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Letter: Legislature made large investment in public housing

In a June 11 letter to the editor, Lavern “Pedie” Pederson indicates his unhappiness with lack of funding for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Bemidji. He indicates that he would work with all legislators and outside parties to solve this problem if he were elected to the legislature.

He apparently does not know that the legislature did indeed work together and sought assistance from representatives of faith, business and nonprofit communities. Their efforts resulted in a capital investment package of $100 million available for public housing across the state. This is, by far, the largest such investment in state history. Funds can be used for local projects by non-profits, public-private partnerships, and local agencies such as the Bemidji Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Some funds will go for repairs and renovations and some toward new facilities.

These funds can also be used to provide support services near the housing facilities Affordable housing helps create a stable environment with more job security for parents and better academic performance for students. Local organizations interested in applying for such funds should contact Katie Topinka with the Minnesota Housing Finance at 651-296-3706. She will be happy to help you through the process.

This unprecedented funding was made possible only by the efforts of affordable housing advocates across the state, including Reps. John Persell and Roger Erickson. We can keep this good work going by re-electing both of these men who have demonstrated their desire to serve their constituents.

Lorraine Cecil