Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Regular Meeting Agenda

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Draft Minutes September 24, 2015
Chair Boettiger 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
Joshua Boettiger Pam Marsh, absent
Rich Rohde  
Heidi Parker  SOU Liaison
Gina DuQuenne Vacant
Regina Ayars  
Coriann Matthews Staff Present:
  Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Commissioners Absent: Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Assistant
Sue Crader  

Approval of Minutes
Rohde/Parker m/s to approve the minutes of the August 27, 2015 Housing and Human Services Commission meeting with corrections.  Voice Vote: All ayes, minutes were approved.
Public Forum
Jim Bryson introduced himself. Mr. Bryson has lived in Ashland for over twenty years and recently retired from Options for Southern Oregon in Josephine County.  Options is a nonprofit Mental Health Agency located in Josephine County.
Darrell Pearce was also present and he too is semi retired from Options.  He and Mr. Bryson both have a background in affordable housing developments.  They were interested in hearing what the Commission does and might be interested in joining. 
Tom Buechele introduced himself acknowledging that he has applied to become a Housing and Human Services Commissioner.  Mr. Buechele and his wife have lived in Ashland for about a year and a half.  He is a retired Episcopal Priest and has a background in social service work having worked on the border of Mexico and Guatemala for over nine years.
Torri Uyehara is the 2015-2016 Southern Oregon University Student Body President and was present to explain the process of choosing a SOU Liaison for this Commission.  Ms. Uyehara acknowledged that currently there are two SOU applicants that would like to serve on the HHS Commission.  Next Tuesday will be their first Senate meeting at which time the applicants will present their case for being chosen for the position.  The Senate will then formally endorse one of them and hopefully have them approved before the next HHS Commission meeting. 
The City of Ashland is an entitlement city under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) CDBG Program.  Reid explained that each year the city awards grants and then writes a Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) explaining how the city was able to meet the five year goals identified in the 2010-2014 Consolidated plan. For the program year 2014 the city awarded the following three projects with CDBG funds.
  • Maslow Project - $7,500 to provide education, outreach, resources, referrals and case management to Homeless and at-risk youth and families in the Ashland school district.
  • St. Vincent De Paul - $18,000 for their Home Visitation Program and to provide rent and security deposit assistance.
  • Habitat for Humanity - $41,300 to assist the organization in completing critical home repair projects including energy efficiency upgrades and other ADA accessibility remodel activities to better serve people with disabilities and their elderly.
Reid summarized the CDBG timeline.
  • CAPER is done in September
  • RFP’s are issued in January
  • The applications are due in February
  • In March the applications are reviewed and scored
  • The applications go before the City Council in April for approval
  • Reid will draft an Action Plan in May
  • July the program starts again
The Commission made a few minor formatting suggestions to the report. 
Matthews/Rohde m/s to approve the CAPER report with the suggested corrections.  Voice Vote:  All ayes, motion passed.
Annual Council Update
Reid pointed out that the HHS Commission is scheduled to present their annual update at the October 20th City Council meeting. Matthews volunteered to represent the Commission and present the update.  Rhode, Ayars, Boettiger and Reid will also attend. 
The Commissioners discussed the following topics in which to review with the Council. 
  • The success of the Social Service Grant process
  • Housing Trust Fund
  • Student Fair Housing Ordinance
  • SOU Student Liaison
  • Training Southern Oregon Rental Owners Association
The Commissioners commented that it might be a good idea to be prepared to answer questions from the Council surrounding the downtown homeless situation and what the HHS Commission might be doing to address the problem.   It was agreed that CDBG funding through the Social Service Grant process of the Ashland Community Resource Center is their way of addressing the homeless problem by providing service to them.  This Commission also had a presentation from Chief O’Meara about the homeless situation and offered to work with him and the police department if needed.
Reid invited the Commissioners to the November 13th City Council meeting in which new ordinances that are linked to the homeless issues will be discussed. 
Student Fair Housing
Because at this time there is not a SOU Liaison to the HHS Commission SOU Student Body President Torri Uyehara who was present, offered assistance and to answer any questions. Ms Uyehara acknowledged that the student government is working to insure that students are not discriminated against by landlords in Ashland. The group discussed the best way to protect students:  creating a protective class for them or designating students as an occupation.  Another suggestion discussed was the designation of disparate impact. 
It is the Commissions desire to support the students and they would like to move forward with identifying the process as soon as possible. Ms Uyehara asked what the timeline would be for adopting an ordinance protecting students. Reid explained the process to Uyehara emphasizing the need for more outreach and feedback. The Commission is still interested in contacting ACCESS to offer their “Ready to rent” class to SOU students.   Reid said it would most likely not be until February of 2016 before the Commission would be able to present to the Council.
Put this topic on next month’s agenda.
Normal Plan Update
Goldman gave a brief overview of where the Normal Neighborhood plan is in the process. The public hearing portion has been closed and the ordinance will be coming back to the Council on October 6th for deliberation. 
Goldman reviewed what the HHS Commission’s role could be in the long range planning process.  The Transportation Commission and the Planning Commission in their powers and duties are recommending bodies; perhaps the HHS Commission could be a recommending body as well.  HHS could play a role in looking at a variety of housing types to insure that the housing needs of the Community are being met.  With future neighborhood projects and master plans it was suggested that a working group could be created with representatives from each of the Commissions including the HHS Commission.  This would insure that the Commissions would play a role earlier in the process.
Ayars and Reid will draft a letter to Bill Molnar, the Community Development Director, and the Mayor expressing the Commissions desire to be a part of the process.
Housing Trust Fund Sub-Committee Report and Discussion
The Housing Trust Fund sub-committee met and reviewed the demographic information from the Housing Needs Analysis.  The Housing Needs Analysis points out the Community gaps and Community needs which was one of the directions from the Council.  They also looked at what formula could be used to come up with an amount.  The committee looked at information provided from the Center for Community Change on Housing Trust Funds and got some good information and felt encouraged to create a little one pager about the Community needs and how to formulate funding to address that.  A discussion topic was to get a stronger handle on what funding sources are available to the City.  Goldman has contacted Lee Tuneberg, Administrative Services Director for the city, in order to identify the potential funding sources.  Mr. Tuneberg is willing to work with the commission to outline the different potential funding sources and determine what is already allocated and what might be available. The Commission will invite Mr. Tuneberg to a future meeting. 
The sub-committee agreed they need to have a pretty quick timeline and will need another meeting.  They will meet on October 1st
Liaison Reports
Marsh was absent but Reid gave a brief report for her.  The Normal Street Master Plan will be on the agenda of both the regular meeting and the study session in October. Reid called attention to the fact that Marsh was interviewed about Housing with the Rogue Valley Messenger. She will send a link to the Commissioners. 
The ordinances surrounding homeless issues in the downtown area will be discussed at the November 3rd City Council meeting. 
Voisin has asked for a discussion on social service grant funding to be put on the agenda at an upcoming council study session. 
Reid attended a livability solutions forum regarding housing, transportation, and accessibility –Ashland rated in the top 10 livable cities on the livability index. 
October 24, 2015 Meeting Agenda Items
Fair Housing discussion
Quorum Check:
Next Housing Commission Meeting – 4:30-6:30 PM; October 22, 2015
Boettiger will not be able to attend.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener


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