Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Thursday, March 25, 1999



FEBRUARY 24, 1999


The meeting was called to order by Gerry Sea at 4:10 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Joe McKeever, Steve Hauck, Joan Legg, Sondra Nolan, Madeline Hill, and Jan Vaughn. Carlus Harris arrived later. Medinger was absent. Staff present were Bill Molnar and Susan Yates.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Vaughn moved to approve the January 27, 1999 minutes and everyone favored.


Letter of Intent

The letter of intent was drafted by some members of the Housing Commission, ACCESS and Staff, reported Molnar. The City Attorney felt it was good to have the letter and suggested adding V. under Points of Collaboration. There is also a minor change under I.

Legg wanted to discuss IV. Molnar said Item .IV came about from the last Housing Commission's meeting. ACCESS wanted some assurance that once the land trust was formed, ACCESS would still be a part of the process. Legg thought it seemed we are committing the city to a single contract with one developer. It was her understanding that ACCESS would be involved in the interim but not in perpetuity.

Hauck said clarifying language could be added to let ACCESS know they will have a role but will not be the sole partner. Hill asked if the City Attorney could draft such language. For example, there might be a developer who would donate property management.

Molnar said ACCESS's only concern is after going through the formation of the trust, while utilizing staff and ICE, is that they want to be assured of some kind of partnership.

Vaughn said they should not be an "exclusive" partner. Hauck thought adding wording "additional partners" would work. Molnar said he would work on the wording.

Harris arrived at 4:20 p.m.

Hill wants to reiterate what she said last month. We have to look for the long haul and keep our options open. She has been in the valley for a long time and has seen many agencies such as ACCESS come and go.

Vaughn feels the interim period needs to be defined. Sea wondered about using the wording, "during the interim period until a formal agreement is reached".

Harris said , since he works at ACCESS, he is a little more aware of what the intent is and probably does not have the concern that others might regarding not having anything that addresses the perpetuity of this arrangement. He understood when the land trust is ready to stand on its own, that the entire focus of the collaboration is not just ACCESS and neither would this body would be in "control" of the activities of this particular land trust. However, he can understand how language to that effect and exclusivity of the arrangement might be addressed by someone who had concerns.

McKeever agrees with Harris and is concerned if we add the language we could be getting ourselves into bidding wars. ACCESS has agreed to do this for six percent. While we are getting bogged down in bidding, the poor guy who wants a home is sitting by the wayside. He does not want to get bogged down with a politics.

Harris said in order for this to go forward, particularly in the early and mid-stages, there is a certain amount of exclusivity. Whatever makes people feel comfortable with the control issues that have surrounded and continue to surround this issue, he is fine with it-just as long as we get the community land trust and affordable housing.

Initiate Technical Planning Assistance with ICE (Institute for Community Economics)

Molnar said Harris has had discussions with Jeff Yegian, the regional representative from ICE. He is trying to do some scheduling for his initial meeting in Ashland. Molnar welcomed everyone to participate while he is here.

Harris said Yegian is tentatively planning to arrive on the 23rd of March and to spend as much time as possible on the 23rd, all day the 24th, and part of the 25th with the Commissioners, ACCESS, and Staff. For those who need to be introduced to the community land trust concept, Yegian will be willing to address that. Marketing strategies, community meetings, and land acquisitions are possible topics too. Harris said Yegian will have homework for the Commissioners.

McKeever thought the lease is the spine of the community land trust. If other Commissioners do not have copies, they can get them from Molnar. Harris said if the Commissioners should become familiar with the lease document, it will tell us those things we have to do in order to be a community land trust, particularly as it applies to major funders.

McKeever suggested that the Commissioners read all the homework and the information passed out in the last three months so we are prepared and don't waste time on unnecessary questions. Harris has a bibliography and there is a videotape by Tim McKenzie.

Harris thought it advisable to formulate the questions we want to ask and tell Yegian in a general way, what we are trying to accomplish.

Vaughn suggested coming together as a group before the meeting with Yegian.

Harris wondered on the 23rd who would be willing to tag along with Yegian. He would like him to tour the town and look at the affordable housing done so far. A work study session would be good on the 24th. Harris will be involved with him as well as Molnar. The regular Housing Commission meeting on March 24th will be devoted to meeting with Yegian.

Hill offered her bus and driver (and salary) and she will make a home or condo available to the Commissioners. She can also offer coffee and tea.

Harris will notify Molnar as soon as he knows Yegian's travel plans. Molnar can then inform the Commission. Everyone except Nolan (who is getting married and might only have half a day) will available for the 23rd, 24th, and/or 25th. Harris repeated this is going to be a lot of work. He would like to see a demonstrated commitment to doing the work.

Hauck said he is going to a National League of Cities next week so if someone could give him a list of municipalities who have done this sort of thing, he could look up their representatives while there.

The Commissioners decided to set aside time on Wednesday, March 3rd at 2:30 p.m. to decide how to spend time with Yegian.


McKeever reported that Cindy Dyer, ACCESS has applied for $135,000. Dyer spoke with Russ Dale and he seems more than interested in participating.

Molnar will find out when the presentations happen and report to the Commission so they can attend.


Molnar showed a colored map showing the vacant lands inventory in Ashland along with a new aerial photo of a portion of the city which we are now available to us. Part of the major part of updating the Housing Element will be figuring out how much available vacant land we have in the city by zoning use.


Legg discussed the Job Gap Study with the Commission. She has the full study if anyone is interested. They are asking the county to have a forum to discuss creative ideas for developing living wage jobs.

Legg also made copies of an article in the Oregonian she found interesting regarding low-income landlords wanting to opt out of HUD contracts.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

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