Air quality will fluctuate throughout the weekend. Please go to the Oregon Department of Environmental - Air Quality Monitoring Data for up-to-date information on air quality. Also visit for more air quality resources. 

Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Minutes 06/26/2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008



June 26, 2008



Chair Bill Smith called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:

Richard Billin


SOU Liaison:  Alexandra Amarotico, Absent

Nick Frost, arrived at 4:40



Graham Lewis


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty, absent

Steve Hauck



Bill Smith


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

Regina Ayars


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Commissioners Absent


Linda Reid, Housing  Specialist

Carol Voisin




Lewis/Hauck m/s to approve the minutes of the May 22, 2008 Housing meeting. Voice Vote:  Approved



The Commissioners welcomed Ms. Reid.  Reid expressed her enthusiasm as the new Housing Program Specialist for the City of Ashland. 


It was decided to move the Public Forum to approximately 5:40 p.m. after the Affordable Housing discussion.



Subcommittee Reports


Liaison Reports

Parks – Hauck reported that the developer, Doug Irvine, withdrew his original proposal regarding the Westwood property.  Goldman said after the Parks Commissions’ first meeting the developer was concerned about going forward with the process but still decided to stay in it.  After the Housing Commission meeting he then decided that he was no longer interested in being the developer of it because of the risk involved in terms of appeals though he is still interested in selling the Clay Street property to the City of Ashland.  Goldman explained it is now the Parks Commissions’ decision if they want to develop it themselves.   On July 28, 2008 Don Robertson, City Parks Director, will come back to the Parks Commission with a list of potential revenue streams as well as a list of properties that could also be considered surplus. 


Goldman acknowledged if the City doesn’t acquire the property Irvine will go forward with a 107 unit development which includes 17 affordable units. 


Planning Commission (Annexation) – Ayars reported that she got the impression that the Planning Commission was open to moving forward with the Annexation Ordinance and didn’t resist the changes other then the “cash in lieu of” provision.  Benjamin commented that the Commissioners were not very enthusiastic but would ultimately go along with the package with some resistance.  Benjamin thought the cash in lieu of was a good idea because if a developer decides he doesn’t want to go with the affordable units, and would rather pay cash, it would be a source of funding to the Housing Trust Fund.  Reid explained that cash in lieu of is more of an actuality verses an eventuality situation.  She explained that you are giving up actual affordable housing being put on the ground for the eventuality that some day you may have them. 



Goldman gave a summary of the draft ordinance and resolution.  He explained there are three separate components being presented.

  1. An ordinance which establishes the Trust
  2. Resolution that establishes the policies and procedures
  3. A resolution dedicating anticipated rehabilitation loan repayments that could be directed to the Housing Trust Fund. 


Goldman and the Commissioners discussed the ordinance and resolution making grammatical corrections as well as recommendations.


The change of substance was 8.18 adding that the selection criteria shall be rated as indicated in the annual RFP as reviewed and approved by the Housing Commission. 


Smith opened the discussion for Public Testimony – No one spoke


When the resolution goes to the City Council Goldman said he anticipates the question “Why are you presenting a Housing Trust Fund if you don’t have a revenue source to put into it.” In 2005 and 2006 Goldman had a number of loan repayments come across his desk for an old CDBG program.  Goldman noticed that a lot of money was repaid for old rehab loans through that program.  In questioning where those funds were going he asked Reid to look into that loan program. 


Reid replied that the resolution talks about the grant in 1985 for $478,968 to make energy conservation permits on houses. The payoffs have been coming back and because they were not earmarked for anything they were put into the General fund and used for capital improvements.  The amount is down to a little under $100,000.  Reid suggested it would be a good time to allocate the money for the Housing Trust Fund. Goldman realizes that though this might not produce any real revenue the idea is to have some initial revenue source that would go along with this ordinance.  Though this is not a sustainable revenue stream for the Housing Trust Fund it would be considered a legal source of funding. 


Goldman explained if the Council approves the Housing Trust Fund and the Resolution of the policies and procedures they do that as one action.  With that being created then they are asked the question “Will you approve this Resolution to put money into?”


Hauck/Billin m/s that we forward this to the City Council with the recommendations that they adopt both the ordinance and the resolutions.  Voice Vote:    Approved.


Benjamin commended Goldman and Reid for a job well done. 



Jason Elzy, with the Housing Authority of Jackson County commended the Commission for considering the two Resolutions as they are a valuable tool for the housing developers in the valley.  As an affordable housing developer going out for funding sources without community support makes it almost impossible to receive the necessary money to preserve housing, stated Mr. Elzy.  


Cate Hartzel shared that she recently attended a summit on Homelessness in Salem. The meeting had a variety of speakers and panels talking about what communities across the State have done in the way of implementing plans for the homeless.  Hartzel brought back materials from the meeting and distributed them to the Commissioners.


Hartzel had the opportunity to speak with Doug Carlson the Regional Director of HUD.  Mr. Carlson believes the housing crisis has not quite touched Oregon the same way it has the other states.  Hartzel’s concern since the rental analysis has come out is that due to some design factors in that study it might not have given a true picture of what the rental market is really like in Ashland. Hartzel spoke with Mr. Carlson regarding ideas on how to update the needs assessment.  Hartzel said looking at identifying the ownership pattern is a vulnerability criteria the City needs to identify as well as tracking the occupancy rate.  Once the occupancy gets five percent or less we won’t be having affordably housing stated Hartzel.   Mr. Carlson said as the housing market begins to be problematic the importance of rentals go up.


Hartzel encouraged the Commissioners at their upcoming retreat to think about new goals to include homelessness and dealing with vulnerable properties. 


Lewis acknowledged that one of the biggest voids among the homeless with ICC is a mailing address for them so they can continue to get the State services. Lewis said they are looking at the possibility of doing something with the Peace House. 


Goldman said that identifying ownership patterns and occupancy rates as well as tracking rental rate changes is not something that is feasible.    In our market there is no single source that can give us anything declared in terms of vacancy rates.  Individual property managers only know what the vacancy rates are for their properties and in many cases only know the last month and not the last year for that period.  Goldman said the rental needs analysis indicated that in order to do a better rental needs analysis the City or the region should consider some sort of rental registry program similar to the one the City of Medford recently adopted.  The registry program tracks within their jurisdiction what the number of rental units are, how much they are renting for as well as the occupancy rates.



The retreat will be July 12, 2008 at the Parks Department office located within Lithia Park at the intersection of Winburn Way and Granite Street.  9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Commissioners are to bring their Housing Manuals with them and the Housing Work plan. 

Suggestions for topics of discussion:

·         Make up of the Commission-number of members and if the Council Liaison is a voting member or not.

·         Priorities of the Action Plan



Benjamin came across an interesting editorial from the New York Times dated May 26.  The editorial explained that in the jurisdiction one affordable unit is currently required for every eight market rat units and they are suggesting making it one for every five.  The downside is that it makes little economic sense to increase the number of units since many small towns offer little job opportunity and no public transportation to places where the jobs are located.



Regular Housing Commission meting July 24, 2008 at the Community Development Building 4:30-6:30.  There is a possibility that Billin and Frost may not be able to attend.    


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


Ashland 24/7

Pay Your
Utility Bill
Connect to
Ashland Fiber Network
Request Conservation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Building Permit
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2018 City of Ashland, OR | Site by Project A




twitter facebook Email Share
back to top