|Beltrami County Housing & Redevelopment Authority |
The Beltrami County Housing and Redevelopment Authority is a municipal corporation created by the Beltrami County Board more than 30 years ago under the authority granted in Minnesota Statutes. The HRA is governed by a five member Board of Directors appointed by the Beltrami County Board. The current Board of Directors is:
- Richard Jaranson, Chairman
- Lois Anderson, Vice Chair
- Bruce Meade, Secretary
- Lee Coe, Treasurer
- Steve Young, Board Member
In its initial years of operation the HRA focused its attention on the rehabilitation of substandard housing units throughout the County, accessing a number of state and federal grants to support that work.
Starting in 1994 the HRA developed affordable single family houses for sale to moderate income home buyers. The first housing development took place in partnership with the Northwest Technical College Carpentry program and the Bemidji High School Industrial Education program. The partnership produced at least four houses each year until it was taken over by the Headwaters Housing Development Corporation in 1999. While the Technical College no longer works with the HHDC, the partnership is still actively building single family homes with the Bemidji High School.
The HRA also administers down payment assistance programs. Thirty-seven households were provided down payment assistance through an employer-based program and several additional households in Northwest Beltrami County were assisted with funds provided by Beltrami County. The HRA Board is interested in housing rehabilitation as its next new initiative.
The HRA contracts with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission for staff support.
Helping Homeless Families
The HRA has been instrumental in responding to the issue of homelessness in Beltrami County. State bond proceeds have been available on a competitive basis to help communities build housing for homeless families. One requirement of the funding is that the housing units are owned by a public entity. The HRA has agreed to be the owner of two housing projects – The Village of Hope and Conifer Estates.
Village of Hope
The Village of Hope www.villageofhopebemidji.org is a new emergency facility developed by Ours to Serve House of Hospitality. The Village of Hope provides shelter to low income homeless families in and around Beltrami County.
Conifer Estates is a twenty unit supportive and transitional housing project currently being developed in Bemidji. The HRA provided the building site, adjacent to Conifer Avenue, north of 15th Street. Conifer Avenue is a new street being constructed to serve the project. Conifer Estates will provide shelter and services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness.