MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION

MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010, 3:00 P.M.

333 W. ELLSWORTH STREET

COUNCIL CHAMBERS OVERFLOW CONFERENCE ROOM

 MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

  I.  Roll Call

 

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

 

ABSENT:    None

 

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

 

OTHERS:    Carole Locker arrived at 4:00 p.m.

 

II.  Approval of Minutes

 

      Motion by Mr. Rapanos, seconded by Mr. Burgess, to approve the Minutes of the June 7, 2010 Regular Meeting, the June 21, 2010 Special Meeting, and the August 2, 2010 Special Meeting as presented.  Motion passed unanimously

 

III.  Public Comments

 

      There were no public comments.

 

IV. New Business

 

a)      Washington Woods Feasibility Study

 

Mr. Baker reported that a feasibility study was prepared for Washington Woods in 2009 by Dow Howell and Gilmore Associates on behalf of the City of Midland.  Washington Woods is a 214 unit senior housing facility.  The study commented on the elevators, the fire alarm system and a long-term capital plan.  The facility is 30 years old now.  The study was funded by the Strosacker Foundation, one of the original funders of the facility.

 

Staff was looking for a plan to promote Washington Woods, to increase their number of market-rent units.  The study recommended taking blocks of three units on each floor and in each facility, and turning them into one-bedroom or 2-bedroom units.  The cost for these renovations would be about $2 Million.  The proposed renovation would take 18 units and turn them into 12 larger units. 

 

Due to the current economy and the limitations on funding, staff has not pursued any of the recommendations made in this study.  Washington Woods has been at or near 100 percent occupancy.  There will be big projects needed to be done in the next five to ten years, including renovations to the elevators and to the fire protection system. 

 

Washington Woods is currently at 76 percent discounted rent and 24 percent market rent.  Riverside Place is at 70 percent market rent and 30 percent discounted rent.  Washington Woods would like to align their numbers similar to Riverside Place.  This would assist their operations budget. 

 

Sharon Mortensen asked if there is a list of priorities.  Keith Baker stated staff does a 5-year capital plan each year for each facility.  There is a working capital budget for each side.  They budget for maintenance on an annual basis.  There is an endowment fund at the Midland Area Community Foundation.  However, it contains approximately $100,000 and that money would disappear quickly if it were spent for needed improvements.

 

The Housing Commission noted that the Housing Needs Assessment identified the need for approximately 50 additional senior housing units in Midland.

 

b)      Paired Testing Update

 

Community Development Block Grant funds were provided in the 2010-2011 budget to do additional paired testing.  Preliminary results were provided by Legal Services of Eastern Michigan.  Out of 131 tests, 21 (16%) were positive, 26 (20%) were negative, 57 (44%) were inconclusive (something needed to be retested), and 27 (21%) were invalid tests.  Discrimination among protected classes included 13% for people with a disability, 33% based upon race, 14% based upon family composition, and 42% based upon national origin.   Staff asked Legal Services to provide additional feedback but it was not available by the meeting time.

 

The Housing Commission had several questions regarding the outreach component of the paired testing.  Staff will invite Patricia Baird from Legal Services of Eastern Michigan to the March Housing Commission meeting.  Questions from the Housing Commission included:

1)      Is there a way to have an annual training for those who tested positive?

2)      Is there some comparison to where we were before we started the testing two or three years ago?

3)      What are the outreach and educational components?

4)      Can training be done through the MARIAH Group?

5)      Can the city make it a requirement for landlords to attend Fair Housing training in order to have their rentals certified?

6)      How do we compare with other cities our size?

 

c.   Sale of 1005 North Street

 

      In 2009, the Housing Department purchased a house and lot located at 1005 North Street.  The house on the lot was determined by the Building Department to be unsuitable for human occupancy due to the nature of the condition of the home’s interior.  The property was purchased with funds from the Housing Commission Fund.  The house was demolished and the property was listed with a local realtor in March, 2010.  On November 23, 2010, staff was presented with an offer to purchase in the amount of $7,500.  The offer presented is from Habitat for Humanity.  A purchase agreement has been signed and is contingent upon Midland City Housing Commission and City Council approval.  Selling the lot would stop additional charges for mowing and upkeep of the property, as well as return the property to the private sector and eventually be returned to the tax rolls.

 

      Motion by Mr. Burgess, seconded by Mr. Darger, to recommend the sale of 1005 North Street in the amount of $7,500 to Habitat for Humanity of Midland County.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

d.   Sale of 3308 Aaron Court

 

      In 2007, the Housing Department purchased a house and lot located at 3308 Aaron Court.  This property was considered spot slum and blight, and was purchased with Community Development Block Grant funds. The removal of this structure and cleanup of the property greatly benefited the surrounding neighborhood.  This vacant property was listed with a local realtor in March, 2010.  On November 23, 2010, the realtor presented staff with two offers to purchase 3308 Aaron Court.  The city’s realtor solicited the “highest and best offers” from the two proposed purchasers.  On December 1st, the city received an offer of $12,400, which represents the highest offer received.  This offer was also from Habitat for Humanity.   A purchase agreement has been signed and is contingent upon Midland City Housing Commission and City Council approval.  Selling this lot would stop additional charges for mowing and upkeep of the property, as well as returning the property to the private sector and eventually to the tax rolls.

 

      Motion by Mr. Burgess, seconded by Mr. Darger, to recommend the sale of 3308 Aaron Court in the amount of $12,400 to Habitat for Humanity of Midland County.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

e.   2011 Meeting Dates

 

A resolution was presented to the Housing Commission containing meeting dates for 2011.  Motion by Mrs. Mortensen, seconded by Mr. Burgess to adopt the proposed meeting dates for 2011 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

V.    Reports

 

a.       CDBG Update

 

Community Development Block Grant subrecipients are in the process of spending their money.  Staff is in process of writing specifications for the roof for Safe Haven Outreach Center.  Safe and Sound Child Advocacy Center is working on improvements to their facility using CDBG funding, along with the Davis Bacon process, paying the prevailing wage rates for this area.  The Reece Community Living Endeavor has already spent their allocation for 444 books of Dial-A-Ride tickets for their clients for transportation.  Safe Haven Outreach Center is purchasing Dial-A-Ride tickets for their clients

 

The city held two public input sessions for CDBG funds for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  These meetings are required by HUD prior to the development of our annual Action Plan and the adoption of our budget for the coming fiscal year.

 

b.      CHOICE Update

 

The 2010-2011Building Trades project at 1311 W. Union Street is a house for a woman who is currently in a wheel chair.  She is a client of the ARC of Midland.  The house is being built to be handicap accessible and barrier free.  This will be the fourth 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. 

 

After the lots at 1005 North Street and 3308 Aaron Court are sold, and house and lot at 1311 W. Union Street are sold, the Housing Commission will have three lots left in inventory.  These include 406-408 Eastlawn Drive, 1606 Jefferson and 1514 Jefferson.  The house on the lot at 1606 Jefferson will be demolished soon.  Rehabilitation of the house at 1514 Jefferson is expected to be completed by March, 2011 so we can get that house on the market for sale.

 

c.       Senior Housing Update

 

Candy Balis reported that Riverside Place was at 100% occupancy and Washington Woods is at 99.5% occupancy.  Their maintenance workers have all attended safety school so they should be ready for winter.  Both senior housing facilities have been decorating for the holidays and are having additional entertainment. 

 

Candy was discussing the needs of Washington Woods over the coming few years.  The first wing of this facility will soon be 35 years old and is in need of routine maintenance.  Mr. Burgess suggested Washington Woods apply for some AHP Funding through Chemical Bank from the Federal Home Loan Bank.  He would be willing to assist Candy in obtaining some of these funds.

 

d.      Other Business

 

Mr. Baker reported that staff will have a Housing Commission Financial Report for the March Housing Commission meeting.

 

Regarding the PILOT Study Group, recommendations by the committee were presented to City Council.  The final results of this study group were reported at the June 21st meeting of the Housing Commission.

 

 

VI.  Adjournment

 

        The meeting was adjourned at 4:17 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheri King

Secretary

 

MINUTES APPROVED BY THE MIDLAND

CITY HOUSING COMMISSION ON MONDAY,

MARCH 7, 2011.