Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012
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
Regina Ayars Carol Voisin, arrived at 4:40
Brett Ainsworth  
Barb Barasa Staff Present:
Evan Lasley Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
James Dills Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
Richard Billin  
Commissioners Absent  
Ben Scott  
Ainsworth/Billin m/s to approve the minutes of the March 28, 2012 regular Housing Commission meeting. Voice Vote:  All Ayes minutes were approved as presented. 
No public comments were made.
Evan Lasley introduced himself acknowledging that he is looking forward to working with the Commission.  Lasley is trying to recruit a SOU student to become the student liaison on the Commission.  Because spring is such a busy time for students it’s probably going to be fall before anyone is interested.
Barasa reported that she and Melanie Mindlin will be speaking at Pat Acklins’ Planning Issues class at the college. As part of their class project the students will be breaking into two groups.  One group will be studying housing first and the other group the land use code and manufactured housing.  They would like to present their findings to the Housing Commission at the May 23rd meeting.  Bryan Cole, SOU student and City intern, would also like to do a presentation at that time discussing his results from the recent questionnaire to property owners and managers. 
Maria Harris, City Long Rang Planner, would like to be on the May agenda to talk about the Unified Land Use Code project. 
The Commissioners reviewed the report that Reid will be submitting to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This document, the CDBG Action Plan for Program Year 2012 describes the projects that the City will undertake and the manner in which the projects are consistent with the priorities of the Five-Year Consolidated PlanThe document includes a table summarizing the projects to be funded by CDBG dollars in Program Year 2012.
Reid explained the timeline that the Ashland Emergency Food Bank has proposed for raising funds for the purchasing of the building they currently lease. They will need to raise $475,000 by July of 2013.  They asked the City for $130,000 but were awarded $87,000 leaving them $50,000 shorter then they had anticipated. Their time line includes grant applications for some small foundation grants plus a large capital campaign. One of the reasons staff recommended funding this project with a reservation letter was because they did not foresee it would go through before the next funding cycle.  The new RFP for CDBG goes out next January allowing them to come back at that time and apply for the remaining $50,000. Their lease is good through August of 2013 and their intent is to wait until then to complete the purchase. AEFB would have liked a building which was more centrally located in the community though their current location meets their needs.  If something else becomes available in the future that is more appropriate they would be allowed to sell the current building to purchase another one. 
Reid commented that she might not have clarified to City Council that the policy to award only two projects in any given cycle is a City set policy not a HUD regulation.  HUD does not regulate the amount or the number of awards you make in a given year.
The Commissioners discussed the possibility of an ordinance that says a property owner could not build a single family home in a multi family zone.  Snowberry, located on Clay Street, is the only multifamily complex that has been built in the last 20 years in Ashland.  The Commissioners would like to look at ways to encourage and incentives’ property owners in multifamily zones. Reid suggested that Brandon Goldman attend a future meeting and discuss Land Use Codes and what options might be available.
Billin/Dills m/s to approve the Action Plan.  Voice Vote; All ayes, motion passed unanimously.
Barasa presented her rough draft letter to HUD and RD Expiring Use Property owners.  Currently there are six owners on the expiring use list.
Reid said most of the incentives that would be available to the property owners are going to be offered through HUD or Rural Development loans. Oregon Housing and Community Services also have a preservation program.  As a City we can offer either CDBG money and/or Housing Trust Fund money, stated Reid.
It was suggested to get some background information on these property owners before talking with them as it’s important to understand their position.  Ayars and Scott would like to meet with these people individually.   Reid suggested talking to Karen Chase from Oregon Housing to find out what incentives they are offering as well as Jay Delap from the Rural Development office in Medford.  Ayars is planning on mailing the letter before the next commission meeting on the 23rd and will give an update at that meeting.
Dills showed the video he put together discussing local housing issues.  He started the video off with some background information about himself followed by an interview with City Senior Planner Brandon Goldman.  The main focus of the video was the Housing Trust Fund and looking for funding ideas.  The video is approximately thirteen minutes long and RVTV will cycle it through whenever it is appropriate. 
The Commissioners thanked Dills for the wonderful job he did realizing the effort he put into it. The Commissioners made some suggestions for Dills to help with his editing.  It was suggested to show some shots of affordable housing units in Ashland and Goldman could be used as a voice over.  Dills did question the privacy issues regarding the people who live in the units.  It might be a good idea to show Snowberry since it’s a larger complex with many occupants.  Reid has a lot of pictures of affordable units and will send them to Dills. 
Dills commented he has endless enthusiasm, endless ideas and is passionate about this project; it’s the time he is lacking.  This is the last meeting for Dills as a commissioner though he is willing to help with this project if others on the Commission take on the responsibility.   
Council – Voisin reported that the Council approved the CDBG award recommendations. They decided to continue their last year’s goals to this year.  Clay Street property will be looked at again in the fall.
Quorum check; everyone will be here.  This was Dills last meeting.  The Commissioners acknowledged they have appreciated him and will him.  Reid will speak with City Recorder, Barbara Christensen, to be sure she has posted the Commission vacancy.
Homeless Task Force Meeting-May 15th, 2012:  10:30-12:00 Housing Authority Conference Room, 2231 Table Rock Road, Medford
Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting
May 24, 2012 4:30-6:30 PM
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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