Rural Housing Project
Rural Housing project

The 3-county rural region served by the Telluride Foundation is facing a housing crisis. Our Community Housing Initiative is addressing this challenge through 3 primary focus areas:

Rural Homes:

Working closely with local residents and regional communities, our Rural Homes Initiative has assembled statewide public, private and philanthropic partners (Colorado Department of Local Affairs – DOLA, Colorado Housing Financing Authority CHFA and Colorado Health Foundation) as well as Developers, to form a Coalition to jump-start the development of affordable housing ownership in our region.  All of the homes built are Deed Restricted which protects their affordability in perpetuity and specifically serves families whose income falls within 60-120% of the region’s Area Medium Income.

By adding new building stock to a housing market that is saturated with older homes, or inflated by vacation markets, we are addressing – head on – key determinants of public health and long-term economic sustainability in the region.

To learn more about Rural Homes and the status of each project please visit our Rural Homes Website.

Housing Opportunity Fund

Funded through the generosity of many full and part-time residents of the Telluride region, our Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) provides forgivable loans to qualified buyers and grants to renters moving into housing they’ve obtained. These forgivable loans are intended to lend a hand in the form of financial support for those ‘last mile’ housing acquisition costs: down payment or closing costs for buyers, or first/last month rent or security deposit for renters.

Guidelines and the HOF application can be found HERE.

For more information on the HOF or the Telluride Foundation’s Community Housing Initiative contact Elaine Demas at

Leadership – Convenings 

EAST END HOUSING FORUM: On July 20, 2023 the Telluride Foundation gathered 20 professionals who are all working to increase access to affordable housing in the immediate Telluride region. In addition to Telluride Foundation & Rural Homes Staff, representatives from the Town of Telluride, Mountain Village, San Miguel County, TELSKI, the R1 School & Hospital Districts were also in attendance. By design, the event was not open to the public, providing a unique opportunity for everyone working on affordable housing to speak openly, not only about their successes, but challenges as well.

Many collaborative ideas were discussed, such as joining forces to negotiate with modular home builders, joint land banking, establishing a regional revolving loan fund to help with the cost of financing developments, creating one single source of information to educate the public on existing and future projects throughout the region, and finally join forces to conduct a regional housing study that incorporates not only housing needs but how these needs intersect with our region’s climate action plan.

Everyone in attendance left energized and ideas from those who attended the Forum are still flooding into our email box. Foundation Staff is committed to continuing to work with our regional partners to support collaborative solutions to increase access to affordable housing for our workforce.

For more information on any of the Foundation’s work in the affordable housing arena, contact Elaine Demas at