Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Ron Farkas and Ray Norgan have seen a lot of change during their time serving on the Moosomin Housing Authority. With over 50 years combined experience, both men look fondly on the years spent serving the community through the MHA. Both recently announced their retirements from the board.
“It’s nice to see our houses fully there,” said Farkas. “There were some lean years where we had quite a few vacancies and there was even a couple of years where we sold off a couple of houses, but that looks like it’s long behind us.
“There were some major changes to the condition of the houses,” Farkas continued. “Obviously, the rules and regulations with the government change almost every year, but it’s just been an ongoing thing.”
When asked about their decision to step down from the MHA, both men noted “it was time.”
“I was there for 24 years and eight months,” Norgan said. “It was almost time for somebody younger to step into a job like that. And also, Ron Farkas, who was chair of the board, he planned to retire, too, so I decided I would retire at the same time.”
Norgan also explained how he joined the MHA back in the late 1990s.
“My wife was on town council about that time and of course you have to be approved by the town and that’s when I got on the board, in 1999,” he said.
Farkas noted his introduction was through a work associate.
“Well, I started out through a guy at work who had mentioned it to me and then they wanted me to let my name run, so I did and 28 years later, it’s done,” he said. “Just time for somebody else now.”
Both men spoke highly of the dwellings the MHA oversees, which include houses, duplexes and the seniors facilities Sterling Manor, Knotty Pine Manor and Centennial Manor.
“Our houses are second to none as far as condition,” said Farkas.“You go around some of the other communities and you can pick out the ‘low income rentals,’ where we tried to blend ours in with the community and make them look the same and make people feel a little better about it.”
Norgan explained how an international influx—most recently new resident hailing from Ukraine and the Philippines—highlighted a need for housing locally.
“As far as challenges go, just keeping the houses up and getting the money to be able to do it because it all comes out of a budget—that’s always a challenge,” Farkas said. “But our managers have been doing a really good job and working with housing and we pretty much got everything we needed or wanted. We’ve had some really good managers, that’s obviously helped. It’s not a high stress job by any means, but it’s nice to see things get done and people happy with us.”
As for future plans, it sounds like both Farkas and Norgan plan to pursue their regular hobbies.
“I’m retired so the same as I did before—golf, fish and hunt,” Farkas said with a chuckle.