RIFLE — The new director for the Garfield County Housing Authority brings a wealth of experience to her new post, having directed housing authorities in two other Colorado counties and most recently serving as deputy director of operations for the statewide Nevada Rural Housing Authority.
KT Gazunis recently took the helm of the Garfield County organization, replacing longtime director Geneva Powell, who retired after 13 years.
“It’s both sweet and sad to be taking over for Geneva, whom I have known since 2003,” Gazunis said during a recent introduction to the Garfield County commissioners. “Everybody in housing in western Colorado turns to her for advice, and it makes the transition a lot easier when you take over for someone who has been so well-liked and efficient.”
Garfield County is the local government sponsor for the housing authority, which operates independently with its own board of directors.
The Rifle-based housing authority oversees the federal rental assistance and senior housing assistance programs in a multi-county region that extends beyond Garfield County.
It also manages a senior housing project in Silt and owns and manages one in Parachute, and administers the deed-restricted, for-sale affordable housing properties in the unincorporated parts of the county, as well as in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.
In addition, the housing authority provides down-payment assistance and offers a foreclosure prevention program.
Powell’s departure was an “unexpected opportunity” for Gazunis to return to the Western Slope of Colorado and continue working in housing.
Prior to her recent stint with Nevada Rural Housing, Gazunis was director of the Eagle County Housing Authority from 2003-08 and the Gunnison County Housing Authority from 2009-12.
During 2008, she was CEO of a low-income housing development company in California.
Meanwhile, Powell and her husband, Mike Powell, who was director of the area poverty relief agency LIFT-UP until recently, have relocated to Boise, Idaho. There, they will head up a franchise company called Home Instead, which provides in-home care for seniors.