TOMAH, WI (WXOW)—USDA Rural Development Wisconsin presented the Monroe County Housing Authority with the Award of Excellence, recognizing their continued dedication to providing affordable housing to the residents of rural Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Since 2009, the Award of Excellence is presented each year during June, in conjunction with National Home ownership Month, to Multi-Family Housing property owners and managers who continuously demonstrate their commitment to providing quality, affordable housing to the tenants they serve.
The Monroe County Housing Authority consists of 76 elderly and disabled designated units located in six communities throughout Monroe County; Sparta, Tomah, Warrens, Cashton, Wilton, and Oakdale.
The property has an impeccable history of providing quality housing at affordable rents to elderly residents.
Lawrence and Carolyn Morgan spend their working lives serving others; Lawrence was a pastor for 30 years and after he retired he and Carolyn served as house parents at River Ranch, a children's home in West Virginia.
They left West Virginia to move closer to family in Wisconsin.
"It's cold. I don't appreciate the winters but spring, summer and falls are nice," Lawrence said.
But, what he does appreciate is affordable housing.
"We like it really well, as well as we like anything," he said. "We're close to everything. It's quiet."
He said Theresa Burns-Gilbert, MCHA Executive Director, is to thank for that.
For the last 24 years she's been welcoming people to their home at MCHA.
She is dedication to improving the social and living conditions for the residents of Monroe County and participates in several community committees that provide essential living assistance. In addition, four of the apartment sites served as a Monroe County Senior Nutrition site.
"They're starting a new chapter in their lives," Burns-Gilbert said. "I try to make it as easy as possible."
She said over the years faces and names have changed but her mission hasn't.
"It's wonderful to get to hear all the stories and life experiences that our tenants have had," she said. "That's one of the most enjoyable parts of my job is helping people with other needs; referring them to other agencies and getting them stable in their home."
Without affordable housing Burns-Gilbert said a lot of people would be living in substandard housing.
She said the MCHA homes are designed to be easy for tenants to navigate.
"As people get more frail and age they need an easy apartment, an easy place to get around and its well laid out for their needs," Burns-Gilbert said.
For the Morgan's they say there is no place like home and the best place to be…
"We always said the state we're in," Lawrence said.
USDA Rural Development currently provides financing for 450 multi-family housing projects in rural Wisconsin.
These facilities provide rural Wisconsinites with access to more than 7,000 apartments.
For more information on the Monroe County Housing Authority call their Sparta office at 608-269-5017.
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