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HomeMy Public PortalAboutRockport Affordable Housing Trust Meeting Minutes 11-8-2023 (PDF)Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund Approved Meeting Minutes 11/8/2023 1. The meeting was called to order at 6:32pm. All 5 members were present. This was the first meeting on ZOOM. 2. We reviewed the meeting minutes from 10/11/2023. Amy made a motion to approve, Denise seconded the motion. A roll call vote of members approved the minutes as corrected. 3. Community Impact Tax update- Diane and Bob met with Mitch. It was confirmed that the state tax is 5.7% paid to the Department of Revenue, 3% of that comes to the Town of Rockport. 35% of that 3% comes to the Rockport Affordable Housing Trust Fund. RAHTF currently has approximately $51,000 that has been accumulating since 2017. The tax is state mandated, but it is still self- reported. Some short term rental sites, like VRBO and Airbnb automatically pay 5.7% to the state. Private rentals, through facebook, Craig’s list or referral, for example, paying the tax on their short term rental property, is the responsibility of the property owner to collect and pay the Department of Revenue. When the time comes that RAHTF wants the funds, we send a letter to the Selectboard and they vote to have it released to us. 4. APRA funds update- The town received approximately $2.1M. It has been recommended by the Town Administrator that $100,000 of that money go to RAHTF. This shows great support for the trust. Waiting approval by the town attorney, auditor and SelectBoard. 5. Planning board updates- Bob & Diane Diane attended the Planning Board meeting where they talked about increasing the required percentage of affordable units in the TOV-MBTA Plan. Some Planning Board members agreed, and some did not think increasing Affordable Housing in the TOV-MBTA district was advisable. Affordable Housing in the TOV-MBTA currently 10%. Would the Planning Board be open to increasing it to 20% by conducting a feasibility study as required by EOHLC. The Planning Board position is that it has a lot to get passed at the spring town meeting and did not want to conflate the issues. Denise felt that they weren’t saying no altogether, but instead had so much to focus on with the new zoning changes at the next town meeting, that adding to that with the suggested increase was too much and not the right time. Diane and Bob also discussed what it might mean for Rockport to become a Smart Growth Community. Bob was going to do more research on this. 6. AH housing info/vehicles chart approval for posting and distribution- Bob moved to approve Peter seconded the motion Roll call of members voted to agree to post and distribute the chart. It will be posted on our webpage of the town website. 7. HPP timeline and follow up report- Denise The company doing the HPP has finalized the community survey. It will be posted on the town website and there will be paper copies available for people. The town currently has another survey posted on the town website, so they are waiting for that to be completed before issuing this survey to avoid confusion. Once the survey is posted, it will run for 2 work weeks. The results of this survey will feed into the HPP. All Trustees are strongly encouraged to promote completion of the survey by as many Rockport citizens as possible. Diane expressed concern over the length of time the HPP will take (up to 6 months). And if the HPP consultants planned to consult with or seat a “working group” made up of Affordable Housing stakeholders in Rockport as what is customary in other town’s HPP. Denise explained that there will be public sessions conducted by the company doing the HPP as well. Denise is the selectperson that is leading the HPP. 8. Strategic Plan- Diane Diane and Bob met with Mitch. He explained that we would have to get 3 bids from companies to do a strategic plan. Anything that costs over $10,000 requires a bidding process. 9. New Tax Relief for Affordable Housing A new Tax Relief Bill was passed and there are clauses for Affordable Housing - Peter will look into this and report any information relevant to the Trusts work. The Affordable Housing Act as a part of the Housing Bond Bill is being proposed by Gov. Healy. Bob will look into the proposed Affordable Housing Act for information relevant to the Trust. 10. Prioritizing of Trust goals Funder/initiator- It is too soon for us to decide this yet. We are still in the research and learning phase, plus we need the HPP to be complete which will help us create our goals. 11. Prioritizing Funding Sources- tabled. 12. Collaboration Meetings- One of RAHTF Principles is to collaborate and be working in conjunction with other town committees. In that spirit, Diane met with representatives of ConCom, Planning Board, CPC, Finance Committee, The Rockport Affordable Housing Coalition. 13. Member Items: Peter- on our webpage of the Town website, there is no contact information for our committee. Peter will look into the possibility of getting a generic email. Amy expressed concern about who will monitor that. Can a generic email go to each of our personal emails so that we can all see emails that come in? Diane- There are 2 people potentially interested in being a member of the RAHTF. Diane will send us their information after meeting with them, and if possible, would like each of us to reach out to the people. We agreed that they should attend a meeting or two to make sure they would be interested before we pass on our recommendation to the Town Administrator. Diane- The town Holiday Party is being held on December 12 from 4-6pm at the Community Center. Our next meeting will be November 29, 2023 at 6:30pm via ZOOM Public Comment- Answers to questions in Bold Laura Evans- Likes the idea of tax relief for existing properties rather than just new development to help with Affordable Housing. She also expressed being in favor of a real estate transaction fee for sales over $1M to help fund RAHTF. Laura also asked if RAHFT will have input into the HPP survey? It has been requested that we do see item #7 Will RAHTF get to see the survey before it is posted? It has been requested that we do. Toby Arsenian- He agrees that any new members should come to meetings first. In regard to contact information for RAHTF, would the town clerk be willing to be the contact and pass messages along to us? Yes. Toby suggested that we could ask Bruce Tarr and Ann Margaret Ferrante to keep us informed about the tax relief information. Toby wants to make sure there are hard copies of the information we are posting to our website for anyone who does not use a computer. Regarding the Smart Growth Community that was mentioned, who determines if Rockport were to be such a community? To be addressed at the 11/29 meeting. Regarding TOV-MBTA, will RAHTF ask the planning board to change the zoning that requires a special permit for 10% affordable housing? This is a part of the zoning changes that will come to STM. Ruth George- Ruth wants to remind us that CPC will be having a meeting on November 21 at 6pm over ZOOM, and it will focus on the CPC application for funding. The meeting was adjourned at 7:46 pm Denise moved to adjourn the meeting Amy seconded the motion Roll call of all members agreed to adjourn the meeting. documents: draft meeting minutes for 11/8/23 Affordable Housing comparison chart HPP timeline Proposed funding sources and goals