitalize its aging housing stock.
“Affordable housing is a priority for Ignacio and this funding will allow us to move the Rock Creek Housing Project forward,” said Ignacio Mayor Clark Craig. “Below market housing developments are costly and challenging especially for a community of our size, so this grant means a lot to Ignacio.”
La Plata County also awarded $800,000 to West Side Mobile Home Park and Triangle Trailer park which will go toward bringing the parks into a position to annex into the city of Durango. This was a requirement for the county providing loans to the parks last March.
The region is collectively pursuing nearly $25 million in state funds for other affordable housing projects.
Monthly meetings are held by the Regional Housing Authority to provide a forum for community leaders and housing experts to share best practices and find ways to collaborate on innovative affordable housing solutions in the region. The next meeting will be held at 2 p.m. April 13 at the Center for Innovation in the Main Mall.
“Our hope is that there's just more clarity and more transparency around the projects within the county, and we're pursuing more dollar amounts,” said RHA Housing Strategy Manager Sarah Tober.