The Wabasha Port Authority is launching a housing committee to focus on bringing more housing to Wabasha. During the spring of 2022 a local housing committee was formed during the Wabasha Port Authority strategic planning process. Action minded individuals are meeting once a month to narrow in on the community’s specific housing needs, identifying community stakeholders, and attracting both developers, and funding. The committee called W.A.T.C.H, Wabasha Area Team for Community Housing, is currently identifying land and buildings, both private and public, to repurpose local assets into a variety of housing.
“The committee, the first of its kind, is dedicated to our mission and values. In summary, we hope to make our quaint Rivertown, the place where all residents feel they are part of a safe, vibrant community. A community that celebrates growth together,” said the W.A.T.C.H. Committee in a public statement released today.
The committee applied for and was accepted into the Minnesota Housing Partnership’s eighth housing institute. The Partnership provides 18 months of technical assistance and an opportunity to apply for grant funds. CEDA staff member, Cathy Enerson, provides staffing for the local housing committee.
“In general we know there’s a lack of housing, we know household sizes have decreased, we know senior housing has not expanded, and we know it’s hard to attract and replace employees. Therefore the expansion of housing is a necessity to grow our workforce, schools, businesses, and tax base,” said Cathy.
If you have time, talent, funding or private land to support community growth please reach out to a W.A.T.C.H. committee member to inform them of your interests and opportunities. You can be one of the stakeholders sparking community growth. Members of W.A.T.C.H committee who meet regularly include: Chair, Robin Gwaltney, Cathy Enerson, Jay Jewson, Jeff Sulla, Mayor Emily Durand, Tom Crowley, Buffy Beranek, Michael Plante, Sandra Allaire, Jim Root, Cari McCann, Dave Wodele, Meg Gammage-Tucker, Wendy Busch, Jim Freihammer, Don Jacoby, and Nathan Woodworth.
Robin Gwaltney can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Cathy Enerson can be reached at email@example.com.