WORK SESSION OF THE MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011, 3:00 P.M.
ENGINEERING CONFERENCE ROOM
I. Roll Call
PRESENT: Dick Darger, Sharon Mortensen and Steve Rapanos
ABSENT: Bob Burgess and Rick Loose
STAFF: Cheri King, Community Development Specialist; and Keith Baker, Planning Director
II. Public Comments
III. CDBG Funding Proposals for the 2011-2012 fiscal year
Sharon Mortensen stated she struggled with the amount of funding proposed for Cleveland Manor. Sharon contacted Trudy Laufer, Manager of Cleveland Manor, and Trudy has talked with Ken Mault at the Midland Area Community Foundation. Sharon stated Cleveland Manor has applied for $25,000 from the Midland Area Community Foundation, $42,000 from HUD, and she has $15,000 in her budget for cost overruns. However, the grants are not final at this time and she is not assured of receiving those funds. Sharon recommended the proposed funding amount for Cleveland Manor in the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget be reduced by $25,000. Housing Commission members asked why they did not present a proposal to replace two elevators instead of building the ramp.
Dick Darger wanted to set some priorities for spending these funds. Cheri King reported that the Housing Commission did set priorities for the next five years at their December, 2009 meeting. These priorities and objectives were submitted to HUD in the Five-Year Consolidated Plan which was submitted on May 11, 2010. These priorities and objectives will be in effect until 2015 unless the Housing Commission chooses to change those priorities. In this case, the city would have to revise their Consolidated Plan. Staff distributed copies of these goals/objectives to Housing Commission members present at this work session.
Mr. Darger was particularly concerned with the number of housing units for low- and moderate-income persons that were purchased and demolished in the downtown area, between the one-way pairs. He would like to see more of the funds spent to replace that low-income housing. Cheri’s concern with funding the Affordable Housing Alliance’s request for funding is that, if there is any federal money in the project, the entire project has to be done according to Davis Bacon regulations. That would include the building of the 11 units proposed by the Affordable Housing Alliance. Keith Baker suggested that perhaps the Affordable Housing Alliance could partner with Chemical Bank and request funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank. These would not be funds from the federal government and would not trigger the Davis Bacon requirements.
Members of the Housing Commission would also like to fund additional paired testing by Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. However, they would like written progress reports at each of their quarterly meetings and a summary report at the end of the fiscal year. They would like a comparison made to previous years to see if progress has been made in the area of fair housing compliance.
Discussion returned to the topic of the funding request for Cleveland Manor. Why did they ask for this ramp structure instead of asking for funding for new elevators? Is there something that can be done on a smaller scale that would accomplish the same results? Staff will invite Trudy Laufer, Manager of Cleveland Manor, to attend the Special Housing Commission Meeting on Monday, March 21, 2011 to answer questions.
Housing Commission members asked about funding for the two Engineering Department requests, including the paving of Tibbs Street and sidewalks on Sam and Charles Streets. Mr. Baker stated there may be private funding for Tibbs Street. If that funding is not available, that project could always be funded in the next fiscal year. Also, the city’s Engineering Department is in the process of setting their priorities for sidewalks. If the sidewalks on Sam and Charles Streets are a priority and they do not get funded by the General Fund, CDBG funding can always be appropriated in the next fiscal year.
Cheri King reported that the city’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing study is five years old in 2011 and that HUD will be contacting us within the next couple of years to update that study. The Housing Commission was in favor of having that study repeated but they would like to make sure that it is done in a timely basis and that there are comparisons between the last study and the new one. The three Housing Commissioners in attendance directed staff to check with Midland County to see if they would like to partner in another Analysis of Impediment study.
Regarding staff’s proposed CDBG budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Housing Commission members present at this meeting would like to lower the allocation of funding to Cleveland Manor by $25,000 and add an allocation of $5,000 to Legal Services of Eastern Michigan for additional paired testing. This allocation would be with the understanding that they receive regular written progress reports on the use of that funding.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE HOUSING COMMISSION.