keyboard_arrow_up

April Norton named director of the Jackson/Teton County Affordable Housing Department

April Norton named director of the Jackson/Teton County Affordable Housing Department

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Town and County’s efforts to address Jackson Hole’s workforce housing shortage took another step forward today with the announcement of a director for the new Jackson/Teton County Affordable Housing Department. Twelve-year Jackson resident April Norton will take the helm of the recently restructured program, which strives to develop, preserve and manage workforce housing in the valley under the policy direction of the Town Council and Teton Board of County Commissioners. “April proved to be a strong candidate with a passion for addressing the future of our community and the competencies necessary for success in the Housing Director position,” said Teton County Commissioners’ Administrator Alyssa Watkins. “We look forward to a successful program of housing production, preservation and management under her leadership.” Norton comes to the department from her role as program officer for the LOR Foundation, where she has been employed since 2012. Norton was in charge of the philanthropy foundation’s Northern Rockies portfolio. She managed LOR’s investments in a variety of projects in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, ranging from a sewer system, to recreational trails, to public art. Norton’s previous work included stints as associate director for Friends of Pathways and operations manager at the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. She is married to Alex Norton, joint long-range planner for Teton County and the Town of Jackson, and she volunteers on three local boards – Teton Youth and Family Services, START and Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities Coalition. “Like most everyone else in this community, I want to find solutions to our housing problem,” Norton said. “Using my foundation background, which is rooted in community collaboration and solutions, I feel I bring a unique skill set to the housing director role and look forward to working with our community to address our workforce housing issues.” As the first director of the jointly-funded Affordable Housing Department, Norton will be responsible for implementing policy regarding housing supply, creating community partnerships with housing suppliers, and ensuring compliance with local plans and regulations. The Affordable Housing Department is instrumental in reaching the community’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan goal of ensuring a variety of workforce housing opportunities exist so that at least 65 percent of those employed locally also live locally. Both the establishment of the Town-County housing program and hiring of its new director have been top priorities for local elected officials since adopting the Jackson/Teton County Workforce Housing Action Plan in November of 2015. The shift from a Teton County Housing Authority to a joint housing authority structure went into effect on May 1. Elected officials appointed three board members – Matt Faupel, Amy Robinson and Danielle Goldyn-Haigh – to oversee the new joint Housing Authority this spring. Oversight of the department will fall under Teton County’s management structure, in consultation with Town management and with oversight by both the Town and County’s elected governing bodies. “As someone who is raising my family in this wonderful place, I am thankful to have the opportunity to shape the way this community evolves,” Norton said. “It’s important that we work together to protect the community character we all cherish. And without the wonderful people we have living in this place – our teachers, nurses, first responders, housekeepers and many more – this community, I believe, will lose what’s so special about it. Finding ways to house our workforce locally won’t be easy, but I believe that we can, as a community, find solutions that will work for Teton County.” Feature Photo: #buckrail #news