MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2009, 3:00 P.M.





  I.  Roll Call


PRESENT:   Bob Burgess, Dick Darger, Rick Loose and Steve Rapanos


ABSENT:    1 Vacancy


STAFF:        Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and Candy Balis, Manager of Washington Woods


OTHERS:    Joe Malan (Affordable Housing Alliance), John Palen (Midland Issues), Andrea Sneller (Disability Network), Cathy Nelson Price (Midland Daily News), Sharon Mortensen (Shelterhouse), Steve Zimmerman (MAREIA), Oswald Anders (MAREIA), and Carol Locker (League of Women Voters)


II.  Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of September 21, 2009


      A motion was made by Mr. Rapanos, seconded by Mr. Burgess to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 21, 2009.  The motion passed unanimously.


III.  Public Comments


        There were no public comments.


IV.  New Business


A.    PILOT Policy Review (Requested by City Council)


Keith Baker presented a request by City Council for the Housing Commission to appoint a work group to study the city’s PILOT policy.  This work group would consist of representatives from the landlord’s association, a Housing Commission representative, the local realtor’s association, the Continuum of Care, other social service agencies and interested parties.  This group would consist of a minimum of five but not more than eleven members.  They would review the existing policy, research PILOT policies from other municipalities, survey landlords for number of units and price points of existing rental stock, and provide a report to the City Council with its findings and recommendations.


Motion by Mr. Darger, seconded by Mr. Rapanos, to authorize Rick Loose, Housing Commission Chairman, to appoint the committee on behalf of the Housing Commission.  Motion passed unanimously.


Oswald Anders asked how much lost revenue to the city is due to existing PILOT projects?  Sharon Mortensen stated that the city wide Housing Needs Assessment  commissioned by the Housing Commission indicated we need more housing for the very-low-income households.  Perhaps we could find a creative way to provide this.  Steve Zimmerman, from the Midland Area Real Estate Investors Association stated he thinks there are some misconceptions.  Their organization is not against housing for very-low-income households.  They are concerned about the administration of the current PILOT policy.  Are there any audits done on these PILOT projects?  PILOT projects must meet certain criteria in order to be accepted into the program by the state.  He stated he has information that Greenhill is renting one bedroom apartments for $689 per month.


B.     Setting Future Goals and Priorities


Keith Baker reviewed the Housing Commission goals and priorities set on September 24, 2007.  Goals, priorities and accomplishments are as follows:


Priority #1 - Community Outreach.

A)    Brochures – were distributed utilizing HUD and Legal Services of Eastern Michigan resources.  This activity is ongoing.

B)    Media – including MCTV, generic videos, public service announcements

C)    Landlord certification along with dwelling certification

D)    Free landlord seminars (twice a year recommended) – This activity is going through the Fair Housing Advisory Council.

E)     Landlord of the Year Award – This activity was not pursued at this time.


            Priority #2 – Removal of Barriers

A.    Handicap accessible improvements

1)      Funding of Midland Area Homes ADA ramp program through CDBG funds

2)      Building Trades Program – Built universal design, barrier free houses

B.     Low-income rehabilitation or new construction

1)      1501 Elizabeth Street – This property reverted back to the city through the foreclosure process.  It was rehabilitated and resold to a new buyer.

2)      Home Repair Program funded through Midland Area Homes with CDBG funds

3)      The Planning/Housing Department administers the emergency repair/housing rehab program through the city

C.     Parade of Homes – to include handicap accessible homes – show examples

1)      Investigated partnership with Midland Home Builder’s Association

2)      Conducted annual public open houses of Building Trades Program homes


            Priority #3 – Additional Paired Testing

A.    Contracted – Completed and ongoing

B.     Realtors/Agents/Lenders – Completed and ongoing through Midland Fair Housing Advisory Council


            Priority #4 – Lending Practice Study

A.    Lending practices – Activity not pursued at this time

B.     Advertising practices – Activity not pursued at this time




            Goal #1 – Build two (2) new barrier-free CHOICE homes

A.    1726 E. Ashman Street (Reece Endeavor)

B.     204 Vail Street (ARC)


            Goal #2 – Acquire one (1) property for future construction

A.    1005 North Street

B.     3308 Aaron Court

C.     406-408 Eastlawn Drive


            Goal #3 – Community Outreach components

A.    Sponsorship of Fair Housing Advisory Council

B.     April 2009 – Midland Board of Realtors Presentation

C.     Sponsorship of Fair Housing Landlord Training Seminar

D.    Utilization of brochures from Legal Services of Eastern Michigan (foreclosure prevention, fair housing, discrimination services, etc.)


            Goal #4 – Line item for future studies

A.    City Wide Housing Needs Assessment

B.     Fair Housing Paired Testing Report


            New goals include the following:


1.      Review PILOT Policy and make recommendations to City Council

2.      Best Practices – Research housing policies from other communities and report on where a community like Midland can go toward meeting its housing needs

3.      Continued outreach to the community on fair housing issues

4.      Ongoing paired testing including continued paired testing activities, education and enforcement

5.      Partner with the Affordable Housing Alliance and/or Disability Network on new construction projects

6.      Search for projects that are specific to housing for extremely-low-income households

7.      Look at the number of foreclosures and issues surrounding them

8.      Concentrate on existing dwellings for rehabilitation and resale






The specific housing and community development objectives and non-housing community development objectives specified in the 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan were presented and reviewed by the Housing Commission.  These goals were reaffirmed for the 2010-2015 Consolidated Plan that will be written this spring, with the addition of goals for the support of fair housing training, infrastructure improvements and increasing access for non-motorized forms of transportation.


C.    Future Meeting Date


The next meeting of the Midland City Housing Commission will be on Monday, March 1, 2010.  An item on the agenda for this meeting will be setting the Community Development Block Grant budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.


V.  Reports


A.    CDBG Update


Community Development Block Grant subrecipients are in the process of spending the money the city has allocated to them.  As Davis Bacon prevailing wage rates are required to be paid to contractors who do rehabilitation work on public facilities, projects have become more expensive to do.


CDBG Public input sessions were held on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 and Thursday, December 3, 2009 at the Salvation Army and City Hall respectively.  These meetings are required by HUD prior to the development of the city’s Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan.  This year, the City of Midland will be required to write another five-year plan, spanning from 2010 through 2015.  This plan contains a community profile, housing and homeless needs assessment, general housing market analysis and a strategic plan, in addition to our annual action plan.    


B.     CHOICE Update


The 2009-2010 Building Trades project at 5411 W. Wackerly Street is a house for a family who has a child with a disability.  It is being built to be handicap accessible ad barrier free.  This will be the third year in a row that the city has partnered with an agency to provide barrier free housing for one of their clients.  Construction on this house is approximately 25 percent complete.


The city house at 1005 North Street has been demolished and the lot has been cleared.  The purchase of 406-408 Eastlawn has been delayed as there is an outstanding lien on the property that prevents the city from obtaining clear title to the property.  The current owner and realtor are working to get this problem resolved.




C.    Senior Housing Update


Occupancy at Riverside Place for independent living and assisted living is maintained at 100%.  This year, seven residents have transferred from independent living at Washington Woods or Riverside Place to the Riverside supportive living apartments.  They are still offering health services programs including flu vaccine clinics, health screenings, foot care clinics and hearing clinics..  The average age of their residents was 82 years old in 2000 and currently is 86 years old.  This time of year offers many activities to their residents especially with the holiday activities.


Washington Woods currently has four vacant apartments.  Their average age is 83 years. Their Health Care Coordinator has seen a significant increase in family conferences, placing agency calls and coordinating services for residents.   Allowing residents to safely “age in place” is their primary goal.  They have enjoyed a Halloween parade, bingo and a theme meal.  A traditional Thanksgiving buffet was served to residents and lots of guests.  They are having holiday open houses.


VII.  Adjournment


The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Cheri King