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APCHA Governance Discussion Continues

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APCHA

Aspen and Pitkin County will revisit the way the affordable housing program is run in a work session on Tuesday.

A group of elected officials and city and county staff have been brainstorming a new way of overseeing the affordable housing program. Their joint meeting Tuesday night will cover the possibility of an independent housing authority, governed by a board that would include elected officials, as well as volunteers. Right now, the housing board is all volunteers, and their decision making can be vetoed by either the city or county.

Rick Head is the vice chairman of that board, and says he is interested to hear the conversation. He acknowledges the current set up is getting off track and that while the board is formally tasked with policy decisions for the authority, they spend most of their time adjudicating compliance issues.

“We have digressed to the point now where we spend an inordinate amount of time dealing and deciding people's fates in the program,” Head said.

Head says the board’s hope is the funding will go to a full-time hearing officer position; board could then focus on policy. Rehauling the structure of the current affordable housing program may not be necessary.

The council and commissioners will be presented with recent survey data during Tuesday’s work session. More than 500 owners from within the housing program participated in the questionnaire sent out by the aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority. Roughly 40 percent of respondents said they “didn’t know” the best way for the housing program to be managed. The majority of the remaining responses said they wanted some sort of independent housing authority that is no longer co-managed by the county and the city.

 

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