Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission

Monday, May 15, 2006



MAY 15, 2006

CALL TO ORDER Chair Faye Weisler called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building.


Commissioners Present

SOU Liaison

Faye Weisler, Chair

Sunny Lindley, absent

Bill Street


Jennifer Henderson

Council Liaison

Carol Voisin

Cate Hartzell, arrived at 7:00 p.m.

Aaron Benjamin


Commissioners Absent


Alice Hardesty

Staff Present

Don Mackin

Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

Liz Peck

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary



Street made a correction to the minutes of the April 17, 2006 meeting.  Under “New Business” amend the first sentence to read:  “Goldman explained to the Commissioners that they are to look at the Condominium Conversion Ordinance and forward any recommended changes to the Planning Commission.”  Voisin/Street m/s to approve the amended minutes.  The minutes were approved as amended.



RON DEMELE, RVCDC, handed out a flyer that has been distributed to all the schools advertising affordable homeownership with RVCDC.  He gave an update on the Siskiyou and Faith project.  As with any project, there are always ups and downs, but overall the construction is progressing well.  The project should be completed in the fall.  Six more units are proposed for property located on Park and Siskiyou and RVCDC is moving ahead with that.



Street announced that Melissa Mitchell Hooge, who has worked on Save Our Schools and Playgrounds (SOSP), is receiving this year’s Ragland Volunteer of the Year Award prior to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers.  He encouraged the Commissioners to attend.



Community Development Block Grants - Commission will discuss this item when they have a quorum.



Election of Chair and Vice Chair – Weisler opened the floor for nominations.  She said that Hardesty, though not in attendance, said she would be happy to serve as Vice Chair.  Voisin nominated Weisler for Chair and Hardesty for Vice Chair.  Street seconded the motion and everyone voted favorably for the slate of officers. 



Subcommittee Reports

Education – Street reported theWorkforce Housing Forum was attended by 35 to 40 people. They received good feedback from several participants.  They are coming up with a list of 50 things we can do.  Street is hopeful these kinds of events will trigger forward progress.


Hartzell arrived at 7:00 p.m.


Weisler welcomed Aaron Benjamin to his return on the Housing Commission.  Benjamin expressed his delight at returning.


Land Use – Goldman said the committee talked about condo conversions and land acquisitions. 

·        Condominium Conversions - They are waiting for legal opinions from the City Attorney for how to proceed.  The committee also talked about the potential of doing a tenant protection resolution establishing things like an eviction period.  Hartzell said that is an alternative in case they get blocked trying to change the condo conversion ordinance. 


·        Land Acquisition – Goldman reported they are having Diane Paulson working more aggressively on the next property on the list of potential properties to purchase.


·        Housing Trust Fund – Hartzell believes it is important to get this going.  There is no money to buy the Clay Street property.  The money comes initially from the Open Space Fund, but the Housing Commission has to reimburse that fund upon purchase of the property.  The only money floating around right now is potential sale and use of the proceeds for the Strawberry Lane property. She’d hoped that when we got this influx of money from Strawberry Lane they could somehow finance the purchase of property in such a way that it would be similar to a revolving loan fund. 


Goldman said the memo to the Budget Committee did state that $111,000 (plus) from the Strawberry Lane funds would be used to buy the property on the Clay Street Park in order to do five affordable housing units.  That’s not to say that the $100,000 that goes into that property could not be recaptured by selling that property to a non-profit that’s doing affordable housing.  Hartzell said she was thinking of the housing trust fund as an endowment.


Hartzell said the idea of an entertainment tax has come up.  She thinks there is a relationship between OSF and what is happening with housing.  Goldman said the Finance Committee had talked about the potential taxes that are available to the City.  A consultant could look at the complete array of funding sources to determine what proceeds could be collected ($10,000 was requested in the Community Development budget this year for consulting services for housing).


  • Finance – Weisler said she would like to look at the Housing Trust Fund handbook again to see how feasible it is to start working on the platform. 


  • Liaison Reports Street met informally with the Amarotico’s regarding various lands that the City owns that might be used for affordable housing.  In particular, they discussed using some of the land at the golf course for affordable housing.  The Amaroticos were receptive and positive about the idea and willing to look into it further.  Their interest is in green affordable housing.  Street also met with Don Robertson, Parks Director and Mayor John Morrison.  They were interested in the idea, but very cautious about the process and felt it should be a very open process as there would be considerable opposition from both golfers and residents.  He urged the Commissioners to drive by and look at the property.


Benjamin was interested in knowing if there is a subcommittee consisting of Housing Commissioners and Planning Commissioners on the golf course item.  It would seem to be an appropriate forum to discuss these types of projects.  Has consideration been given to workforce housing on the Brammo Motors project (Jefferson Street)?  Is the Housing Commission aware of all the upcoming projects that might be considered affordable housing projects? 


An agenda item will be included for the next meeting to discuss what criteria the Housing Commission will follow when they review a pre application.  The Commissioners will be noticed if there is a review scheduled, with the ad hoc review committee meeting only in the event an applicant could not come to the full commission.


Messaging Training Update

Goldman said there was training by Grassroots PR attended by Henderson, Hartzell and Goldman.  They provided public relations training on how to talk about affordable housing.  They described what kind of terminology is most effective in talking about affordable housing.  The four statements they used were:  1) support of hard-working people, 2) children deserving opportunities, 3) people needing opportunities to better their lives and 4) people need a safe place, decent place to live. 


Henderson said she learned that when writing a letter to the editor, be sure to use a senator’s name in some way because the senator’s offices “Google” letters to the editor containing their senator’s name and they will read it.



Community Development Block Grants

Henderson recused herself and left the room.


Goldman said they have not received any comments during the 30 day comment period on the Action Plan.  The Action Plan is unchanged from the last review by the Commission.


Voisin/Street m/s to approve the CDBG Action Plan.  Voice Vote:  The Action Plan was unanimously approved.


Henderson re-joined the meeting at 7:55 p.m.



Oregon Senate Interim Revenue Committee meeting – They will meet at the Medford City Council Chambers on May 17th from 9-3 in order to take testimony from several valley housing agencies and individuals concerning the state of affordable housing in the Rogue Valley.  Goldman said if the Commissioners speak, the issues of interest to the Senate Revenue Committee will be in the real estate transfer fee, document recording fee, lottery funds, kicker funds, and any state revenues.


The Housing Alliance is asking for $100 million.   


Henderson suggested the Commissioners memorize the top four messages from Grassroots PR and use them if they are testifying before the Senate Revenue Committee.  She will see where the Senators on the committee are from and let the Commissioners know. 


SDC Program Changes to Council on June 6th, 2006

Goldman said the Legal Dept. has completed their review.  They are prepared to go to the Council on June 6th for a review.  Hartzell said it always makes a positive impression if the Commissioners are present.  If members speak, even for a minute, she believes it is important to maintain some direct encouragement.   


Goldman sent a survey to all City employees concerning workforce housing.  Of the 220 surveys sent out, 102 have been received.  They also provided the hospital with a sample questionnaire to send out to all the hospital employees, however, it did not seem that well received.  Hartzell is considering going to the hospital and handing out the surveys.


Fair Housing Workshop – It will be held on June 26th and Weisler will attend.  Hartzell suggested if those holding a meeting want better attendance, then meetings should not be held on Monday mornings.  Goldman said they are working with Fair Housing to do four trainings next year.  They will include:  Housing Advocates, Real Estate, Tenants, and Builders and Planners.



Lithia Lot Presentation/Discussion – Kendrick will be going to the Council possibly on July 18th with their final format. 


Condo Conversion Ordinance/Tenant Protection Resolution Discussion – They will meet with the Legal Department and the Land Use Committee and then bring it back to the full Commission.


Create a process for the pre application.


Annexations – The next step is to form an ad hoc committee of two members of the Housing Commission and two members of the Planning Commission.   


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,


Susan Yates, Executive Secretary



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