REGULAR MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2012, 3:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS OVERFLOW CONFERENCE ROOM
I. Roll Call
PRESENT: Bob Burgess, Bill Garchow, Sharon Mortensen and Steve Rapanos
ABSENT: Rick Loose
STAFF: Cheri King, Community Development Specialist and Cathy Marcy, Manager of Riverside Place
OTHERS: Carol Locker, League of Women Voters and Patricia Baird, Legal Services of Eastern Michigan
II. Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 11, 2012
Motion by Sharon Mortensen, seconded by Bill Garchow, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 11, 2012, as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
III. Public Comments
IV. New Business
a) Senior Housing Report
As Cathy Marcy needed to leave early, the Housing Commission chose to move this agenda item to the first item under new business. Cathy reported that Riverside Place will be purchasing new carpet. Their food contractor has increased prices by four percent so the meal plans will increase to reflect that amount. There have been a lot of vacated apartments at Riverside Place but they are at 100 percent occupancy. They are at 70 percent market rent and 30 percent reduced rent. They will be giving flu shots beginning in October.
Washington Woods is at 98 percent occupancy. They have people on a waiting list; they are just waiting for maintenance to be done on the vacant units and they will be filled. Washington Woods’ population is 80 percent reduced rent and 20 percent market rent. They have had weekly activities during the summer including weekly barbecues. These have been well attended by the residents.
b) Housing Commission – Fund Balance Report
David Keenan, Assistant City Manager for Financial Services, provided a Housing Commission Fund Balance Report. At the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, there was a balance of $312,957.66 in cash and a total of $413,383.70 in net assets, some of which are second mortgage receivables and some of which are lots in inventory.
There is $44,800 in paid off loans from the Federal Home Loan Bank that are available for re-issuance. The Commission wondered if they could work with Midland County on a land bank or tax foreclosed properties. City staff will invite Catherine Lunsford, County Treasurer, to their next meeting to discuss ways they could partner with low- or moderate-income people to purchase properties at the annual property tax foreclosure sale or to provide it as rehabilitation funds to those who qualify, who purchase properties at the tax foreclosure sale. This topic will be discussed further at the December Housing Commission meeting.
c) 2013 Meeting Dates
A resolution was presented to the Housing Commission containing meeting dates for 2013. Motion by Mr. Garchow, seconded by Mrs. Mortensen, to adopt the proposed meeting dates for 2013 as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
d) Future Meeting Date
The next regular meeting of the Midland City Housing Commission will be held on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
a) Fair Housing Report
Patricia Baird, of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan (LSEM), reviewed some of the current fair housing complaints they have received. As of four months ago, a new federal law went into effect for any rental units receiving state of federal subsidies, for an additional protected class under the Fair Housing Law. This protected class is sexual preference. Legal Services of Eastern Michigan is finding some evidence in Midland as well as in the surrounding areas that property managers are not complying with this law. They are specifically testing in Genesee County for gender preference.
Overall, Legal Services of Eastern Michigan has noticed a decrease in the number of positive tests from the 2010-2011 grant year. LSEM attributes this decrease in positive tests to the fact that landlords know there is testing going on and that changes the behavior of the rental/sales agencies. As LSEM causes changes in behavior, fewer positive test results are anticipated.
LSEM also sponsored a “Legal Issue and Fair Housing Summit” on March 16, 2012. The Summit was held at Delta College. It was attended by about 60 government officials, community organizations and community members from Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties.
b) CDBG Update
The city’s grant amount for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is remained at $215,226. This was the projected amount we were working with for budgeting purposes.
CDBG subrecipients have signed their agreements and are beginning to spend their funding. Cleveland Manor has completed their project of seven bathtub cut-ins and spent their funding. Shelterhouse and Open Door have gone out for bids for their projects. Funds should be released by HUD for the parks projects any time and these improvements should be made yet this fall.
(c) CHOICE Update
The house at 201 W. Collins Street, that was discussed in June for possible purchase from Midland County, was sold at tax sale. It was sold for $39,200. Midland County added a caveat that the purchaser was required to repair the foundation and then they would get $13,000 of the purchase price refunded. They raised the minimum bid to include that amount. The property will ultimately be owner-occupied.
The City of Midland will be partnering with Midland Public Schools’ Building Trades classes again during the 2012-2013 school year. This will be the twenty-second project built in cooperation with them.
The Reece Community Living Endeavor will partner with the City of Midland and Midland Public Schools for the next construction project. Staff is beginning preliminary work on the duplex, to be built on a lot the Reece Endeavor owns at 1202 E. Haley Street. One side will have two bedrooms and the other will have one bedroom. These housing units will be handicap accessible, barrier free, and zero step. This is in keeping with one of the goals of the Housing Commission, which is to provide for more handicap accessible housing in the community.
(d) Housing Commission Roster
An updated roster of current Housing Commission members and their contact information was distributed to commission members.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE
MIDLAND CITY HOUSING COMMISSION.