MINUTES

Housing Committee

Southwest Partnership

December 13, 2018

Attendees

  • Diana Geis
  • Tony Scott
  • Jake Booher
  • Leslie Ware
  • Neea Reid
  • Paulette Carroll
  • Stephen Bolton
  • Kitty Perkins
  • Dotie Page
  • Jonathan Law
  • Lou Packett
  • Nancy McCormick
  • Daniel Rodenburg
  • Debra Young
  • Sonia Eaddy
  • Heather Kangas

Agenda

 

Meeting commenced at 7:10

 

Introductions

 

Presentation on Housing Trust Fund – Councilman Bullock

Councilman Bullock provided history on how the Fund the Trust Act came to be and noted that it had been signed by the mayor the day before. The goal is to support affordable rental housing at 50% of area median income (AMI). Department of Housing has put $2 million into the fund this year and is adding a 0.06% excise tax on properties above 1 million dollars? In the interim years when the funding isn’t met through these taxes, the mayor has agreed to provide funding. Low income residents, housing experts, financiers are on the community advisory board to make recommendations as to how resources should be spent.  Audit will be conducted on the fund every 4 years. The funding may be used in a variety of ways as determined by the committee which has not met yet. Bullock will remain engaged with the committee even though he’s not on the advisory committee.

Question about building homes for the disabled where everything is on a single level. Bullock – that covers a lot of issues including ADA, aging in place.

Homeownership is a big piece of it. Might have folks who are homeless and this can be used to close some of the gaps for them. Rental assistance as well because there are neighborhoods where people have not had access.  Bullock fielded comments about considering that people will need assistance after purchasing a home and people working full time jobs who can’t afford to live close to where they work and people who are priced out of low-income housing because they are working. This could be a good opportunity to help these people who don’t fit within these narrow definitions of homelessness/needing housing assistance. Bullock noted that there are people on the advisory board who are advocates for these issues.  

Also addressed efforts to increase wages.  Comment about using this to bring in tiny houses (Vintage Gardens is supposedly an example). Comment about veterans who need immediate assistance when the VA, Social Security etc take months to respond and provide assistance.  Question about whether the meetings are open to the public – they are. Bullock reviewed how the $20 million will be acquired. $13 million/year from transfer and recordation tax plus a yearly supplement for the city. Question about how you allocate the money in such a way that different parts of the city are appeased is a concern? How will the advisory board get around the issue? Bullock thinks that having members on the commission from different parts of the city will help get around that and the recommendations must still be approved. The Chair asked how the partnership is represented on this board? Bullock – it’s still early on in how this will work and it’s something that we have to continue to talk about this.

President of Town of the Terrace association commented on the lack of safe/fun spaces for the children in the neighborhood. Bullock – part of that would be including Rec and Parks in the conversation.  General discussion about the need for resources and preparing and educating people for the development that’s happening so that residents are not left behind. No Community action partnership offices on the west side. Habitat for Humanity rep offered to have a workshop here they also have workshops at their Restore locations. The Chair asked if this is a workshop the committee would be hosting? General voices of agreement.

Christina Engerman Is having a workshop for getting prepared for homeownership at Hollins House next Thursday at 6:30pm

Question about safety of seniors going to market and whether a new market will be built. Bullock – there is discussion of having a market in the Center West development. Has also talked to Sheriff’s office about providing assistance in these shopping centers.

 

Review of November Minutes – asked for amendments, corrections

Jake Booher motioned to accept; Leslie Ware seconded; minutes approved

 

Updates

 

Tax sale auctions

Tony Scott – The certificates that the city isn’t foreclosing on themselves have to be transferred to the real estate department which is in the Comptroller’s office.  Walter Horton has been reticent to meet with us before receiving the list, but we are trying to schedule a meeting with him. Quite a few properties are still not earmarked.

Receivership

Michael Seipp – It’s been two years since we submitted properties to the city for action. Went over some properties in Mount Clare with Nancy McCormick and Mount Clare is no longer patiently waiting. Met with Braverman to discuss possible remedies to the problem. Discussed the possibility of the using an entity that we created as the receiver instead of the city . A property can be assigned to a receiver for sale, assigned to a receiver for renovation or assigned for demolition.  Asked that we revisit the SWP forming a subsidiary/organization that would be recognized by the court as a receiver. This would allow the judge to assign the property to this entity with the agreement that said person must buy the house once renovation is complete. The original owner has the right to come back and purchase the property for whatever liens and investment put into the property and we would be obligated to accept the owners offer.

Booher suggested formation of subcommittee to help manage formation of subsidiaries. Volunteers listed below:

  • Leslie
  • Kitty
  • Neea
  • Paulette
  • Jake
  • Debra
  • Nancy
  • Sonia

Poe Homes planning grant process update

Chair gave an overview – there are three taskforces (neighborhood, people, housing) designed to gather info for this grant application. Michael Seipp is interim chair of the neighborhood taskforce.  Planning study area for this grant is the Poppleton and Hollins Roundhouse neighborhoods. Housing taskforce is only looking at the Poe Homes footprint. Neighborhood taskforce first meeting will be on Dec. 19th location TBD.  Breaking down into five areas housing, green spaces, community spaces, commercial/retail, transportation/infrastructure, . This will lead to a $950k pot of money that can go to capital projects and it can’t be for something that’s already funded.  Neighborhood taskforce will be responsible for coming up for a priority list. MS thinks the city should be working with the steering committee to get matching funds for this. Also, wants foundations to match. Proposing that government entities and neighborhood folks should have different levels of voting on the issues. Residents/property owners get a vote; government entities can be consultants.  

Houses for Habitat for Humanity

Need to figure out how to get people into the 7 homes in Pigtown.  Potential homeowners would have to go through a program to qualify. Housing committee will help promote that they are having trouble finding potential homeowners.

Landlord/Tenant workshop report

Workshop held at Southwest Charter School attended by 6 people who were all landlords or thinking of becoming landlords.  There seemed to be an interest among landlords knowing how to follow the law, do things appropriately etc so maybe we need to think about how to support them.

The committee should think about how best to reach out to tenants and moving it to a different location.

Civics Works Resource Fair (Healthcare & Housing) – Tuesday, 11am-1pm March 19 or 26 location TBD

Housing fair with University of Maryland, date and location TBD

Protecting seniors against fraud workshop Jan. 16 11-1pm @Hollins House

Jon Law – Lunch & Learn for seniors, snow date is Jan 23. First hour is a workshop with Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. There are only 50 slots so they have to RSVP by Jan 9th. Will also have music by Peabody students.

 

Old business – Jake Booher asked about progress on Hollins Market and Khandra Sears provided info on SWP’s letter to PMI and legislative representatives.

Sonia Eaddy noted that Center West developer is a part of the HUD Neighborhood taskforce.

 

Discussion on elections

Will be held in January for the chair in 2019.  Meeting on 2nd Thursday of the month. Voters must have attended 3 meetings over the past year. Tony will email eligible voters 10 days in advance. Anyone is eligible to run.

 

Meeting adjourned at 21:08