HRA Updates, General Obligation Bonds, and The Election

Deconcentration

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) implements a policy of “Deconcentration;” this is an HRA term that means that HRA clients are housed throughout the community in mixed income apartments and neighborhoods.  This creates healthy neighborhoods and better apartment complexes.

 

Housing and Rehabilitation Authority

The HRA board approved raising the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Over the last few years, rent and utilities have increased.  For low income families this created problem because the family income did not rise to meet those needs.  Less money was available for food, transportation, school supplies and other households needs.  The HRA increased the amount of money to cover the increases of rent and utilities.  This will assist our low income families to meet their other household needs.

 

Olmsted County HRA Received Covid Assistance

The HRA received about $1.6Million in Covid Relief Funds.  This money is being used to assist our low-income families who could not pay for Rent, Utilities, Mortagages and other Household expenses if these costs were related to the Covid pandemic (loss of job, etc.).  This covers expenses from March 1 to December.  Clients must show overdue bills and provide confirmation that their economic situation is related to Covid.  Payments are made directly to vendors, the families do not receive cash.  This assistance not only helps families but insures that landlords can stay in business, banks receive their mortgage payments, and the utilities do not have to raise rates to cover a loss of income.  This assistance helps to keep our economy moving and benefits those who provide services to HRA clients.

 

General Obligation Bonds

I voted to approve the sale of General Obligation bonds in the amount of $18,655,000.  This will allow the county to start on projects and complete maintenance that is necessary for efficient operation and improved infrastructure.

I also voted for refinancing of General Obligation bonds that were sold in 2011 in the amount of $2,305,000; this money will be used for deferred maintenance on the Graham Arenas.  Because of lower interest rates and Olmsted’s AAA finance rating, the refinancing saved Olmsted about $400,000.

 

Elections

As of October 20, about 31,000 absentee ballots have been accepted by the elections office.  (About 160,000 application for absentee ballots were sent out).  On October 21, the county was allowed to start opening the absentee ballots and doing the necessary checks to make sure it is a legal ballot and that no one voted more than once.  The ballots cannot be counted until after polls close on November 3.  The elections office will report the vote totals after the polls close as they have in the past.  Please remember ballots that are post marked before the close of the polls can still be counted up to a week after the polls close; therefore, it will take about a week after the polls close for the all the ballot totals to be calculated.

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