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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19, there is at least one ray of hope; the Chaffee County Housing+Health Speaker Series will proceed as a virtual event. The first event in the spring series is coming up beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 2 on the county’s new conference set up on the Zoom platform. The topic is an important one for Chaffee County, on “Missing Middle Housing”.

The decision was made by Chaffee Office of Housing Director Becky Gray after consulting with Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Director of Public Health and the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment CDPHE) . “We consulted with the grant manager at CDPHE’s Office of Health Equity, we are pleased to announce that the Housing+Health Speaker Series will continue, said Gray. “We are hoping that Chaffee County will embrace our new online Zoom platform, join us for a live broadcast, and participate in the online survey.”

This week’s virtual event on “Missing Middle Housing”, will feature Drew Finke, of  Opticos Design, Inc. Finke will present a new national trend that prioritizes diverse, affordable housing choices in sustainable, walkable places, including how and where it could work for Chaffee.

“The reality is that COVID-19 is changing all of our lives. As that happens, however, one thing is clear: Affordable and secure housing for our community members is more critical now than it has ever been,” said Gray. “This is an opportunity, amid the chaos, to come together to collaborate on one of Chaffee’s most pressing needs.”

Andrea Carlstrom, Director of Public Health, who has been leading Chaffee’s response to the COVID-19 crisis said, “As busy as we are with the focus on COVID-19, we are not neglecting our other community health priorities. Housing and health go hand in hand, and I encourage all Chaffee County residents to participate in these important discussions. This is something real and tangible you can do to improve our community in the long term.”

The sessions will be held on Zoom video conferencing and web conferencing software that is free and available to the public on their personal laptops or mobile devices. There is a crowd limit on the site: the first 100 participants will be able to log into the online event.

Details about the events, including links to the online live presentation with moderated questions and answers, participation surveys, and any supportive materials can be found on the Office of Housing website:

The spring series includes three topics:

  • April 2     “Missing Middle Housing”
  • April 8     “Conservation Subdivision Design”
  • May 7      “Permanent Affordability Strategies”

During the series approximately $8,000 worth of gift certificates to Chaffee County restaurants will be distributed to participants who attend the events and complete an online survey.

In addition, KHEN has agreed to record interviews with the subject matter experts, and make the interview available on the Chaffee Housing Report, which can be found here: