TOWN OF MARION
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST
August 11, 2009
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ora Mae Torres, Chair
MEMBERS ABSENT: James Grady
ALSO PRESENT: Helen Westergard
Mrs. Torres called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Moved by Mr. Cushing and seconded by Mrs. Burrill to approve the minutes of the June 17 meeting as written. VOTE: 5-0-1 (Mr. Blanchette abstained)
Grace Hatch was introduced as the new assistant to the Trust.
Discussion – Financial Report
A new financial report was presented and reviewed by the board and was well received by all. It was suggested by Mr. Foster to go back to 07 & 08 in the same format.
Little Neck Village
Waiting List Update
The update of the waiting is complete; there currently are 36 applicants. The waiting list will be updated on an annual basis.
Mrs. Burrill noted that a unit has been vacant for a number of months and asked why a tenant has not yet been found. Mrs. Torres explained that the previous waiting list contained numerous names of people who were no longer interested in a unit. She suggested a new policy involving notification of the first three names on the list when a unit becomes available.
Maintenance Log Update
Discussion regarding procedures.
Little Neck Village application
The application used by EA Fish is being reviewed and revised to be more consistent with local needs.
Little Neck Village expansion
Mr. Angelo has indicated to Mrs. Torres that the project has received approval from Mass Housing for their permanent loan ($875,000). However, $300,000 of EA Fish’s own money has to be set aside to make up the difference resulting from the rental agreement with the current tenants.
The application to DHCD for Low Income Housing Tax Credits and “soft money” is still under review. EA Fish has requested that DHCD fund Little Neck Village “out of round”, which could result in the project being funded by the end of August.
Review of the land lease was discussed. It was agreed that the lease will be reviewed in Executive Session. All Trust members will be asked to attend the Executive Session; date to be determined.
Mrs. Burrill requested an update on adding a grandfather or addendum to the lease for the current residents at LNV; Mrs. Torres told her that Attorney Witten has mentioned that this is one of the remaining issues needing to be worked into the lease.
The historical reviews of the captains cottage has moved along; however, because the project is insured by HUD, a Federal review is also required.
Hermitage Trust Property
The ANR plan was endorsed by the Planning Board on July 20. The property still contains a line; Attorney Witten will be asked if it’s necessary to have a new plan drawn up with the line dissolved. Mrs. Torres has been told by Attorney Witten that the title search has to continue; the property should be ready to close by early to mid-September.
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mr. Cushing to purchase the property from the Hermitage Trust. VOTE: 6-0-0
Mr. Foster agreed to provide an update and possible time frame to the Hermitage Trust.
RFP – Housing Production Plan Update
Mrs. Torres said the RFP went out and we had 3 proposals. Mr. Blanchette asked who they were. Mrs. Torres said we had 4 names and 3 proposals were sent back - Karen Sunnarborg, James Haskell & Judy Barrett from Community opportunities Group who was referred by Jon Witten. The only one who did not return was Dick Heaton. Mrs. Torres said Judy, Paul and herself will review them. Mr. Blanchette asked if the Selectmen voted on these and Mrs. Torres noted that the selection is done by Paul Dawson.
Mrs. Burrell asked if the Housing Trust will give guidelines to the potential consultant. Specifically the rental needs and costs and affordability by Marion Town people. Mrs. Torres noted that the first priority would be to meet the DHCD guidelines. A part of the proposal is for the person comes to meet with the Trust initially. We will follow the guidelines already set within the RFP. Mrs. Torres is also looking for a format regarding an informational/educational piece that can be given out with definitions of Affordable Housing.
Mrs. Torres noted in preparation for our consultant she asked the Assessor’s for all vacant land in Marion. Mrs. Torres informed everyone that the safety net expires November 2010. After that point we are vulnerable for any other application that comes forward for affordable housing.
Community Preservation Funds/Open Space Acquisition Committee
Update from John Rockwell is they have a draft P&L.
Mr. Foster made a motion to adjourn.
Ora Mae Torres, Chair