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Committee set to study merger

The idea of merging the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority and Bremerton Housing Authority is an old idea become new as Mayor Cary Bozeman is expected to name a citizens’ committee to study the idea this week.

“It’s been about 20 to 30 years since this idea has been looked at, and I think it’s time to look at it again to see if we can be more efficient,” Bozeman said.

The committee, which will report back to the City Council within 60 days, will examine the goals of improving affordable housing in the city and the redevelopment of West Park, he said.

“The Council is very interested in this issue and there has been a lot of discussion about accomplishing these goals,” he said.

Bozeman said the idea is being discussed to examine ways to increase efficiency.

“If we can do it as one housing authority, that’s great,” he said. “If we can do it as two separate ones, that’s fine, too.”

Each organization has its own core strengths and have worked well together in the past, said Sarah Lee, spokeswoman for the KCCHA.

“The Bremerton Housing Authority does a great job at administering section 8,” Lee said. “We, on the other hand, are good at finding private money to build affordable housing.”

The mayor has shown a commitment to improving things and examining ways to make government more efficient during his tenure as head of the city, she said.

“We already have two organizations that do a lot of good together,” Lee said. “It will be interesting if it would be better to combine them.”

Merrill Wallace, executive director of the BHA, said the organization is aware of the idea, but declined comment until after the committee’s membership is announced.

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