Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Meeting

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
February 27, 2014
City of Ashland Housing Specialist Linda Reid called the meeting to order at 4:30 in the Siskiyou Room located in the Community Development and Engineering Department at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland Oregon. 
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Regina Ayars Pam Marsh, absent
Heidi Parker  
Connie Saldana SOU Liaison
Michael Gutman Andrew Ennslin
Joshua Boettiger Christy Wright
Rich Rohde Staff Present:
Coriann Matthews Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Sue Crader Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
Gina DuQuenne  
Approval of Minutes
Parker/Gutman m/s to approve the minutes of the January 23, 2014 Housing and Human Services Commission with corrections.   Voice Vote:  All Ayes; minutes were approved as amended. 
No one was present to speak
Reid mentioned that the City Recorder, Barbara Christianson and the City Attorney, Dave Lohman will come and speak at the May Commission meeting. They will discuss the rules and regulations governing Commissions and Committees within the City.                                                                                                                       
In April of each year all the City Commissions elect new officers for the coming year.  After a discussion the Commissioners choose to elect officers that would be in their position for the entire year rather than having another election in April. 
Parker/DuQuenne m/s to nominate Boettiger for Chair and Mathews for Vice Chair.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes; motion passed unanimously. 
Parker, Saldana and Crader met together to review and compile a Social Service inventory for the City of Ashland. The plan is to help the Council have a resource overview of the services that are offered in Ashland. Parker and Crader put together a spreadsheet identifying all the various agencies. One of the gaps they noticed was the lack of help for Veterans. Ayars acknowledged that the new Resource Center in Ashland, located at 560 Clover, is now providing services for Veterans. The Community Resource Center at SOU also offers help for Veterans added Ennslin.
The Commissioners agreed that affordable housing is an important piece of this inventory list but not sure how much information would be helpful.  At this stage a list of housing providers identifying the gaps in the different types of housing would appear to be most helpful.   
This is a work in progress and Parker is still compiling information and working on it.  She and Crader would appreciate feedback from the other Commissioners.
The subcommittee of Reid, Rohde and Ayars met and came up with a proposed timeline.   The goal is to have a
completed adopted strategic plan by November of 2014. 
Reid explained the difference between the Consolidated Plan and the Strategic Plan.  The Strategic Plan is the way to govern the use of Social Service Grant funds.  The Consolidated Plan only governs the use of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money.   The strategic plan is general fund money and under the purview of the Council and the Budget Committee.  CDBG money is under the direction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Rhode/Saldana m/s to adopt the proposed time line with the recommendation to stay attuned to its fast moving schedule. Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed unanimously. 
A survey was put together asking students what issues they encountered when applying for housing within the City of Ashland.  After the survey was compiled it was launched via student email.  Approximately 201 responses were given. Wright highlighted some of the results from the survey. Most of those who responded were in the age category of 21 to 25.  67% of those responding said they believed they had been denied housing because they were a student. 91% of those who responded said they would support making students a protected class in Ashland. 
The students are scheduling a public forum for Fair Housing on Tuesday March 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the Student Union on campus. The plan is to invite City Council members, landlords, students, Louise Dix from the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, and any interested community members.  The goal is to bring this forward to the Council at their March 18, 2014 meeting.  
It was suggested to offer Good Tenant Classes to students.  Reid suggested checking with ACCESS who offers a Ready to rent program and see if they would be willing to do an on campus Ready to rent program. 
Council – Marsh was not present. Reid announced that the Council is starting their goal setting process on March 8th.  The Councilors will be coming to the Commissions to get suggestions and feedback. 
Staff – Reid explained that the Normal Avenue Plan went to the Housing Commission sometime last year. The Normal Plan is a long range master plan for the future development of a 94 acre parcel in the Urban Growth Boundary located at the north end of town.  The master plan will go to the Planning Commission for a public hearing on Tuesday March 11, 2014.  As a Commission the affordable housing piece would be of interest to this Commission. It was suggested to put this topic on the next agenda to discuss how it fits into the Commissions goals with the affordable housing component. 
General Announcements – Ayars gave an update on the Ashland Community Resource Center.  It has now been open for three weeks and has been a tremendous success.  They are serving an average of ten to twelve people a day. The majority of those coming in are people without shelter seeking housing and help with utility payments Oregon Action is coming to enroll people in Cover Oregon on Wednesday. The shower trailer will start providing showers next Thursday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Emergency Food Bank. The trailer can accommodate four loads of laundry during that period. Ayars announced that they still need volunteers if anyone is interested in donating their time.   
Reid reported that all CDBG applications are in and the application period has been closed.  Three applications were submitted; St Vincent DePaul, Maslow Project and Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity. The City is expecting somewhere between $160,000 and $180,000 in monies for the coming year.  As a condition of receiving these funds HUD requires that the City maintains a five year consolidated plan.  The purpose of the Consolidated Plan is to outline a strategy for the City to follow in using CDBG funding to achieve the goals of the CDBG program which is “to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for low and moderate income persons.”
Reid presented a slide show giving a brief overview of the 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan for the use of CDBG funds. The Consolidated Plan is also available for review on the City’s website
CDBG funds/Normal brief update
Housing and Human Services Commission regular meeting – March 27, 2014, 4:30 pm at Council Chambers located at 1155 East Main, Ashland.  Quorum check – Everyone confirmed they will be able to attend. 
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m. respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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