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HomeMy Public PortalAboutRockport Affordable Housing Trust meeting minutes 8-9-23Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund (RAFHT) Meeting Minutes for Public Meeting held on August 9,2023 at 6:30pm in the Town Hall Annex Meeting called to order at 6:30pm by chairwoman,Diane Vella All 5 trustees were present-Diane Vella,Amy Beaton,Denise Donnelly,Peter Souza Jr,and Robert Simmons 1.Update on previous meeting minutes- Our previous meeting recordings are with the town hall and minutes will be produced by them, but beginning tonight we will have to take our own meeting minutes.Trustees will take turns doing the minutes.They will be brought to the following meeting for trustee approval,sent to Town Administrator and posted on the RAFHT webpage of the Town of Rockport Website. 2.The possibility of phone-in attendance of a Trustee and still have quorum- One person can be on by phone and still have a quorum,but that person has to be calling in from a town phone.It cannot be on any phone. 3.New members-posting on town website- Based on the current by-law,we are allowed 5 at-large residents on the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund,and we currently have 4,therefore we can only add one more member for now until the by-law changes. 4.Update on HPP progress and timeline- The company doing the HPP has been chosen by the town.They will begin the work on September 1,2023.According to their timeline,it will take approximately 6 months to complete. Part of their work will include a community engagement survey. 5.Proposed By-Law changes- The proposed by-law changes,which will be voted on at Town meeting and then require approval by the Attorney General,will allow for 4-6 at-large residents on the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund and at that time we can consider adding another member. We discussed whether a member has to be a registered voter in Rockport in order to be a member of a town board,or does it allow for someone who owns property in town to be a member. 6.3A consultant to TOVOD-MBTA planning Affordable Housing- Bob gave an update-The planning board has a meeting with the consultant scheduled for August 15,2023.Will discuss where they can find a site to meet the MBTA regulations.They are learning that if the town wants to require that a percentage of affordable housing be required as part of it,then the town must involve DHCD.At a certain point,it may require involving another consultant. 7.Schedule of meeting through the end of the year- The trustees agreed to keep meeting in person through October,and switch to ZOOM meetings from November through January.So far we have been meeting on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month,and we will look at specific dates at our next meeting. 8.Meeting with Harborlight update- Diane organized a meeting for herself and Amy to meet with Rosa Ordaz and Andrew DeFranza of Harborlight Homes to understand the process of creating affordable housing.Diane is looking to have a clearer understanding of what is involved from the idea of it to the actual creation of it. Bob will be talking to friends of his in Boston who also develop affordable housing.Peter spoke to Erin George from Action,Inc.and she indicated that Action,Inc might also be interested in partnering on projects. 9.Vision,Operating principles and goals discussion- We read through our current draft of our Vision and agreed that it needs some language changes regarding “conversion of homes”.We read through the draft of the Operating principles and agreed that some of those should go into our Goals sections rather than in the Operating principles. We discussed Affordable Homeownership vs.affordable rentals.Who manages the lottery and sales for homeownership.Town does not want to have the administrative duties of that process. Denise got an answer to a question raised at a previous meeting about money in the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund.If the money has come from the General Fund and if it has not been used by the Trust by the end of the Fiscal Year,then it has to go back to the General Fund because it ’s part of the operating costs. Currently,we have approximately $48,000 in our Trust Fund from the Community Impact Fee on Short term rentals.That stays in our account,and does not need to go back to the town at any point.We discussed wanting a better understanding of that fee,and what percentage of the total amount received by the town is then given to the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund. 10.Bob gave an update on the recent tour of Granite Street Crossing,,the newest development by Harborlight Homes.4 of the 5 Trustees were at the tour along with many other members of various town boards.They are very close to occupancy of the buildings.They created a total of 23 units on 1.3 acres or almost 18 dwelling units per acre.Seventeen of the units are for 62 years and over,6 units are for families.The units were targeted to 30%and 60%of AMI (Area Median Income).They received over 500 applications,and about half of those were entered into the lottery for 23 units.They had a 20%set aside of the units available for the “homeless.”These could be any individuals that are not in control of their housing,from Seniors living with grown children to people left homeless from natural disasters.Cape Ann residents were given local preference in the lottery. The meeting included public comment from several community members who attended. Answers to questions from public ●Minutes from the first 5 meetings were recorded and will be transcribed;the recordings of these meetings are with the Town Administrator.No confirmation to when these minutes will be posted on the Town website.Moving forward the minutes and/or recordings will be posted as soon as possible on the Town website.see item #1. ●The Housing Production Plan (HPP)work is scheduled to begin September 1.A “community engagement survey ”and public forums are on the timeline. ●The difference between the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund (RAFHT)and the Rockport Community Land Trust (RCLT)are as follows; The RCLT was established in 2021,it is a private non-profit entity,which intends to purchase land,build or rehab deed restricted affordable homes (buyers earning 80%AMI or below), which will be single family homes (or duplex)The land is retained by the RCLT. The RAFHT,established in 2017 and activated in 2023 by the Select Board,is a municipal public entity.The RAFHT intends to guide the development,funding,and purchase of land,the creation or rehab of buildings for deed-restricted affordable multi-family housing (at 80%AMI or below)for purchase and/or rental and does not retain the land on which it is built. Both trusts are eligible for CPC funding.The RCLT must have a specific project,the RAFHT does not.The Town general fund could be available to the municipal RAFHT. ●Homeless definition not mentioned in Harborlight proposal……….number of short-term lease (VRBO-like)properties in Rockport ●Why the RAFHT was not activated until 2023 is a question for the Select Board. ●Asking the Selectboard to define “resident”in the RAFHT by-laws for purposes of appointment to the RAFHT is as follows:The Town By-laws do not have a definition.The selectboard relies on individuals being registered voters,which is the town clerk's definition for residency;there has never been an official vote on this matter. The meeting had a motion to adjourn at 8:04pm by Amy Beaton.That was seconded by Denise Donnelly. Unanimously approved. Approved minutes August 23,2023