APCHA takes big step into modern future with funding for interactive database
For most of the five years he’s been executive director of Aspen’s affordable housing authority, Mike Kosdrosky has focused on dragging the agency into the modern world.
Earlier this month, that effort took a significant step forward when the Aspen City Council approved a nearly $680,000 contract to build an interactive database that will provide real-time information for the public and housing officials about the program’s more than 3,000 units, he said.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this point,” Kosdrosky said Monday. “It is gratifying. I’m excited about it.”
City council members approved the contract with Hexaware, an information technology provider, two weeks ago to build the custom database for the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority, he said. The project — to be known as “HomeTrek” — will begin soon after the beginning of 2020 and take about 10 months to build and two months to test before it’s available to the public, Kosdrosky said.
Once complete, the database will function a bit like online databases for the Pitkin County Assessor and Clerk’s offices, where public information about properties is available, he said. It also will allow APCHA participants to apply to the program, submit compliance documents and perform other tasks. Participants will have their own logins and private information will not be available publicly, Kosdrosky said.
During his tenure, Kosdrosky repeatedly has cited APCHA’s lack of knowledge about its own program as a reason for inefficiency in the system. The implementation of the database will allow the affordable housing program “to be transparent and accountable to everybody,” he said.
It also will allow housing officials to better track the individual units and residents’ compliance with APCHA rules and guidelines, Kosdrosky said.
“APCHA’s current systems are mostly outdated, unautomated and paper-based, which makes it difficult and confusing for many customers,” according to an APCHA news release Monday. “HomeTrek will eventually give customers and decision-makers 24/7 access to information and data concerning APCHA’s inventory of over 3,000 units, including real-time information about housing availability, prices, rents and affordability.”
The yearlong process of building the database will include input from program participants, elected officials and other stakeholders.
The contract is part of a $1.4 million effort to improve the technology that governs the APCHA program, Kosdrosky said.
The development in the wetlands won’t move forward until the town does more digging into the environmental impacts.