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La Crosse recognized for housing response amid pandemic with state award
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La Crosse recognized for housing response amid pandemic with state award

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The city of La Crosse and La Crosse County have been recognized by state officials for work addressing housing and homelessness amid the pandemic.

Sen. Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska, awarded La Crosse with the Public Service Award at the virtual Wisconsin Apartment Association Awards, after two local WAA landlords nominated the municipalities.

“Our La Crosse government at the city and countywide level have demonstrated tremendous resolve during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pfaff said in a statement after the award ceremony Wednesday.

Sen. Brad Pfaff

Sen. Brad Pfaff represents the 32nd Senate District, which includes La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford, and southern Monroe counties.

“La Crosse continues to set an example for the state of Wisconsin in good governance, and I commend their hard work,” he said.

Pamela Strittmater, president of the La Crosse Area Apartments Association, and Jeff Pralle of Great Rivers Apartment Association nominated the city and county. In a statement, they were nominated specifically for work in addressing homelessness and rent concerns during the pandemic.

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“I nominated the city and county of La Crosse,” Strittmater said in her remarks, “because of the great partnership they have for working together to help those with housing insecurities in the city and county.

“By working together, we can accomplish so much,” she said.

Throughout the pandemic, the city and county have grappled with a number of housing crises, including funding food pantries, after school programs, emergency and quarantine shelter, rental assistance, contact tracing, home loan and small business assistance and more.

Most recently, the two groups have each continued funding projects such as rental assistance relief that help prevent homelessness, as well as adapting the community’s shelters, specifically creating new isolation shelter space for those experiencing homelessness that become exposed to COVID-19.

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