Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011



March 23, 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

Jody Waters

Mike Morris

Regina Ayars


Barb Barasa

Staff Present:

Ben Scott

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Richard Billin

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Nikki Pons




Commissioners Absent:


James Dills, excused





Billin/Scott m/s to approve the minutes of the February 23, 2011 regular Housing Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayars.  The minutes were approved as presented.



Sherry Smilo, who lives at the Tolman Creek Park, the manufactured home park located at 215 Tolman spoke.  Ms. Smilo shared her concerns regarding the proposed pathway from Clay Street to Tolman Creek Road. She does not want to see any new walking paths or Streets by their homes as it creates more noise, litter and light pollution. Ms. Smilo said the traffic is already overwhelming and the residents at the park do not need to deal with any more. Barasa suggested that Ms Smilo contact Jim Olson in the public works department to discuss any traffic studies that have been done. It might help her case if she had some data to support her claim.



Brandon Goldman, City of Ashland Senior Planner, explained the Transportation Growth Management (TMG) application.  At their March 1, 2011 meeting the City Council directed staff to prepare an application for the TGM program to fund the preparation of an area plan for the North Normal Avenue neighborhood.  Goldman has requested that the Housing Commissions sign a letter of support for the project that could be included with the Grant Application.  The Commissioners voted in favor of signing the letter. 



Public Service Applications

Children Advocacy Center – Mark Huddleston, District Attorney and Board Member with the Children’s Advocacy Center presented the proposal.  CAC has been providing services to youth and families in Jackson County since 1998. They serve over 800 youth per year. The requested funds in the amount of $30,000 will be used for staff members who provide direct vital services to victims of child abuse.   Project objectives for the Ashland residents include providing child and teen abuse services to 45 victims and at least 5 training and education outreach events to several groups to prevent abuse.  Mr. Huddleston said CAC appreciates any support that the Commission can offer and will proceed with their goals even if they are not awarded this grant.


Questions from Commissioners

Are your programs available in Ashland?

Yes.  CAC has been awarded a small grant through the City’s General Fund Social Service grant program.


Without these monies what will happen to your services being offered?

We have many fund raisers throughout the year including a Charity Ball that raises fifteen to twenty thousand.  We are always continuing to look for new sources of funding.


What is your total agency budget?

Total cost of the Social Service Proposals is $979,269


St. Vincent DePaul – Volunteers Rich Hanson and Charlotte Dorsey were present to review and answer questions about their application. St. Vincent DePaul has applied for funds in the amount of $30,000 to help low-income families achieve affordable housing and move toward economic self-sufficiency.  This grant specifically will help them defray the costs of rent and provide relief for people facing eviction notices.  The monies will be used by the volunteer staff which makes up the Ashland Home Visitation Teams which serves southern Jackson County primarily in Ashland and Talent.


St. Vincent DePaul received last year’s grant money and has already utilized that money assisting over 30 families totaling 84 individuals to either stay in their homes or move into affordable housing.  The grant money has allowed them to assist a family with rent for up to three months rather than once every twelve months as allowed through the St. Vincent regulations.


All funds received will go directly to helping the poor, they have no paid employees.  Mr. Hanson commented that as much as they need the grant money they also need volunteers.


Capital Improvement Applications

Access, Inc. – Merry Hart, Development Coordinator for Access, gave the presentation.  Access is requesting $166,000 for the acquisition and predevelopment of a deed restricted parcel of land off of Dollarhide to be developed as six units of affordable rental housing. It is anticipated that there would be three- one bedroom units, one- two bedroom unit and two- three bedroom units. Their target population will be those earning 50% to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and below with rents initially set at 50% (AMI). 


Questions from Commissioners


What will the money be used for?

Acquisition of the property itself as well as predevelopment fees such as building permits.


Will you need to go through a planning action?

Yes, this is expected to be accomplished later in the development process. An application was previously approved and we will need to be consistent with that approval.


System Development Charges will be waived though Engineering and Community Development fees will not.


The units could easily all be made into one bedroom units and meet the needs of the Community stated Pons.


Will there be services/a manager on site?



Will this project be feasible if you receive less money then you have requested?

The most important part is to be able to cover the cost of the land purchase and closing costs. 


Community Health Center – Peg Crowley, Executive Director of the Community Health Center gave the presentation.  The Community Health Center was founded in Ashland in 1972 by volunteers to promote the health of low-income, working uninsured and other vulnerable children and adults in Jackson County. The Center is asking for $14,900 to install ADA accessible automatic door systems for the Community Health Center’s Ashland clinic site.  The Center is located at 99 Central Ave.  There are an increasing number of people who need this assistance.  In recent years more previously homebound/mobility impaired people are getting out and about. 


Questions from the Commissioners


What will happen if you don’t receive the funds?

We will continue to search for other grant money.


How much General Fund social services grant money did you receive?



Ms. Crowley acknowledged the wonderful work that St. Vincent DePaul does in our community and commented “We would stand aside on this to give them the money”


Living Opportunities – No one was present to give a presentation.


Staff Recommendations – Reid did an evaluation of the five applications received to determine whether they meet the Federal CDBG regulations and address the priorities identified within the City of Ashland 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan.


Staff recommends that the Access, Inc proposal be funded in the amount of $163,142 and recommends that the St. Vincent DePaul-Home Visitation proposal be fully funded in the amount of $30,000. 


Staff’s motion:  To recommend funding the ACCESS, Inc – Hyde Park acquisition proposal $163,142 to purchase  property on Dollarhide on which to develop six units of affordable housing targeting families and individuals making 60% of the AMI or below for a period of not less than 60 years, and to fund the St. Vincent DePaul-Home Visitation Program for $30,000 to provide emergency rent and utility assistance to low-income populations in an effort to avoid homelessness.


The Commissioners discussed the recommendation. 


Waters/Billin m/s to accept the staff recommendation.  Voice Vote:  All ayes.  Motion passed unanimously. 


The motion will be forwarded to the City Council and final award will take place at the April 5th meeting.



Liaison Reports

Council – Morris said the Council approved raising the water and sewer rates.  Social Service grants were awarded. The Council is still working on the budget.



Parks – No report


School Board – No report


Planning – No report


Transportation – No report


SOU- Jordan Espinoza has applied to be on the Housing Commission as a student Liaison. Not sure if that appointment has happened yet.


Staff – Reid announced the date for Project Homeless Connect has been set for June 22 at the Medford Armory.  There are many volunteer opportunities as well as the need for donations.  La Clinica has already offered 40 dental appointments, Lunch will be served, a veterinarian, etc.  A flyer with details will be handed out in the near future.   



Approval of the draft Action Plan after the award is presented at Council

ACLT would like to speak at the next meeting regarding some organizational changes.    

Dills and Billin will get together to discuss ideas for the Housing Trust Fund and present at the May meeting.

Invite former chair of Medford Housing and Community Development Commission to discuss their proposals for funding an affordable housing trust fund.

A representative from the Southern Oregon Housing Resource Center will be there to discuss ideas for a foreclosure prevention event

An update and discussion on how the commission is addressing the five goals


This was Commissioner Pons last meeting as she will be returning to Oklahoma to look for work.  The Commissioners thanked her for her service and wished her well.


Quorum Check – Billin will be gone.  Billin would like his mail sent to his home address at 520 Dogwood Way.



Homeless Task Force Meeting – April 19, 2011: 10:30-12:00 Housing Authority Conference Room 2231, Table Rock Rd

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; April 27, 2011, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street


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


Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener




















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