Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know

  • The commissioners approved a special meeting on Monday, June 28, 2021 and continued three items from the agenda to that date due to the timing of a city council vote and application deadline. . The items continued include the funding for Avalon Commons and Sun Lodge.

  • The commissioners approved a funding application for Corazon del Valle Commons, a 61-unit development in Huron. No details were shared about the application during the meeting and the meeting packet available online said, “details to come in a subsequent replacement memorandum.”

  • The commissioners approved converting Wedgewood Villas, a 64-unit senior housing community in Sanger, from low-income public housing to project based voucher program housing.

  • Fresno Housing Authority’s 2022 annual plan will be presented to the commissioners at the July 28 meeting. It will then be available online starting July 30 for a 45-day public comment period before it is finalized and approved in September.

  • Fresno Housing will hold a grand opening for Solivita Commons, its affordable housing development in Clovis, on June 29 at 10 a.m.

The Scene

The Fresno Housing Authority joint meeting of the boards of commissioners took place on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. The joint board meeting packet states that due to executive order N-25-20, the meeting will be held electronically and accessible via teleconference and Zoom. Meeting recordings are not easily available online. 

The Fresno Housing Authority is governed by 14 commissioners, seven of whom are appointed as city commissioners and seven as county commissioners. Five of the city commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Fresno to serve four-year, staggered terms. Two are appointed to two-year terms from among residents receiving housing assistance from Fresno Housing. Similarly, five of the county commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and two are residents receiving assistance from Fresno Housing.

City Commissioners:

Adrian Jones, Chairperson (also Marriage and Family Therapist at North Star Wellness Group)

Caine Christensen, Vice Chair (also Director of Student Support Services for Fresno Unified)

Terra Brusseau, Commissioner (also owner of The Central Valley Group)

Sabrina Kelley, Commissioner (also Community Relations Consultant and Foundation Officer for Wells Fargo Bank )

Stacy Vaillancourt, Commissioner (also Chief Administrative Officer for Saint Agnes Medical Center)

Sharon Williams, Commissioner (also retired Fresno Juvenile Hall counselor)

Ruby Yanez, Commissioner 

County Commissioners:

Cary Catalano, Chairperson (also owner of Catalano Fenske & Associates)

Nikki Henry, Vice Chair (also CIO for Fresno Unified School District)

Joey Fuentes, Commissioner (also trainer and mentor at Fresno’s Main Event boxing)

Valori Gallaher, Commissioner (also Caruthers School Boardmember)

Edugiben Ortiz, Commissioner (one of two resident commissioners)

Sophia Ramos, Commissioner (also registered nurse)

Stacy Sablan, Commissioner (also owner of Sablan Legal Services)

As the commissioners joined the Zoom meeting, Tiffany Mangum, special assistant to the housing authority’s CEO, noted that Commissioners Henry, Ortiz, Ramos and Brusseau would be absent. 

The meeting began just after 5 p.m. Commissioners Catalano, Gallaher, Jones, Kelley and Williams had their video on at the beginning of the meeting. Fuentes, Christensen, Vaillancourt, Yanez and Sablan were present by phone only and were not seen on Zoom. 

Additionally, the following staff members were present via video: Mangum, Chief Real Estate Officer Michael Duarte, Chief Diversity Officer Marc’ Bady, Deputy Executive Director Tracewell Hanrahan, Attorney Kenneth Price and Interim CEO/Executive Director Angie Nguyen 

Hanrahan opened the meeting by asking to schedule a special meeting on Monday, June 28 because tax credit applications were due the following Wednesday. She asked for items 8c (Housing Relinquished Fund Corporation Reserve analysis) , 9b (funding applications for Avalon Commons) and 9c (funding applications for Sun Lodge) to be pulled from the agenda and continued to Monday. 

Terri Thacker had a public comment regarding a voucher extension and her difficulty contacting her housing social worker, Melissa Ortiz. Catalano requested that she receive a phone call from the appropriate individuals the following day. 

Hanrahan followed up her previous comment to point out that the funding amounts that will be brought to the city council are $2.7 million for Avalon Commons and $3.6 for Sun Lodge

No additional public comments were made. 

Consent Items

  • Approved minutes of the May 25 meeting.

  • Approved a one-year contract with Central Valley Lawnscapes for grounds maintenance services. The approved amount is up to $315,408.

  • Approved renewal of the HOME tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) program agreement with the City of Fresno.

  • Approved a Journey Home $500,000 operating grant agreement with the County of Fresno.

Prior to moving into closed session, Eric Payne of the Central Valley Urban Institute commented about the CEO search. He asked for more information about, “where the search is at and where we are going.” Catalano asked Payne if he was present for the meeting in May when the executive search agency was introduced and he said he was. Catalano said they hope to provide another update on the CEO search soon. 

The public portion of the meeting adjourned at 5:18 p.m. and they anticipated it would take 10 to 15 minutes. The commission then moved into a closed session to discuss filling the CEO position. 

The commission reconvened for open session at 5:51 p.m. As they waited for all commissioners to rejoin, Catalano mentioned that they would be meeting in-person and he was thinking about what to wear. 

The commissions had no actions to report back from the closed session. 

Nguyen then provided an overview of the 2022 planning process and timeline for the annual plans:

  • The agency plan informs HUD and the public of PHA policies, operations, funding, asset management and program activities in place or planned for meeting local housing needs and goals.

  •  The annual plan is due 75 days prior to the commencement of the PHA’s fiscal year and there is a 45-day public comment period.

    • The agency plan draft will be presented on July 28 and the 45-day public comment period will begin July 30 when it is posted online for the public. 

    • Public comment period ends on Sept. 13, 2022. 

Hanrahan then updated the commissioners on the procurement of property management and services coordination for transitional and emergency housing properties:

  • She said they are sending out an RFP at the end of this month, expect to close in August and come back to the council in September. 

Duarte then provided an update on real estate development activities:

  • Corazon Del Valle Commons in Huron is moving forward with MHP award funds received in December 2020 and they are applying for 9% disaster credits. 

    • Catalano asked what amount Fresno Housing was committing, which is $2.5 million. “A lot of capital is coming into this region,” he said.

    • Hanrahan said this is a capital fund loan, which is a, “very restricted source of money that HUD does allow us to use for development.” 

  • Avalon Commons and Sun Lodge potential application for 9% credits will be discussed further at the special meeting next week.  

  • Wedgewood Villas is a proposed 64-unit renovation and RAD conversion of a senior project located at 2415 Fifth Street in Sanger. 

    • He said they hope to close at the end of July. 

    • Requesting board approval of final financing plan and funding commitment.

  • The first application for tax credits for the Arthur at Blackstone was not successful, but they will resubmit in July. 


  • Approved submitting funding application to Corazon del Valle Commons.

    • On the packet, it stated, “details to come in a subsequent replacement memorandum,” but that was not available at the time of the meeting. 

  • Approved rental assistance demonstration conversion and rehabilitation for Wedgewood Villas in Sanger.        

    • Funds would come through the RAD program and allow for renovation of the property.                           

From there, the meeting was open for commissioners’ reports. Yanez said she went to Fairview and completed a survey. Mangum clarified that it was a neighborhood survey that they would have a full report for the board in the future. Jones said they are having an ad hoc neighborhood meeting later in the week. 

Nguyen then updated the commissioners:

  •  She said they had a neighborhood meeting regarding Avalon Commons.  

    • She said someone asked who the developer would be and she said they were happy to hear it would be the Fresno Housing Authority. 

  • She said the Solivita Commons grand opening is scheduled for June 29 at 10 a.m. in Clovis and she invited the commissioners.

  • She said they will plan to have a hybrid meeting for the July meeting. 

    • She said they were planning to meet in person for this meeting, but needed some equipment so it can be live streamed. 

    • She said they may work with CMAC to make them available online. 

  • She welcomed new hire, Jeff Pardell, to Fresno Housing. 

  • Duarte said they received an official award letter for Esperanza Commons on Friday. 

Catalano said Pardell was a great hire and then opened it up for public comments. 

Payne said sometimes his hand is raised on Zoom to make a public comment, but it is not seen. He went on to say that the Central Valley Urban Institute successfully advocated for $25 million in new funding from the City of Fresno for Fresno Housing. He also said they had a black male youth summit, which included panelists that spoke about home ownership and empowerment. He said that he also had an op-ed piece published on housing reform in CalMatters

Catalano said some of the commissioners would stay on for a Silvercrest meeting that would follow. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:33 p.m.

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