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by Karin L. Nauber

karin@inhnews.com

A place to call home...

While many of us don’t currently think about this, for some, having a place to call home is a real problem.

A group of Todd County citizens have been working together with the Todd County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, along with the University of Minnesota Morris, the Center for Small Cities, Todd County Citizens Against Drugs and the Todd County Council on Aging to come up with a survey that would help identify the housing needs in all areas of Todd County.

“The survey will determine needs county-wide. It will help us start establishing what we really need,” said one of the committee members who has been hard at work on not only the survey, but also on looking at options for affordable housing.

The survey’s “mission” is to obtain information that will help potential developers to create affordable housing for seniors.

Todd County Council on Aging Director Verna Toenyan said, “By helping to provide information supporting the building, seniors and the community at large have strongly encouraged me to work toward the development of housing which is safe and affordable.”

It is a big task to take on. But, how does someone eat an elephant? 

One bite at a time.

That is why this survey is so important. It is the first “bite” or step in the process to make more housing options available, if indeed, it is determined to be a viable and strong need in the county.

One developer is awaiting the responses from the survey.

“If the need is shown, they will come in and do a design survey asking for more specifics on what is needed as far as housing size—one bedroom or two—garage space,” said Toenyan.

The design survey would be a second “bite” out of this enormous task.

But that is for later. First bite, first.

The first part of the current survey says, “Across many counties in Minnesota there are shortages of quality and affordable housing, especially for older adults. 

“To better understand the housing situation in Todd County, the Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) would like to ask you a few questions about your current housing situation and your future plans for housing in this quick survey.”

The survey is quick. I finished it in just a couple of minutes online. I suspect that the paper version—that is inserted in this week’s newspaper—will be completed just as quickly.

There are a total of 12 housing related questions.

The survey isn’t just for the here and now, either, as Toenyan pointed out.

“If your parent or neighbor is nearly a senior, it is important to plan ahead. Builders need to build ahead, as well. One fall, illness or car accident can put any of us in the mind-set of looking for more affordable and accessible housing.

“If you are 50 or older, the homes of the future must be on the drawing board today. Your input is needed to determine what developers will design,” she said.

You can find the survey on the web by typing in the following: tinyurl.com/toddcounty housingsurvey or you may also go to the Todd County website at: www.co.todd.mn.us, the city of Eagle Bend website at: www.eaglebendmn.com or on the Independent News Herald website at: www.inhnews.com under the “More” tab. Click on the survey link at any of those sites to be redirected to the survey.

If you don’t wish to take the survey, please feel free to pass it along to someone else.

Paper surveys will also be available throughout the county at senior citizen centers, city halls, libraries and churches.

Help design tomorrow by taking this very important survey today.

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