Dan Mauk was elected chairman Monday of the North Platte Housing Authority. Mauk has been on the board since January, when he was appointed by Mayor Mark Kaschke.
Mauk will lead the efforts of the five-member board of the directors, comprised of former chairwoman Carolyn Trujillo, Rick Kolkman, Savanah Sellers, Lawrence Ostendorf and Mauk.
The North Platte Housing Authority oversees operations at Autumn Park, a retirement complex in the 700 block of W. Philip, as well as 150 low-income residences scattered around the city.
The authority is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Housing Authority has about $1.4 million in cash reserves and operates on a yearly grant from HUD of about a half-million dollars, Mauk told the Bulletin.
But last spring, the HUD money did not arrive, and the board agreed Monday to join other housing authorities in a lawsuit to pursue their annual grant money.
Mauk said the outlook is that less federal money will be given to local housing authorities, due to the size of the national debt. The board is in the process of strategic planning, considering ways to provide housing with less money.
The planning will continue to the end of the year, Executive Director Ed Greenwood said.
We’re in the middle of (it),” Greenwood said, “during which a lot of ideas are thrown out and discussed.”
One idea is to sell some of the scattered site houses and reinvest in other housing projects in town, but discussions are strictly preliminary, Mauk and Greenwood both said.
“We may have to learn how to be a quasi-for-profit agency,” Mauk said. “We are trying to figure out strategies to provide safe, efficient, well-maintained residences for the elderly, our primary population, and be of short-term help for able-bodied but economically challenged families.”
Most of the scattered site homes were built in the 1970s, are well-maintained and will be useable long into the future, Mauk said.
Both Mauk and Greenwood said public comments will be solicited when long-range plans become more definite, which could happen by the end of the year.
A good number of scattered roofs were damaged by hail during the spring, and some asphalt driveways are deteriorating badly with age, Greenwood said.
Repairs are being made, he said.