Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Commission (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, November 16, 2017

 
 

Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Minutes November 16, 2017
 
CALL TO ORDER
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, absent
Rich Rohde  
Heidi Parker SOU Liaison
Michelle Linley  
Gina DuQuenne  
Jackie Bachman Staff Present:
Sue Crader Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Commissioners Absent: Carolyn Schwendener, Clerk
Linda Reppond  
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Bachman/Linley m/s to approve the minutes of the October 26, 2017 regular Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed. 
 
PUBLIC FORUM
No one spoke at public forum.
 
TOPICS/AGENDA FOR ANNUAL RETREAT MEETING
A subcommittee with Commissioners Rohde, Linley and DuQuenne met on November 8, 2017 to discuss the agenda items for the annual retreat to be held on December 13th.  The subcommittee suggested the following three sections should be included in the agenda.  The sub committee’s next meeting will be held on November 29th at 4:30 pm at the Snowberry Community Center located at 2261 Villard Street. 
  • Educational component- It was suggested that Andrea Miranda from the Housing Authority of Jackson County speak on how affordable housing funding works.   Michael Anderson from Housing Trust Fund Program Center for Community Change could focus on what housing trust funds are doing around the county in similar communities.
  • Brainstorming and listing of commissions strategic goals for the coming year with a possible volunteer facilitator. We would list and prioritize our goals for the coming year and prioritize using the colored dots procedure.
  • Regular Housing and Human Services Commission (HHSC) meeting for the month of December where we could make decisions that are needed and timely for the coming month. 
The Oregon Housing and Community Services is having a listening training on November 28, 2017 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm in the large auditorium at the County Health Building located at 140 Holly Street, Medford. 
 
ASHLAND HOUSING TRUST FUND REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
Reid explained after last month’s meeting staff put together a more formal application that reflects the requirements and priorities established for this funding source.  A list of priorities and scoring criteria were included in the packet.  Reid expressed that City staff would like the HHSC members to review the draft RFP and make recommendations regarding any additional selection criteria to best direct Ashland Housing Trust fund toward a priority need that could be included in the RFP.  The recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration. 
 
The Commissioners discussed the scoring process and made the following suggestions;
  • Omit the selection criteria that states - “Affordable Housing Trust funds shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary to complete the project.  The lower the percentage of AHTF funds requested, relative to the full project costs, the higher ranking the project shall be given.”
  • Give more points to the selection - “The project retains the affordable housing units as affordable.  The longer period of time the units remain affordable, the higher ranking the project shall be given.”
  • The Commissioners would like to see a few more points given to applicants with projects for low income people.  There is a higher need for projects that reflect the lower income rather than middle income. 
  • The Commission liked the idea of choosing a priority for each year based on the needs of the Community.  This first year it was suggested to prioritize low income housing. We can deem more points if the application meets the needs of each particular year. 
  • The Commission would like to include guidelines up to 120% area median income in the chart.  An income table would be helpful to applicants.
  • Council will be determining whether to include the projected Marijuana Tax from FY 2018 in the RFP.  The Commissioners agreed to accept the larger amount of available funds even if they decide not to award it.
Reid confirmed that the RFP is currently being reviewed by the legal department and then it will go before the City Council at their December meeting.  The HTF RFP will mirror the Community Development Block Grant Fund cycle. 
 
COUNCIL UPDATE REVIEW
Next Tuesday, December 13th the HHSC will present to the Council a brief overview of the commission’s areas of focus for the coming year.  Reid put together a report for the Commissioners to review and make suggestions.  They agreed what Reid wrote sounded great and it was broken down in an easy to understand manner. The Commission especially liked the ending sentence, “For the coming year the Commission would like to work more closely with Council on honing the social service grant fund process and evaluating priorities for the coming cycle in an effort to gain a better sense of continuity and avoid issues from previous years.”  Linley volunteered to present to the Council and all the Commission members were encouraged to come to the meeting to support her. 
 
HOUSING PROGRAM OVERVIEW
At their regular Council meeting on November 7th Community Development Director Bill Molnar gave an overview of the Housing Program to the Council explaining what sort of things the City does to support housing in the community. Reid reviewed the memo that was provided in the packet explaining the broad range of activities being undertaken by the Community Development Department housing program to address the goal statement included in the Housing Element of Ashland’s Comprehensive plan.
 
Reid called attention to several long term planning projects that have or will benefit housing in our community.
  • The Triangle Transit (Ashland Street, Tolman Creek Rd and Siskiyou Blvd) is a project that Planning Manager Maria Harris is working on which should create higher density in those areas.  Reid announced there is going to be an open house and stake holder meeting in December for the Ashland Transit Triangle and then the Ordinance will go to Council at their January 2018 meeting.
  • The Comprehensive Plan Housing Element Update is moving forward.
  • An Accessory Residential Unit update code and approval procedure is moving forward.  With this update the City is exploring incentives for converting existing space in residential homes rather than building new detached units.
  • The development of a Regional Housing Strategy is moving forward.  As part of that process the group has hired a consultant to help. 
  • Housing Trust Fund has developed an RFP for Council
  • Clay Street affordable housing phase 2 is in renewed discussion.
  • Changes to the Croman Mill site is at the Council consideration.  Adjustments to the southerly portion of the property to amend land use designation in order to possibly increase the housing in that area perhaps adding workforce house.  Reid suggested asking Brandon Goldman to give an update on this at a future meeting.
  • The Cleanup of the Railroad property is to begin in the spring.  The Community Development department is analyzing options of creating affordable and workforce housing in that area.  Purchasing some of the land to land bank is a possibility.
  • A Fair Housing training for tenants’ rights is being scheduled.
  • The Building code changes are coming forward for transitional housing.  They are also working on tiny house codes.
The Commissioners agreed they would like to see one of those housing items put on their agenda each month.  We have a unique perspective on this commission and It is important for us to discuss each of these items and how a lack of housing affects different populations of our community, stated Parker. 
 
LIAISON REPORTS AND GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council - Darrow had a conflicting appointment and was not able to be here.  No report.
 
SOU - Linley is committed to finding a SOU Liaison.  The commission would like to prioritize young people for the open positions on City Commissions.  They would like to see representation of younger views rather than just the older folk
 
Staff - Reid explained the City is involved with the Jackson County Homeless Taskforce which oversees the Continuum of Care (CoC) Grant process.  Monies come from HUD that are specifically to be used for homeless activities.  It was recommended that the Jackson County CoC join another continuum of care but our group didn’t want to do that, stated Reid.   Access hired a consultant to work with other communities and investigate how their continuum of care is structured.   The Consultant recommended the creation of a different governance structure.  There is a subcommittee working on the Point in Time homeless count that will take place in January. This count is required in order to continue receiving CoC funds. The subcommittee will also will be collecting data on housing inventory, how many beds does the community have for homeless people. There will be a meeting next Tuesday at Rogue Valley Council of Government to vote to dissolve the old CoC governing board/structure and create another one.  New board members will be elected.
 
General Announcements – Parker reported that the shelters opened this week. Sunday night at Pioneer Hall had about twenty-eight guests who came for hot drinks twenty-six of which spent the night.  Our challenge this year, said Parker, is that the city went back to an old contract that requires one man and one woman as hosts. We have many more female volunteers than men. We really haven’t had any problems with two female hosts in the past but Council feels it’s a safety issue.  The Council will look at the contract once again at Tuesday night’s meeting which they have invited us to come and participate in. About sixty people participated in a training last Wednesday.  It appears the concept of the shelters is becoming more acceptable in the eyes of most community members.  Parker expressed appreciation of all the volunteers acknowledging its difficult to spend the night on the floor with the homeless.
 
Rhode reported the shower trailer located at the Methodist Church has broken down and is not able to be fixed.  It has provided showers for about thirty people at a time and does many loads of laundry.   An informal group of people are looking at what can be done for a replacement or other options.
 
Peter Buckley is giving a presentation tonight at 6:30 at the Presbyterian Church.  His topic is understanding early childhood trauma and how that impacts our interaction with the homeless.  This presentation would be beneficial for shelter volunteers. 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS
Housing and Human Services Commission Retreat – 3:30-6:30 PM; December 13, 2017, at Ashland Hills Inn. 
 
ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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