Interested in housing? The Wadena Housing and Redevelopment Authority is looking for a new commissioner
For more information on the commissioner spot, you can contact David Evans at 222 SE 2nd St., Wadena or call the HRA office at 218-631-7723. A letter of interest is required by Nov. 19, which can be mailed to P.O. Box 30, Wadena, MN 56482.
The Wadena Housing and Redevelopment Authority board has an open board member spot.
The spot will replace vice chairperson Ryan Damlo, who is retiring in January 2022. Chairperson Gary Sellman will also finish his term at the end of January. If you are interested in joining the board, a letter explaining your interest and qualifications can be sent to the city of Wadena office.
Board members collaborate with four other commissioners, including a Wadena City Council member, and the HRA executive director. The HRA owns and manages Humphrey Manor, Fair Oaks Apartments and the Commercial Apartments as well as works with landlords in Wadena County on rental assistance with the Section 8 voucher program .
“We’re looking at the housing and the quality of housing, and we’re looking for growing the housing and taking care of blighted housing,” said Maria Marthaler, HRA executive director.
A big focus is also budgets and working with regulations, like policies through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The board’s work helps HRA’s residents and the community, as Marthaler said.
For more information on the commissioner spot, you can contact David Evans at 222 SE 2nd St., Wadena or call the HRA office at 218-631-7723. A letter of interest is required by Nov. 19, which can be mailed to P.O. Box 30, Wadena, MN 56482. Board appointments are then made by the mayor.
On Oct. 26, the board also:
Discussed the full capacity of Fair Oaks Apartments, which has 32 units. Marthaler said the housing market is “so tight” and that any available apartments fill up quickly.
Approved the credit card policy for use of the company credit card by the maintenance supervisor and executive director.
Discussed the cable television contract for Humphrey Manor and the Commercial Apartments. Residents can accept the service for a subsidized fee or decline. The board questioned if the subsidy is allowed and how online streaming services will impact people’s participation in the program. About eight to 10 of the 60 residents surveyed said they had internet only. Sellman and secretary/treasurer Rosemary Kostrzewski said the cost might work better if residents had their own contracts with providers they choose. Board members expressed concern about the cost for residents if the switch was made to residents having individual contracts. The TV room would continue having cable TV either way. The board tabled the decision for more commissioner input; commissioners Damlo and Mark Lunde were not present.
Approved extra charges for tenants at Fair Oaks Apartments for maintenance having to let tenants into their apartments after hours and repairing or replacing smoke detectors that have been disabled or tampered with.
Discussed a rent increase at Fair Oaks Apartments due to rents increasing in the area. Marthaler suggested a $25 increase monthly. It would begin in January 2022 depending on resident’s leases. The board asked for more information on rents in Wadena to compare costs based on amenities and services.
Approved the 2022 employee health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield. The rates were a 5.9% increase and the HRA budgeted for an 8% increase. Board members also requested checking with their insurance agent to see if other rates would be better. The insurance plans start in December.
The next meeting is Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. at Humphrey Manor.