Here’s what you need to know:
- During its September 27, 2022, meeting, the commissioners of the Fresno Housing Authority amended the El Puente Agreement with the Fresno County Department of Social Services to extend the term for up to five years and nine months to continue to operate emergency housing at Sierra Terrace, an apartment complex in southwest Fresno. The total proposed contract amount for the five-year term is $3,913,164.
- Housing Advocate Dez Martinez asked the commissioners for a plan to provide affordable homes. She said that people who enter rehab programs lose their housing vouchers and they must be given a “safety net.”
- For the next fiscal year 2023-24, Director of Fresno Housing AJ Johnston announced proposed upgrades of properties around Del Rey, Highway City, Biola, San Joaquin, Huron, Pinedale, Fresno, Laton, Firebaugh, and Reedley. The upgrades include installing fences, exterior lighting, and cameras.
- What other emergency housing programs can Fresno Housing pursue?
- What can Fresno Housing do to provide affordable housing to those who undergo rehab and continue to live in shelters?
- What should residents expect from the improvements to their properties? Will they be dislocated due to any of the work?
The Fresno Housing Authority Joint Boards of Commissioners make decisions that govern Fresno Housing, which provides housing for nearly 50,000 low-income residents throughout Fresno County. Fresno Housing is governed by 14 commissioners, seven of whom are appointed as city commissioners and seven as county commissioners.
Meetings usually occur at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 1260 Fulton Street in Fresno. They are also available to join by Zoom.
Fresno Housing Authority Board of Commissioners present:
- City Board
- Adrian Jones, chairperson
- Stacy Vaillancourt, vice chair
- Sabrina Kelley, commissioner
- Sharon Williams, commissioner
- Ruby Yanez, commissioner
- County Board
- Cary Catalano, chairperson
- Nikki Henry, vice chair
- Joey Fuentes, commissioner
- Valori Gallaher, commissioner
- Sophia Ramos, commissioner
- Stacy Sablan, commissioner
Fresno Housing Authority Board of Commissioners not present
- Caine Christensen, commissioner
- Stacy Sablan, commissioner
- Dez Martinez
- Brandi N
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tyrone Roderick Williams
- Director AJ Johnston
- Assistant Director Aurora Ibarra
- Connie Batis
- Rosanne Rodriguez
- Deputy Police Chief in Fresno Burke Farrah
- Controller Nicole Diaz
- Senior Housing Specialist Stephanie Miller
- Assistant Manager for Resident Services at Fresno Housing Lucinda Walls
- Senior Manager for Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships Tiffany Magnum
- Director of Planning and Development Mike Duarte
- Real Estate Development Director Christina Husbands
Dez Martinez asked the authority for a plan to provide affordable homes. She pointed out that people who undergo rehab and receive housing vouchers must be given a “safety net.”
Brandi N also stressed the need for family shelters near well-resourced areas such as schools.
CEO Tyrone Roderick Williams said their team met with State Department of Rural Development Maria Herrera to discuss housing affordability.
The Fresno Empowerment Program team partnered with the Waterford Upstart Program to provide early education. The partnership recruited 57 families and targeted 257 families.
Assistant Manager for Resident Services at Fresno Housing Lucinda Walls and her team on workforce development provided sessions on resume writing, job skills, and cultural classes to 30 residents.
She urged the commissioners to fund job programs and internships for residents.
The commissioners (11-0) approved and adopted the following items in the consent agenda.
- The commissioners approved the minutes of June 28, 2022, and July 26, 2022
- The commissioners amended the El Puente Agreement with the Fresno County Department of Social Services to extend the term for up to 5 years and nine months.
Approval of this agreement will secure additional funding for the remainder of the contract term of up to 5 years and nine months to continue to operate the emergency housing in partnership with DSS.
The funding amount approved in the Agreement will cover all expected Fresno Housing (FH) direct operating costs and allow FH to increase the management services provided.
The total proposed contract amount for the 5-year term is $3,913,164.
- The commissioners extended the Lease Agreement with the Veterans Administration to use the Parc Grove Commons Parking Lot Approval of lease extension through August 2025.
The 2.91 acres of vacant land owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Fresno, CA, at the Southwest corner of Clinton Avenue and Angus Street (APN 446-020-42T) represent the final acreage associated with the development of 25 acres in four phases known as Parc Grove Commons.
Plans for the remaining acreage include additional veterans housing and a potential early learning center.
- The commissioners approved the Repair Services Agreement with the City of Fresno for Sage Commons (or “Valley Inn Motel”).
The Valley Inn, aka Sage Commons, consists of 105 motel rooms and common facilities on 2.42 acres.
The City of Fresno acquired the property under assignment from the Housing Authority of the City of Fresno, CA (“HACF”) in June 2021.
At the time of sale, the agencies signed a future purchase option allowing the property to transfer for a nominal value if a viable permanent housing conversion plan was in place.
HACF also entered into an initial Repair Services Agreement with the City to complete $667,331 worth of immediate repairs.
In November 2021, the City of Fresno moved to include the property in an application for the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Home Key 2 Program.
Fresno Housing staff assisted with the application and the scope of activities. The City is now requesting that HACF act as a developer on the second set of repair and rehabilitation scopes under a second Repair Services Agreement.
Receipt of an Homekey 2 award notification from HCD begins an 8-month timeline to complete repairs and prepare the property for shelter occupancy, with a possible extension to 12 months.
The proposed scope of work includes the creation of 16 accessible units, mechanical upgrades to the central HVAC and water heating systems, and the addition of exterior amenities, including a dog park and recreational space.
- The commissioners applied for technical assistance funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Funding for Hyde Site (formerly known as Hyde Park).
The requested authorization will permit the City of Fresno to apply on behalf of the Housing Authority of the City of Fresno, CA (“HACF”) at no cost to the Agency.
With the assistance of the HACF, the City of Fresno intends to procure a Phase I, Phase II, and Clean-up Plan for the Hyde Site.
- The commissioners approved executing the Joe Serna Farmworker Grant Loan for the rehabilitation of Citrus Gardens.
In April of 2021, the Housing Authority of Fresno County, CA (“Agency”) submitted an application for grant funds to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (“HCD”) Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing program for the Citrus Gardens Housing Development.
In November of 2021, HCD notified the Agency that they were successful in their application and would receive $3,738,989 in grant funds.
With approximately $10,000,000 in tax credits and $250,000 in land/building donations, these funds will fully fund this housing development.
- The commissioners entered into a license agreement for mobile showers with the City of Fresno for 1411 W. Thomas Avenue (Parkway Drive)
In April 2022, the City of Fresno requested a partnership to support a mobile shower pilot project.
The City intends to set up a series of brief showers throughout Fresno to benefit unhoused individuals.
One of the locations identified is an unutilized 5,000-square-foot auxiliary parking lot west of Parkway Drive in Fresno. Silvercrest, Inc. took ownership of the parking lot as part of the Welcome Inn Homekey 1 acquisition process. The property is now known as Journey Home.
The proposed License Agreement will be between Silvercrest, Inc. as Licensor and the City of Fresno as Licensee.
The City has provided a draft license agreement allowing the use of the parking lot for up to 6 months, with a potential extension for a second 6-month term.
The agreement transfers liability to the site users and does not allow for any permanent structures or alterations to be made.
Under the Agreement, the City intends to contract the provision of services to a third-party vendor.
Staff believes the project will provide an important service to transient and unhoused populations.
The daily operations will be managed by the City’s contractor, Gracebound, Inc., a California nonprofit corporation.
The hours of operation are planned to be from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, with set up and removal to be completed daily.
Gracebound will tend to the onsite operations at all times and be responsible for proper maintenance and clean-up of the Property and surrounding areas.
- The commissioners entered into a purchase and sale agreement and entity formation with Silvercrest, Inc. for Parkside Inn (Golden State Triage).
Parkside Inn, aka Golden State Triage Center, is an existing two-story apartment complex with 48 studio units located at 1415 W Olive Avenue, Fresno, CA, 93728.
From 1964 to its acquisition in December 2020, the property operated as a motel. The site is 1.94 acres with 22,099 square feet of residential and community space.
Redevelopment plans for the property envision the rehabilitation of the existing units and the construction of additional buildings on the southern end of the property to create a larger mix of housing types.
- The commissioners entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the County of Fresno for 3 No Place Like Home (NPLH) properties.
The Villages at Paragon involved rehabilitating a Fresno Housing-owned property into permanent supportive housing under the LIHTC program.
The property is located at 4041 Plaza Drive, Fresno, California, and was completed in late 2021, and the property’s 28 units are now occupied.
The Villages at Broadway involved the adaptive reuse of a motel at 1828 Broadway Street, Fresno, 93721, into 26 permanent supportive housing units.
Alegre Commons, located at 130 W Barstow Avenue, Fresno, is a 42-unit mixed-population new construction. It is targeted for completion in October 2022.
The MOU outlines service provision for households within the three complexes. These services are designed for formerly homeless and special needs adults and delivered by qualified staff from the Department of Behavioral Health or one of their contracted service providers.
- The commissioners entered a memorandum of understanding with Fresno County for Parc Grove Commons.
Parc Grove Commons II was the redevelopment of two aging public housing complexes, Funston Terrace and Funston Place.
The two public housing complexes, built between 1945 and 1952, included 200 dilapidated and outdated units.
The development consists of 215 units serving low- and very low-income families located at 2674 E. Clinton Ave, Fresno, CA, 93703.
The development broke ground on February 3, 2010, and construction was completed on April 28, 2011.
The community building was completed in December 2010, and residential units began a phased completion starting in March 2011. One hundred percent of the units were leased in September 2011.
The MOU outlines service provision for households within the targeted units.
These services are designed for formerly homeless and special needs adults and delivered by qualified staff from the Department of Behavioral Health or their contracted provider.
The MOU states that the County of Fresno shall be solely responsible for the coordination of mental health services to the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)-referred tenants residing in 5 units at the Parc Grove II development.
- The commissioners executed a loan authorization for Joe Serna Funds for La Joya Commons.
The La Joya Commons project is formerly USDA farm labor housing, now operated as available housing.
It is within 0.3 miles of the future West Hills College Coalinga, Firebaugh Center. In addition, the City of Firebaugh Park is located just north of the project site and adjacent to the Mendoza Terrace Low-income Public Housing site.
The La Joya Commons project was recently awarded a CA Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant (FWHG) of up to $5,000,000.
- The commissioners approved the Revised Conflict of Interest Code.
Appendix B of the Code has been updated to designate additional positions required to file a Form 700 based on the respective positions’ duties and decision-making responsibilities.
- The commissioners allocated funds to the pre-development of Citrus Gardens.
At the March 2021 Board Meeting, the Boards approved the staff to apply for the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Joe Serna Jr. Farm Worker Grant funds, for which the application successfully secured funding.
Additionally, at the June 2022 Board Meeting, the Boards approved accepting an award of 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) for the Citrus Gardens development.
After receiving Board approval, Fresno Housing (FH) submitted an executed Preliminary Reservation Letter to CTCAC accepting the award.
The deadline to close financing and begin construction is December 23, 2022.
Predevelopment expenses will include various costs related to the Citrus Gardens development, such as the cost of environmental reports, appraisals, architectural fees, TCAC application fees, etc.
Although we have financing commitments for permanent and construction financing, funds are not made available until all diligence is complete and the close of financing occurs in December 2022.
The pre-development loan will be fully repaid by permanent conversion.
At this time, it is requested that the Board of Commissioners approve a predevelopment loan of up to $500,000 from the Housing Relinquished Fund Corporation to be repaid upon permanent conversion.
- The commissioners approved the Step Up on the 99 General Contractor/Construction Manager contract.
The proposed contract with ProWest Constructors will be no greater than 12.90% of the total construction costs in the project budget and will be funded by the City of Fresno Funds and the California Tax Credits Allocation Committee.
Step Up on 99 supportive housing is located at 1240 N Crystal Ave. Fresno, CA 93728. The hotel comprises two (2) hotel buildings consisting of 97 existing hotel rooms, one staff break room, one downstairs office/manager’s unit, and a large empty lot.
The scope calls to convert them into 47 apartment units in a mixture of studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units, each with one (1) full bathroom.
The larger two buildings will ultimately comprise 37 units (36 tenants plus one manager), with the second building having ten units. A newly constructed 2-story apartment building will also comprise (16) 3-bedroom/2-bath apartments.
The project will include a new single-story community building with a common meeting area and kitchen, leasing and services offices, and public restrooms.
Off-site work will be the construction of a new concrete sidewalk, and two (2) new concrete drive approaches meeting all of the City of Fresno PW standards. The project start date is still unknown, but it is projected to begin in late 2023.
- The commissioners approved the Valley Inn General Contractor/Construction Manager contract.
The proposed contract with Barnhart – Benson Builders, Inc. will be no greater than 14% of the total construction costs and will be funded by the City of Fresno, which is the recipient of a Homekey 2 program grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
The total construction cost is estimated at $1,000,000.
Valley Inn (aka Sage Commons) is located at 933 N. Parkway Drive, Fresno, CA 93728. The motel has 105 rooms, an office, and several storage/utility rooms.
The primary objectives of this current scope will be to upgrade and increase ADA accessibility at the property, replace aging mechanical equipment (including a rooftop chiller), and increase site amenities and recreation space.
The project is estimated to begin in October 2022.
- The commissioners applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for 2022 Continuum of Care (COC) funding.
Fresno Housing intends to submit seven renewal applications for over $1.6 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) for the program’s continued operation in assisting those experiencing homelessness.
FH submitted applications to the local review panel on September 28, 2021. This local review panel met on October 13-14, 2021. Renewal applications to be submitted to HUD comprise the following programs:
- Four (4) housing projects, including our Renaissance developments. Funding totals a little over $1.6 million and provides 171 units of housing;
- Two (2) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) projects with funding totaling $322,270. HMIS currently has 99 projects with 210 HMIS users in the system. The data informs the community homeless system’s needs and effectiveness. In addition, data derived is used by federal, state, and local funding sources.
- One (1) CoC Planning Grant was funded at $335,473. This grant assists the Fresno Madera community with the opportunity to perform various activities, including strategic planning functions with consultants such as HomeBase and Community Solutions, elements of the annual Point in Time Count, and evaluation of all projects within the continuum.
HUD requires the Board of Commissioners to approve the submission of all CoC applications. The final applications and the community Consolidated Application are due to HUD on September 30, 2022.
CoC regulations require a 25 percent cash or in-kind match for funding awarded.
Match requirements for FH CoC programs are met using in-kind via partner agency services and FH administrative time.
- The commissioners accepted Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) funds from the County of Fresno for Wedgewood and Esperanza Commons.
Wedgewood Villas is a 64-unit property at 2415 5th Street, Sanger, California. Of the 64 units, there are 58 one-bedroom units, 5two-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom manager’s unit.
The property was built in 1984 under the HUD Low-Income Public Housing program. Since its initial opening, the property has strived to serve the senior population of Sanger.
The Agency secured $1,405,000 for the initial rehabilitation scope. The commitment of PLHA funding will be approximately $900,000 or additional rehabilitation work.
Neither the Agency nor the Sanger Wedgewood, LP, anticipates additional fiscal impacts from the utilization of this funding.
Staff Presentations and Discussion Items are as follows:
a. Announcement regarding the Resident Safety Program
For the next fiscal year, Director of Fresno Housing AJ Johnston announced proposed upgrades in properties DelRey, Highway City, Biola, San Joaquin, Huron, Pinedale, and Fresno, Laton, Firebaugh, and Reedley. The upgrades include installing fences, exterior lighting, and cameras.
He mentioned that the Neighborhood Watch Program was recently launched in 19 properties, which include Sequoia Courts and Paseo 55.
He also stressed their efforts to strengthen partnerships with community-based organizations and the police and to improve mental health support and interventions.
FH has also focused on youth education, enrichment activities, and funding to support residents.
Commissioner Sabrina Kelley suggested diverting a portion of police funds to youth activities.
Commissioner Nikki Henry called for a balance of resident education and policing.
She raised the issue of vandalism and damaging gates and security cameras in Renaissance motel properties.
Brandi N asked for more resources and community engagement for people living in shelters.
Connie Batis and Rosanne Rodriguez asked for additional officers to provide security for residents.
Deputy Police Chief at Fresno Burke Farrah assured Rossane Rodriguez that they have units to combat gangs.
b. 2022 Mid-year financial results and 2023 agency budget (presented by Controller Nicole Diaz and Senior Housing Specialist Stephanie Miller
The 2022 Operating Budget was approved by the boards of commissioners in December 2021, with total revenues of $45.5 million and total operating expenses of $44.9 million.
As of June, total revenues are $594 thousand more than anticipated at $23 million through June.
Total operating expenses are $21.1 million, which is $581 thousand less than budgeted. These expenses put net operating income at $1.2 million, which is $1.1 more than budgeted.
As of June, the Agency has utilized $532 thousand in unrestricted reserves, which is $404 thousand more than budgeted at this point in the year.
Most of the variance in unrestricted net income is mainly due to timing delays in receiving Developer fees.
Staff expects this variance to decrease once Developer Fees are received in the year’s second half.
c. Update on Strategic Initiatives
Senior Manager for Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships Tiffany Magnum announced the 93706 Market in southwest Fresno, providing residents with fresh and healthy food options.
d. Real estate development update by Director of Planning and Development Mike Duarte and Real Estate Development Director Christina Husbands
Alegre Commons will be complete in October 2022, with pre-leasing underway.
The Monarch @ Chinatown will be complete in December 2022, yet experiencing construction delays and material cost increases.
$2.5 million from HRFC will fund the program, with pre-leasing underway.
Tax credit in Citrus Gardens will close in December 2022.
Avalon Commons I will hopefully receive a Tentative CICAC Award.
HD HOME pending applications are Corazon Del Valle Commons and La Joya Commons, which are anticipated in October 2022
HD MHP’s pending application is Avalon Commons Phase I and Step Up at 99.
Mobile Shower Program to operate and shift between various locations within the City.
The City of Fresno is contracted with Gracebound, Inc. to operate the mobile shower program. Hours of operation are generally 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
The site for the License Agreement between Silvercrest, Inc and the City of Fresno is located on Thomas Ave, near Parkway Drive is owned by Silvercrest, Inc.
The initial term of the License is six months, with options to extend up to four years. Silvercrest has the right to terminate the License Agreement with a 7-day notice.
Heritage Estates property consists of approximately 8 acres of vacant land near S. Plumas St. and E. Florence Ave (Assessor Parcel Number 477-060-04) in southwest Fresno.
33 single-family homes are targeting individuals at 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI) (7 homes), 60 percent AMI (7 homes), 80 percent AMI (8 homes), 80 percent or higher (11 homes)
The exemption from Surplus Land Act and Request to Waive the request for proposal by the Successor Agency to the City of Fresno Redevelopment Agency is going to Council on September 29th.
Once approved, final negotiation and request for approval of Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for land donation.
Final NEPA reported a clean environmental study on Oct. 2022
Sources of funding are:
- City of Fresno HOME funds of $1.4 million
- Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) funds of $900,000
- Fresno Redevelopment Agency (RDA) land donation and financing of $1.2 million
- CalHOME mortgage assistance ($800,000 million)
- individual mortgages.
Construction of homes is anticipated to be phased beginning May 2023.
All homes will be three bed/two baths and approximately 1,400 interior square feet.
The property received the conditions of approval on the Tentative Tract Map in August 2022.
Based on income levels, homes will be sold at appraised market value with second mortgages (zero interest and potentially forgivable).
Real Estate Development director Christina Husbands expects the construction to start in May 2022.
She said that the City would maintain pocket parks. The homes will be marketed to existing families.
e. Update on Housing Relinquished Fund Corporation by controller Nicole Diaz
The Housing Relinquished Fund (HRFC) reserves allow affordable housing expansion.
Reserves have accumulated from various sources, including:
- Proceeds and loan repayments from development projects
- Interest income from loans
- Sales of properties
The agreements with HUD can restrict HRFC reserves. The current HRFC reserves have a cash balance of $7.82 million. Potential cash inflows are $14.84 million.
Action items include:
a. Consideration of Transfer of Real Estate Proceeds to Housing Development Finance Corporation (HRFC)
The commissioners (11-0) approved the transfer of proceeds from the Fresno Housing Authority to the Housing Relinquished Fund Corporation for $3,052,259.94.
Through the recent real estate development transaction, Fresno Housing (FH) has converted Villages at Paragon, owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Fresno, into an affordable housing partnership project.
The site was purchased from FH by a limited partnership at fair market value, for which FH received cash payments at the financial closings.
Dayton Square Apartments, El Cortez Apartments, and the Woodside Apartments operate under the Agency’s Unrestricted Properties division and have no legal restrictions on affordability.
The properties are in good physical condition, have a history of strong financial performance, and operate with low vacancy rates.
The staff took advantage of low-interest rates to further strengthen its financial position. It refinanced the properties’ existing mortgage loans, for which FH received a one-time cash take‐out payment.
b. The commissioners (11-0) approved a loan from the Housing Relinquished Fund Corporation for a total loan of up to $2,500,000 for the Monarch @ Chinatown to cover cost increases during construction.
The Monarch @ Chinatown site consists of approximately 0.60 acres in the Chinatown district of Fresno, CA.
The development is a 4-story, mixed-use development with commercial/retail space on the ground floor and 57 units of affordable workforce housing above.
The 2021 comprehensive agency audit for the Housing Authority of the City of Fresno and the Housing Authority of Fresno County has received a clean opinion.
e. Update on and consideration of approval of 2023 agency plans (presented by Assistant Director Aurora Ibarra)
According to Assistant Director Aurora Ibarra, a public hearing on the 2023 agency plans took place on August 23, 2022.
Changes being considered after receiving public comments are as follows:
- Chapter 4: Eligibility for Admission
- The staff has explicitly stated that when one client is denied admission for any reason, they must be given Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) forms with their denial paperwork.
- Chapter 8: Voucher Issuance and Briefings
- In granting voucher extensions, VAWA is stated as an extenuating circumstance.
- Chapter 19: Reviews, Hearings, and Other Appeals
- When an informal hearing for terminating assistance occurs, the family will submit a VAWA claim before the hearing. The hearing will be on hold to assess whether the termination would occur.
The commissioners (11-0) approved the 2023 Public Housing Agency (PHA) Annual Plan, Admissions & Continued Occupancy Policy, and Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan.
The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 25, 2022, at 6 p.m. at 1260 Fulton Street in Fresno.
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