TELLURIDE, Colo. – (March 22, 2023) Obtaining the funds required to sign a lease on an apartment or the money needed for a downpayment on the purchase of a home can be a challenge and, oftentimes, presents an insurmountable barrier to entry for those in need of housing in the region. Established in 2019, the Trust for Community Housing’s Housing Opportunity Fund (Fund) was created to help individuals and families break through that barrier by providing small grants to offset the cost of moving into an apartment or purchasing a home. Since its inception, the Fund has helped more than 170 locals move into a new home.
Over the last several months, the board of directors of the Trust for Community Housing (Trust), a nonprofit based in Telluride, and the Telluride Foundation (Foundation) have been meeting to discuss how they might work together to increase access to workforce housing in the region. Katherine Borsecnik, cofounder and board member of the Trust, explained, “Merging our efforts with the Foundation will bring more resources to the Trust’s founding mission, which is well aligned with the work of the Foundation. The Foundation’s broader regional focus, operational resources, and community connections will all benefit the Housing Opportunity Fund in particular. The Fund will now become a program of the Telluride Foundation as part of its Community Housing Initiative and will be expanded to serve prospective homebuyers and renters in San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose counties, and the Town of Rico.
“The Foundation has always been committed to supporting increased access to workforce housing across the region,” said Jason Corzine, President and CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “Uniting with the Trust strengthens our ability to do that, and we are thrilled that the Trust’s board of directors considered the Foundation a reliable resource and trusted partner to expand and amplify this program. Years ago, the Trust, under the leadership of Amy Levek, identified this critical need, and we are committed to building upon their efforts to continue to help individuals and families access housing well into the future.”
In addition to the Housing Opportunity Fund, the Trust has managed several efforts focused on strengthening access to housing in the region, including conducting real estate and economic research, evaluating public-private partnerships, and collaborating with other organizations working on housing. “This is all critical work – work we have also been engaged in here at the Foundation, and that will remain an important part of our Community Housing Initiative,” explained Corzine. “We intend to build upon all the accomplishments of the Trust to support the efforts of the entire region in meeting our housing needs.”
According to Foundation Board Chair Anne Slaughter Andrew “The Foundation’s mission centers on quality of life, and nothing is more critical to the quality of life than adequate and affordable housing. Collaborating with the founders of the Trust and continuing to expand the opportunities for housing in our region exemplifies the Foundation’s commitment to lead forward on outcomes that make a difference for our community.”
The Foundation’s Community Housing Initiative also includes “Rural Homes,” which addresses the housing crisis with an innovative approach to building homes priced for the local workforce. With projects in Norwood, Ridgway, and Ouray, the Rural Homes model is innovative, not only in its approach to construction, design, and affordability, but it is truly a model that can be replicated throughout our region to address important housing supply issues.
The Foundation is actively seeking funding to support its Community Housing Initiative. If you would like to make a donation to help a working family realize their dream of owning or renting a home or to learn more about the program, visit the Foundation’s website at www.telluridefoundation.org.
The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, workforce, and visitors of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprises. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. Pease visit www.telluridefoundation.org.