According to a release from the city of Bemidji and Beltrami County, all 47 residents of Red Pine Estates have secured housing.
The residents of the subsidized income housing apartment complex located within the city were given six days to evacuate their homes over the Fourth of July holiday. City inspectors deemed the building unsafe due to structural concerns. Community volunteers helped all residents move out by the deadline.
With county support, donors raised over $100,000 to house many of the residents in hotels. According to the release, “their property was also stored until sustainable accommodations could be secured in late September.”
“This would not have been possible without the contributions of many community partners, generous community donations and the dedicated volunteers who gave their time, financial support and unwavering compassion to assist their neighbors,” the release said.
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“This was an unfortunate event that uprooted nearly 50 residents and highlighted Beltrami County’s extreme housing shortage. Situations like this are unpredictable.”
Health and Human Services Director Anne Lindseth said moving forward, all of the residents who were receiving rent support through “community dollars” will now be managing their own housing costs.
“Some of that housing may be with friends or family and might not have a rental cost associated,” Lindseth said. “But there are a number of them that moved into other apartment buildings, both in Bemidji and in the surrounding area.”
When asked if there are plans to update the inspection process for rentals within the city, Lindseth, who is not a city employee, said, “we are working as a community-collaborative, solution-based group to suggest some changes around rental code. But none of those have been moved forward to the city council and ultimately the city council would need to decide whether or not to move forward with those.”