McCabe named housing director | AspenTimes.com

McCabe named housing director

Janet Urquhart

Tom McCabe, former Aspen city councilman, will take the helm of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority.

Former Aspen City Councilman Tom McCabe has been named the new executive director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority.He will start Oct. 3, allowing a couple of weeks’ overlap with current Director Maureen Dobson, who will step down Oct. 14.McCabe, who served one term on the council before losing a re-election bid in 2003, calls the local worker housing program one of his passions. He was active in the campaigns to win voter support for the controversial Burlingame Ranch housing project and served a stint on the housing board as a councilman, among other housing-focused assignments.”When I was on City Council, I did all things housing,” he said. “It’s one of the few things that I could say I have a passion for. Affordable housing is near and dear to me.”

McCabe, a 32-year Aspen resident, at one time lived in the Truscott Place apartments, a worker housing complex owned by the city. He currently resides in a four-unit building on East Hopkins that is deed-restricted for local workers.It’s what has kept him in the community, he said.”This [job] is like a perfect fit for me,” McCabe said. “It’ll be almost too good to be called work.”The housing authority oversees the administration of more than 2,000 sale and rental units that are reserved for qualified local workers.

McCabe said he’ll make customer service and upkeep of the housing units among his priorities.He was among eight applicants for the post, and one of three interviewed by Dobson, City Manager Steve Barwick, Pitkin County Manager Hilary Smith and Ed Sadler, assistant city manager. Selection of the housing director ultimately rests with the city manager, in consultation with the county manager.McCabe impressed the interview team as a strong proponent of the worker housing program, Sadler said.”It’s truly his belief, his service and his dedication to the affordable housing program. We think he truly believes in it and he’s demonstrated nothing but,” Sadler said. “I think that’s what tipped the scale.”

McCabe, 59, owns Aspen Repair Service. He said he intends to either sell the business to a longtime employee or simply close it when his lease for the shop space off North Mill Street expires next month.His salary will be $70,000 – the midpoint of the salary range for the post.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com