County ends contract with local senior housing management
The Grand County Housing Authority will be taking over management of two senior housing developments starting next year in an effort to provide local management.
Starting Jan. 1, the Housing Authority will take over management of Silver Spruce Apartments in Kremmling and the Grand Living Senior Home in Granby from Denver based Senior Housing Options, Inc. Senior Housing Options will continue to manage Cliffview Assisted Living.
“In accordance to our Housing Authority mission, the board decided to bring the management back in house,” said Sheena Darland, executive director of the Grand County Housing Authority. “We’re looking for more localized management for the residents, to provide quality services.”
Senior Housing Options had been managing the county’s senior housing for two decades.
The Housing Authority Board approved the change in management at their Nov. 9 meeting. Housing Authority Board member Rich Cimino said they approved the change because they are trying to grow the Housing Authority.
“We’ve been growing our Housing Authority slowly for quite a while,” Cimino said. “(Senior Housing Options’s) track record is great, but it’s just time for us to grow as a Housing Authority, to be managing our own housing operations.”
Cimino said they hope that the change in management doesn’t affect residents at all or that the change allows for better management through localization.
In order to be able to meet growing demand and manage the two senior housing developments, an additional full-time staff member was hired at the Housing Authority.
Also the on-site staff at Silver Spruce and Grand Living will remain in their positions, but will now work for the Housing Authority.
“The intent is that the people doing the work are the same,” Cimino said. “They’re doing fine, and we didn’t want a big turnover, (…) it’s hard to find employees in Grand County.”
While Senior Housing Options will maintain management of Cliffview Assisted Living, it is owned by the Housing Authority, which recently had to pay $73,551 for previously owed operating costs of Cliffview, as well as $15,728 for additional future operating funds.
Darland said Senior Housing Options was unable to pay for the operating costs because of vacancies and the cost of paying employee overtime. She said the Housing Authority has had a long history of working with Senior Housing Options that reflects well on their management.
She explained the Housing Authority isn’t taking over management of Cliffview Assisted Living because of the level of regulations on assisted living sites and the higher staffing requirements.
“An assisted living center has a whole other level of constantly changing regulations,” she said. “Just between the regulations and the staffing, is bigger than what we want to take on. Not to mention, (Senior Housing Options) is providing a level of care there that we’re not able to provide.”
Ultimately, the goal Darland said is to align the management of the senior housing developments with the Housing Authority’s mission.
“We want to improve the properties and do some things, we want to make the residents feel like they are getting a home and not just a place to live,” she said. “To give it more of a community feel.”
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