Everything’s `Hunke’-dory for Carbondale Affordable Housing
The nonprofit Carbondale Affordable Housing Corp. recently changed its name to Mountain Regional Housing Corp. and hired a full-time director.Director Susan Hunke said her initial duties will be to administer a first-time home buyers assistance program and a down payment assistance program.On a larger scale, the housing corporation is still negotiating with a Rifle property owner for land on which to build a 29-unit apartment complex. Rents would range from $300 to $635 per month.Housing corporation President Kay Clark-Philip said many pieces must be put together for the Rifle project, “but we’re working on it.”The new name comes nine years after the Carbondale Affordable Housing Alliance first formed. The group later won nonprofit status and changed its name to the Carbondale Affordable Housing Corporation (CAHC).Using lots of board involvement and volunteer efforts, the housing corporation:-Administered the lottery process at the Thompson Corner affordable housing component at River Valley Ranch, and administers an on-going deed restriction resale program.-Created 26 employee housing rental units at Ullr Commons in Aspen.-Partnered with Salvation Army for a homeless day center in Glenwood Springs and is working toward a homeless sleep center.-Joined the Regional Housing Initiative Task Force.”This is an incredible board,” said Hunke (pronounced hun-key). “They are hard working people.”Funding for the director’s position comes from a $50,000 grant from the Colorado Division of Housing, $7,500 from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, $5,000 from the Aspen Valley Community Foundation, $1,500 from the town of Carbondale, and $650 from the Carbondale Rotary Club.Gary Barr, owner of Go Networks, donated office space in the Alpine Center on Highway 133.Hunke said the housing corporation will serve from Aspen to Parachute. Her first public appearance was scheduled for the April 24 Roaring Fork Re-1 School Board meeting. There, she planned to explain a successful affordable housing project undertaken by the Telluride school district for its employees.”The school district had no financial involvement, and didn’t need to bond,” said Hunke.The Telluride project came through the efforts of a similar housing corporation based in Delta.Hunke said the Re-1 School District has property at Basalt High School that could be used for school employee housing. Working with the housing corporation would require little effort for busy school officials, Hunke said.”Telluride didn’t want a lot of involvement, but as a result they are attempting a new project,” Hunke said. “That kind of thing is very exciting.”Hunke grew up in Denver. Her grandmother was born in Leadville, and her great-grandfather was magistrate in Colorado City in the 1880s.”He walked to Denver on a regular basis,” Hunke said.Hunke received her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, and her master’s degree in business from the University of Bristol in England.She has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience, including 10 years as director of the Fargo Morehead Foundation in Fargo, N.D. She was a nonprofit art center director in North Dakota, and served a stint with the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation’s Neighbor to Neighbor program from 1999 to 2001.Hunke has owned property in the Roaring Fork Valley for 30 years. She lives in Basalt, and likes to ski, hike, bike, and ride her trail horse. She is also a gardener and likes to cook.”I’m happy to be here,” she said.
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