HURON — The Huron Housing Authority took its first steps toward realizing a community goal Tuesday morning.
Slightly more than a month after announcing a unique partnership between several local organizations to fund a new position that would be a “one-stop” person for all questions housing related in Huron, it was announced Tuesday that Ralph Borkowski, the recently retired former Huron City Planner had been hired for the position.
“I said when we were looking that we were looking for a someone who would be able to do many different things,” said Greater Huron Development’s Executive Director David McGirr. “I think I said we were looking for a unicorn. Well, we found one.”
Borkowski will undertake a role that encompasses a bit of everything housing related in Huron. The need for a Housing Rehab Specialist grew from the Huron Community Foundation’s “Huron Rising” meetings from two years ago, which showed that housing was the most mentioned issue to be addressed.
Borkowski will be enlisted to work with owners, rentors and landlords, will need to write grants to see projects come to fruition and be the ‘go-to’ person on housing matters in Huron.
The position is funded through a collaboration of organizations, including Huron Community Foundation, City of Huron, Huron Chamber, Community Development Foundation, Huron Housing Authority, and other local non-profit organizations.
It is staffed at the offices of Huron Housing Authority.
Check presentations were made from the funding organization Tuesday morning and a $10,000 South Dakota Innovation Grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation was accepted, to help get the position up and running.
Huron Housing Authority Executive Director Andrea Del Grosso had applied for the grant.
Borkowski said that expanding the work noted in Huron Rising will be his challenge for the future.
“I am familiar with my time working for the city with most of the programs,” Borkowski said. “There are some others, with which I am not as familiar, that I will need to see how they will fit in our puzzle to the best of the community.”
Borkowski retired in the spring of 2019 after a 25-year career as the planner for the City of Huron.