Southwest Partnership Housing Committee
September 13, 2018 Meeting Minutes
Attendees:

Diana Geis (Barre Circle)
Suzanne Welch (CPDC/Hollins House)
Lou Packett
John Cobb
Tony Scott
Nancy McCormick (Mt. Clare)
Sonya Eddy (Poppleton)
Edith Gilliard (Franklin Sq.)
Donald Eaddy
Nancy McCormick (Mt. Clare)
Robyn Dorsey (Consumer Rights)
Jonathan Law
Taylor Smith-Hams
Christina Engerman
D. Young
Dorothy Page

1) Introductions. Donald Eaddy was introduced as the new SWP intern.

2) Review of August Minutes. The minutes were reviewed and approved.

3) Community Solar Panel Presentation. TaylorSmith-Hams provided the following update (taylor@chesapeakeclimate.org ). She works with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network that has been working on community solar for several years. Panels are installed on a site in the community. The energy goes to the grid. You sign up with a solar provider and pay for your monthly share of the energy at a reduced rate. Your utility company then reimburses you for the share of dirty electricity that you aren’t using. There is a temporary program approved in Maryland. The two current providers are Neighborhood Sun and CleanChoice Energy. One project is in Westminster and CleanChoice is building projects in the County.

4) Community Reinvestment Act Activism. Robyn Dorsey, who is with Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, provided information on the discrepancy between what banks say their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations are and what communities think their needs are. Merger activities have made the CRA decision making process further and further removed from the community. There is major disinvestment in East and West Baltimore, but only CRA investment in the center core and Johns Hopkins area. She recommends that communities make comments during the comment period which sometimes is during a period of merger. The CRA exams also work every three years and comments can be made then. The final opportunity is when banks close. BOA holds 50% of the city deposits but has closed 40% of their bank branches. They want to train SWP to engage in CRA advocacy. They could also work with SWP on funding a Community Fellowship that can come up with data to work with. Could a bank be included in larger developments occurring in the community? We discussed that this needs to be bumped up to the SWP board. Diana asked for a proposal in an email to go to the SWP Board.Robyn@marylandconsumers.org.

5) Updates

i) La Cite (Centre West). Sonya provided the following update.They have been unable to meet with the project manager (Dan Blythwood). Sonya spoke with Ernie who indicated that they are doing punch out now and it should be complete in late October for lease up. Sonya asked for a tour. Sonya still hasn’t heard who the commercial uses are. It has been heard that there is a big public event planned in October in Baltimore Sun and Facebook. The City is trying to acquire additional properties for La Cite for phase 3 and 4. Poppleton is fighting the extension. The developer wants to jump to phase 4 (Mulberry and Schroeder Street to Poppleton) to do their taller buildings. Poppleton doesn’t what the properties acquired and vacated when they aren’t ready to get to that phase. The next hearing should be before Oct. 1st. Lou thinks that Poppleton should not give on their demands and the SWP needs to back Poppleton.

ii) Poe Homes HUD Grant. HABC was awarded a $1.3 million HUD grant for a comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of Poe Homes (288 units of public housing). It is suggested that Michael contact them for how SWP communities could participate. Jonathan said that there are three committees being formed. There is concern about neighborhood displacement. No meeting dates are set yet. Further information should be provided. Suzanne recommended a planning process like the process used for formulating the SWP Vision. Diana made a motion (that was seconded and approved) that the SWP Housing Committee support getting SWP, Poppleton and Hollins to create a way to have community engagement in the process to represent thecommunity’s needs.

iii) Tax Sale/Auctions. The City had 212 certificates entirely in error. The City was able to move most of the certificates back onto the bulk sale in October. Maybe 10 properties must be deferred until next October. About 22 defaulted to the City and they are with the City RE department but SWP can still foreclose on them under a different timeline. In the end, there are about 150 certificates back on track. For the Mt. Clare properties, a developer is lined up to bid in bulk and parcel them out to other developers. The City was not ready yet for a bulk sale of the Franklin Square properties. Diana commended Michael for his hard work. Edith asked what is the status for the CORE funding for the Franklin Square vacants and has the CORE funding come through yet? Sonya ask about getting some of the vacants redeveloped in Poppleton. Sonya asked Tony to send the list of properties to the Housing Committee list.

iv) Southwest Partnership Palooza. SWP will be emphasizing the communities and committees. A sign-up sheet went around. September 29th from 4-7 pm.

v) ‘Highway to nowhere’. Mentioned during the solar presentation, Lou commented that the Urban Land Institute is looking into putting in a major super market, athletic fields and green space. Could it be a solar opportunity to span some of that space? Initial plans should come out soon.

6) Housing Committee Goals. The goals need to be revised and discussed at the next meeting. See the website for the current text.

7) Old Business. None

8) New Business.
Lou passed out a flier for Sat. 15th Education Committee discussion on schools. John Bullock is coming to the next Housing Committee meeting to discuss affordable housing and community land trusts. The goal is to set aside $20 million annually for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This is funded by a .6% excise tax on recordation instruments.

At 1013 Fayette Street, the steps were replaced in a very unusual way. Who should be contacted?Ask Dan at CHAP.

The next Aging in Place subcommittee meeting is next Tuesday at 6 pm (9/18)at Zella’s.

Next Month’s meeting is October 18th (third Thursday). There is reception for the new B&O CEO the second Thursday in October.

Prepared by Suzanne Welch