Oroville Housing Authority has new director

Sue Edick
Sue Edick

Sue Edick brings years of experience to job

OROVILLE – Sue Edick has taken over the job of executive director of the Oroville Housing Authority, which manages low-income and agriculture housing in Oroville.

Edick started the job on Monday, Sept. 19, taking over for Cheryl Lewis who has retired from the position, but has agreed to stay on and help with the transition to the new director.

“It’s going to be exciting, I’ve got some big shoes to fill, Cheryl’s been doing the job for a long time,” said Edick, who lives in Tonasket.

She comes to the OHA from the Northwest Association for Housing Affordability (NAHA) and over the years has travelled all around the state working on providing housing to low-income people, using Tonasket as her base of operations.

“I’ve have gone everywhere from Winthrop to Goldendale, from Grandview to Port Angeles. This new job will allow me to just have to drive 16 miles to go to work,” said Edick, who shares her home in Tonasket with her two dogs.

She says the work at the OHA is similar to what she was doing for NAHA.

“This job is comparable regarding rural development of housing, but I am new to the farmworker housing aspect. However, the staff here is pretty well on top of things and I have always been interested in the farmworker piece because I know there is such a need,” she said.

Edick was one of three people who applied for the job and the Oroville Housing Board was very impressed with her credentials. The fact that she already lived locally was a bonus.

She has lived in town in Tonasket since 2004, having sold her house in Seattle in 2002.

“I had a cabin outside of Tonasket on the wall by Blue Lake. I sold my house and wanted to live off the grid for a couple of years. I did that and checked it of my list and moved to town,” she said. “That’s when I began working as executive director for NAHA.”

Prior to taking the NAHA job she worked in Seattle for a housing developer, mostly in construction management. In that job she kept an eye on costs and monitored construction. The company also rehabilitated a lot of properties, she said.

After her time with the Northwest Association for Housing Affordability, she decided she “didn’t want to be on the the road as much anymore” and hoped to find something closer to home.

“I had been applying for other other jobs and I had a couple of interviews, but it was when I was doing the sudoku in the Gazette-Tribune I saw the job with the Housing Authority and got a letter off to Cheryl the next day,” she said.

After being hired she said, “This gave me the opportunity to just drive a few miles north to work in a field in which I am experienced. It seemed like a good fit.”

For fun Edick competes with her two dogs in agility and obedience competitions and also likes to do a lot of gardening.

“Now I won’t have to find people to water my garden like I used to when I was on the road,” said the OHA director.

Edick also dabbles in art and participated in fundraising art exhibits organized by the late Ellie Braman to raise money for the Oroville Public Library renovation. In those exhibits local artists were asked to create an art piece using a photograph of a scene. The resulting paintings were then sold at auction to raise money for the library.

“I was happy all my pieces sold and was glad I was able to contribute to the library,” said Edick.

She says she is looking forward to attending the Okanogan County Housing Coalition meeting where former director Lewis will be introducing her to other people in the county working on housing issues.

“I am also looking forward to Tuesday, Oct. 11 when the next board meeting is scheduled… I’m looking forward to meeting the board,” she said.

Edick toured all the various OHA facilities last Friday, including the Similkameen Apartments, the Oroville Garden Apartments, the Oroville Harvest Park and the homeless shelter.

“I like what I see and have some ideas on how to take the Housing Authority forward,” she said.