ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION
JANUARY 24, 2001
CALL TO ORDER – The meeting was called to order by Chair Larry Medinger at 4:15 p.m.. Other Commissioners present were Joan Legg, Nancy Richardson and Madeline Hill. Joe McKeever arrived at 4:30 p.m. Carlus Harris, Jan Vaughn and Cate Hartzell were absent. Staff present were Bill Molnar and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES – The Minutes of the December 27, 2001 were approved.
CAROLINE RUCK, representing Youth Focus, explained that their group is trying to help displaced youth. They are a corporation and have their non-profit status. They want to provide a shelter for displaced youth. They have met with other agencies. They are coming to the Housing Commission to find out how they can fit into the community. They have done just a little research on sites for a shelter.
SUSIE AUFDERHIDE wondered if this group was going to talk about CDGB funding. Molnar said Saturday at the retreat they will be hearing from groups but would not be discussing funding for those groups.
Legg announced at 6:30 p.m. this evening there is a meeting of concerned citizens of the trailer park on Ashland Street to be held at the Presbyterian Church.
Aufderhide noted that she was quite concerned about the displacement of trailer owners.
ASHLAND COMMUNITY LAND TRUST – REQUEST FOR FUNDING
Molnar said the Land Trust has a lot of things in the hopper right now and the biggest impediment is the fact that the Land Trust is made up volunteers who have limited time. He is asking the Housing Commission for their support to favorably recommend some sources of money be allocated from the Housing Trust Fund or any other funds for a potential part-time staff person for the ACLT to fund raise and do other administrative duties connected with some of the projects going on. Molnar thought there was about $50,000 in the Housing Trust Fund. Medinger asked for an exact figure. Hill would like to know how the money has been spent. Legg would like to discuss this on Saturday with regard to staffing. Are we talking about staff for the Land Trust or staff for the Housing Commission?
OVERVIEW OF CITY ASHLAND HOUSING POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
Molnar wanted to give some background to the Commissioners so they would be prepared for Saturday’s retreat. The Housing Commission deals with Goal 10 of the Statewide Housing Goals. Implementation of housing goals occur through Ashland’s Land Use Ordinances, the 1990 Affordable Housing Plan and Consolidated Plan. He explained priorities and some initial successes.
McKeever asked about vacant lots in Ashland. Molnar said it is mapped and we could tally the lots. Staff concluded there was an adequate supply to accommodate the housing needs for the next 20 years. The Council, at that time, did not recommend any changes to the Urban Growth Boundary.
Medinger interjected that when you force the working class down the valley you create an extraordinary transportation problem. He’s guessing there are about 5,000 people driving into town each day to work. You just can’t have a city of people making $40,000 a year or more.
Molnar said maybe there is a way to get funds for public improvements or transportation and then those funds could be used for housing. McKeever said one of the restaurant owners has taken an interest in housing for his employees because many of his employees are moving out of town.
Green wants to make sure we have the agenda times agreed upon. Her suggestion to Hartzell is that they reserve time for themselves until 2:30 in the afternoon and any guests can come in the afternoon to review their work. Everyone was agreeable. Her expectation is they are doing a quick strategic planning which will be a broad goal setting with an action plan. How do the Commissioners see themselves using that time?
Legg said she would like to look at past things they have done. And, set broad goals and look at how they see affordable housing. She would like to discuss staffing because she believes that affects their future. She would like an outline of action plans. Who will be following up?
Richardson hoped they would come away with some pretty concrete goals for the next five years and statistics they can take to the City Council. They need to focus on what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.
Hill wanted to talk to someone on Friday about logistics. She would like concrete action goals with assignments for members and dates.
McKeever believes the last two years have been devoted to the Land Trust and the Commission has not taken on any other challenges. He is a Land Trust member and Commissioner. They need an income stream for affordable housing. He wants to nail some things down with our ordinances with regard to affordable housing. He would like much more public information disseminated—a steady stream through some media form. He would like to see what could be done about getting a vacant property inventory. He is trying to get owners of vacant property for the Land Trust. If the Land Trust can get their name out there, they can pay the same as a buyer. They could get first right of refusal.
Hill said they are looking at large landowners who wish to donate land to the Land Trust. She does not believe they have even touched the donation market at all.
Medinger wants to know what is happening this next year. He would like to have a plan that hits that hard and goes forward and involves Council action and support of their goals and objectives.
Hill believes affordable housing has never been as hot as it has been now.
Molnar believes one of the biggest benefits is to take each broad goal and break it down into actions so at upcoming meetings there are subcommittees that can meet and work at getting things done. He wants to have real specific items.
Green explained they want to have their goals and action plan in place before the guests arrive. If the guests are coming in to work with a common goal, that could be effective, but if they are coming with their own agenda, that would be different.
Molnar suggested the guests could be there to offer suggestions to the action plan rather than bringing up new goals.
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.