Letters to the Editor

KCCHA's mismanagement leading to higher rents

My husband and I have been reading with interest about the “retirement” of Norm McCloughlin, CEO of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.

Several things stand out in the most recent article about it in the Port Orchard Independent, one of them being that the KCCHA’s whole reason to exist is managing housing for low-income people, yet they got into trouble when they tried to operate outside this charter.

We’ve been thinking the same thing for about 10 years now.

We were truly concerned when KCCHA decided to build the Bremerton Harborside Condominiums, and now they’re being sold for way less than their asking prices, and KCCHA is in trouble and owes money on the loans for them.

When did KCCHA decide to get into the business of building luxury condos, anyway? Those kinds of condos are not for low-income people.

The article also said, “We need to make sure that people in lower-income homes aren’t threatened by this situation.” Why didn’t KCCHA think of this before it got too big for its britches?

We live in the Orchard Bluff Mobile Home Park in Port Orchard. It is a 55-plus community.

Some of you may recall that more that 10 years ago, most of the residents of Norseland Mobile Home Park moved in here.

The county ran out of funds and the rest of the lots were to be for low-income — you can't make over a certain amount of money in here now, and it depends on if you’re single or a couple.

What we don’t like is that since my husband and I moved here in 1998, all our rents keep going up and up. In July 2007, our rents were increased by 6.6 percent to $320. In July 2008, our rents were increased 4.7 percent to $335 percent.

There are many older people who are concerned of any impending rent increase. They worry if they get another they will not be able to live on this “low-income” senior mobile-home park.

Many are retired and don’t get a lot of money, existing on only Social Security most of the time.

Oh yeah, they get some increase every year, but is never enough to keep up with the rate of inflation, so they fall farther behind every year. And still KCCHA increases our rent more than the cost-of-living increase.

We have asked for paperwork on where our rents, or the increase in rents, goes. All we’re told is that it’s for the “cost of maintenance.”

All that we ask is to give us a break and don’t increase our rent this year.

We also want to see where our money goes, and we haven’t gotten an answer.

Oh yes, we’ve been told our rent is figured out by all the other mobile-home parks in the area.

Since we’re the only low-income senior park in Kitsap County, how does that figure in?

You can bet we’ll be keeping an eye on KCCHA, and we won’t stand for another rent increase, especially if we see that KCCHA has been bailed out for its bad administrative decisions.

With the economy the way it is and our purchasing power way down, we at Orchard Bluff can’t handle another rent increase next year. We talk to many residents here who are having a hard time paying their bills — some medical, due to life-threatening health problems.

One resident recently had to sell some of her possessions to get medication she needed.

Talk about being angry after hearing that.

She pays the maximum rent here, $335 a month, and asked for a rent reduction for one year while she recovered from colon cancer. And they refused her request.

We have other problems here you wouldn’t believe. We may be senior citizens, but we won’t sit in our rockers waiting for KCCHA to increase our rents again, especially after all the bad decisions they’ve made.

We have had resident meetings before on this situation. Maybe it’s time we had them again.

KATHEE and

CARL BRASHER

Port Orchard

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