MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION

MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010, 3:00 P.M.

333 W. ELLSWORTH STREET

MIDLAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS AND COUNCIL CHAMBERS OVERFLOW

 MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

  I.  Roll Call

 

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

 

ABSENT:    None

 

STAFF:        Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and Bill Brown, Housing Technician

 

OTHERS:    Andrea Sneller (Disability Network), Catherine Lunsford (Chief Deputy Treasurer for Midland County) and Nick Wolak (Midland Daily News)

 

II.  Public Comments

 

      There were no public comments.

 

III.  Discussion of PILOT Policy Recommendations

 

        Keith Baker gave an overview of the activities of the PILOT Policy Work Study Group.  The group met seven times.  They prepared a list of recommendations which was presented in draft form.  One more meeting will be required to finalize and vote on the recommendations to send back to the City Council.  The new process, once adopted, would include a more direct involvement between the Housing Commission and the proposed PILOT projects.  City staff will create a new application form and the Housing Commission would be a decision-making body based on the information provided by city staff.  The Housing Commission would make a recommendation to City Council of whether or not to approve the proposed PILOT project.

 

        Steve Rapanos asked if we have completely resolved the issue about the existing PILOT projects.  Mr. Baker stated the existing projects are adopted by ordinance and specifies the length of time they are in effect.  Housing Commission members discussed whether or not the city should ask current PILOT projects to sign an agreement that they will abide by the new regulations.  Once the original mortgage expires, the PILOT status ends and the projects have to pay the full amount of property taxes.  Commissioners asked how the city will know if one of these projects refinances their mortgage.  City staff stated that, as the policy now exists, they probably would not be notified if one of these projects refinanced their mortgage.

 

        The PILOT Policy Study Group will meet one more time to finalize their recommendations.

IV.  Purchase of Foreclosed Properties

 

        The purchase of a tax foreclosed property at 1606 Jefferson Avenue was approved at the Housing Commission meeting on June 7, 2010. 

 

        1514 Jefferson and 1311 Fournie Street are also being proposed for purchase by city staff.  Staff recommends the purchase of 1514 Jefferson, to be rehabilitated and sold to a low- or moderate-income household.  The recommendation for 1311 Fournie Street would be for demolition of this property and selling the land to Habitat for Humanity for a building a Habitat project.

 

        1514 Jefferson would be the least costly to renovate.  Bill Brown, Housing Technician, estimates anticipated costs of $25,000 to $30,000 to bring this house up to current building code and, if the current siding on the house is asbestos, to remove the asbestos siding and re-side the house.  It also needs a new roof, new windows, repairs to the sanitary sewer, new furnace and hot water heater, and other miscellaneous repairs.  City staff would like to help facilitate single-family homeownership, especially for low- and moderate-income citizens.

 

        1311 Fournie Street will require more work and be much more costly to rehabilitate.  This property is in the area where Habitat for Humanity is working with a team for a neighborhood clean-up blitz.  This area would benefit from the free labor.  Staff’s intention with this property would be to demolish the existing structure and sell the vacant lot to Habitat for Humanity to build a house for one of their clients.

 

        Mr. Rapanos asked if there would be a market for this property in the private sector.  Catherine Lunsford, Chief Deputy Treasurer for Midland County, opposes the demolition of the Fournie Street property.  She stated it is structurally sound.  Her ideal would be for a low- or moderate-income household to purchase this home.  She feels it is a house that can be fixed.

 

        Ms. Lunsford shared that there will be a presentation to the Board of Commissioners on July 13th about Land Banks.  The county is trying to create a land bank.  She feels there is history in the Fournie Street property.   Sharon Mortensen is not interested in rehabilitating the Fournie Street property.

 

        Keith Baker stated there are two options with respect to 1311 Fournie Street.  Either the city does not become involved at all or the city purchases the property, demolishes the existing house and sells the lot to Habitat for Humanity.  The options for 1514 Jefferson are either not to become involved at all or purchase the property, rehabilitate the house and sell it through a local realtor.

 

        Motion by Mr. Darger, seconded by Mr. Burgess, to accept staff’s recommendation to purchase 1514 Jefferson.  Sharon Mortensen is concerned that we cannot limit who purchases the property after it is rehabilitated.  She wants to make sure it goes to someone the Housing Commission wants it to go.  She would like to ensure that the purchaser meets the requirements of the CHOICE Program.

 

        Sharon Mortensen offered an amendment to the motion to say that staff would sell 1514 Jefferson through the CHOICE Housing Program.  The motion was seconded by Steve Rapanos.  Vote on the amendment to the motion was 4-1, with Mr. Darger voting in opposition.

 

        The motion is now to purchase the property at 1514 Jefferson and that staff would sell it through the CHOICE Program.  Motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Darger voting in opposition.

 

        A motion was made by Bob Burgess, seconded by Steve Rapanos, not to purchase the property at 1311 Fournie Street, as recommended by staff.   The motion passed 4-0, with Mr. Darger abstaining.

 

V.    2010-2011 Building Trades Project – 1311 W. Union Street

 

City staff has identified a lot at 1311 W. Union Street for the Midland Public Schools’ Building Trades project for the 2010-2011 school year.  A client of the ARC of Midland has been identified as a purchaser for this project.  The house would be built to be handicap accessible, barrier free, universal design, zero-step.  A house has been designed to meet her needs that will fit on the Union Street lot.  One bathroom will have a roll-in shower and wheel-chair accessible bedroom and bathroom and the other bedroom and bathroom will have a regular tub/shower. 

 

Andrea Sneller, from the Disability Network suggested both bathrooms be made wheel-chair accessible as the regular tub/shower would limit the individual who occupies the other half of the house.  Bill Brown stated the client needed to cut costs and square footage to make the home affordable.  The decision about the lay-out of the house is up to the future owner.

 

Sharon Mortensen noted that 1311 W. Union Street is the smallest lot purchased with CDBG funds.  After discussion, the Housing Commission was in agreement to use this lot for the next Building Trades project.

 

VII.  Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheri King

Secretary

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE HOUSING COMMISSION.