Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, August 27, 2009

ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION

MINUTES

August 27, 2009

 

CALL TO ORDER

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, resigned

Steve Hauck,  Chair

 

 

Richard Billin

 

Council Liaison:  Carol Voisin

Nick Frost

 

 

Aaron Benjamin

 

Staff Present:: 

Regina Ayars

 

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Graham Lewis

 

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

 

 

 

Commissioners Absent:

 

 

Bill Smith, resigned

 

 

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Voisin/Ayars m/s to approve the minutes of the July 23, 2009 regular meeting.  Minutes were approved.

 

FAREWELL TO COMMISSIONER SMITH AND SOU LIAISON AMORATICO

Reid explained that Bill Smith accepted a job offer in the Midwest and Alexandra Amarotico has gone to Copenhagen to study business.  Smith’s position has been advertised.  Hauck read letters from Mayor Stromberg acknowledging both Smith’s and Amarotico’s service and the community’s appreciation for their outstanding contribution to the Housing Commission.  Neither Smith nor Amarotico were able to attend this evenings meeting and their certificates will be mailed to them. 

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Audience member Grace Weill introduced herself stating she may be interested in taking Amarotico’s place as a SOU liaison. 

 

REPORTS AND UPDATES

Subcommittee Report

Finance – Billin reported that the finance committee is in the process of finding a mechanism to finance the Housing     Trust Fund.  They have narrowed it down to three possibilities.

·         Transit Oriented Districts

·         Transfer development rights

·         Tax deductable donations 

 

                Education – None

 

                Land Use – None

               

Liaison Reports

Council – Voisin reported that the City is in somewhat of a water crisis which has required mandatory curtailment.    The City is now using TID (Talent Irrigation District) for drinking water and plan on continuing using it until October.   The City Council is working on the nudity Ordinance which states you cannot exhibit genitalia in the downtown area or parks.  They are considering expanding that to one thousand feet around all schools and areas where students walk to school. The Council will be meeting with the City Attorney on September 22, 2009 in an executive session to discuss what the liabilities are. The Council is also still dealing with the Riparian Ordinance.  Voisin reminded the Commissioners to go to the City website and fill out the goals, values and mission statement.

 

Parks – None

 

School Board – Frost commented they are mostly concerned at this time about getting Bellview School open on time.

 

Planning – Benjamin reported that after some heated discussion and comments by the community, SOU decided to put off its master plans until further meetings in October.  The Croman Site was discussed and some concern was shared that the current development of the site could divert resources from downtown. This may become an issue in the future.  There was a joint meeting with the Transportation Commission to discuss transportation issues at the Croman Site. 

 

SOU- Grace Weil, audience member, introduced herself again explaining she is a student working toward a Bachelor of Environmental Studies graduating in March with a Minor in Land Use Planning.  She works with the student life Department.  She would like to bring that student piece to the Housing Commission. 

 

Staff – There will be a public hearing at next month’s meeting for the CAPER report (Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report) for the CDBG program. This report reviews the past year’s allocation of funds and the progress that the City has made in meeting the goals identified in the 2005-2009 consolidated plan. It will be publicly noticed and the Housing Commission will need to make a motion to approve it before it can be sent to HUD. 

 

Reid is on a Steering committee for an upcoming foreclose event called HOPE (Home Owner Preservation Event) which will be held on October 17th at the SOU/RCC campus in Medford.  This will be an opportunity for people who are in the early stages of foreclosure or who are struggling to make their house payments to talk with a housing councilor or loan servicer about loan modifications. Jackson County has the second highest foreclosure rate in the State of Oregon and the City off Ashland has had over 100 foreclosures at this time.  Reid said they are looking for volunteers for this event.

 

Reid and Benjamin met with a gentleman from an organization called the Green Light Cooperative out of Portland.  They are interested in doing a Housing Cooperative for people 55 and older. A Housing Cooperative is where people buy shares at a prescribed amount which is 40 percent of the total value of the project. A loan is secured from the Federal Government for the remaining 60 percent.  To maintain the affordability over the life of the project the shares will be allowed to appreciate a maximum of 2 percent a year.  Benjamin said that considering the character of Ashland and the large amount of retirees who are conservative they may be reluctant to buy into a program like this. They discussed several sites that might be available; one possibility was on Lithia way downtown which is now used for the Saturday market.  Their plans include underground parking but because of the big box ordinance, they could not get the density or height needed to make the project financially viable.  Green light Cooperative was not necessarily proposing an affordable housing project.  They have a cooperative going in Portland right now and spoke about how cooperatives create a sense of community.

 

Croman Site Report - Lewis said the Committee met and discussed what the purpose of the committee would be, Lewis expects to have more information to report after the next meeting. The next meeting will be on September 9th.

 

Hauck said he has been attending the Transportation Commission meeting (TSP).  This Commission is going to be focusing on alternative transportations and how that interconnects with Housing patterns. 

 

VICE CHAIR ELECTION

Billin/Voisin m/s to nominate Graham Lewis for Vice Chair.  Voice Vote:  Passed.

 

HOMELESS LIAISON REPORT    

Frost and Lewis met and both agreed that there were several reasons to have a Homeless Liaison, though they may suggest changing that title.  They agreed that the liaison’s mission would be to report to the Commission on the effectiveness of the City’s assistance programs and to suggest new areas of studies for the Commission.  They would also inform the homeless populations about resources that are available in the community. 

 

Frost thought it would be a good idea for the Commission to choose the liaison rather then the mayor so that  the Housing Commission would be confident to have a good working relationship with whomever is chosen.   The liaison would be a non voting member, patterned after the SOU liaison. 

 

Lewis commented that through his work with the needy people in Ashland who belong to various “Communities he suggested that Vinny, an employee from the Peace House and manager of the food program offered at the Methodist Church on Tuesday nights would be a good choice.  Vinny exemplifies the type of person the Commissioners feel they should be looking for in a Homeless Liaison, somebody who has contact with many different elements of the needy community in Ashland.  Graham and Frost decided to come up with a position description, qualifications and bring it back to the commission at the next meeting. Put this on next month’s agenda.

 

FAIR HOUSING DISCUSSION

Reid gave an overview regarding some of the impediments and proposed solutions that were presented by the Fair Housing Council.

  • Impediment 1:  The Fair Housing Council of Oregon will be revisiting some of the demographics they used in the draft AI which was presented to the Housing Commission in June.  Multi-family properties may not be demographically correct.

 

  • Impediment IV:  Sales and rental advertisement that depict residents of only one race or ethnicity can send a message of who is and who is not welcome in the community.  A new book by Joe Peterson, the History Professor at SOU mentions that traditionally the City of Ashland has had a lot of issues with race.  Discussed taking a look at how friendly the City is to different ethnic and racial minority groups.  History to overcome.

 

  • Impediment VI:  the recommendation addresses a way to track rentals better in the City.  A rental registry was suggested. 

 

  • Impediment IX:  Talks about how the City could expand it’s commitment to Fair Housing and possible solutions.  It was mentioned that the Housing Commission should look at updating the City’s Fair Housing Ordinance to bring it in line with State and Federal Fair Housing laws.  Creating students as a protected class is on the Housing Commission’s list of goals..

 

  • The Fair Housing Council suggested having a local fair housing officer; the City could coordinate with other jurisdictions, like Medford, Jackson and Josephine Counties to pool resources to pay for a part time person. The City’s Ordinance states that the City Attorney is currently the local Fair Housing officer. 

 

  • Recommendation number 13 was to create a new brochure.  The City has a brochure on Fair Housing but it could definitely be updated.

 

Reid’s stated that being a community development entitlement program the City is required to take actions to affirmative further Fair Housing.  Some of the suggestions made by the Fair Housing Council are already being addressed by the Housing Commission.  Reid was directed to check with Louise Dix the Neighborhood Resource Coordinator with the City of Medford, if she can come to the September meeting to speak about the development and implementation of a Rental Registry program.

 

EXPIRING USE UNITS UPDATE

Reid explained that at the last meeting the Commissioners looked at a list of expiring units. The Commissioners wanted to explore what resources were available for protecting those units, keeping them from going out of affordability and options for funding their purchase.

 

Reid suggested taking a tour of the expiring use units.  It was suggested that citizens could be invited to take tour as well, a CDBG assisted property Home Tour could be part of this. This tour would be an opportunity to see your CDBG funds at work.  The Commission decided to take a tour in the fall in the early afternoon. It was suggested that the tour could take place during the first part of the October 22nd meeting, due to the shortening days it was decided that the Commission would meet at 4 pm instead of 4:30 so that the tour could take place while it was still light out.

 

The Commissioners would like to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Snowberry Park off of Clay Street.

 

Benjamin had an idea about encouraging expiring use coops as an option.  He suggested that the commissioners talk with local affordable housing developers such as ACLT.  Reid will email the list and address of the expiring units and when they are going to expire.

 

September 24,  2009 MEETING AGENDA ITEMS

Quorum check – Ayars will be gone.

For the Consolidated plan hold a separate forum discussion at a separate meeting – maybe use the Community Center. 

 

It was decided to cancel the November meeting as it falls on Thanksgiving.  It was also decided that the Commission would move the December meeting to the 17th and will meet at 4:00 so the meeting can be adjourned before 6:00.  It was suggested that the Consolidated Plan forum discussion meeting could be merged with the regular meeting on December 17th.   

 

Homeless Liaison position description outline

Louise Dix, rental registry

CDBG CAPER report Public Hearing

Transferable development credits - have Richard come and talk about that sometime in the future.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

                September 8, 2009 7PM City Council Meeting-HC Ordinance 1st reading

                September 22, 2009 7PM City Council Meeting-HC Ordinance 2nd reading

 

                Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

                4:30-6:30 PM; Thursday September 24th, 2009 Community Development Building

 

ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:08 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted by, Carolyn Schwendener

 

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