Documented by Artemes Gidram

The Fresno Housing joint boards of commissioners met at one of the agency’s properties in Kingsburg on Oct. 24 to discuss the 2024 budget and strategic plan update. Photo credit: Artemes Gidram

Here’s what you need to know

  • The commissioners have returned from attending the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials conference.
  • Commissioners feel confident that they are on track to save $500,000.
  • The Housing Authority now faces a decision concerning whether to contract with police to safeguard their properties.

Follow-up questions

  • What are the details of the police contract and why would it be necessary for safety?
  • Has the Housing Authority researched other safety options besides police and extra lighting? 


The Scene

The Fresno Housing Joint Board meeting was held on Oct. 24, 2023, at approximately 5 p.m.

The meeting took place entirely over Zoom. The agenda is available on the Fresno Housing website.

Names of officials present:

Adrian Jones, city board chair

Sharon Williams, city vice–chair

Ruby Yanez, city commissioner

Isaiah Green, city commissioner

Areli Rios, city commissioner

Paul Idsvoog, city commissioner

Cary Catalano, county chair

Valori Gallaher, county vice-chair

Joey Fuentes, county commissioner

Sophia Ramos, county commissioner

Amadeo Garcia, county commissioner

Kyle Chaney, county commissioner

Emogene Nelson, city commissioner

  • County Chair Catalano started the meeting at 5:06 p.m.
  • Approval of the agenda was unanimous, with no comments from the commissioners or the public.
  • Catalano made opening remarks.
  • Catalino opened the floor for discussion of conflicts of interest.
    • No comments were made.
  • CEO Report by Tyrone Roderick Williams
    • Williams had the opportunity to be at the groundbreaking the previous week of Iowin Commons in Firebaugh.
    • A presentation was made on the Fresno Joint Housing Facebook.
    • Williams is happy to be back after the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) National Conference. The conference was held at the Marriott Orlando World Center Hotel in Orlando. 
    • The Fresno Housing Authority received two national merit awards at the conference.
      • The first award was for resident services for Fresno housing safety.
      • The second award was for community revitalization.
    • Norma Nunez, partner of Commissioner Fuentes, made the front page of the Fresno-based magazine Focus Forward.
    • This month the Housing Authority will begin its comprehensive customer service training across the agency.
  • Discussion of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials conference
    • Gallaher
      • Gallaher said it was a “neat experience” and she’s glad that she went. She said she felt just getting to talk to other commissioners from different places was worth the time.
    • Nelson
      • Nelson said she appreciated getting to go to the conference. She said she learned a lot about housing and what goes into the purchase of a property.
    • Green
      • Green said he heard a lot of good perspectives as a commissioner, and he believed authentic relationships were being developed at the conference.
    • Catalano
      • Catalano said the conference was the best he’s attended since the COVID pandemic.
      • He enjoyed seeing harmony between the board and staff, and emphasized that this is the best board and staff that he has seen..
  • Strategic Plan Update
    • Williams
      • The last strategic plan was in 2011.
      • She said she believes they have broken the record for an organization of their size to be able to reach out across the community.
    • Rios
      • Rios would like to partner with a nonprofit called ECHO Housing.
      • The partnership is free.
    • Catalano
      • It’s time for a refresh with a clear vision based on data points, he said.
      • He said many districts have robust meal programs and afterschool programs that they can take initiative from.
  • 2024 Federal Budget update.
    • Nicole Diaz, director of financing and accounting
      • She pointed out that the new fiscal year began on Oct. 1.
      • Congress needed to enact either a continuing resolution or regular appropriations for fiscal year 2024 to avoid a shutdown. The Senate passed a seven-week continuing resolution on Sept. 30, averting a shutdown.
      • Both the House and the Senate are continuing appropriations work between now and Nov. 17.
    • Tammy Townsend, executive director
      • For the month of October they have created the first draft of the budget and presented it for review and feedback.
      • There is a two-year forecast for their unrestricted net income.
        • The estimated unrestricted net income for 2024 will be nearly $2.3 million.
        • The estimated unrestricted net income for 2025 will be $3.8 million.
      • The unrestricted net income is based on a few assumptions.
      • Townsend says they are saving about $100,000 and are looking to save around $500,000 in the budget.
      • Discussions about health care costs are currently being worked on.
    • Catalano
      • Catalano thanked the staff for its efforts to balance the budget. He said he knows it has been complicated.
      • He said he wants long-term solutions; they can’t just raise taxes or revenue. So it’s not easy to get extra dollars without building extra units.
    • Rios
      • Rios thanked Townsend and Diaz for working with labor partners to keep health care costs down.
      • She wants to see a little more research on what other housing authorities are doing for the safety of residents.
    • The conversation switched to security and safety on the properties.
      • There are ongoing negotiations over a contract with the Fresno Police Department that would cover 14 properties.
      • Catalano asked Marc Bady, chief inclusion and empowerment officer, if they have looked at what other housing authorities have done in this regard.
        • Bady said he has reached out to several housing authorities, including three in California.
        • Many did not work directly with their local police.
        • Some housing authorities have backed away from police involvement for litigation reasons.
      • Williams
        • She said she understands the money aspects, and balancing the budget, but does not understand putting people’s lives at risk by not having a contract with the Police Department. 
  • Housing Choice Voucher Update
    • Zero Housing Assistance Payment families
      • An increase in income is picked up at the time of participants’ annual recertification.
      • Families have 180 days from the date they go to zero HAP before voucher assistance ends.
      • If their income decreases during that period an adjustment will be made.
    • Voucher Incentive Program
      • 177 families in the pipeline and $351,996 invested.
        • 104 families moved into a unit
        • 19 families have turned in paperwork for a unit to be inspected.
        • 83 new units were added to the program.
        • 30 new owners are now in the program.
        • 159 households have attended Resident Education.

Actions/discussions/public comment

  • Nominations for chair and vice-chair
    • Jones was nominated for chair.
    • Williams was nominated for vice-chair.
    • Voting will take place at the December meeting.
  • Consent agenda
    • No consent items were pulled by the commissioners or the public; it was approved unanimously.
  • Public comment
    • Eric Payne, community member
      • Payne pointed out that post-George Floyd the agency had agreed to having a participatory process with community members.
      • He wants more conversations around police involvement on properties.
      • Housing members need to not only be engaged in the survey process but the budgeting process as well, he said.
      • The agreement for a participatory process began with Townsend while she was at the agency; the process came to a halt when Townsend left her position and was replaced. 

Conversation highlight

  • “These issues are affecting them. They’re the ones that are closest to the pain. And so I hope that as the leaders that have been selected to serve on this commission as you look to understand your role, as you look to center the issues that are important to you, that you’ll think deeply and reflect hard on the issues impacting the residents by just listening to them. And that means you have to bring them to the table,” said Eric Payne, community member.

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