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Monday, June 24, 2019

Happy 50th Blair Housing Authority

Blair Housing Authority Celebrates 50 Years of Serving


Blair Housing Authority has been providing affordable housing for low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities since 1969. Situated at 758 South 16th Street, Parkview Manor offers 83 units as well as 17 scattered-site houses in Blair. Executive Director, Kimberly O’Neill, came to Blair Housing in October 2009. Brenda Neiburg, Housing Specialist, joined the team in March 2017.

With realistic foresight, the city council of the City of Blair passed a resolution on December 21, 1965, declaring a need for a housing authority. The Mayor appointed the commissioners, set their terms in office, and appointed Donald Schettler as the first Chairman of the Authority. Other commissioners were Walter W. Petersen, Ted Jarosz, Lester Wheeler, and J. Hilton Rhoades.

In January of 1966, Schettler notified these members of the initial meeting to be held “for the purpose of organizing said Housing Authority.”  Soon after, by-laws were approved and a seal was adopted. Eligibility requirements for residency were set with rent to be determined by H.U.D. Phase I consisted of 12 units and the community building which were completed in April of 1969.

Mrs. Wright’s high school English class was asked to submit ideas for an appropriate name for the housing authority. Parkview Manor was adopted. Helen C. Hengeveld was the original Executive Director.  She was authorized to purchase a desk, a typewriter, a file cabinet and an adding machine. She hired a maintenance man for $1.80 per hour, as needed. Blair Disposal Co. agreed to haul garbage at the rate of $1.10 per unit per month. Pets were restricted to birds and fish.

Preference factors considered in accepting applicants were as follows:  1) residents of Blair, 2) residents of Washington County, 3) former residents of Blair, 4) former residents of Washington County, 5) residents of Nebraska. By May of 1969, forty-seven occupants moved into the brand-new units, and the wheels of Blair Housing were in motion. On October 19, an Open House was held with officials, architects, general contractors, Executive Director Hengeveld, and Blair City officials present. It was a proud moment in Blair City history.

Phases II and III continued into the 1970’s and 1980’s, resulting in the current accommodations. Sensible insight decades ago projected a real need in the community and Blair Housing Authority has met that need.

In 2019, BHA owns, manages, and maintains the 100 public housing units in Blair.  The Housing Authority operates on rental income, subsidies, and grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The Board of Commissioners consists of 5 members including a Resident Commissioner.

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Posted by kimberly on 06/24 at 01:05 PM

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