Western Colorado Economic Summit addresses housing needs on the Western Slope


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — The joy of owning your first home is an experience many look forward to.

More people are moving to the Western Slope and the demand for affordable housing is front and center.

Scott Aker, Chief Operating Officer with the Grand Junction Housing Authority, says, “takes a long time to go from concept to a resident turning over the keys or a keycard these days to someone moving into an apartment, but we are constantly looking for land and looking for opportunities.”

Sellers are looking for new property owners, but buyers are looking for more affordable options.

Aker also says, “glad to see it’s no longer going to be that either or just between apartments and homes but there’s a broad array a products types and arguably some of those product types can be delivered to the market particularly for ownership opportunities that aren’t 325K or 350K to buy.”
Other areas discussed in front of a full house were available options for people ages 65 and up representing almost 20% of residents.

There is almost nothing available for people with disabilities, making up 15% of the population.

Hope is on the horizon.

The City of Grand Junction is chipping in to help the short supply of housing.

Chuck McDaniel, Grand Junction City Council President, says, “we’re planning on hiring a housing person in the community in the house development department who has a direct responsibility for dealing with housing issues. We’re also putting a million dollars in the proposed budget to address housing issues.”

One million dollars is a large chunk of change, but so is the cost of living.

Aker added, “life is expensive and housing is only one component of the cost of living, it’s usually the most expensive, but it is still only one component.”

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