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The Chaffee Housing Authority envisions a community with housing opportunities that are affordable for all residents.  We envision a workforce that can live locally & fully participate in our community, contributing to a strong & resilient economy.

The Chaffee Housing Authority Board of Directors welcomes Ashley Kappel as the Authority’s new Executive Director.

“Ashley brings a unique and varied professional background to this position, which we believe will be an excellent match for the challenges and complexity of the role,” said Board Chair Craig Nielson.  “She has a solid non-profit background and a comprehensive skill set including real estate, legal and strategic planning.  We are excited to welcome Ashley to the organization and look forward to supporting and working with her closely as the organization transitions out of start-up mode to full operations, program expansion and affordable housing development.”

Kappel has served as a Board member for the Authority for the past year and as chair of the Development Committee. On that committee, she spearheaded a number of projects including the development of a Special Limited Partnership Program. This program, when fully implemented,  will allow the Authority to incentivize developers to build deed-restricted affordable housing rental units for the community in exchange for sales and property tax abatement, with the Authority becoming a minority owner of the projects to ensure long term affordability.

Kappel is enthusiastic about her new post, noting, "It is a distinct honor to lead the Chaffee Housing Authority and help take the organization to the next level. We all need to roll up our sleeves and work together as a community to solve the affordable housing crisis in Chaffee County."

Kappel was a commercial real estate attorney for nearly a decade at a top national law firm and later as a solo practitioner. She represented both affordable housing and private developers in a number of sophisticated projects.

Kappel also brings 11 years of experience working with under-resourced populations. She was a teacher in low-income New Jersey and Denver for six years before becoming the founder and director of an alternative teacher preparation program for Teach For America - Colorado. During her five-year tenure as director, Kappel supported over 1,000 teachers in earning a Colorado teaching license, impacting over 70,000 low-income students.

In addition to her service on the Chaffee Housing Authority Board, Kappel has spent 13 years volunteering as a board member and officer of five nonprofits, two homeowner’s association boards, and a new charter school. She earned her law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, holds two Master’s Degrees in Education, and received her BA from Princeton University. Kappel lives in Buena Vista with her husband and two dogs.

The Chaffee Housing Authority board designed the hiring process to recruit and review qualified candidates including casting a wide recruitment net, qualifications review, two formal interviews with the hiring committee, staff meet and greet, and board presentation before an offer was extended via Board vote on April 20th. To generate a pool of qualified candidates, the position opening was posted widely on a variety of sites including the Colorado Nonprofit Association Job Board, the Colorado Municipal League, LinkedIn, Facebook, the CHA website, the Chaffee County website, and local newspapers and radio stations.

The hiring committee consisting of Chaffee Housing Authority Board of Directors Executive Committee Members, Chair Craig Nielson, Vice Chair Joseph Teipel and Treasurer Eileen Rogers, Chaffee County Deputy Director of Administration and Chaffee Housing Authority Board Member Beth Helmke,  Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom, and Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jake Rishavy reviewed four candidates before advancing Ashley Kappel’s candidacy to the final stages of the review process.

Ashley will be meeting with key County stakeholders as one of her first orders of business, and the Chaffee Housing Authority will be scheduling and hosting two meet-and-greet informal gatherings in Salida and Buena Vista so the community can meet Ashley and Board members and answer any questions regarding this new hire and the strategic direction of the organization. 




For any inquiries, questions or recommendations, please call: 719-530-2590 or fill out the following form


CHA - Touber Building

448 E 1st Street, Suite 209

Salida, CO  81201

Tel: 719-530-2590

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