TOWN OF MARION
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST
March 11, 2009
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ora Mae Torres, Chair
MEMBERS ABSENT: Reg Foster
ALSO PRESENT: Jon Witten
Mrs. Torres called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mrs. Burrill to approve the minutes of the February 10 meeting with correction to be made relative to the names Gonsalves and Cushing. VOTE: 5-0-0
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mr. Henry to approve the minutes of the February 17 meeting. VOTE: 5-0-0
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Mr. Henry at 7::03 p.m. that the Trust move to Item #5 on the agenda and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a real estate matter under negotiation and that upon the conclusion thereof the Trust return to open session. VOTE: A roll call vote was taken with Mr. Grady, Mr. Henry, Mrs. Burrill, Mrs. Torres, and Mr. Blanchette all voting yes.
Little Neck Village Vacancy
Decision – New Tenants
Mrs. Torres said a unit at Little Neck Village has become available and the Trust needs to decide if it should be rented. EA Fish has agreed to use the existing method of calculating rent for the current residents; this agreement does not apply to any new tenants. Mrs. Torres said the Trustees need to decide if they want to rent to new tenants; if they do, a vote needs to be taken to change the rent structure so it will be consistent with the rents that EA Fish will put into place when the development is complete.
Mr. Henry said the current rent structure should be used for tenants in the current building and new rents should go into effect when the new units are available. He said the vacant unit should be rented in the event that EA Fish does not receive financing for another year.
Mr. Blanchette said EA Fish will know within 30 days if their financing has been approved and the Trust should not decide whether to rent the unit until that information is available. If the financing is approved and construction begins shortly after that time the unit should not be rented; if the financing is not approved the unit should be rented. Mrs. Torres voiced concern that a new tenant renting under the current structure might not meet the new requirements and could face eviction when the project is complete. Mr. Henry said the Trust might not want to rent in order to avoid an inequality. Attorney Witten said if the Trust chose to rent the unit at this time the lease agreement would have to reflect contractually that the tenant is obligated _________________. Mrs. Burrell asked if the
people on the waiting list are aware of the upcoming changes; she was told a letter has been drafted and will be sent to everyone on the waiting list. The correspondence will include information allowing them to determine if they’re eligible for residency and also a “self-certification” application.
Moved by Mr. Henry and seconded by Mr. Grady to table new admissions until such time as the Trust hears about funding from DHCD. VOTE: 5-0-0
Request for Refund
One of the tenants left on January 31. Days before he left his family notified Rose Jackson that he was leaving and they were told that she would take care of it. At that point the family was under the assumption that they had given proper notice although the lease requires a 60 day written notice. The family is now requesting a refund of the February rent.
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mrs. Burrell to return the rent ($183) to Stephanie Smith on behalf of her father without prejudice. VOTE: 5-0-0
Helen Westergard suggested a letter to the residents reminding them of procedure.
Partnership with Open Space Acquisition Committee for Property on Route 6 - $40,000
The original CPC application from the Trust had four components; at the first CPC meeting they were offered the opportunity to share a project with the Open Space Acquisition Committee. The project involved the purchase a parcel on Route 6 and the Trust’s share of the cost would be $40,000. The Trust will take a small section of parcel and transfer it to Habitat for Humanity. At the February 17 meeting of the Trust it was agreed to submit two applications to CPC (Affordable Housing Plan/Housing Production Plan update, purchase of the Route 6 parcel.) Mrs. Torres said she has since realized that to have the Habitat for Humanity house count in the SHI it has to receive a State or Federal subsidy. A representative from DHCD explained to her that the project could go before the Board
of Selectmen as a LIP, which would require DHCD review. The DHCD review would be considered technical assistance and a therefore a subsidy. Attorney Witten said the LIP process for this project, when it’s ready to move forward, should be initiated by the Selectmen.
Update of Affordable Housing Plan/Housing Production Plan - $20,000
Mrs. Torres said she and Mr. Dawson have discussed ways of getting the RFP out to a wider pool of consultants.
Fee Payment to Trust at Closing
Attorney Witten said the fees to be paid by EA Fish at the closing will be allowed to stay with the Trust. Mrs. Torres asked what would happen in the event there were CPC funds remaining from the Little Neck Village project. Attorney Witten said if the funds were specifically earmarked the excess should be returned to CPC.
Little Neck Village Project Updates
DHCD Tax Credit Application
Mr. Angelo has told Mrs. Torres that EA Fish has submitted to DHCD two letters of intent; one from the Royal Bank of Canada and one from Redstone Capital. Mr. Angelo estimates even with LIHTC a financing deficit of approximately $500,000 will remain. EA Fish will be requesting additional funding from DHCD to help close the gap.
Meeting with Residents
EA Fish will be meeting on March 20 with the residents of Little Neck Village to provide them an update of the project.
EA Fish has requested an opportunity to enter the vacant unit to test for lead and asbestos.
Captain’s Cottage RFP
No responses were received to the RFP for the removal of the Captain’s cottage. During the review by Mass. Historical Commission it was discovered that Federal review will be required prior to demolition.
Request for Letter of Support from Representatives
Five representatives (Sen. Kennedy, Sen. Kerry, Congressman Frank, Rep. Pacheco, and Rep. Strauss) were sent requests for letters of support for Little Neck Village.
Mass. Housing Questions
An appraiser from Mass. Housing visited Mr. Dawson recently and asked some questions relative to the project.
The financial report was reviewed and discussed.
Neighborhood Overlay District
The Planning Board will be having public hearings for a new overlay district on March 16. After discussion it was agreed that some of the Trustees might attend the meeting.
Mrs. Torres said she wanted to make sure the part-time staff position remained in the budget.
CHAPA funds are available for communities to use for projects relative to affordable housing outreach and education. Trustees discussed requesting funds to develop a brochure.
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Mr. Henry to adjourn at 8:50 p.m. VOTE: 5-0-0
Ora Mae Torres, Chair