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Housing Commission (View All)

Minutes

Minutes
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION

MINUTES

April 27, 2011

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Regina Ayars called the meeting to order at 4:32 p.m. at the Council Chambers located at 1175 East Main St. Ashland, OR  97520.

Commissioners Present:

Council Liaison

Nikki Pons

Mike Morris

Regina Ayars

 

Barb Barasa

Staff Present:

Ben Scott

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

James Dills

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Commissioners Absent:

 

Jody Waters, excused

 

Richard Billin, excused

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Dills/Pons m/s to approve the minutes of the March 23, 2011 regular Housing Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  The minutes from the March 23, 2011 meeting were approved as presented.

 

PUBLIC FORUM

No one spoke

 

At the last Housing Commission meeting Pons reported that she would be leaving town and will be resigning from the Commission.  Her plans have since changed and she is not leaving town at this time and has decided to remain on the Commission.  She did not submit a letter of resignation.  

 

The Commissioners discussed the idea of reducing the required amount of members on the Commission from nine to seven. Morris said the Planning Commission is also discussing the idea of reducing their members to seven from nine. 

 

Barasa/Scott m/s that we ask City Council to reduce the number of voting members from nine to seven. Morris will move the motion forward to the Council and bring back the decision to next month’s meeting.

 

ASHLAND COMMUNITY LAND T-UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES

Krista Bolf, Board member of ACLT spoke.  Bolf explained that the Land Trust was originally formed almost fifteen years ago as a collaboration between the Housing Commission, the City of Ashland and ACCESS, Inc. with a mission to provide affordable housing in the City of Ashland.  The concept of the Land Trust was that the land remains in a trust so that upon resale the entity; (ACLT) would keep the land affordable by having the right of first refusal and basically the controller of the land. ACLT does this on behalf of the City of Ashland as almost all of the funding has been provided through CDBG funds. 

 

ACLT has been able to do the projects using volunteer Board members rather than paid staff. It is becoming more and more difficult for the volunteers to maintain the work that needs to be done as well as doing their real jobs.  Krista presented the idea to the Commission of doing a merger or changing their status. ACLT is considering merging with another non-profit housing organization, most likely ACCESS or possibly Groundwork’s.  Krista said they welcome ideas and suggestion from the Commissioners. 

 

Steve Ennis, Board member of ACLT gave an overview of their properties.  Currently ACLT has sixteen different units with two more under construction for a total of thirty-eight occupants, six land leases and ten rentals. The rentals vary in rent from $350 to $620.  All tenants or lease holders fall within the fifty to sixty percent AMI range. ACCESS manages most of the ACLT properties at this time. 

 

Mr. Ennis acknowledged that the Bridge Street property (410 & 412 Bridge) is coming along quite nicely and is scheduled to occupy by June of this year. Currently the project was designed for rentals but in the long term might be for sale. 

 

SOUTHERN OREGON HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER-OVERVIEW

Karen Cooper, Housing Resource Specialist with ACCESS Inc and Kari Davis from Rogue Federal Credit Union KDRV and the Home Builders Association were present to discuss their programs and their resources for Foreclosure Prevention.  ACCESS has been the Community Action Agency for Southern Oregon since 1976 and the HUD certified Housing Counseling Agency since 1991.  They are the resource for Foreclosure Prevention. 

 

ACCESS has served thirty-five home owners last year and expects to exceed those numbers this year. Examples of assistance are; Loan modifications, special forbearance, repayment agreements, short sales, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and foreclosure timelines.  ACCESS has affordable rentals available for those who might need another place to live.  ACCESS served six hundred and twenty-one home owners in their Housing Resource Center. They are seeing an increase in Ashland residence seeking their help.

 

In 2009 RVCU partnered with KDRV and Jackson County Home Builders Association to form a program called Building Hope.  Since the program began they have had over 3200 people attend their classes.  Three classes are offered.

1.     Crisis Budgeting

2.     Modification process, updates regarding new laws and resources

3.     Attorney, John Hanson, discusses the foreclosure process, home owner rights, what to watch out for, how to avoid scams, options, short sales, bankruptcy.  It becomes like a town Hall meeting with questions for free legal advice.

 

The Commissioners would like to be able to offer these classes locally for Ashland residents.  What would be needed is a venue in order to have them. 

 

COMMUNITY AND SHELTER ASSISTANCE CORPORATION MEETING-OVERVIEW

Commissioner Barasa gave a short update regarding her past presentation on Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Parks.  Barasa’s vision is that individual people could use manufactured housing for cheaper housing by putting the homes on their own lots or build a land trust model where an agency would own the land and lease the land at a reduced amount. 

 

In her exploration of what was available Barasa found two options ROC USA, (Residential Owned Communities) and CASA (Community and Shelter Assistance Organization).  Barasa met with the executive director of CASA, Peter Hainley.  Hainley directed her to two promotional videos.  Barasa showed one of the videos to the Commissioners explaining their program. 

Barasa had three suggested goals for the Commissioners

  1. Include language in the Comprehensive Plan stating that preservation of manufactured housing is a priority.
  2. Find out how the City can facilitate conversion of existing parks to ROC when possible
  3. Review and possibly change LUO for manufactured housing.

 

Reid acknowledged that at the regular planning staff meeting inconsistencies found throughout the land use code and specifically the Manufactured Home sections were discussed.    Reid will find out when those updates will be completed.

 

ACTION PLAN REVIEW AND APPROVAL

The City of Ashland is an entitlement community under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) CDBG Program.   Reid reported that for the 2011 program year the City has received notification from HUD that it anticipates a funding reduction to the CDBG program of approximately 16.5%.  The Housing Commission is charged to hold this public hearing to take comments regarding the use of CDBG funds and to make a recommendation regarding the 2011 Action Plan for the use of CDBG funds in order to fulfill the HUD requirements for public participation and review.

 

No public input was given. 

 

Dills/Scott m/s to approve the motion suggested by staff. “To approve the 2011 CDBG Action Plan with grant awards as presented with the understanding that final awards may be modified to reflect an anticipated 16.5% reduction in 2011-2012 CDBG program funding as presented in the memo dated 4/26/2011 or in accordance with the final funding amount from HUD.”  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  Motion passed. 

 

HOUSING COMMISSION GOAL REVIEW AND DISCUSSION

  1. Evaluate Housing/Demographic mix to better promote needed housing types that match the demographics of the Ashland community.    Pons will work with Reid on an Ad-Hoc committee to address this goal. 

Reid said that the rental registry and ordinance has gone forward as part of the business license registry.

 

  1. Preservation of vulnerable properties.  Last year the Commissioners took a tour of the properties.  Reid will update the list of vulnerable properties and bring it back to next month’s meeting.  

 

  1. Clay Street – remaining acre developed as workforce housing. The City Planning Department will be coming presenting option to the Council.   Reid will send out an email to the Housing Commissioners with an update of what the options are.  Ayars is interested in following through with this goal.

 

  1. Foreclosure Prevention – Put together an informational brochure of resources for homeowners facing foreclosure.  Provide education and outreach to homeowners facing foreclosure to insure that they are able to maintain stable housing options.  It was suggested to host a presentation by Karen Cooper and Kari Davis the two ladies in Ashland to share with the public the information that they provided for the Commissioners.  Perhaps at the Library.  Reid will find out when they will be available.  Maybe two separate times to meet everyone’s schedule. 

 

  1. Identify a permanent funding source for the Housing Trust Fund. Dills and Billin are working on this goal.      They will have an update at next month’s meeting.  The Commissioners have agreed to have a Request For Proposal in the CDBG cycle next year.  Funds would be awarded in the Spring.

 

REPORTS AND UPDATES

Liaison Reports

Council – Morris reported that at last month’s Council meeting the Councilors discussed the property at Bud’s Dairy off of Dollarhide.  The Councilors concern was that the property can only be used for affordable housing so why was it so expensive?  Wondered if the price had been negotiated at all.

 

Parks – No report

School Board – No report

Planning – No report

Transportation – Ayars attended the Transportation commission meeting though nothing on their agenda was related to housing.  Their main topic was about the upcoming North Main Road Diet.

SOU- No report

Staff – No report

 

MAY 25, 2011 MEETING AGENDA ITEMS

Quorum Check – everyone will be here. 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

Homeless Task Force Meeting – May 17, 2011: 10:30-12:00 Housing Authority Conference Room 2231, Table Rock Rd, Medford

City Council Meeting (ad-hoc Committee appointment & final grant awards)-April 5, 2011: 7:00 PM Council Chambers

 

Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

4:30-6:30 PM; May 25, 2011, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

 

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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