REGULAR MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011, 3:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS OVERFLOW CONFERENCE ROOM
I. Roll Call
PRESENT: Bob Burgess, Dick Darger, Rick Loose, Sharon Mortensen and Steve Rapanos
STAFF: Cheri King, Community Development Specialist; and Candy Balis, Manager of Washington Woods
OTHERS: Carol Locker (League of Women Voters), Patricia Baird (Legal Services of Eastern Michigan), and Susan Weitz
II. Election of Officers
A motion was made by Steve Rapanos, seconded by Dick Darger, to nominate Rick Loose as Chairman. Motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Steve Rapanos, seconded by Sharon Mortensen, to nominate Bob Burgess as Vice Chairman. Motion passed unanimously.
III. Approval of Minutes
Motion by Mrs. Mortensen, seconded by Mr. Burgess, to approve the Minutes of the December 6, 2010 Regular Meeting as presented. Motion passed unanimously
IV. Public Comments
There were no public comments.
V. New Business
a) Paired Testing Results
Patricia Baird, from Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, presented the results of some paired testing that has recently been done in the City of Midland, using a grant from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. They are seeing more issues regarding family, race and national origin in 2010 than in 2009. In 2011, they are seeing issues related to race, national origin, family and disability.
In the Flint Office of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, they are seeing more cases regarding “reasonable accommodation”. Landlords cannot charge for a reserved parking space for a person with a disability, if it is related to their disability. An area that is becoming a problem is that they are seeing more bullying incidents in senior housing facilities or by senior citizens toward persons with disabilities.
Patricia Baird will return at the June 6, 2011 meeting to speak about the final results of the paired testing in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, using the city’s CDBG funds.
b) CDBG Funding Proposals (2011-2012 fiscal year)
Copies of the CDBG funding proposals for the 2011-2012 fiscal year were distributed to the Housing Commission members. Keith Baker asked the Commission if they would like to take a more active role in the allocation of CDBG funds this year, as we have more requests for funding than in the past and there were two very large funding requests. Overall, there were $720,668.99 in requests for funding from agencies for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. A special meeting was suggested for Monday, March 21, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss proposed projects for the CDBG budget. Sharon Mortensen noted that she is the Executive Director for Shelterhouse, which is one of the projects recommended for funding in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Housing Commission members stated that they do not know which projects are eligible, what is the statutory limit for public service activities and administration, how much carry-over will be available and what will be the total available for funding. They stated that they do not know which agencies are not in compliance or do not spend their funds. They would like staff to present a proposed budget, making notes about why a request is recommended for funding or not. This proposed budget will be e-mailed to the Housing Commission on Monday, March 14th. The Housing Commission set a special meeting for Wednesday, March 16, 2011 to work on the CDBG Budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Staff has already scheduled a special meeting for Monday, March 21, 2011 for final approval of that budget by the Housing Commission, if needed.
c. Future Meeting Date
The next regular meeting of the Midland City Housing Commission will be on Monday, June 6, 2011.
d. Other Business
Staff discussed the option of e-mailing packets to the Housing Commission for their meetings. Housing Commission members were in favor of this as it will save the city the costs of mailing them. Housing Department staff will try this for the next meeting and see how it works.
Midland Public Schools sent a letter to the Mary C. Currie Foundation thanking them for their donation of construction tools to the Building Trades Program. A copy of this letter was provided to the Housing Commission for their information.
a. CDBG Update
Community Development Block Grant subrecipients are in the process of spending their money. Safe and Sound Child Advocacy Center is working on improvements to their facility using CDBG funding. Shelterhouse and the Reece Endeavor have already spent their funds for the year. 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. Staff sent funding applications to 59 agencies and received 19 requests for funding. The city’s grant amount for the 2011-2012 fiscal year is estimated to be $244,987. HUD is recommending communities use seven percent less than last year’s grant for budgeting purposes, as the new funding amounts are not available yet.
Following review, the Housing Commission’s funding recommendations will be forwarded to City Council for final approval. These amounts will be incorporated into the City of Midland’s Annual Action Plan that is required to be submitted to HUD 45 days prior to the end of our 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 70 percent complete.
The lots at 1005 North Street and 3308 Aaron Court have been sold. The Housing Commission has two lots left in inventory. These include 406-408 Eastlawn Drive and 1606 Jefferson. Rehabilitation of the house at 1514 Jefferson is expected to be completed by the end of March. Repairs made include a new roof, windows, siding, furnace, water heater and floor covering. It has also been painted inside.
In December 2010, a house was acquired at 1005 Mill Street. The former owner signed a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure”, transferring ownership of this property to the City of Midland. Housing Department staff will evaluate the needed repairs and list this house for sale as soon as possible.
The 2011-2012 Building Trades project will be the building of a duplex in partnership with the Reece Community Living Endeavor. It will be built on a lot owned by the Reece Endeavor. These units will be handicap accessible and barrier free.
c. Senior Housing Update
Candy Balis reported that Riverside Place was at 100% occupancy and Washington Woods is at 98% occupancy. Both senior housing facilities have been working on snow removal and keeping their walkways clean for their residents. The average age of residents at Riverside Place is currently 86 years. Both facilities have had a number of social and recreational programs recently. They also have had a number of health service programs for their residents.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE HOUSING COMMISSION.