Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
September 27, 2018
Commissioner 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
Gina DuQuenne Jackie Bachman
Rich Rohde  
Erin Crowley SOU Liaison
Tom Gunderson None
Sue Crader  
Absent: Staff Present:
Heidi Parker Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Linda Reppond Carolyn Schwendener
Erica Franks  
DuQuenne/Crowley m/s to approve the minutes of the August 23, 2018 regular Housing and Human Services Commission meeting as written.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed.
No one spoke at public forum.
Reid explained the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) for those who were new to this Commission and not familiar with it.  The CAPER is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) document that is part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) cycle that summarizes the individual project status of those improvements funded with CDBG funds for the Program year 2017.  For the 2017 program year the City of Ashland funded four projects; Maslow Project, St. Vincent DePaul, Options for Southern Oregon and Columbia Care.  Reid explained that Options and Columbia Care were not funded in the program year covered by this report because the City had money left over from 2017 and we needed to use it.  We did use the money to fund them but those activities did not take place in that program year so we don’t have any outcomes to report from those activities, explained Reid.  Those activities will be reported in the subsequent CAPER for 2018. 
Reid emphasized that the public is allowed to weigh in at each stage of the process and this group approves the document.  The Commissioners agreed they liked the breakdown for the report and it was very clear and user friendly. 
Reid explained to the Commissioners how the Continuum of Care money is awarded.  This money comes from a separate branch from HUD that deals specifically with Homelessness, said Reid.  Ashland, Medford and Jackson County are grouped together and when HUD offers a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) the three entities apply as a group.  Currently the amount of money being offered is $270,000. Reid acknowledged that Connie Saldana who works at Rogue Valley Council of Government is a good source for information regarding questions about the Continuum of Care.   
Gunderson/DuQuenne m/s to accept the CAPER as written.
Rohde attended a meeting at the Southern Oregon Early Leaning Services Office located at 101 N Grape Street, Medford.  See the information provided regarding the meeting at the end of the minutes, Exhibit A.  The Schneider Children’s Center has closed due to finances.  It was reported at the meeting that there are over 660 children under the age of five in Ashland and the number of childcare slots is small and we will be losing sixty of those, remarked Rohde. Consequently, there will be a lot of families in desperate need as they have no other place to go.  It was discussed at the meeting what could be done for the immediate future and for the on-going future.  Rohde commented that the City of Ashland has never seen an application for City funds for childcare and this might be an option.  There is the possibility that another service provider might assume the responsibility for the Schneider Center’s Building operations.  The Commissioners agreed this is a Human Service issue and they should be aware of it.  Rohde will provide any future updates as he receives them. 
The Commission put together a questionnaire to help prioritize the use of Social Service Grant funds. The sub-committee met and made some changes to the questionnaire.  The questionnaire is now published on the City of Ashland webpage under the category “Open City Hall.”  Open City Hall is located at the bottom of the home page. 
Reid will send an email to the Commissioners with instructions on how to fill out the online questionnaire.  She will also make copies of the questionnaire for the Commissioners who volunteered to take it around.  They can pick up the questionnaires at the Community Development office at 51 Winburn Way.  They acknowledged the importance of being strong advocates to encourage citizens to fill it out.  In order for the questionnaire to be credible they are hoping to receive between two and three hundred filled out.  DuQuenne volunteered to post the questionnaire on the Facebook group “Ashland Peeps.” Reid will speak with John Darling at the Daily Tidings to see if he is still willing to put an ad in the paper.
The forum will take place next month October 25, 2018 at the Ashland Public Library in the Gresham room.  Reid is sending out invitations to the Social Service providers who have received money from the City in the past as well as new potential grantees.  Everyone is welcome to attend. 
The format of the meeting was discussed.  The Commission will start by sharing the results from the questionnaire as to what the Community has prioritized.  Though the option of small breakout groups was discussed, it was decided that keeping everyone together would be more efficient and participant’s comments would not be isolated.  It was suggested that Reid ask Connie Saldana to be the moderator.  This would allow the Commissioners to listen and participate. 
Councilor Bachman gave an update on the one site shelter.  One location option being discussed is the Rogue Valley Church located on East Main Street.  This does seem positive and appears to be moving forward, stated Bachman.  The issue with this site, pointed out Bachman, is that it will not be ready for opening before January of 2019 and the need for a shelter starts in November. Because the East Main site won’t be ready Pioneer Hall and the Presbyterian Church will be utilized starting in November. The Presbyterian Church will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and Pioneer Hall will be open the remaining nights.  The concern with Pioneer Hall is the low occupant load of only thirty-seven. Those in need of shelter can be as high as seventy people.   Phil Johncock is a new paid volunteer coordinator working with this project.   
Bachman pointed out how important it will be to keep the neighborhood around the Rogue Valley Church updated and informed about the shelter.  It has been suggested that the applicants have a Community meeting in advance to talk about all the safeguards that are in place, stated Reid.  Reid commented that OHRA has recently purchased a shuttle that seats thirteen to sixteen people.  They have identified seven people who can drive it and the insurance in quite reasonable.  The shuttle will provide transit for the unhoused to the shelter.  The route is still being discussed.
Reid spoke with Community Development Director, Bill Molnar, about the car camping ordinance.  It will be going to a City Council Study Session soon. 
Both the November and December Housing and Human Services meetings fall on Holidays. After a discussion it was decided that the November meeting will be on November 15, 2018.  If the Siskiyou Room is not available DuQuenne will check and see if it’s possible to meet at Ashland Hills Hotel.  The December meeting will be a goal setting retreat on December 20, 2018 at 3:30 at Ashland Hills Hotel. 
Council Liaison Report – Bachman reported that at the Council meeting they approved the second reading of The Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance and the Uber/Lyft Ordinance.  Both will be moving forward.  Bachman questioned how the unhoused citizens of Ashland fit in with the Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance. Something to think about.
Staff Liaison Report – Reid reported that the Housing Element Draft update and the Regional Housing Strategies is going before the City Council at their Study Session on Monday October 1, 2018.
Announcement – DuQuenne announced that on October 4, 2018 the Governor will be at Ashland Springs Hotel to talk about the summer wildfires. 
Gunderson will send an email to the other Commissioners with information about Rogue Retreat’s Clean Up Downtown Medford project.  Gunderson told the Commissioners that a local developer Lloyd Haines has purchased property in Jackson County.  Mr. Haines intends to lease the property to Rogue Retreat for their program for recovering addicts.  Rogue Retreat is working with Karen Logan to help the Tiny House project get started.  Mr. Haines will donate the rent that Rogue Retreat pays to the Tiny House project so that they will have an income stream.  Ms. Logan’s dream is to serve children and families in the main house on the property.  Gunderson also informed the Commission that Rogue Retreat is doubling the size of their Tiny House Village in Medford.
Rohde announced that at least 180 people have signed up for the Mobile Home Conference.  Mobile Homes can be a very important part of our affordable housing stock, stated Rohde.  Rohde attended the neighborhood meeting that Columbia Care organized for the Units that will be constructed behind the Rogue Federal Credit Union on Ashland Street.  Rohde was very impressed, loved the look of the units.  The architect was present at the meeting to answer all concerns’ and questions from the neighbors. This project is on the Planning Commission Agenda for their October 9, 2018 meeting. 
Reid will invite Chad from Rogue Retreat to the December retreat to talk about their programs.
Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting will be a Forum held at 4:30-6:30 PM; October 25, 2018, at the Ashland Public Library.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener 

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