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Housing and Human Services Commission (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Minutes October 26, 2017
Commission Chair Rohde called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Tom Gunderson Traci Darrow
Rich Rohde  
Heidi Parker SOU Liaison
Michelle Linley  
Gina DuQuenne, arrived at 5:10  
Linda Reppond Staff Present:
Sue Crader Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Jackie Bachman Carolyn Schwendener, Clerk
Parker/Reppond m/s to approve the minutes of the September 28, 2017 regular Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed. 
Susan Berryhill who spoke at last month’s meeting spoke again this evening. Ms. Berryhill appreciated the way in which her thoughts were captured in last month’s minutes.  Since last month’s meeting she and her husband tried three different options for housing but gave up.  They are now camping in the living room of their house as it still has some smoke residue from the fire two years ago.  Ms. Berryhill commented her in-laws live close to the recent fire in Santa Rosa California where two members of their church died in the fire.  When devastation like that happens it makes us thankful just to have a roof over our head, stated Ms. Berryhill.  Ms. Berryhill went on to say they recently went to a workshop on how to build a tiny house.  They truly enjoyed the workshop and in November will be attending the Small House Summit in the Portland area. 
The Commissioners welcomed new member Jackie Bachman.  Ms. Bachman has lived in Ashland for three years emphasizing how much they enjoy the Community.  Her background is psychology and special education.  For thirty-six years Ms. Bachman has worked in public education as a Teacher, a Site Administrator and a District Administrator.  Service and Special Education and helping our own is a big focus for her.  As a new Commissioner Ms. Bachman is coming with the goal of creating an age friendly Ashland.  This means access; whether affordable housing, transportation, social needs or social programs.  Looking at the moral responsibility of taking care of our own in the Community.
The Commissioners discussed the Affordable Housing Bus Tour that took place on Wednesday October 11th.  Approximately twenty-three people attended.  Reid received positive feedback about it and suggested next time making the tour part a little longer.  Another suggestion was to get off of the bus throughout the tour.  Everyone thought the speakers did a really good job and enjoyed hearing from the developers about all the programs they offer. 
Linley also heard positive feedback and was very glad the Commission organized the tour.  It helped people realize there are actual hurtles we are aware of but have to figure out how to overcome, stated Linley.  It is beneficial for people to understand the different funding mechanisms available to help make projects happen.
Rhode was disappointed that the tour didn’t get coverage in the paper, missing an opportunity to educate the broader public.   He is hoping there might be another opportunity in the future. 
Councilor Darrow pointed out that she and Seffinger attended the tour and thought it was great.  The tour made her realize how many different types of puzzle pieces there are to affordable housing and so many options.  At the recent Council meeting Darrow suggested if anyone has more questions on affordable housing options or would like the information packet that Reid put together they could contact Goldman or Reid.
The annual presentation is the opportunity for the Commission to share their victories as well as issues with the City Council.  The Commission is scheduled to appear at the November 7, 2017 Council meeting (meeting actually turned out to be November 21st) The Commission discussed the items in which they wanted to highlight to the Council. 
  • Bus Tour – different housing developments, different funding mechanism, ways in which the City contributes
  • CDBG and Social Service Grants – extensive time and effort we did in reviewing grant applications, listening to presentations and making recommendations.  Talk about developing jointly with the Council that process. CDBG funds accomplishment and what we are working on.
  • Accomplishment of the Housing Trust Fund – thankful for the Marijuana money going into that account.
  • Success of the Housing Forum that took place in August. Raised awareness in the Community.
  • Check prior minutes and reflect on those who spoke during public forum.  We listen throughout the year to different people regarding housing needs and those who offer suggestions. 
Linley volunteered to present at the Council.  All the Commissioners were encouraged to attend to show her support.  Reid will write up the summary and email it to the Commissioners who can reply back to Reid with changes or suggestions.
The Commissioners agreed that they would like to have meetings in both November and December.  It’s important to the Commission to stay on top of things and not get behind.  It was decided to have the November meeting on the 16th and a retreat on Wednesday December 13th between 3:30 to 6:30.
A working group was put together to bring back categories and goal setting ideas for the retreat.  The working group will consist of DuQuenne, Linley, Crader, Rhode and Reid. 
Reid distributed a hand out showing an overview of what a City of Ashland Affordable Housing Trust Fund RFP would look like.  See Exhibit A at the end of the minutes.  The overview showed the purpose of the program, eligible applicants, eligible uses, preferences, selection criteria, match requirements and process for the award.
Reid distributed a graph showing selection criteria and how the applicants would be graded on a numeric scale.  See Exhibit B.
The HTF and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) could run concurrently so that a project could envision using both sources of funding. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund contribution cannot exceed more than fifty percent of the total project or program cost.  The required match could be met utilizing CDBG, State or Federal Funding, direct contribution from the applicant, private donations, contribution of land as well as materials or labor to the project.
Reid distributed the 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan Priorities.  See Exhibit C
Reid explained it would be too overwhelming to run an RFP for CDBG and the HTF the same time as the Social Service Grant.  Reid added for CDBG and the HTF she would prepare an RFP for January 1, 2018.  Applicants would have forty-five days to put together an application making the due date February 16, 2018.   The applications would come to this Commission on March 22, 2018 and go to City Council in April.  
Rhode suggested that at the December retreat the Commission discuss the possibility of an educational program or some kind of orientation for the applicants of the HTF.  The Commission expressed their concern about working with the City Council and keeping the lines of communication open.  Darrow confirmed that working hand in hand with the Council members on this process is a very important piece. 
The next step is for Reid to take the Commission’s recommendations back to City staff. (Bill Molnar and Brandon Goldman) Staff will draft an RFP and Reid will bring it back to the Commission. 
Reid distributed the Strategic Plan that was created when the Social Service Grants were given to this Commission. See exhibit D.  Reid reviewed the list of strategic priorities and implementation strategies.  What we need to decide, said Reid, is if we think these are still valid or do we need to go through another community review. It is the Commissions job to identify applicants against the criteria and then forward that on to the council.   The Social Service Grants are awarded biannually and are separate from CDBG.  The amount of grant money available each year is $135,000. 
It was pointed out that there has been some discussion in the Community regarding eliminating the Social Service Grant in order to fund other priorities in the Community such as another Police Officer.  Reid mentioned that it’s important to have outcome tracking to show where the money is going.  Darrow emphasized that as we go into the next budget year every single program will have to be scrutinized so education on the use of the money and impact it has in the community is good information to provide.
General Announcements – Linley will be reaching out to Noah at SOU for his help in finding the Commission a SOU Liaison.  
Parker handed out a flyer announcing the upcoming trainings for the shelter.  This Saturday the 28th is a training at the Methodist Church sponsored by the Culture of Peace Commission.  On November 16th Peter Buckley is doing a training specifically for people who work at the shelters.  The topic is understanding how trauma affects the shelter guests and helping people understand where they are coming from and ways to help facilitate communication and de-escalation. The shelter training for volunteer’s is November 8th.  This year they have added some categories to the volunteers.  Listeners who come in at the beginning of the shelter when they first open to sit down and talk with the guests as needed.  There is also a need for volunteers to sign up for about an hour to an hour and a half in order to help clean up in the morning.  Another category is actually spending about twelve hours sleeping there and helping serve food.  The shelter training will cover all these categories. 
Linley announced this Saturday is the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Hope Village in Medford.  She will be attending and will report back at next month’s meeting.
Liaison Reports: 
Council – Darrow, Goldman and Reid met with Senator Merkley’s staff.  The Washington DC staff is looking at putting in a request to change the CDBG roll over rules which would benefit the City by allowing us to keep a little more. 
November 16, 2017 MEETING AGENDA ITEMS
Strategic Planning, RFP from staff for the HTF 
Next Housing and Human Services Regular Commission Meeting – 4:30-7:00 PM; November 16, 2017, in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development & Engineering Department located at 51 Winburn Way.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener


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