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HomeMy Public PortalAboutRockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund.docxRockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund (RAFTH) Approved Meeting Minutes 9/13/2023 Minutes approved,as amended,unanimously October 12 RAFTH meeting The meeting was called to order at 6:33pm.All 5 members were present. 1.Review and approve minutes of August 23,2023 (submission and posting) Denise Donnelly moved to accept the minutes,Peter Souza seconded the motion.All 5 members voted to accept the minutes. Denise informed us that Rosa Rescigno will be doing the meeting minutes for our meetings and will start by the end of the month. 2.Posting on Trust webpage of Town Website:minutes and attachments: vision and principal statement,new member posting-Peter Peter will be responsible for posting the meeting minutes and sending them to the town clerk. There is a posting for a new member on the jobs &volunteer opportunity page.Peter will add a link to the posting from our page. 3.3A consultation for TOVOD-MBTA updates-Bob Bob/the Planning Board have not had another meeting with the consultant since our last RAHTF meeting.Going forward,Diane will change this agenda item to a “planning board update” 4.Meeting with developer report-Bob Bob met with his friends who are developers,Trinity financial?.They do development of all kinds in the Boston area,and typically build 100+units. They toured different sites in Rockport including Granite St Crossing,the area around the train station,the Tool Company,upper Main St including Rockport Commons and Rockport Inn and Suites site.They were impressed by Harborlight ’s focus of 30-60%AMI,and they explained that developing for the lower income brackets gets precedent in the state for obtaining state funding.Apparently creating mixed use properties can also aid in getting funding faster.See Bobs notes attached 5.Meeting with Action,Inc info for AH chart-Peter Peter is trying to organize a call with them.He will report back at the next meeting. 6.Meeting with Kristin Carlson,Real Estate Director-Harborlight –Bob and Diane Bob and Diane met with Kristen.They were able to view the family units at Granite St Crossing.There are 10 kids that will be living in the family units. Family unit sizes are between 1200-1500 sf,the senior studios are 450sf. The total cost to build Granite St crossing was $12.7M. Rent is never more than 30%of household income. The board had a discussion about who owns the land at Millbrook Park,the Rockport Housing Authority senior housing development.This is land that could be better optimized and modernized. 7.Discuss Vertical Categories on one-page AH info sheet. We agree that the current amount of information about each organization is enough,it ’s digestible. Diane would like to add contact information to each organization and a definition of terms where acronyms are used. Peter will get the information for the Rockport Housing Authority and Action,Inc and add it to the chart.He will reformat when it ’s complete and add it to the website. 8.HPP follow up report-Denise The company has started gathering data.Denise and Mitch have a planning call with them next week.Denise is the selectperson who is the liaison for this project. 9.Gloucester Strategic plan as model We all felt that it is a good strategic plan.Diane has a call on Thursday 9/14/23 with JM Goldson LLC to explore them writing a 5 year strategic plan for RAHFT. 10.Draft Brainstorm of goals List of Potential Affordable Housing programs from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP)Guidebook for Municipal Affordable Housing Trusts such as RAHFT.Some of the programs are being done by other entities that RAHFT would duplicate.Do we want to be a funding entity or initiating development entity or both?We will continue to use this list to discuss priorities. 11.Research into funding sources The Board discussed different potential funding sources. Denise says there is little “free”cash in the general fund. Amy spoke out against the idea of a real estate transaction fee.Feels this contributes to de-incentivizing people to sell their homes and a lack of inventory is directly related to the lack of affordability. Community Impact Fee (CIF)on short term rentals-Amy suggests pushing for more of that money to be given to the RAHTF.Bob will explore what is the total amount given to the Town,what percentage comes to the Trust, can that be increased. RAHFT will begin to set funding stream priorities and research the feasibility of a variety of funding streams. Is there state money we can access? 12.Member Items We discussed the Rockport Housing Authority giving up its Section 8 vouchers to Newburyport who will handle the administration of them for the next 2 years while RHA works on getting themselves back on track.We have questions as to whether this will impact the SHI?Do the tenants recertifications have to be in person?Peter to report at next meeting Diane-discussed ZOOM meetings and wants to make sure we have IT available to run those meetings. Diane has a meeting scheduled with Ron LaBarre of the Rockport Finance Committee Oct.12 to begin collaboration with Town committees as partners. 9/21 there is a training for Affordable Housing Trusts that both Amy and Peter will attend and report on at next meeting Diane=clarified SAFE HARBOR BY PRODUCTION-a community has to be producing .5%of required SHI each year (about 18 for Rockport) PUBLIC COMMENT Terry:Have we been able to figure out how many short term rentals exist in Rockport?No Are they registered with the town? She encourages using ZOOM and feels that it will engage more residents. Commented on the parking at Granite St crossing and said that there was lead in the soil from the prior business and that had to be encapsulated by the paving. Toby-He’s concerned about the inaccuracies of the assessor's records as mentioned by Amy and Bob.In regards to the Tool Company site,there is at least 1-1 ½acres that is unbuildable.Landing Group (current owner)and chapter 91 licenses.Definition by Town of a ‘resident ’is unreliable Linda -Concerned about the planning board out touring sites for the TOVOD area when that hasn’t gone before the town.Concerned about the water,sewer,traffic issues that will arise with more buildings.Had comments regarding HPP and zoning. Ruth George-explained that the land that has the units owned by the Rockport Housing Authority is owned by the state not the town.