JONAH asks Mayo Clinic Health System to rescue Luther Lakeside apartments

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – People living in the Luther Lakeside apartments in Eau Claire will find a new place to live by June 30, 2023.

This is because the property owner, Mayo Clinic Health System, is reallocating the property across the street from the Eau Claire Luther campus.

Despite Mayo’s announcement in June of 2022, the religious group JONAH recently decided to try to persuade the hospital system to change course. So far, it hasn’t worked.

“It’s a hardship. I’m 87 and the older I get, the harder and harder it gets to do things like this,” said Bob Heigl, a resident of Luther Lakeside Apartments.

He has lived on the property, which provides affordable housing geared towards seniors and people with disabilities, for about seven years.

Jonah’s Jonah Mosley said Heigl might be one of the lucky ones. She said 28 of his neighbors are still looking for a new place to live.

β€œWe have very few condominiums to house the number of people who are working and wanting to live in Eau Claire,” Moseley said. “So the city estimates we’re already 500 units less to house our residents but now we’ll be 46 units shorter.”

Although Mayo owns the building, it has a contract with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Residents pay a discounted rate and HUD makes up for the difference. After 40 years, Mayo has not renewed the contract.

In a statement to WEAU, Jason Craig, regional chief of management for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin, said in part:

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Mayo Clinic Health System and Landmark, which operates the drug, are committed to working alongside residents to facilitate this transition. In addition, we have arranged for the Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council to assist existing tenants of Luther Lakeside as they search for new accommodation and make plans to move in, and we have provided each tenant $2,500 to assist with expenses. A number of tenants have already found new housing. We will continue to work with the remaining tenants.”

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

β€œThey should be more aware of the problems they present to us because of this situation,” Hegel said. “They don’t take us into account.”

Craig also said in his statement that the health system had not yet decided what it would do with the property but would help provide and expand health care services.

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