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Agenda & Minutes

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Housing Advisory Commission (View All)

Housing Advisory Commission Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

December 9, 2020
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.                                                                        
Virtual Meeting
Office of the Governor Executive Orders require that the governing body of a public body hold public meetings and hearings in compliance with social distancing and face covering requirements. This meeting is being conducted by virtual means in compliance with the Governor’s Orders. To attend virtually, click HERE.
Roll Call
The study session of the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) was called to order at 6:01 P.M. virtually on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present Staff Present
Randell Embertson, Chair
Jason Elzy, Vice Chair
Debra Lee
John Michaels
Matthew Stranahan
Paul Tanner – arrived at 6:06 P.M.
Commissioners Absent
Steven Erb
Randy Jones
Staff Absent
Clay Bearnson, City Council Liaison
Angela Durant, Staff Liaison
Carla Paladino, Staff Liaison
Eric Mitton, Legal Staff Liaison
Matt Brinkley, Staff Liaison
Harry Weiss, Staff Liaison
Aleia Fletcher, Staff Liaison
Guests Present
Sadie DiNatale, ECONorthwest
Beth Goodman, ECONorthwest
Sean Edging, Department of Land Conservation & Development (DLCD)

10.   Medford Housing Production Strategy: Meeting #1
10.1  Welcome
Brief introductions were made from ECONorthwest’s project team and the HAC.
10.2 Overview of Project, Relationship to the Housing Capacity Analysis, and Schedule
ECONorthwest’s Beth Goodman provided a brief overview of what a Housing Production Strategy (HPS) is, the relationship between the HPS and the Housing Capacity Analysis, and the project schedule.
10.3 Group Discussion: Desired Outcomes of the Housing Production Strategy
Ms. Goodman requested Commissioners share their thoughts on a few questions, including: (1) What would make this project a success? (2) What do you hope this project achieves? and (3) What are the risks of the project?

Key highlights are summarized below.
  • Produce housing and define benchmarks for housing needs with prospective success shown through a reduction in the number of persons on the waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher of subsidized, affordable housing units, as well as a measurable reduction in the number of rent-burdened and extremely rent-burdened households in Jackson County.
  • Consider housing production using an equity lens to help represent low-income and diverse populations, as housing market disruption increasingly impacts people of color.
  • Produce more housing and identify where funding would be best spent given Medford’s limited resources, in order to help serve the greatest number of people.
  • Address the biggest barriers to housing production of the affordability of land and ability to convert land into viable housing options. Update zoning codes to allow for more creative housing options and infill opportunities.
  • Identify clear goals and objectives to help drive Medford’s policies.
  • Create neighborhoods with a range of economic backgrounds and housing options.
  • Identify community strengths and how Medford can seek to capitalize on these. Consider solutions that may be outside the box.
  • Develop a clear sense of how Medford can increase permanently affordable housing. In the HPS report, clarify whose role it is to implement particular strategies (i.e., actions the City should implement versus actions that require a collaborative model). Diversification of housing is critical while also factoring in transportation and housing costs when considering cost burdening statistics.
  • Prioritize those who are most vulnerable (such as people experiencing homelessness and those with special needs) and focus on where can assist with the most impact in terms of affordable housing.
  • Begin having challenging conversations that are needed to develop policy solutions to achieve Medford’s housing goals. Build relationships and coalitions and build a foundation to support those relationships.
10.4 Review of Medford’s Key Housing Needs
Ms. Goodman presented preliminary findings about Medford’s key housing needs.
10.5 Review and Discussion of Medford’s Existing Housing Measures and Gaps
Ms. Goodman presented on the factors that influence housing development and provided an overview of housing market dynamics in Medford. She described how housing strategies in the HPS would be identified and evaluated and acknowledged the City of Medford’s existing housing policies. 

Goodman shared 12 categories of potential housing strategies, to meet Medford’s housing needs and to address the City’s existing housing policy gaps. She then posed two questions to the group: (1) Do you have feedback on the categories or strategies highlighted in the presentation? and (2) Are there measures, strategies, or actions that the City should consider that are not discussed in the presentation?

Key highlights from discussion included:
  • The importance of focusing on strategies that focus on assisting sub-populations with the greatest need.
  • Consider an employer-assisted housing strategy, as many employers in Medford struggle to attract and retain employees, due to lack of available and affordable housing.
10.6 Next Steps
As a next step, ECONorthwest will finalize the list of potential housing strategies and begin to document an evaluation on each strategy in collaboration with City staff.

The next Commission meeting of the HPS will take place on February 10, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

Meeting adjourned at 7:54 P.M.

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