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Updated Dec 5, 2012 - 3:03 pm

Mesa breaks ground on new homeless housing unit

A new affordable housing project is going up in Mesa.

Michael Trailor with the Arizona Department of Housing said the transformation from an old motel to the La Mesita Apartments is a partnership between a few public and private agencies that are hoping to tackle the problem of homelessness.

"The government just can't afford to provide all of the funding for the answers in our communities," he said. "We have to do a much better job of developing private resources and not depending so much on the government."

Mesa City Manager Chris Brady said the complex's location near Broadway and Stapley will help encourage future tenants, especially those without a car.

"I think it's significant that we found an opportunity to invest and leverage the significant investment of light rail in creating that transportation opportunity for those who may not have access to a personal vehicle," he said.

The building will have 80 apartments, 30 of which will be permanent units for the chronically homeless. On-site health and child care, education and financial help will be made available.

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