Ogden may donate land for apartments for chronically homeless

Oct 11 2011 - 11:57pm

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OGDEN -- The Ogden Housing Authority is asking the city to donate up to 2 acres for construction of a 40-unit apartment complex for the chronically homeless.

The city council discussed conveyance of the property at Pacific Avenue and 33rd Street during a Tuesday night work session.

The council may vote on the donation request by the end of the year, said Bill Cook, the council's executive director.

The city purchased 8 acres at Pacific Avenue and 33rd Street in 2001 for about $750,000 for future storm water detention.

In August 2010, the city council agreed to transfer about 5 acres at the site to St. Anne's Center for the construction of a new homeless shelter that has been named Lantern House.

The Ogden Housing Authority complex would be built adjacent to the Lantern House and would consist of 40 studio apartments that would serve the chronically homeless, who are different from those who are temporarily homeless.

The chronically homeless are defined by the federal government as those who have been continuously homeless for a year or more or have had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

As of the most recent count, in January, 86 individuals in Weber County were documented as chronically homeless, according to the Ogden Housing Authority.

How much it will cost to build the complex has not been determined, said Richard McConkie, the city's director of community and economic development.

The Ogden Housing Authority plans to seek state and federal grants to fund the project, he said at the work session.

The city council indicated Tuesday night it is willing to give the housing authority until the end of 2013 to begin construction.

The donation of the property could be a valuable goodwill gesture, McConkie said.

"Ogden ... would not only be known for its economic development but also for its compassion shown to the chronically homeless," he said.

Ogden Housing Authority officials did not attend the work session and could not be reached for comment about the project.

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