Present: Chairman Jerry Burden, Cindy Cotton, Danny Holt, Kelly Green, Oakland Ard, Michelle Parker, Chrys Holley, Debbie Laird, and Michele Tucker. Janice Boone (Housing
Program Manager), Erin Lenn (Housing Program Coordinator), Melissa Welch (Housing Program Coordinator), Tony Gomillion (Public Services Director), and Hunter Walker (County Administrator) were also present.
Ard moved approval of the minutes from the March 26, 2008 meeting; Holt seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. (9-0)
Boone gave a detailed update on the HHRP Report. She said the extension letter she sent in to the State was approved. Boone said this extension will allow disbursement of the funds through June 30, 2009. She said it is her understanding three homes have been sold, one home from each of the organizations (CEII, Affordable Housing Solutions, and Crawford & McBride). Boone said she has forwarded a request to Affordable Housing Solutions for an update. She said technically contracts expire as of June 30, 2008. There was discussion on current housing market conditions
Boone gave a summary report and discussed monies within the fund. She said her department is seeing tremendous activity on the low and very low income homebuyers because of the strategy subsidy increase to $10,000.00. Boone said this was the first year for the $10,000.00 subsidy. She said already half of the monies have been spent out of the $190,000.00 allocation in 2007/2008 for down payment assistance. Boone said she felt this is an indication that what the County is doing is stimulating sales. She said the additional $2,500.00 subsidy may be making a difference. Boone said year 2005/2006 willbe closed out on June 30, 2008.
Burden asked if working with USDA at its current location in Crestview is a challenge. Boone said she felt any person from Milton working with USDA in Crestview is a challenge. She said USDA was administering funds for Emergency Repair in the past, but the County’s current plans are to the administer funds directly. Boone said the County is still working with USDA to finish up years 2005/2006 and 2006/2007.
Action Item: SHIP Allocation of Funds
Boone distributed a copy of her request. She said the first request is to move the funds still in Substantial Rehab in the amount of $43,294.00 and transfer $3.00 to Moderate Rehab/ER and $43,291.00 to the First Time Homebuyer Program; this will close out 2005/2006 funds. Boone said this money will be distributed at $7,500.00 each. She said this limitation is still on this year’s funding but will complement what the County is trying to do with the 2007/2008 money in getting money to low income individuals.
Boone said the second request is for funding 2007/2008. She said the request is to consider moving $150,000.00 from Substantial Rehab to the First Time Homebuyer Program. Boone said this funding was not opened up until March 25, 2008 and over half this money is already gone. She said once this money is made available it is used quickly.
Boone said staff requests these two recommendations from year 2005/2006 in the amount of $43,394.00 and 2007/2008 in the amount of $150,000.00 for the committee’s consideration.
Parker moved approval of both recommendations; Cotton seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. (9-0)
Consideration of Advisory Committee Candidates
Boone said she prepared a form showing the changes being specified by the State of Florida. She said she prepared a spreadsheet to show current openings on required community representatives to the committee. Boone said she received an email from Diane Collar at USDA RuralDevelopment. Boone said Collar has been assigned to the commercial and business side of activities with USDA Rural Development and has tendered her resignation effective today. She said Collar’s position on the list fell within the banking/mortgage banking industry since USDA Rural Development is a lender that provides support. Boone said Collar’s resignation does not create a vacancy as far as required committee members. She said she placed a call to Carlisle Development and spoke with Oscar Sol. Boone said Sol indicated he would be coming to Santa Rosa County and Escambia County on a regular basis and would be honored to be considered as nominee for the committee. Burden asked Boone if it is realistic Sol will be coming to this area on a monthly basis. Boone said yes. She said Sol is from Miami and would fall into the For Profit Affordable Housing Provider. Gomillion asked if there are any other nominees. Boone said she does not know of any other organization that would have a greater impact on Santa Rosa County as a For Profit Affordable Housing Provider. Gomillion said he does not disagree. He said is only thinking about other nominees that may be considered. Boone said there are several people who own several rental units that may be interested. She said these individuals would be considered a small investor. Boone said one benefit Sol would bring is that he works throughout the State of Florida and may provide Santa Rosa County with beneficial information. Gomillion agreed.
Laird said she prefers someone local. Holt said he feels somewhat the other way. He said he thinks the individual will give some outside knowledge to the committee. Burden said Carlisle Development has a large investment in Santa Rosa County. He agreed with Holt. Burden said he felt Sol may bring quite a bit of insight to the table. Gomillion said there may be a perception with a committee member from Miami versus a member from Santa Rosa County.
Boone said the other individual to be considered is Mike Majors with Major Home Improvements. She said this vacant committee position has to do with employer/employee
relations in Santa Rosa County. Boone said this area of representation has nothing to do with construction. She said Majors seemed to be sincerely interested in the position.
Burden said he knows Majors personally. He said Majors is a remarkable young man. Burden said he has taken a business that started him out as a contractor at Lowe’s installing windows and has done very well for himself. He said Majors obviously has a vision just based on what is seen at his business. Burden said Majors will be an asset to the committee. Boone said the recommendation came from Green.
Holley moved to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners the appointment of Mike Majors to the SHIP Advisory Committee; Laird seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. (9-0)
Cotton said she would like to wait until the next meeting to make a decision on the For Profit Affordable Housing Provider position to see if someone from the local level may be interested; Parker seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. (9-0)
Burden asked if there will be input regarding the Local Planning Board member by next meeting. Boone said yes.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting date is scheduled for May 28, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in the Public Services Community Room.
There being no further business to come before the Board at this time, the meeting adjourned.