WABASHA, Minn., Jan 16, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer visited Wabasha Apartments today to highlight recent improvements to the property and the importance of affordable housing options to the overall economy in rural Minnesota.
Joining Landkamer at the event were officials from the Southeastern Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (SEMMCHRA) and other local officials. SEMMCHRA took over management of Wabasha Apartments in 2007.
“Affordable housing is often overlooked in the discussion about rural economic development,” Landkamer said. “Housing helps create jobs and build strong local communities. Businesses consider a community’s housing options when deciding where to expand or start up. It’s important that we provide the resources necessary for rural Minnesota to invest in strong and safe affordable housing.”
Wabasha Apartments was built in June of 1977 using a loan from USDA’s Section 515 multi-family housing program. Using funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME program, the 24-unit project was renovated and rehabbed before SEMMCHRA took over ownership/management in 2007.
Under SEMMCHRA’s management, the property has significantly reduced vacancies and provides a safe and affordable to place to live. Qualified tenants in Wabasha Apartments also qualify for rental assistance through the USDA.
“SEMMCHRA has built a strong partnership with Rural Development over the past several years to provide affordable housing opportunities to families throughout its service area,” said Joe Wheeler, SEMMCHRA Executive Director. “Today SEMMCHRA has 88 Rural Development rental units. SEMMCHRA will continue to work with Rural Development on future projects that preserve affordable housing through Southeastern Minnesota.”
USDA Rural Development oversees the management of 563 multi-family housing properties throughout Minnesota. These properties serve a high-need population, including seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families. USDA’s multi-family housing properties provide 10,737 units of affordable housing for rural Minnesotans.