Affordable senior housing project

Groundbreaking could happen this summer

Ben Riley, the executive director of the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah, provides an agency update at Tuesday’s Grand County Council meeting April 2.
Photo by Doug McMurdo

Hopes to break ground this summer on a 36-unit affordable senior housing complex behind Moab Regional Hospital were among the highlights offered in a semiannual report Ben Riley presented at Tuesday’s Grand County Council meeting.

Riley, the executive director of the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah, said the Canyonlands Healthcare Special Service District donated the land where 30 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units will be constructed with monthly rents ranging from $285 to $750.

In other housing news, Riley said the Authority’s annual audit was completed in March and no findings were made. The budget “continues to show revenue growth … as we continue to develop more projects,” said Riley.

The Authority is working on another grant for its Mutual Self Help program. This tenth grant, he said, should be larger than previous funding cycles because construction costs have increased in the modest single-family home market.

He said 44 vouchers have been issued for the Section 8 programs. Applications are accepted and the waiting times average about a year, he said.

The Authority’s CROWN homes, which are rent to own, are occupied in Moab, Monticello and Blanding. This is not surprising as three- and four-bedroom homes rent for $600 to $750 a month, he said. One longtime renter is about to purchase the home they’ve rented with those rental payments serving as a down payment.

The Authority’s apartment complexes are at capacity with 85 families on a waiting list to rent one-, two-, or three-bedroom homes at the low-vacancy Cinema Court complex. The Virginian Apartments are at capacity and grant funds are being used to build a fence, as well as cabinets and countertops in some of the units, said Riley.

The final eight homes have been completed at the self-help homes built on Bonita Street off Mill Creek Drive, said Riley. A total of 28 self-help homes were built in the subdivision, said Riley, who added the current build is a five-home project in Blanding.