May 12, 2017


The Roaring Fork Schools’ staff housing application process and lottery opened earlier this week. Any full-time staff member interested in applying for a rental unit has until May 26th to complete the online housing application. A lottery process based on a weighting system will be used to place individuals in the units.

The staff housing units are a part of the district’s $122 million bond issue that passed in 2015. Of these funds, $15 million was approved to build a minimum of 15 staff rental units in each community. In fact, the district has been able to build more than 15 units per community. The following units are being built for this program and will be filled through the current lottery process:

  • Willits (Basalt) – 17 units. Ready for move-in August 2017. (6 1-BR, 7 2-BR, 4 3-BR)
  • 3rd Street (Carbondale) – 20 units. Anticipated availability summer 2018. (6 1-BR, 8 2-BR and 6 3-BR units)
  • Ironbridge (Glenwood Springs) – 6 units. Ready for move-in August 2017. (4 2-BR, 2 3-BR)
  • Cardiff Mesa (Glenwood Springs) – 12 units. Anticipated availability fall 2018. (6 1-BR, 4 2-BR, 2 3-BR Units)

A committee of 12 staff members spent months developing the guidelines for the district’s new staff housing program. The guidelines were approved by the Board of Education in April. Rob Norville, science teacher at Glenwood Springs High School, describes the task of developing the housing guidelines as “a difficult but inspiring process.” While the district sought guidance from other Colorado school districts, counties, and municipalities currently operating successful affordable housing programs, there was a lack of similar models to inform the guidelines for this innovative program.

Instead, this committee was charged with creating much of the guidelines from the ground up to best fit district and staff needs. Kendall Reiley, third grade teacher at Basalt Elementary School and committee member, explains the values and goals that guided this process: “The guidelines committee worked really hard to develop a process that is equitable, helps the most staff members, and treats staff members with respect.” Rob confirms this sentiment: “While committee members represented a wide variety of residential demographics and employees, we found that our long term goals were the same: a sustainable and equitable program that strengthens connections to our communities.”

Nancy Dever, the district’s data and assessment coordinator, expands on the staff participation and process that led to the guidelines: “Committee members were representative of both classified and certified employees who worked through many living situation scenarios with careful thought and debate about what would lead to a successful housing opportunity for Roaring Fork School District employees.” Ultimately this is a program designed by staff to benefit staff through the most equitable means possible.  

The district is excited to be able to put staff in the new units for the 2017-18 school year!

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