JONAH asks Mayo Clinic Health System to save Luther Lakeside Apartments

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - People living at the Luther Lakeside Apartments in Eau Claire will have find a new place to live by June 30, 2023.

That’s because the property’s owner, Mayo Clinic Health System, is repurposing the property across the street from its Eau Claire Luther campus.

Though Mayo made the announcement in June of 2022, the faith-based group JONAH recently decided to try and convince the hospital system to change course. So far, it hasn’t worked.

“It’s a hardship. I’m 87 years old and as you get older, it gets harder and harder to do these kinds of things,” said Luther Lakeside Apartments resident Bob Heagle.

He’s lived at the property, which provides affordable housing geared towards the elderly and people with disabilities, for about seven years.

Judi Moseley with JONAH said Heagle’s may be one of the lucky ones. She said 28 of his neighbors are still looking for a new place to live.

“We have too few housing units to house the number of people employed and who want to live in Eau Claire,” Moseley said. “And so the city estimates that we’re already 500 units short to house our population but now we’re going to be 46 units more short.”

Though Mayo owns the building, it has a contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The residents pay a reduced rate and HUD makes up the difference. After 40 years, Mayo is not renewing the contract.

In a statement to WEAU, Jason Craig, Regional Chair of Administration for Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin, said in part:

“Mayo Clinic Health System and Landmark Company, which manages the property, are committed to working together with residents to ease this transition. In addition, we have arranged for Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council to assist current tenants of Luther Lakeside as they seek new housing and make plans to move, and we have provided each tenant with $2,500 to help with expenses. A number of tenants have already found new housing. We will continue to work with the remaining tenants.”

While Moseley admits Mayo’s plans are a good business move, Heagle feels that Mayo doesn’t realize what its putting him and his neighbors through.

“They should be more aware of the problems that they present to us because of this situation,” Heagle said. “They aren’t taking us into account.”

Craig also said in his statement the health system hasn’t yet decided what it’s going to do with the property but it will help provide and expand health care services.