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Agenda & Minutes

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Housing Advisory Commission (View All)

Housing Advisory Commission Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The study session of the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) was called to order at 12:08 PM in the Lausmann Annex Room 151. 200 S. Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present Staff Present
Jason Elzy, Vice Chair
Randell Embertson, Chair
John Michaels
Matthew Stranahan
Paul Tanner

Commissioners Absent
Steven Erb
Randy Jones
Debra Lee
Clay Bearnson, City Council Liaison
Matt Brinkley, Staff Liaison
Angela Durant, Staff Liaison
Aleia Fletcher, Staff Liaison
Eric Mitton, Legal Staff Liaison
Harry Weiss, Staff Liaison
Staff Absent
Carla Paladino, Staff Liaison


10.   Downtown Housing and Residential Market Analysis Study by Johnson Economics
Planning Director Matt Brinkley presented the results of the downtown housing and residential market analysis study by Johnson Economics, whose purpose was to: 1) support residential development in downtown, 2) better understand residential market dynamics throughout the City, and 3) provide the City decision makers with analytical tools, including the ability to test out different housing development scenarios for contractors through the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) to help reduce overall costs. Plan also seeks to address the Downtown City Center 2050 Plan, which seeks to have 4,000 residents living downtown by 2050.

Key findings discussed included:
  • 39 day average to sell housing in Medford (tight market)
  • 3% rental vacancy (low vacancy)
  • Rent increase of 9% in 2016, 3.2% in mid-2019
  • 24,288 residential parcels
    • 35,447 units total
    • Area of study: 880 units, representing 2.5% of total housing
      • Small amount of vacant residential land in the study area due to flood plain and flood way
  • 915 multifamily units were built in the last decade, 28% of all new housing in Medford
  • Forecasted demand of 1,724 apartments over the next decade due to robust economic activity
  • With low amount of existing land; can build either parking or units in downtown; City may need to review into parking policies
  • Seismic retrofitting is significantly expensive; because of costs, may see more commercial development instead of residential
Executive Director of the Medford Urban Renewal Agency (MURA) Harry Weiss discussed the challenges of the 2050 Planís benchmark of 4,000 units and explained that the City may need to reevaluate goal expectations to be achievable in this market. When reviewing housing prototypes, high-rise development is challenging, as it costs $25,000 per parking space, which is not market-feasible. It may be necessary to review current parking requirements, in order to be feasible.

The MURA Board is interested in helping create housing in downtown. Mr. Weiss is taking a look at current land assets, all which are used for parking lots, and replacing this parking with another strategy, in order to assist with housing development; MURA is particularly  interested in looking at housing for those within 80%-120% Area Median Income (AMI).

Achievable apartment rents were discussed from the study. Johnson Economics provided an analytical tool, allowing the ability to model projects with various inputs, such as the number of units, square footage, rental prices, construction costs, loan costs, and System Development Charges (SDCs) and other associated project costs. This tool assists with generating a pro forma by providing a summary of projects and returns.      

20.   Consolidated Plan Update
Staff liaison Angela Durant provided an update regarding the 2020-2024 consolidated plan, a five-year document, required by HUD that is correlated with federal funding, which will be used to identify and prioritize goals and needs for City funding for the next five years. This plan will be completed and present to City Council with the annual action plan Ėan annual requirement for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding that details proposed program funding awarded for the next year- on May 7, 2020.

A Request for Proposals process recently concluded to assist with locating a consultant to assist with this planís development. A survey is also currently being worked on to assist with the Consolidated Plan. On February 26, 2020, there will be a public meeting called the Community Listening Session, hosted by the Community Development Grants Commission (CDGC), in order to hear and gather input from the public regarding prioritizing goals and needs for this plan. In addition, feedback from the prior HAC meeting regarding House Bill 4006 will also be included.

Meeting adjourned at 1:28 P.M.

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