Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting

Minutes
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION
 MINUTES
June 27, 2012
 
 
CALL TO ORDER
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 5:00 p.m.
Brett Ainsworth  
Barb Barasa Staff Present:
Evan Lasley Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Ben Scott Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
   
Commissioners Absent  
Richard Billin  
   
 
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Ainsworth/Lasley m/s to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2012 regular Housing Commission meeting. Voice Vote:  All Ayes minutes were approved as presented. 
 
NEW OFFICER ELECTION
The Commissioners reviewed the Ashland Municipal Code section 2.10.050, the Election of Officers, Secretary and Subcommittees.  It was determined that it was not necessary for the Commissioners to elect new officers at this time.  Ayars will remain the Chair and the Commission will discuss the election of new officers at the January 2013 meeting.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
James Dills, previous Housing Commissioner, who worked on a video discussing the Ashland Housing Trust Fund, was present to show his new edited version.  His video is currently on YouTube and he will send the link to Reid who will then find out if it’s possible to put the link on the City of Ashland website.  Dills showed his thirteen minute video to the Commissioners with the changes; more local pictures of affordable housing units, business and community activities within the City.  Dills used more descriptive words on the screen this time rather than just audio questions.  His hard work has been greatly appreciated.
 
FAIR HOUSING MATERIALS FOR NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION AND FAIR HOUISNG ORDINANCE UPDATE
Lasley will see to it that the educational packets containing Fair Housing information get distributed with the Student Orientation for SOU students.  The Commissioners discussed different events at the college that would be appropriate to distribute the fair housing information.  It was suggested to give the information to the Student Government at SOU who could distribute it when doing outreach.
 
Reid spoke with Diane Hess from the Fair Housing Council of Oregon who is putting together a job description for a new Fair Housing Outreach Coordinator for our area. Hess is hoping when she comes down in the Fall to do training she will be able to proceed with the interview process.  Reid will be on the interview panel for this new employee. The goal is to have the person hired by September.
 
Reid provided examples of information from the Fair Housing Council for college students.  The Commissioners discussed the different choices and decided that the one entitled “Important information for college Students” along with the Flow Chart would be the most appropriate.  Reid will see if she can get additional copies from the Fair Housing Council and then give them to Lasley who in turn can provide them to the Student Government at SOU.
 
Reid said the Fair Housing Ordinance Update is on the agenda for the City Council meeting on August 7, 2012. 
 
2012 GOAL REVIEW
The Commissioners reviewed and updated their goals.
  1. Education and Outreach – RVTV Project
In July this goal was accomplished though the Commission would like to see it continue.  Past Commissioner Dills finished the first educational video about the Housing Trust Fund.  Barasa will work on this in the future but she has some roadblocks, filming equipment, editing equipment, software.  It was suggested that the next topic be about what the Housing Commission does. They would like a more variety of interviews perhaps people on the street. It was suggested that one of the film classes at SOU might be interested in taking on this project. Put this on the August agenda. 
 
  1. Preservation of vulnerable properties – Have done everything they can do.
  1. Landlord Tenant Brochure – This was a project that Billin was working on.  Since Billin is gone this evening the Commissioners will check in with him next month to get an update.
  1. Housing Trust Fund Innovative Funding Source – Currently the Commission has no consistent revenue stream for the Housing Trust Fund.  Reid confirmed that the money from the sale of Chitwood property to the parks department did get transferred into the Housing Trust Fund account. ($125,000)  The Commissioners discussed the different sources of revenue that might be available for the Housing Trust Fund such as Business License renewal fee and the Transient Occupancy Tax.   Ainsworth is on the HTF subcommittee and will bring some ideas for revenue sources to the August meeting.
  1. Implement Action Plan steps based on the results of the Updated Housing Needs Analysis - Reid is almost finished with the Housing Needs Analysis Update.  After Bill Molnar does his final review the update goes to the Planning Commission  Study Session and then back to the Housing Commission for recommendations and then to a regular Planning Commission meeting and then on to City Council.  The initial draft should come back to the Housing Commission in July.  Should be to the Council by fall.
 
The Commissioners agreed they are still comfortable with these five goals and will continue working on them.
 
PRESERVATION PROPERTY UPDATE
Ayars gave an update after approaching the property owners of the Expiring Use Units in Ashland.  
  • Ashley Apartments, 245 Tolman Creek,
  • Ashley Senior, 2301 Siskiyou,
  • Sun Village, 721 N Main and
  • Donald E. Lewis Retirement Center, 500 YMCA Way.  
 
Ayars and Reid met with the owner of Sun Village who has owned that property for over thirty years.  The owner was quite clear that she is opting out of the program so sometime in 2013 the units will no longer be affordable. She is retiring and would like to sell the property.  The Housing Authority of Jackson County did approach her with an interest to purchase the property but they could not agree on a price.
 
 
Ayars spoke with Dena Smith, the Vice President of Housing for Pacific Retirement Service which is owned by the Rogue Valley Manor Housing Corporation.  They manage/own the Donald E Lewis retirement community located next to the YMCA.  Smith acknowledged that they are renewing the affordability annually.  Though they have no long term contract they have made an agreement to keep these units affordable for the next fifteen years. 
 
Ayars said that the Ashley Apartments as well as the Ashley Senior Units are owned by CBM which is located in Auburn California.  They are under a Rural Development Contract and after a certain period of time, twenty years, they have the option to sell.  If they choose to sell they go through a process of offering it to non profits for a certain period of time at which time Rural Development can come back and ask them to stay in the program and offer them some incentives to do that. 
 
JACKSON COUNTY HOMELESS COUNT OVERVIEW
Reid explained that this year’s data has been put in a different format making it difficult to compare to prior years. This data is available on the ACCESS website for anyone who would like to review it.  As in prior year’s one of highest reason for causes of homelessness is the lack of ability to afford the rent due to unemployment.  The largest age group experiencing homelessness is 24 to 44 years old. 
 
Reid is currently working on a power point presentation to present to different councils throughout the county.  The presentations will be done by the end of the year.  She also has a ten year plan brochure to distribute.  Reid reminded the Commissioners that a lot still needs to be done in regard to issue of chronic homelessness, mental health, drug addiction and health issues.  Agencies like Maslow, Community Works and ACCESS are not mental health providers or drug and alcohol councilors, they are emergency safety organizations.  One thing Reid noticed from the report was when the housing market crashed and the unemployment rate went up we saw people leaving their households due to domestic violence and alcohol abuse. There has been a huge increase of single parents with children. 
 
LIAISON REPORTS DISCUSSION
Council –No report
 
Staff – Reid reported that Project Community Connect served a total of 629 people which was more than in any prior years. The name was changed from Project Homeless Connect to Project Community Connect so that more families on the brink might attend. A survey of event participants looked at prior year attendance.  42% of participants said they had not attended, 15% said they had.  
 
On a positive note there were a lot of good interactions with vendors and service providers, many providers set up follow up appointments with event participants. There were a lot of dental extractions and department of human service appointments scheduled.  The purpose of the event is to get people connected to the services they need so they can get their life stabilized to move on to a better place in their life. 
 
 
JUNE 27TH, 2012 MEETING AGENDA ITEMS
Quorum check; everyone will be available for the meeting
 
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS
First Reading of the Fair Housing Ordinance, City Council-Aug 7th, 2012
 
Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting
July 25, 2012 4:30-6:30 PM
 
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener
 

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