Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Thursday, June 25, 2009




June 25, 2009



Chair Steve Hauck called the meeting to order at 4:34 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:


SOU Liaison:  Alex Amarotico, Absent

Steve Hauck,  Chair



Richard Billin


Council Liaison:  Carol Voisin

Graham Lewis



Aaron Benjamin


Staff Present:: 

Regina Ayars


Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Bill Smith 


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Nick Frost, arrived at 4:45



Commissioners Absent:



Alice Hardesty






The minutes of the May 28, 2009 regular meeting were approved with spelling corrections.  Voice Vote:  Approved. 



No one came forth to speak.



Subcommittee Report

                Finance – None

                Education - None

                Land Use –None


Liaison Reports

Council – None

Parks - None

School Board – None


Planning – Ayars inquired if the Planning Commission is working on an alternative proposal to what the consultants have proposed for the Croman site.  The Commissioners explained that the Planning Commissioners have taken what the consultants came up with and are working on modifications and adjustments to that.  Lewis said an Ad Hoc Committee was formed with representatives from all the commissions who will be looking at it sometime in July with a goal of presenting their recommendation to the Council by September. 


SOU- none


Staff – Reid said the City Council heard the Housing recommendation for the use of the CDBG proposals. The Council did not go with the Housing Commissions recommendation but instead decided to fund the public improvements and partially fund the conservation program.  $16,500 was awarded for the public facilities improvement (replacement of eleven wheelchair ramps along five blocks on Iowa Street) and $33,650 was awarded for the conservation program (weatherization for low income home owners or renters).  The Housing Authority did receive the Consolidated Funding Cycle (CFC) award from Oregon Housing and Community Services for the Snowberry Brook Development.  Reid explained that the low income Housing tax credits in the amount of $825,000 is per year for ten years. Essentially the State awarded the Housing Authority $825,000 in tax credits which they sell to businesses to get tax write offs. Because the tax credit award is spread out over ten years its equivalent of 8 million dollars. 



Reid introduced Jayme Rabenburg and Molloy Good from the Fair Housing Council.  Both were present to introduce the Draft Analysis of Impediments which the City contracted to use CDBG funds for last year. It’s a CDBG requirement that we periodically look at impediments to Fair Housing Choice within the City, stated Reid.  The City has not done one since 1997. 


Ms. Rabenburg and Mr. Molloy reviewed the Dane County Fair Housing Ordinance as an example of language that the City of Ashland could use in writing their ordinance.  They also referred to Multnomah County, the City of Portland and Corvallis who have adopted age as a protected class.


Reid suggested that perhaps the next step would be to get a survey from the students and find out what types of discrimination they encounter. What reason are they most commonly being given?  Reid said it’s a goal of the Housing Commission to create the Ordinance but it is not on the Council goals at this time so it might not be well received.  The Commissioners decided to wait until the next meeting when Alexandra Amarotico, the SOU Liaison, might be present to form an Ad Hoc committee to discuss the ordinance. The Commissioners will be adding language to the already existing ordinance. 


Lucy Edwards, City of Ashland CERT coordinated asked whether the need to amend the City’s Fair Housing Ordinance to include students as a protected class may have changed due to the economy because now many more rentals are available and landlords may look at students more favorably to fill vacant units.



Molloy Good, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon explained that the Fair Housing Council is a private non profit organization, and has a mission to eliminate all illegal housing discrimination throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. They accomplish this mission by helping assist people with enforcement along with educating and outreach to the general public.  The Analysis of Impediments comes as a legal requirement for any jurisdiction that receives CDBG money.  This is an opportunity for the City to remedy problems that exist.    


In preparation of their report the Fair Housing Council of Oregon sought input from Ashland community members, local government officials, housing industry professionals and public and private social service agencies that serve the Ashland community. Nearly every participant mentioned concerns over illegal discrimination.  Most agreed that discrimination against families with children was the biggest problem, particularly affecting families with three or more children and/or teenagers.


Mr. Malloy highlighted three main areas of concern within the City. 

  • Race, primarily African Americans
  • Familial status – Mainly families with children under the age of 18. In the majority of the community interviews that were conducted the feedback they got was that the discrimination that was occurring was directed at families with children
  • Families with disabilities


Mr. Malloy said an important impediment is the lack of resources and knowledge in the community to be responsive to fair housing issues.  The Fair Housing Council’s recommendation would be to conduct more training to housing providers, housing consumers and social service agencies. They suggested that Ashland partner with Medford and the State of Oregon to create a Regional Fair Housing Organization located in Southern Oregon that could then respond to training and enforcement needs. In 2010 there will be a new census.  The Fair Housing Council recommends the City to go back and look at the demographic data to update it.  They would encourage asking the question “How does Southern Oregon University affect the population of Ashland”.  They would also encourage the City to make students a protected class.



HUD representative Todd Adkins was present at the meeting.  Mr. Adkins thanked The Fair Housing Council and the Housing Commissioners for their time and for examining the impediments to fair housing choice that were identified within the city and which are a very important aspect of insuring safe decent and affordable housing for all of the City’s citizens. 


Hauck opened the public hearing on the Analysis of Impediments:  With no one present to speak no testimony was heard and the public hearing was closed.


Hauck, Ayars  and Bill Smith volunteered to be on the Consolidated plan ad-hoc sub committee.



Quarum-Lewis probably will not be at the next meeting.



                August 4, 2009 7 PM City Council Meeting-HC Ordinance 1st Reading

                August 18, 2009 7PM City Council Meeting-HC Ordinance 2nd Reading


                Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

                4:30-6:30 PM; Thursday July 23, 2009 Community Development Building


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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