Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Thursday, July 23, 2009




July 23, 2009



Chair Steve Hauck called the meeting to order at 4:33 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

Nick Frost



Aaron Benjamin


Staff Present:: 

Regina Ayars


Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Bill Smith 


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk




Commissioners Absent:



Graham Lewis






The minutes of the June 25, 2009 regular meeting were approved.



No one came forth to speak.



Subcommittee Report

                Finance – None

                Education - None

                Land Use – Ayars distributed her minutes.  At the July 16th meeting guest speaker Tom Bradley from the Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT) was present.  Mr. Bradley was there to talk about the Clay Street property and to help develop the criteria for the additional lands that the Housing Commission will be focusing on.  Individuals of the Board of Directors on the ACLT are interested in working with the Housing Commission to assist in the development of a Request for Proposal for the Clay Street project.  The committee discussed the time frame for the RFP and it was decided that after the November election they would start working with people to create the criteria and try to issue the RFP by the first part  December.


Liaison Reports

Council - Voisin reported that the City Council passed the budget on June 25th resulting in an increase in property taxes. The Council spent a lot of time working on the meals tax.  The first reading passed and the second reading will be August 4th.  The meals tax will be a ballot measure.  The Council is continuing to work on the Riparian Ordinance. The Croman site is still under review in the Planning Commission and has not yet come before the Council. Ayars requested that the Housing Commission add Graham Lewis to the liaison reports for the next few months in order to give reports on the Croman site.  Ayars who attended the last meeting said they kept referencing a Housing Overlay though the primary objective is employment.  The housing overlay may allow for housing to be above commercial. Voisin said that the SOU Master Plan is primarily dealing with housing and will be going to Council the first meeting in September.


Parks – None


School Board – Frost reported that the school district is on track for opening Bellview School in time for the coming school year.


Planning – Benjamin reported that the Planning Commission meeting on July 14th was dominated by questions regarding the SOU Master Plan.  The meeting had a large turn out with a great deal of neighbors concerned about faculty housing.  Community members felt the faculty housing should not be built in a concentrated neighborhood. Marilyn Briggs, former Housing Commissioner, raised that particular objection.  Many people felt that housing should be incorporated into the community.  A suggestion was made that the new plan before going into effect should take into consideration traffic concerns, traffic circulation and mainly concentrate on pedestrian movement in that area. The Planning Commission will make their discussion at the August 11th meeting.


SOU- none


Staff – Reid said she was asked to be on a steering committee for a Home Owner Preservation Event.  It’s essentially a group of people headed by the Southern Oregon Housing Resource Center that serves all of Jackson and Josephine County with various housing needs.  Home owners are having difficulty contacting the servicers of their loans to get loan modifications or to properly handle the foreclosures. This event is partly being organized by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.   The event will take place Saturday October 17th at the new SOU RCC Higher Education Center. Reid will keep everyone posted as she will be looking for volunteers to help facilitate the flow of people. 



Voisin said that at the City Council’s retreat they discussed what their goals, values, and vision statement should be for the City of Ashland.  Voisin gave a power point presentation discussing these topics with the Commissioners.



  • Sustainability
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Social Equity
  • Organization
  • Public Facilities
  • Partnerships


  • Good Government
  • Natural Environment
  • Responsible Land Use
  • Free Expression
  • Diversity
  • Economy
  • Independence
  • Personal Well Being
  • Sense of community


  • A beautiful small town that is safe and welcoming


Voisin said the next step is for the Commissioners to provide input to the Council on the goals, values, and vision.  Are the goals important? Have we captured the values for this community? Is the vision for the future of Ashland accurate?  She asked the Commissioners to complete the feedback forms and return them by the end of September.



The Commissioners would like to know some basic data. When are all these units going to expire?  What are the resources that are available for preservation?  What can we do as a commission to help stop these from going out of affordability?


Reid explained that three units included in the report are Rural Development (RD) assisted units.  Their loans either have been repaid or are near to being repaid.  Once their loans have been repaid they can either sell them on the private market or they can sell them to another non profit or affordable housing developer and continue with RD subsidy.  Reid has a call in to RD to find when these loans will be repaid.


Reid said the section eight properties are called expiring use units.  They also had loans but these loans were through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  These loans were typically for a period of between 30 and 40 years and each property owner/developer signed a contract which mandated that the property remain affordable for a period of time or until the loan was repaid.  Several properties financed this way are at the end of their affordability periods.  Like the Rural Development properties when the contracts run out these properties they can be sold on the market and go out of affordability or the current owner’s can renew their HUD contracts and remain affordable or they can be sold to an affordable housing provider and remain affordable.  All or most of these properties receive HUD subsidies for rental costs.


The Johnston Manor Senior project already expired.  Medford Better Housing did opt out of their contract.  Section eight units are sometimes also known as “Project Based Vouchers” meaning that the units themselves are subsidized and anyone who lives in the unit receives that subsidy.  When a subsidized unit expires the person living in the unit at the time of expiration is given a voucher which they can use anywhere in the country.  This could create a net loss of affordability for us as the people may not stay here.


Reid gave an update of the Stratford affordable housing units.  It is in the process of being purchased by Chrisman Development. They are looking at getting funding through Rural Development to preserve this project. As part of their preservation efforts they will receive additional RD resources and it will be 100 percent rental assisted. This will be a net gain of 34 assisted units for the City.  Reid sees the Housing Commissions role would be to keep an eye on these properties and be aware of what’s going on with them and then put the word out.  The commission asked Reid to develop an organization resource list


The Commissioners decided that they would continue to gather information; including creating a list of potential organizations that could be interested in preserving these units as affordable.   They would also like to discuss how to develop a plan of action and see if there are any incentives that are available to potential affordable housing developers.  The commissioners felt that it might be a good idea to visit these properties.



Larry Blake may be present to review the SOU Master Plan

Housing Authority will be having an open house for new apartment complex they built in Central Point called Scenic Heights. Sometime in late August or early September.  Snowberry Brook will be very similar in appearance to the Scenic Heights project.  Schedule a field trip.

Homeless discussion

Strategy for Fair Housing


Quorum check – Everyone will be present



                August 4th 2009 7PM 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 August 27th, 2009 Community Development Building


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


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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