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On August 10, 2022, Truth Has a Voice Foundation (THAVF) will provide a forum for a community discussion on how to approach local housing challenges. The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. with an open house at the Salida Rotary Scout Hut in Riverside Park, followed by a 7:00 p.m. interactive panel discussion on housing.

The Foundation has been sponsoring community discussions to open dialogue across county divisions. This is their first effort to address a widespread community problem that spans our boundaries, our income levels, and our political views.

As data and experience is showing county residents, Chaffee County has serious housing issues that impact lives on a daily basis. But there are differences in opinions as to the best solutions. Thus, there may be many approaches that can be generated specifically to address our community situation.

“We know that housing is a complicated issue and requires a multi-faceted approach,” notes Board President, Cheryl Brown-Kovacic. “Hearing different opinions on how to approach our housing challenges means we can create a plan unique to our community by modifying programs we already have, analyzing the assets and resources in our county and planning approaches that fit the unique needs of our community.”

The 4:00 p.m. open house will offer displays on housing data and policies, booths to learn about Chaffee Housing Trust, Habitat for Humanity and Chaffee Housing Authority programs, and videos of personal housing stories from We Are Chaffee. Participants are encouraged to browse and chat with representatives at the booths.

The panel discussion at 7:00 p.m. will be facilitated by Leslie Matthews. The panel membership was designed to present a variety of ideas and perspectives on dealing with our housing issues. Panel members represent important housing stakeholders and interests, know our community, and deal personally with housing problems. They include:

The Salida Scout Hut has been extensively renovated. AVV file photo.

  • JD Longwell, Trustee, Poncha Springs
  • Jeff Post, Salida Realtor, and Developer
  • Rob Gartzman, Business Owner, Sweeties
  • Scott Simmons, Fading West Building Systems
  • Abby Hutchinson, Rancher
  • Nicki Stotler, High Country Bank
  • Norma Cady, Buena Vista Renter
  • Becky Gray, Chaffee Housing Authority

According to THAVF, the goal is to broaden our awareness and understanding of various approaches to solve the county’s housing challenges. The audience will be invited to participate through questions and respectful comments.

Please join with your neighbors to learn more about possible approaches and share your ideas for potential programs.

Featured image courtesy BigStock