Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Minutes 4/26/2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007



APRIL 26, 2007



Chair Bill Street called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.  Other Commissioners present were: 


Commissioners Present:


SOU Liaison:  Sunny Lindley, Absent


Bill Street, Chair




Richard Billin


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty, Present


Aaron Benjamin




Steve Hauck


Staff Present: 


Carol Voisin


Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist


Liz Peck


Sue Yates, Executive Secretary


Bill Smith




Absent Members:  Regina Ayars





Street introduced and welcomed Bill Smith, the newest Commissioner to the Housing Commission.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES - There were no minutes to be approved.


PUBLIC FORUM - No one came forth to speak.



Goldman explained the purpose of the Action Plan is to identify how CDBG funds are used each year.  This year, there will be $152,000 in funds remaining for which no one applied.  He recommended to the Council that those funds be retained by the City in this program year, possibly using them to purchase property for the development of affordable housing and to meet Goal 1 (see Action Plan).


The award to Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC) of $31,190 is in support of the Youth Build program.  Further, $2500 will go to City of Ashland Economic Development Grant. 


Goldman provided an addendum to the Action Plan that includes Goal 13 (barriers to affordable housing) – 2006 activities undertaken by the City.  Activities for 2007 include: 1) Tenant’s Rights Ordinance (approved at first reading by the Council on April 17, 2007), 2) the Condominium Conversion Ordinance will be forthcoming, and 3) Education and Outreach (Housing Commission subcommittee) that works at getting information to the community.  The public hearing on the Action Plan will be open until May 15th.


Street asked for history of public input on the Action Plan.  In the last five years, Goldman said he only knows of one person that happened to be at the meeting for another item and spoke on the Action Plan.  Notice is published in the newspaper and on the website. 


With regard to Goal 9 (Education and Outreach), Goldman announced the first in a series of Fair Housing training to be held on May 23rd.   They want to do additional training in October of 2007 and 2008. 


Hardesty believes Goal 14 shows there is precedent for intergovernmental cooperation.  She is thinking of the Tripartite Committee as a goal, but not a request for funding.  


Voisin/Hardesty m/s to approve the Action Plan in draft form.  Voice Vote:  Unanimous. The comment period is still open and Goldman will forward any comments he receives to the Commissioners before the 15th of May.



SURVEY REVIEW (forwarded by Finance Committee)

Goldman reported this data was gathered to find out how the stakeholders view how to best use the funds when a housing trust fund is developed.  To date, 19 surveys (80 sent) have been returned from housing stakeholders in the community.  There were 50 responses to the City’s website survey.   Goldman thinks that some of the 80 may have filled out the online survey.   The results indicate most people would support use of the housing trust fund between “ownership” and “rental” housing as opposed to “special needs” or “homeless.”  “Land acquisition” and “non-profit assistance” were regarded as the highest priority.  More detailed information is contained in the packet.


Some of the Commission members were not certain of the credibility the online responses.  They did not seem to be as well thought out as the written responses.  Goldman said some respondents gave their names and some did not.   


Hauck said this was not intended to be a broad survey, but a data point.  Voisin is interested there were 32 people who wanted to be contacted again.  Hardesty thought it was interesting information but it needs to be taken with a big grain of salt.  Smith thought it might be worthwhile asking for more detailed feedback from the 32 interested individuals.  Voisin said this is just a snapshot and they will be gathering input and data all along the way and keeping up with those who want to stay informed.


Goldman said with regard the chart entitled “Target Income Levels for application of housing trust funds” respondents consistently felt that it should be extremely low income,  low income and moderate (80 percent AMI and below).  The responses were not leaning in favor or funding workforce housing. 



Hauck reported that the committee got it down to three mission statements for the Housing Commission to review and decide upon.  They used models from other trust funds.

Comments & Suggestions:

1)            #1 says it all.

2)            Like the wording :  “preservation of affordable housing throughout Ashland.” (#1)

3)            Keep community diverse (#2)

4)            “Ways and means” (#2) says more than just “production and preservation” (#1)

5)            Wording such as “…preservation of housing that all of its residents can afford.”

6)            How do we define “resident” or what do we mean by “resident.”

7)            Look at the concept of “burdened” because they are paying more than 30 percent for housing.

8)            “…all of the residents of Ashland can afford.”

9)            Use #1 and amalgamate it with #2.

10)          “Construction” instead of “production”

11)          Leave in “providing the ways and mean for affordable housing” so that will include other things besides construction or production and preservation.



Subcommittee Reports

            Education - Benjamin, Street and Goldman met and discussed their next Education Outreach.  They are proposing another RVTV program and at their committee meeting wanted the members of the Tripartite Committee to present what they have been doing.  However, as a result of a number of conversations that have taken place in the community and also among the Council members, City Administrator and David Stalheim, it is not clear what the role of the Tripartite Committee will be in the next few months and how it will be formed.  The RVTV program has been put on hold until it is clear what that committee is doing.  The Education Committee will meet next Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the high school library. Hardesty suggested they discuss ways to approach the community to gain more support for affordable housing.


May 23rd between 2 and 4:30 p.m. will be a live call-in show, simulcast Fair Housing Council of Oregon that will be held at the Council Chambers.  


            Land Use – They did not meet.  Members:  Regina Ayars, Bill Smith and Alice Hardesty.  It is the second Thursday of the month at noon.  In the past, they have only met if there are land use items to discuss. 


Goldman said the Condo Conversion Ordinance would come back to the Planning Commission on June 12th and the City Council on June 19th.  There is a Housing Commission meeting on May 24th.  It may not be ready for the Land Use Committee on May 10th. 


Liaison Reports

Tripartite – Hardesty provided the report.  The various groups are findings ways to work together.  They have been interested in studying publicly owned lands for the possible use for workforce or affordable housing. 



Thus far, the meetings have been informal.  The identified three major goals:  1)  Bring 200 new students to Ashland through the creation of workforce affordable housing, with the hope of re-opening an elementary school,  2) Bring additional families to Ashland to maintain the viability of our community hospital, 3)  Inventory public lands to identify potential sites for workforce or affordable housing. 


David Stalheim, Community Development Director, spoke to the Commission concerning Goldman’s time and role with the Tripartite Committee.  There is an issue of time management.  Goldman is involved in a lot of efforts – a busy Housing Commission and subcommittees.  Stalheim has asked Goldman to start looking at a long-range work program.  He has also been asked to work on the long-range planning with planners Molner and Harris with housing as an integral part.


Street said that of all Goldman’s roles outside this meeting, at this point in time, Goldman’s attendance at the Tripartite committee is the most critical to the mission of the committee succeeding.


Voisin left the meeting at 7:15 p.m.


Stalhiem noted that there is reference in the Tripartite report that will focus on land holdings and that is not Goldman’s role.  If the group could get focused and keep City properties out of it, then Brandon’s involvement should be fine. 


Hardesty wondered if a subcommittee of the three bodies is not going to study the lands issue, then who is.  Stalheim said he can’t make that decision.  He believes what they are doing is admirable, but he doesn’t want Goldman to be the point person for figuring out, for example, whether the B Street should be used for housing. 


Street said he thinks he is aware of that.  We have to encourage the type of brainstorming process coming from the Tripartite Committee and keep moving forward.  Goldman’s expertise is valuable to the group.  Stalheim agreed that he is the right person to be there for many things, but don’t make him the point person for the group. 


Benjamin said through the Tripartite Committee, it is the first time he has seen an informal exchange of ideas and he would hate to see that go away.  It’s been lacking for years and he doesn’t want to kill it now.  Stalheim said as long as it’s a housing focus and there is long-range planning going on, it should be okay. 


Hartzell believes we have been able to maintain a separation from the Planning Department.  What she’s seeing is a challenge to maintain this position and all it needs to be doing.  She would encourage this Commission to find out how many hours it means.  She doesn’t want to see this position eroded. 


Stalheim will come back to the Housing Commission with a work plan and talk about the priorities and his allocation of time.  Stalheim also has extensive background with housing issues. 


Parks Commission LiaisonNo report.


Planning Commission – With Peck leaving, there will be a need for another liaison.  Benjamin agreed.


Street announced there will be a special School Board study session in May to discuss workforce housing for their employees in May.


Staff Update – Goldman reported that the Tenant Rights Ordinance and the Building Code Provisions both passed  with minor amendments at the Council.  Second reading will be held on Tuesday, May 1st.  The Condo Conversion Ordinance has been sent back to Staff to make modifications, eliminating the issues of development agreements, define the goal of the target purpose of the ordinance.  It will come back the Housing Commission on May 24th, to the Planning Commission on June 12th and the City Council on June 19th in a revised format. 


Other Business from Housing Commission Members

Street thanked Liz Peck on behalf the Housing Commission and the people of Ashland, for her years of service.



Update on inclusionary zoning.

Goldman will arrange a meeting regarding vulnerable properties (Stratford Apartments). 


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary




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