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The Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners, Salida City Council, and Buena Vista Trustees unanimously agreed to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to create Chaffee Housing Authority, a multijurisdictional housing authority (MJHA). The public is invited to a ceremonial signing celebration at Thonhoff Park in Salida at 12:00 noon Thursday, October 15.

“This is a very exciting step forward in addressing the lack of affordable housing in Chaffee County,” said Becky Gray, Director of the Chaffee County Office of Housing. “A multijurisdictional housing authority will not only offer our community access to tools and financing that we haven’t had before but also will serve as a coordinating entity for housing policy and advocacy both locally and at the state level.”

The agreement to create Chaffee Housing Authority has taken more than a year of work by a steering committee, comprised of administrators and elected representatives from each jurisdiction. The deliberation included months of back and forth over the specifics of an agreement that is expected to change the course of affordable housing in the county. Along the way,  to approve the MJHAS, Poncha Springs, which had a major presence in the discussions and the data analysis underlying the effort, dropped out of the immediate agreement. But the motion approving the intergovernmental agreement for the MJHA was worded in such a way that the other governmental agencies could proceed.

“We’re very excited to achieve this major milestone in addressing affordable, attainable, and workforce housing in Chaffee County,” said Commissioner Keith Baker.

The Chaffee Housing Authority will be governed by a Board of Directors made up of three members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, two members appointed by Salida City Council, two members appointed by Buena Vista Trustees, and two members at large.

Each jurisdiction will be following their own protocol for recruiting, vetting and appointing Board members. Chaffee County residents who are interested in being considered for a Board appointment should contact the jurisdiction they wish to represent.