Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011



May 25, 2011




Chair Regina Ayars called the meeting to order at 4:30 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:

Richard Billin

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

James Dills

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



Commissioners Absent:


Jody Waters


Ben Scott





No minutes to approve. The April 27, 2011 Regular Commission Meeting minutes will be put in next month’s packet.



No one spoke



One of Housing Commission’s Goals is the preservation of vulnerable properties. Reid discussed some of the funding mechanisms used to preserve affordable housing. There is quite a variety of loan programs and grants.


Financing-Multifamily Loan Programs

  • Elderly & Disable Loan Program
  • Loan Guarantee Program and General (Lease) Guarantee Program
  • Pass-Through Revenue Bond Financing Program (Conduit)
  • Predevelopment Loan Program and Habitat Predevelopment Loan Program
  • Risk Sharing Loan Program
  • Housing Preservation Community Inventive Fund
  • Grants and Tax Credits


Both Rural Development and The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offer loans with an agreement to have twenty or thirty years of affordability. Rural Development offers several different financing programs for developers providing affordable housing including Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants, Section 514m 515 and 516 Multi-family Housing Revitalization Demonstration Program loans specifically for the preservation of affordable rental projects.  HUD offers several different financing programs for developers providing affordable housing.  Private Developers could get a loan from HUD or Rural Development in return the developer signed a contract to maintain as them as affordable for a period of twenty or thirty years. There are two types of affordable housing projects, subsidized projects which are essentially units subsidized similar to the section eight program.  These subsidies are also known as project based vouchers.  The person living in that unit can only pay rent and utilities for what they can afford and HUD says that is thirty percent of their income.  The owners and investors are offered the opportunity to renew the contract. The last person to live in the unit receives a transferable (portable) voucher.


Unit built utilizing Rural Development loans.  These loans have different rules then the HUD financed units.  They have a 20 year period of affordability and a long waiting period before owner can offer it on the open market. An example of this is the Stratford Apartments on Clay Street.  It did get purchased by a developer of affordable housing and will remain affordable.


The Commissioners received a list of Expiring Use/Preservation Units from Reid. They discussed what they could do to help see that these units would not go away. There might be an opportunity to use the Housing Trust Fund to assist with the preservation of these units. Energy tax credits are also available. Barasa is interested in putting together a notice for the affordable housing providers and property owners outlining the monies that could be available, City, State and Federal programs.  Barasa will draft a letter and bring it back to next month’s meeting for review.


The Commissioners would like a field trip of vulnerable properties and discussed the possibility of inviting the Community to join them. Education of the public is important though not a Housing Commission goal at this time.  Put on next month’s Agenda the possibility of a television program showing the affordable housing units in Ashland as well as an open discussion.



Reid gave an update on the Rental Registry which is the Housing Commission Goal #1. Reid spoke with Bill Molnar, Community Development Director, and was given the go ahead to work on this project by June 1, 2011. The Council approved the Rental Registry fee change but not the part of the ordinance that pertained to the rental registry of properties with four or more units. The Commission was hoping to get data on unit size, bedrooms, etc. That information is not being taken at this time.  It has gone back to legal. We may look into a separate ordinance possibly with the fire department, stated Reid.


Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner with the City, will come to next month’s meeting and give an update on the Clay Street property and plans that the City might have.  



The Commissioners reviewed the memo Reid had prepared for the City Council regarding the membership number change from nine to seven voting members.  The Commissioners agreed to send the memo to City Council.



The Commissioners, wanting to be respectful of Reid’s time, asked if administratively she could handle awarding three applicants CDBG funds in a given year rather than two.   Reid acknowledged that she did not think it would be an issue and it would at least allow for that option if the opportunity arose. 



Dills acknowledged that it is important to determine the scope of how the funds can be used and have clearly defined achievable goals before presenting funding options to the City Council. Both he and Billin agreed that they would like a variety of sources rather than just one or two. Billin commented that it’s important to find a way of funding that is inoffensive and is not going to create a lot of opposition.  A fee could be tacked on to any renewable permit, such as backflow or fences.  Punitive fees for weed abatement or even a portion of hotel motel tax was suggested.  Billin reminded the commissioners that a good source of funding should relate to Housing in some way.


Ayars put forward the idea that the Housing Trust Fund could get a portion of any business license for rentals.  The Commissioners will discuss this topic again at next month’s meeting. 




Liaison Reports

Council – No report


Parks – No report


School Board – No report


Planning – Pons watched the Planning Commission meeting and said they were reviewing the Chitwood Affordable Housing project.  There is a discrepancy over the on street parking and the Commission has postponed the meeting until next month. 


Transportation – No report


SOU- Dills said he and Nick O’Neill were excited about the student that had previously showed an interest in becoming the SOU liaison though since he hasn’t showed up yet they are no longer counting on him.  Dills asked Nick to keep him updated of any future prospects.  They will be looking for someone who sees this Commission as part of their career path.  Perhaps someone in City government, Political Science or a City Planner.  Probably won’t find anybody until Fall.


Staff – Reid announced that Project Homeless Connect will be on June 22, 2011 at the Medford Armory from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 




Quorum Check – Ayars will be absent so Billin will be Chair at next month’s meeting. 



Homeless Task Force Meeting – June 21, 2011: 10:30-12:00 Housing Authority Conference Room 2231, Table Rock Rd, Medford


Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

4:30-6:30 PM; June 22, 2011, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street


ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener


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