ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION
APRIL 28, 1999
Call to Order - Vice Chair Jan Vaughn opened the meeting at 4:20 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Joe McKeever, Gerry Sea, Joan Legg, Steve Hauck, Carlus Harris and Sondra Nolan. Absent were Larry Medinger and Madeline Hill. Staff present were Bill Molnar and Sue Yates.
Announcements - There will be an open house from 3 to 5:00 p.m. at Hillah Temple April 29, 1999 to honor the various city commissions. The purpose is to recognize the volunteer efforts of these commissioners.
July 20th the Housing Commission presents to the Council the items they have been working on.
Guest Speaker - Molnar introduced Brandon Goldman, Assistant Planner, who has done a buildable lands inventory and will be presenting his findings to the commission today. It is good for the Housing Commission to be updated in this process because ultimately this will be coming back to them in updating the Housing Element. Goldman gave a very informative presentation describing all the land classifications with several maps and graphs.
Sea took over from Vaughn to continue chairing the meeting.
Community Land Trust
Sea gave an update from the Transition Committee. She has a written summary that will be mailed out.
Sea reported that the Ashland Community Land Trust, will be a non-profit organization for the purpose of increasing affordable housing in Ashland. Subsequently, there have been discussions about whether or not there is another Ashland Community Land Trust. There will be some research done.
There will be general members who will vote and supporting members who are non-voting. Board members will be elected by the membership.
They are working on by-laws.
The proposal at this point, is that there will be nine board members with three categories: land trust leaseholder representatives nominated by the leaseholders, and initially they will look at prospective leaseholders. Other general member representatives will be nominated by other members. Lastly, there will be public members, such as those from other cities, different agencies, or other interest groups.
Decisions the membership make as opposed to the board are:
Sale of the land
Resale formula changes
Dissolving the land trust
The trust could have an expert panel or advisory board consisting of people who are experts in housing or land use planning to augment what the board does.
The interim steps discussed were: the commitment to work with ACCESS. They began with a committee. The Transition Committee consists of: Gerry Sea, Carlus Harris, Madeline Hill, Joe McKeever, Cindy Dyer, and Bill Molnar. The initial plan is to appoint themselves as the board. The board will be staggered in their membership. The Transition Committee will work on organization of the land trust, goals, technicalities of the trust, the non-profit organization and land procurement. The committee will also decide issues that the Housing Commission wants input on during the development of the land trust and bring them to the Commission.
The role of the Housing Commission. At the meeting with Jeff Yegian, they talked about doing advocacy pieces with the City regarding affordable housing guidelines, city regulations, education within the City of Ashland. Some of the advocacy issues may come from the Transition Committee, some from the City and some from the Commission. The Commission will also be brought recommendations from the Transition Committee to make decisions on.
The goal for the first stage of the trust, providing they get the Community Development Block Grant, is to develop at least two homes using these funds. They looked at a time frame and hoped the money would be in place by July if they go with Chautauqua Trace. Families to be identified by early fall and families to move in during October.
What decisions need to be made with regard to development of the land trust? Identify some of the issues they need to make decisions on and clarifying which entity, ACCESS or the Housing Commission, will have authority to make decisions.
1) Property - negotiating for a purchase price. The decision will be made by ACCESS utilizing the Commission members expertise.
2) The subsidy policy - ACCESS decides (median income). Sometimes the trust will not provide the full dollar amount of the land.
3) Who is eligible to purchase? ACCESS will set up and decide and then send to the Housing Commission.
4) What do we require of a participant? ACCESS will develop a concept and bring it to the Housing Commission to approve.
5) Publicity and outreach - ACCESS will develop publicity and outreach.
6) Official spokesperson for the land trust. Sea as the Chair, Harris from ACCESS, and Molnar.
7) Communication with the Council and Mayor - Housing Commission
Reports from the Transition Committee will be included in every Housing Commission meeting.
Sea said there was another meeting too. McKeever reported on the meeting of April 21, 1999. Harris updated everyone on the Minnesota conference on Community Land Trust.
Harris said when you are developing a land trust, you feel like you are all by yourself. There were people from all over the United States with a number of land trusts in the west where those from the western states decided to stay in close contact with each other and share Jeff Yegian's abilities. Ashland may have to host the Western Land Trust Conference at some point. He invited anyone interested to the conference in August in Seattle. They were able to talk about the problems each of them were coming up against. There were interesting workshops. Some places have had land trusts in place for 20 to 25 years.
McKeever said they also had an update on the property tax regarding keeping it to the purchase price. Harris said there is a fight to change the ORS code with regard to taxation. They seem to be moving positively in the right direction. They are trying to accomplish two things. First, they are trying to solidify the difference between taxing the land itself and the improvements so that people who buy in only have to pay taxes on the improvements. The most difficult part is trying to get assessors to understand and pass legislation that says people only have to pay taxes on the value. The assessors would take note of the formula.
McKeever said they are looking for a lender to serve on the transitional committee. Harris said Mack Ransom, Klamath First Federal, has volunteered to participate. There is a potential buyer who is a long-time Ashland resident who is excited about being a part of the land trust.
Harris said they have taken a list of all those who have applied for affordable housing program and those who have attended the home ownership education program and sent them a questionnaire to see if they would be interested in being part of the focal group they are hoping to put together. Once the transition committee comes up with a lease and the bylaws that they feel will meet the needs of land trust, then they hope to bring in the focal group (potential buyers) and get their input as potential homeowners. There is an opportunity in the beginning to set up a resale formula that actually reflects what our long-term goals are.
McKeever said the bylaws were pretty much boiler plate. They agreed it would be a fiscal year CLT. The meetings will begin in May which will be a year from next month. They agreed on $10 annual supporting membership fee. The $10 fee might cover the cost of a newsletter. The next meeting of the Transition Committee will be May 3, 1999 and the discussion will be about the resale formula.
McKeever said some other things to be worked out are pre-qualifying, minimum down payments, choose a lender, etc.
Molnar said the Commission would be working on advocacy, community outreach and education, and possible code changes. These items can be talked about next month. Hauck wondered about the possible code changes. Molnar said there has been some discussion about amending the current density bonus provision. Possibly a donation of land could be made. They have to figure out a formula. Hauck said he would be willing to work on code changes.
Hauck said the Council adopted the strategic plan for the city and under housing, the establishment of a land trust was part of that strategic plan.
Other - An audience participate said Eugene would have an idea on how to structure the land trust.
Hauck said the Parks Commission and Council have just bought a piece of property for Parks on North Main and they have a couple of houses on them. They are going to partition off the houses and Hauck will see if the money from the sale is essential or could it be donated to the land trust.
Legg said there is a conference in Portland on St. Anthony's Village, senior housing, on June 14th. It is free and she would be willing to make reservations for anyone interested in going.
Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.