Loading...
12-04-2012WorkSession L I MINUTES OF A WORK SESSION OF THE 2 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE 3 MESILLA VALLEY PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY 4 DECEMBER 4, 2012 5 6 7 A Work Session of the Board of Commissioners of the Mesilla Valley Public Housing 8 Authority was held in the Main Conference Room located at 926 S. San Pedro Street, 9 Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001. 10 11 1. CALL TO ORDER 12 13 Vice Chairman Arturo Marrujo called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m. 14 15 2. ROLL CALL 16 17 18 MEMBERS PRESENT: Arturo Marrujo, Vice Chairman 19 Steve Pandak, Commissioner 20 Felix Cordero, Commissioner 21 Theresa Olguin-Fisher, Commissioner 22 23 MEMBERS ABSENT: Art Jir6n, Chairman (excused) 24 25 STAFF PRESENT: Robbie R. Levey, Interim Executive Director 26 Jesse Padilla, Interim Deputy Director 27 Sharon Hansen, Accountant 28 Lee Montague, Modernization/Maintenance Manager 29 Christine Gonzalez, Executive Assistant 30 31 STAFF ABSENT: Annettie Machuca, AMA 32 33 GUESTS: None 34 35 3. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS 36 37 Vice Chairman Marrujo welcomed everyone to the meeting today and introduced Ms. 38 Theresa Olguin-Fisher as the new Commissioner appointed by the Board of County 39 Commissioners. He then asked Ms. Olguin-Fisher to give a short overview of her 4o background. Commissioner Olguin-Fisher stated that she is a small business owner, 41 with a background in mechanical engineering and is now retired. She also stated that 42 she was the former President of the Anthony Chamber of Commerce. She was also 43 involved with the foster care program and had a home with the EI Paso Housing 44 Authority. She also worked as a "promotor de negocios," working with people who want 45 to start small businesses. 46 47 4. PUBLIC INPUT 48 49 No one was in attendance from the public. 50 1 1 5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST 2 3 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked if any Commissioner or staff member had any known 4 conflict of interest with any item on the agenda. No one expressed or revealed any 5 conflicts. 6 7 6. APPROVAL OF REGULAR AGENDA 8 9 Vice Chairman Marrujo then asked for a motion to approve the regular agenda. to Commissioner Pandak made a motion to approve the regular Agenda, and 11 Commissioner Cordero seconded the motion. 12 13 Commissioner Pandak — aye 14 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher — aye 15 Commissioner Cordero — aye 16 Commissioner Marrujo - aye 17 18 The motion was approved unanimously with a vote of 4 ayes. 19 20 7. CONSENT AGENDA - Not applicable. 21 22 8. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND OF ANY 23 SPECIAL MEETINGS 24 25 Approval of Minutes from a Regular Meeting on October 16, 2012 26 27 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked for a motion to approve the Minutes. Commissioner ' 28 Pandak made a motion to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 16, 29 2012 as written. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Cordero. 30 31 Commissioner Pandak — aye 32 Commissioner Cordero —aye 33 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher — aye 34 Commissioner Marrujo - aye 35 36 The motion was approved unanimously with a vote of 4 ayes. 37 38 9 RESOLUTIONS — There were no resolutions. 39 40 10. Unfinished Business 41 42 i. Reschedule Tour of MVPHA properties in Las Cruces 43 44 Vice Chairman Marrujo stated that this item is back on the agenda because the Board 45 members wanted to wait until the new Commissioner started her term of service, and 46 hopefully Chairman Jiron would be able to participate in the tour. He then asked that 47 this item be placed on the Agenda at the Regular Board Meeting to be held on 48 December 18, 2012. He also stated that he would like to have this tour sometime in 49 January 2013. All other Commissioners agreed. 50 2 1 ii. Discussion of time for regular Board Meetings 2 3 Vice Chairman Marrujo stated that the regular meetings are currently held at 2 p.m. on 4 the third Tuesday of each month and that at the last meeting, there was some 5 discussion regarding changing the time of these Board meetings to 12 noon, and having 6 luncheon meetings. Commissioner Olguin-Fisher asked how long do the meetings 7 normally last. Response was that meetings are usually 1 hour to 1 '/Z hours. After 8 discussion, it was agreed by all Commissioners present that the meetings will be held 9 on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, at 12 noon, commencing with the January 15, 2013 to meeting. The December 18, 2012 meeting will remain at 2 p.m. 11 12 iii. Reminder— Annual MVPHA Board of Commissioners Meeting on 13 Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2 p.m. 14 15 Vice Chairman Marrujo stated that at the annual MVPHA Board of Commissioners 16 Meeting on December 18, 2012, there will be an election for Chairman and Vice 17 Chairman of the Board for the coming year. Ms. Levey explained that in the current 18 Bylaws, it is stated that there is an annual meeting each December and the election of 19 Chairman and Vice Chairman occurs at the annual meeting. Commissioner Pandak 20 asked if a conference call could be set up in order to include Chairman Jiron in the 21 December meeting in case he cannot attend in person and is willing to call in. Ms. 22 Levey stated that is possible. 23 24 11. NEW BUSINESS 25 26 Annual Strategic Planning 27 28 i. Review MVPHA Mission Statement 29 30 Vice Chairman Marrujo continued with the Annual Strategic Planning session. He 31 asked Ms. Levey to begin discussion. Ms. Levey stated that she included the Mission 32 Statement and a summary of the Status of the Current Goals for the Board of 33 Commissioners. 34 35 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked if the Mission Statement is the one that has always been 36 used for the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority (MVPHA). Ms. Levey stated that is 37 has been the Mission Statement for several years, and that it is reviewed every year. 38 The Commissioners are free to change it, as they wish. Vice Chairman Marrujo asked i 39 this could be changed slightly stating that since the two Housing Authorities have 40 merged, he believes it should include the geographic areas in Las Cruces and Dona 41 Ana County. Ms. Levey then explained to Commissioner Olguin-Fisher that a joinder 42 between the Housing Authority of the City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County Housing 43 Authority took effect January 1, 2012, and both housing authorities were combined into 44 one, now known as the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority. Previous to the joinder, 45 there were two separate budgets, separate audits, two separate Annual Plans, etc. Ms. 46 Levey then explained that once a Mission Statement and goals are agreed upon, they 47 would be incorporated into a Resolution for Board approval and then they will become 48 part of the Annual Plan to be submitted to HUD in 2013. 49 50 3 1 After some discussion, the following was agreed by all Commissioners to become the 2 Mission Statement for the MVPHA: 3 4 "To lead the public effort in providing safe, affordable housing and associated services 5 that provide opportunities to eligible persons in Dona Ana County." 6 7 ii. Discussion of current goals (FY 2012) 8 9 Interim Executive Director Levey stated that the 2012 Goals were approved by the 10 previous HACLC Board of Commissioners and the new goals to be discussed today will 11 become the goals effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Ms. Levey also stated 12 that she and the MVPHA managers have reviewed the Status of Current Goals and 13 summarized the status and what has been accomplished during the fiscal year to date. 14 15 One of the items this year has been to focus on the Public Housing program and the 16 Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Ms. Levey stated that under the Proposed 17 Goals, numbers 1 - 7 are the current goals and numbers 8 — 12 are new goals which 18 can be incorporated with current goals or reworded into the current goals. The goals are 19 the decision of the Commissioners. 20 21 Because we have a new Commissioner, Ms. Olguin-Fisher, Ms. Levey asked if the 22 Commissioners wanted her to review the status of the current goals. Ms. Levey then 23 discussed the following: 24 25 1) Manage current assets and programs for quality, stability, increased revenue and 26 risk management. 27 28 a. Public Housing 29 30 Ms. Levey stated that the NM HUD Field Office requires 98% occupancy in Public 31 Housing units. 32 33 She also stated that the Capital Fund Program (CFP) has been running smoothly. The 34 funding that HUD gives the Housing Authority to run the Public Housing program is 35 under $400,000 annually. However due to the former Executive Director not getting a 36 contract signed for this funding, we will lose approximately one-half of that funding for 37 2012. 38 39 The Burley Court mortgage was refinanced with Wells Fargo Bank for a 15-year 40 mortgage. This eliminates the previous mortgage (monthly payments of principal only 41 and a balloon payment at the end of year 5). 42 43 Villa Sereno in Anthony, NM - This small public housing development was converted 44 into a homeownership program and tenants already in the units were able to purchase 45 the units. Currently there are two vacant units and 3 occupied rental units. 46 47 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked Mr. Montague if the Maintenance staff training is OSHA- 48 certified. Mr. Montague responded no, that staff is not OSHA-certified. He told him that 49 we have licensed personnel in their trades. He did state that the Maintenance staff has 50 once-a-month safety meetings to give them reminders on safety issues. 4 1 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher asked Mr. Montague if we are required to have carbon 2 monoxide detectors in our units, and if our units are old enough to be concerned with 3 asbestos? The response to both questions was no; however, we are required to have 4 smoke alarms. Vice Chairman Marrujo stated that we may be required, in future new 5 construction projects, to install carbon monoxide detectors. 6 7 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked about the donation of the Villa Sereno Community Center 8 to the City of Anthony. Ms. Levey stated that the City of Anthony asked for the 9 Community Center to be donated and the former Executive Director had agreed that the 10 Housing Authority would donate it and pay for the utilities and maintenance. However 11 paying for utilities and providing maintenance is not possible. The new Mayor of the 12 City of Anthony is willing to lease the center and pay for utilities and maintenance. 13 HUD's recommendation is to lease the property to the City of Anthony. 14 15 Ms. Levey also stated that Dona Ana County does not want the Anthony Community 16 Center. Mr. Padilla stated that the community center is approximately 1300-square feet 17 and is in good condition. Ms. Levey stated that when she asked HUD about donating 18 the Center, we were given four choices regarding the Community Center including the 19 following: 20 21 • Sell it to the City at Fair Market Value (FMV); 22 • Have the City of Anthony declare eminent domain and they pay FMV; 23 • Apply to HUD in a Section 18 application to donate the center; or 24 • Enter into a lease with the City (and file a Section 18 application in the 25 interim). 26 27 Discussion also followed regarding the lot on Elder Street, near Mulberry. Ms. Levey 28 informed the Board that she will be meeting with representatives of the Las Cruces 29 Public Schools Construction Trades Program. The Trades Program is hoping to get 30 funding to continue building and the plan is to prequalify families for a loan with a bank. 31 32 b. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program 33 34 The Housing Choice Voucher program currently has 1100 vouchers that are leased up; 35 the maximum is 1522 vouchers. We are currently over-budgeted on these vouchers in 36 order to increase the administrative fee, per directives from the NM HUD Field Office. 37 HUD establishes the fair market rent each year for all bedroom sizes, and for 2013, 38 these have been adjusted accordingly. The biggest problem in Las Cruces is finding a 39 suitable home that is affordable to the family. 40 41 Ms. Levey stated that our administrative fees to run the Section 8 Program continue to 42 be cut by HUD. Fortunately, the housing assistance payments (HAP) for landlords have 43 not been cut. Ms. Hansen then explained the Net Restricted Assets (NRA) and how it is 44 used. HUD did not want housing authorities to return unexpended HAP funds, therefore, 45 money began to accumulate and some housing authorities have some sizeable 46 reserves. 47 48 Ms. Hansen then discussed the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) stating that if we 49 do not use the HAP payments, then our future funding is decreased to force us to use 5o the cash we have in the Net Restricted Assets account. In other words, "Use it or lose 5 1 it" per HUD. We have overspent our HAP money in order to bring down our NRA 2 balance. HUD has reduced funding so that we are spending funds we have previously 3 received from them. For example, Ms. Levey stated that instead of receiving 4 approximately $500,000 for October, we only received $95,000. We have to use our 5 NRA before receiving full subsidy. Congress has not yet approved a budget, and that 6 probably will not happen until March 2013. Ms. Hansen stated we need to really be 7 careful and closely monitor what is spent. HUD is making us use reserves instead of 8 giving us full funding. Ms. Hansen stated we no longer have annual budgets. We are 9 funded on a month-to-month basis for public housing and have up to a three-month 10 funding schedule for the Voucher program. 11 12 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked if any discussion has occurred with HUD regarding, for 13 example, if EI Paso does not use their funds, can it share with Las Cruces? Ms. 14 Hansen stated that we submit monthly VMS reports for the Voucher program that let 15 HUD know what we actually spend and what our NRA balances are. Funding is based 16 on these numbers. Commissioner Cordero asked if HUD will allow us to have a cushion 17 of reserves. The response was that at one time, we were told that we would be allowed 18 to have at least a one-month reserve, but that is no longer the case. We do not want to 19 tell landlords or people that we are pulling back vouchers that have been leased. 20 21 c. Special Programs 22 23 Ms. Levey stated that she included an overview of our special programs stating that the 24 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program has 35 vouchers from HUD. The 25 eligibility requirements are that participants must be homeless and veterans. MVPHA 26 has 20 units at Oak Street that have been dedicated to homeless Veterans; however, 27 Veterans with a VASH voucher can find a home anywhere. Vice Chairman Marrujo 28 asked what determines how many vouchers we get for this area. Ms. Levey stated that 29 as soon as funding becomes available, we can apply for more vouchers. Ms. Levey 3o also stated that the waiting list for the Section 8 program has approximately 2,500 31 people on that list. 32 33 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher asked if veterans have a preference on the waiting list. 34 The response was that the Housing Authority eliminated preferences several years ago. 35 Various agencies have requested a preference for the population that they serve, and it 36 is difficult to then determine whose need is greatest. 37 38 If the Board wants to implement preferences, it can do that in the Public Housing and 39 Section 8 programs as part of the Annual Plan. Commissioner Olguin-Fisher stated that 40 she believes the Veterans should have a preference. Commissioner Marrujo stated we 41 cannot do this by ourselves, but rather that we need to partner with other agencies. Ms. 42 Levey stated that the Veterans can apply for other programs, if they qualify, i.e., 43 Shelter + Care. 44 45 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher asked about the Agreement with Mesilla Valley 46 Community of Hope. Ms. Levey informed the Commissioners that this Agreement with 47 the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope provides supportive services for Veterans at the 48 Oak Street Apartments. 49 50 6 1 Ms. Levey also discussed the Shelter + Care program which has approximately 25 2 families that are being provided housing assistance and supportive services to 3 individuals/families that are homeless and have a disability. 4 5 She discussed the Family Unification Program, the Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency 6 Program, as well as the Non-Elderly Disabled voucher program enabling non-elderly 7 persons or families with disabilities to access affordable housing in the private market. 8 9 Non-HUD housing including Pecos, Almendra, and Oak Street Apartments were to discussed. 11 12 Ms. Levey discussed tax credit developments stating that Robledo Ridge is 13 approximately 64% complete and is expected to be completed by April 2013. 14 15 We have also completed the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Developer Services and 16 are working with J.L. Gray on a Low Income Housing Tax Credit application for 2013. 17 18 Ms. Levey then discussed the Audits, stating we had several audits last year due to the 19 joinder of the Housing Authorities; one audit for the Housing Authority of the City of Las 20 Cruces, one for MVPHA and one for Dona Ana County Housing Authority and there 21 were minimal findings, despite the complexity of operations. 22 23 2) Ensure consistent revenue stream and sustainability 24 25 Mr. Montague discussed going out to bid for annual services such as pest control 26 services and locksmith jobs. He added that he is doing all he can to make our 27 operations more cost effective. 28 29 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher also asked if we qualify for the energy tax rebates for the 3o energy efficient water heaters. Mr. Montague stated we do not get credits; the rebates 31 usually go to the contractors. We are tax-exempt. Ms. Levey then stated that Robledo 32 Ridge is LEED certified and the entire development will be energy efficient. 33 34 3) Finance, produce and preserve affordable housing 35 36 Ms. Levey then stated that the Housing Authority is interested in purchasing apartment 37 complexes that are affordable or housing that can be preserved and maintained as 38 affordable housing. 39 40 Mr. Padilla then asked if it is possible to use business activities funds to purchase 41 foreclosures. Ms. Levey stated that yes we can use that money as long as the persons 42 who lease are at 80% or below of the area median income. Mr. Padilla stated he 43 believes revenue can be generated from buying foreclosures. Ms. Levey commented 44 that the reason houses are generating revenue is because there is no debt, i.e., no 45 mortgage on the property. The purchase of additional units may or may not be feasible, 46 depending on the mortgage and the rental income that could be generated. 47 48 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher commented that we may want to use subcontractors on 49 our projects. Mr. Montague stated we try not to use subcontractors because the cost is 5o more expensive. We try to use our own personnel once they are adequately trained. 7 1 4) Participate in organizations that advocate for affordable housing and housing 2 development 3 4 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher asked what the benefit is to donate the building at Walnut 5 Grove to Head Start. Ms. Levey stated that the lease to the Head Start program cannot 6 state that it pays "rent," so it states that they pay utilities each month. The building is 7 actually being leased, and preference for the Head Start program is given to the 8 children in this neighborhood and adults in the neighborhood receive a preference if 9 there is an employment opening. 10 11 5) Continue to build and foster professional relationships with our clients, 12 legislators, local, state and federal agencies, other housing providers, vendors, 13 and the media. Align with CLC Consolidated Plan. 14 15 There was no discussion related to this goal. 16 17 6) Continue management/staff professional development relating to customer 18 service, program technical capacity, and interpersonal communication skills. 19 20 Vice Chairman Marrujo asked if there are funds budgeted for training. Ms. Levey stated 21 that there are funds budgeted. He stated that he does not advocate for training at a 22 national level and that our priority should be to train new employees. 23 24 25 7) Apply and maintain technology and office support systems for maximum benefit, 26 security, and accountability. 27 28 Ms. Levey stated that we are upgrading our housing software. 29 30 iii. Discussion of Proposed Goals (7/1/13 — 6/30/14) 31 32 Ms. Levey stated that we are requesting consensus from the Commissioners regarding 33 these new goals. A resolution must be approved at the December Board Meeting so 34 the Mission Statement and Goals can be incorporated in the Annual Plan. 35 36 After reviewing the proposed goals, Vice Chairman Marrujo stated that we should have 37 five principal goals. 38 39 • Commissioner Olguin-Fisher suggested that Goal #3 should become Goal 40 No. 1. 41 42 • Another suggestion was that Goals #1 and #2 be combined and made into 43 a single Goal #2. 44 45 • Goals #4 and #5 should be Goal No. 4. 46 47 • Goal #8 can be incorporated into Goal # 2. 48 49 • Goal #9 can be incorporated as part of Goal #4. 50 8 1 Goals #7 and 12 to be deleted as Ms. Levey believes that we do these 2 routinely. 3 4 Commissioner Olguin —Fisher asked if they could review the streamlined goals. Ms. s Levey stated that she and the Managers appreciate the current Board's input, ideas, 6 and suggestions. Ms. Levey then stated that the goals will be written as 5 goals that 7 can be reviewed in draft form by the Commissioners before the December 18, 2012 8 meeting. 9 10 12. ADJOURNMENT 11 12 There being no further business, Vice Chairman Marrujo asked for a motion to adjourn 13 the meeting. Commissioner Pandak made a motion to adjourn. The motion was 14 seconded by Commissioner Cordero. 15 16 Commissioner Pandak — aye 17 Commissioner Olguin-Fisher — aye 18 Commissioner Cordero — aye 19 Commissioner Marrujo — aye 20 21 The motion was approved unanimously with 4 aye votes. 22 23 The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m. 24 25 26 SEAL APPROVED BY: 27 28 29 30 31 I Arturo Marruj Vice Chairman 32 33 SUBMITTED BY: 34 35 36 L �" 37 �- 38 Robbie R. Levey, Interim Executive D rector 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 9