Here’s what you need to know:

  • A special meeting was scheduled for May 31  to address agenda item 8c, the Consideration of Omnibus Resolution and Financing Commitments – Sun Lodge, which was pulled from this meeting’s agenda at the start of the meeting. 
  • The resident safety survey was released the second week of May, with 125 questionnaires completed to date. They are expected to receive a satisfactory amount of surveys by July. Surveys were sent to more than 2,000 residents at 14 properties.

The meeting (in full)

The Scene

The Fresno Housing Authority joint meeting of the boards of commissioners took place on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 5:05 p.m. The joint board meeting packet states that due to the board’s adoption of AB 361, the meeting will be held via Zoom and audio conferencing for commissioners and accessible via teleconference and Zoom for all members of the public. Meeting recordings are not 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)Stacy Vaillancourt, Vice Chair (also Chief Administrative Officer for Saint Agnes Medical Center)

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

Sabrina Kelley, Commissioner (Vice President of External Relations for Community Vision)

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

Ruby Yanez, Commissioner

Vacant, Commissioner

County Commissioners:

Cary Catalano, Chairperson (also owner of Catalano Fenske & Associates running for Fresno City Council District 1)

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 Board member)

Sophia Ramos, Commissioner (also registered nurse)

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

Vacant, Commissioner

Interim Chair Kelley led the meeting. 

Commissioners Kelley, Williams, Catalano, Christensen, Henry, Gallaher, Ramos, Fuentes, and Yanez were present during roll call. Commissioners Vaillancourt, Jones and Sablan appeared to be absent.

Additionally, the following staff members were present: CEO Tyrone Williams, Chief Real Estate Officer Michael Duarte, Chief Diversity Officer Marc’ Bady, Attorney Kenneth Price and Chief Business Officer Emily De La Guerra.

The commissioners amended the agenda to remove items 8a “Acceptances of the 2021 Year-End Financials for Fresno Housing Operations and Housing Assistance Payments” and 8c “Consideration of Omnibus Resolution and Financing Commitments – Sun Lodge,” along with reordering the agenda to address items 6 “Consent Agenda” and 8b “Consideration of Omnibus Resolution and Financing Commitments – The Arthur @ Blackstone” earlier in the meeting.

Consent items:

  • Approved minutes of the April 26, 2022 meeting
  • Approved amended 2022 Agency Calendar
    • Executive Committee meeting schedule amended per discussion on April 26 to move meetings to Tuesday evenings
  • Approved updated Conflict of Interest policy
  • Approved submission of applications for HUD’s Section 32 homeownership program
  • Approved necessary actions to apply for California Department of Housing and Community Development Super NOFA – Avalon Commons Phase 1
  • Approved necessary actions to apply for California Department of Housing and Community Development Super NOFA – Step Up at 99
  • Approved necessary actions to apply for California Department of Housing and Community Development Super NOFA – La Joya Commons

Actions:

  • Approved closing resolution documents for The Arthur @ Blackstone
    • Chief Real Estate Officer Michael Duarte noted the construction fees are higher than initially estimated due to the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain issues
    • Current site plan envisions a 41-unit community with 3,800 square feet of community space and 4,200 square feet of commercial space. The community would serve families (one-, two-, and three-bedroom units) and transitional aged youth (studios and one-bedroom units) in partnership with the County of Fresno Department of Behavioral Health.

The meeting was then open for public comments. There was one public comment from Monic Ruiz regarding an issue with a tenant in her apartment complex. Staff was instructed to reach out to her within 24 hours.

Governance matters

  • CEO’s Report: CEO Tyrone Williams opened with a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas.
  • CEO Williams noted there was great coverage for the opening of the Villages of Broadway
  • CEO Williams said the FHA lobby will be reopening to public
  • The grand opening of Linnaea Villas in Kingsburg is Wednesday, May 25 at 10am 
  • He reflected on the California state budget surplus of $97 billion and identified several areas where they are expecting to see additional funding in the budget, including homelessness programs, crisis response, interim housing, and Homekey extensions 

Commissioners’ report

  • Commissioner Sharon Williams reflected on a recent visit to Watts where an industrial site had been revamped to a successful housing complex/community. 
  • Commissioner Catalano reflected on the celebration of community, residents, and local businesses at the ribbon cutting for the Villages of Broadway. He said he would be speaking at the Linnaea Villas grand opening on Wednesday, May 25 with comments focusing on equity, inclusion, and investment in local community and economy, 
  • A special meeting to address item 8c “Consideration of Omnibus Resolution and Financing Commitments – Sun Lodge” was scheduled for Tuesday, May 31 from 9am-10am.

Discussion items:

  • Overview of “Affordable Housing Month” campaign
    • Chief Business Officer Emily De La Guerra presented on behalf of the communications team. The Month of May is “Affordable Housing Month” and includes social media campaigns, sending info on advocacy, ribbon cuttings, and celebrating inaugural community reports. The social media hashtag is #affordablehousingmonth
    • Highlighted partnerships, including with Fresno Economics Opportunities Commission and the Chaffee Zoo
    • FHA is relaunching speaking series and will be launching a podcast at the end of the month
  • Update on strategic initiatives and partnerships, including diversity, equity, and inclusion from Chief Diversity Officer Marc’ Bady: 
    • Preparing for Pride month in June
    • Planning Father’s Day program
    • Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage workshop will be hosted on Thursday, May 26
    • Onboarding three DEI interns in the next few weeks. Focus will be DEI programming, engagement with youth during summer, summer reading loss program, peer to peer interactions. 
    • The Resident safety survey was released in the second week of May, 125 questionnaires completed to date. They are expected to receive a satisfying amount of surveys by July. Surveys were sent to over 2,000 residents at 14 properties.
    • Applications for the Fresno Housing Education Advancement Scholarship Program are open, with 73 applicants to date. Applications are due May 31. 
  • Chief Real Estate Officer Michael Duarte provided a real estate development update: 
    • He said they have not yet received significant feedback for two projects with pending applications for HOME funding, including La Joya Commons in Firebaugh. He noted the State released list of applicants and self-scores, and based on internal analysis, there is competition but not as much as he has seen in other programs.
    • They are continuing to pursue funding applications for La Joya, Step up on 99, and Avalon Commons. He said Citrus Gardens is pending applications for tax credits.
    • Commissioner Catalano expressed appreciation for staff efforts to shore up additional funding for projects. He said would like to see information at some point on long term planning for capital outlays in terms of where the agency should be positioned and identifying partners for projects that are five to ten years out.

The meeting adjourned at 6:03 p.m. The next special meeting is scheduled for May 31 and regular meeting is scheduled June 28.

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at Documenters-admin@fresnoland.org with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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