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Senior Citizens Advisory Board Meeting – March 4, 2020

Meeting Transcription Disclaimer:

Note: The following is the output of transcribing from a video recording. Although the transcription, which was done with software, is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or [software] transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the meeting, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

To listen to the meeting alongside a transcript, please visit: https://otter.ai/s/mqTIaz8nQoSpi4NY0QuYkA

For a transcript of the meeting, please read below:

0:06
I’d like to call the meeting to order

0:11
and welcome our guests. Julie Houser is here from the community and Danica Howe, who will be doing a presentation for us with trestle strategy. And also Francine Jaffe will be here for presentation

0:36
or Longmont climate action.

0:41
The public is invited to be heard. Julie, do you have anything you’d like to say?

0:51
All right, has everyone had the opportunity to read minutes from previous and any changes?

1:00
More correction to make a comment about

1:04
the format.

1:05
I

1:08
tried hard this time we’ll continue trying harder to make the minutes simpler and less complicated and just emphasize official action intake. Because if you want to know about the discussion that does not involve motions and votes, you can go right to the video and see it better. So, put in the minutes just a brief reference to the topic discussed and if you want more you can go find it online. So

1:44
I just wanted to explain that because I can so written book

1:49
I motion that we accept the minutes as written for less than 80 seconds.

1:55
So minutes are accepted and seconded.

2:05
Should we go to our presentation? Michelle?

2:09
There’s no reason not to. Unless the board wants to delay.

2:14
You know, we might just add to mean that Janine and I met when we were putting together the agenda and decided to put some time references on the agenda just to try and keep things moving and sort of have an understanding of what’s to come. So that is an additional kind of new thing on your agenda is some time reference. So,

2:35
which is great. That was gonna last too much time I have is it about 20 minutes, you have about 2525 minutes.

2:43
Great. So well, my name is Danica Pau. I actually work for my other consulting firm called trestle Strategy Group, and I’m based in Boulder but I work on a lot of different types of community projects throughout the region. And I’m working now on this home wanted initiative. Which is a really important collaboration between the nine jurisdictions. It’s in the Boulder County, so nine, Longmont, Boulder, Lewisville, Matt James town have all signed on to a regional housing plan, which they they created a plan a couple years ago and it was a really big deal I think to get the jurisdictions or work together towards affordable housing is a regional goal, not just each community working for itself. And so the goal of the plan is to increase.

3:39
So to increase affordable housing throughout the region, so currently about 5% of existing houses, housing is affordable. And for conversations today, and I think in the community, we really talk affordable housing, you can get into Aaron median incomes and a lot of data. But what really matters is cost burden and How much people are paying towards housing. So if you’re paying in a guess if like, you know what I’m talking about. So if you’re paying more than 30%, in your housing cost, you’re considered cost burdened. And so what we’re really trying to do is increase access to housing for all people. It’s an equity. It’s a shared responsibility for the county. And so in Boulder County, there’s a, as everyone’s probably very aware, I was just some quick data points. I’m not going to belabor on them, because we all know we’re with housing problems. But, you know, you can look at from a renter standpoint, 54,000 people are living in households where they’re spending over half of their income on housing. So 50% 54% of renters are housing cost burdened, and my 15,000 that are severely cost burdened. So we have, like many communities across the country housing problems. And so this regional Housing Partnership really looks to think about how do we change that change those numbers really increase access to affordable housing. And of course, when you’re spending extra money on other on housing, you’re not able to spend it on essentials, which healthy food, healthcare, childcare, school, all of those things that go that the other 70% of your income needs or should be spent on to have, be able to, you know,

5:24
the thrive and a community convenience question. This refers to all age groups. Yes,

5:29
that’s right. I mean, it’s it’s a, it’s a number that probably comes from HUD of, you know, just generally what, you know, when you look at people’s income or people’s budgets and what should be spent, you know, if you keep that number under 30%, and housing costs, you leave money for the other life essentials. So it’s across all I’m sure. In seniors, you know, we could probably look at different statistics. The work I’m doing is with all communities, I’m especially interested in talking to seniors in across the region, to hear stories and get information that I can share back with the stakeholders and decision makers. You know, one of those statistics danika, around the five times more on health care, especially with older adults is that percentage tends to be higher for older adults than the rest of the population in health care also includes medications. So there’s a broader view perhaps on health care, and the greater the percentage is

6:30
greater for seniors anyways,

6:33
without the housing costs

6:35
within it. Absolutely.

6:40
So, like I mentioned, the Boulder County Regional housing plan has has these goals and so the big goal is 12% of all homes affordable by 2035. And that is about 18,000 homes across the region to get to 12%. We’re at 5% now, so it’s a pretty big goal and the way that housing affordability is going to be achieved is through lots of different things, not just building its Housing Preservation. So buying market rate apartment projects and bringing those into more of an affordable or keeping them affordable, if they’re already affordable, preserving mobile home parks, funding sources doing land banking, looking for redevelopment opportunities, regulatory processes and opportunities. And so one of the big things that is a part of this is funding sources. So as the regional housing plan gets implemented, there’ll be looking at larger funding sources down the road to help pay for the the land preservation and the home preservation and new development. So I’m going to just show a really short video hopefully the sound will come on.

7:57
This is a video we were at see you In October talk about housing

8:04
with a broad

8:06
group of folks from the community.

8:22
With $5,000 in my pocket, I was not able to get a six months so please don’t get my son back in my life.

8:28
And that demonstrates for a long time is years before a got stable. What I felt really different about this workshop that I was in with it’s centered voices and stories narrative that we don’t typically hear

8:43
around the affordable housing

8:46
crisis. Oftentimes, it’s centered on just price

8:51
and people are being squeezed

8:52
out. There’s all these other stories that make certain folks have an even harder time. We need to elevate those stories.

9:08
I am a therapist to children that they have disabilities on to yourselves and I am a hair salon now and I did that because I know how to teach myself.

9:19
Currently I work as a mental health professional. So I use my lived experience with alcohol and mental illness to become certified and help other people in a physical setting. I listen to 25 year hospice worker, I am involved in helping those that do not have voices to be

9:36
heard highlighting organization here called progressive. We do LTV redistribution, suitable to our

9:44
30 year HR position as a teacher and administrator

10:00
elevate the voice of the Latino migrant community, empower faith based communities and activate if somebody in our group is going to create a community land trust pilot, learning share stories and personalized issues. advocate with the right people in the right roles. What kind of society are we if we don’t care for each other? By putting myself out there I including a

10:22
more positive face on the struggle

10:25
by gentrifying our communities the economy can be sustained because we are essential.

10:55
So I and maybe hopefully

11:07
Starting over,

11:09
yeah, okay, here we go. So, hopefully you’ve also seen some of the signs, they’ve been in bus stops and buses, I think especially in Longmont. And so I just wanted to share I’m here today just to share about the homeowner initiative and hear from you really on what types of messages and stories that you’d like to share with as we kind of broaden the conversation and deepen the conversation around housing. And just have a kind of explore this issue as a community need and hear about how I can help support that and then how what you can do to help you know, get change if you’re interested in that or what what types of action can be taken. So one of the things I’m doing is really trying to highlight and celebrate successes of affordable housing projects in the community. You’re probably very well aware of Michael Holmes everybody heard about it’s in your own community, I was lucky to go on a tour with Carol and Tim a few weeks ago and learn about what they’ve done. And what I’m trying to do is share this success story with everybody across the county. So I’ve shared this with I presented to artists, groups and chambers and all sorts of housing advisory boards. And so you know, this is a great example of what a partnership can look like when a faith based community donates land and works with on this permanent supportive housing. And so I interviewed both Carol and Tim to find out what you know what what the challenges were and what how it, how it worked, and what lessons learned there might be and what opportunities there might be for the future and just highlighting this really amazing project that is just you know, has I think when I was there, five out of the six homes were were occupied and they’re waiting for their last family. So really exciting project and again, affordable housing innovation. can be very small, it can be very large. I think everyone thinks before housing is very large apartment projects. And so I think bringing awareness that it takes place in different ways, the less families moving in Saturday, and they were doing a call for

13:13
volunteers. That’s great to help

13:15
move.

13:18
To carry. Yeah. And I think that’s wonderful. What I learned is that it was a really hard project. I mean, Carol and the church, you know, was her first development project. And so learning how to do that and how to subdivide land and rezone it and, and you know, taking that process so there’s a lot of support that I think the business community can help and architects and other people can help, you know, really facilitate these projects so that that lift isn’t so challenging for someone who’s not used to doing this day in day out. This project I’ve been working on for since 2014. It’s Ponderosa mobile home park in Boulder. It’s a mobile home park west of Broadway in North boulder and it was in the county and Over the years, the infrastructures become completely dilapidated. Mostly because it’s in the county and the city wouldn’t. You couldn’t get permits to replace the infrastructure if you weren’t in the city. And so I had studied this and done some work around the infrastructure, first for the private property owner, and what we found was that the costs were so high to try and replace the infrastructure that the previous owner wasn’t willing to do that. But so the city then went out and got funding to purchase the mobile home park, which is really exciting. And so they purchased it a couple years ago, and and we just annexed it in November. And what’s really unique about this project is a commitment to non displacement. So we’ve worked very hard to design the infrastructure and roads and everything so that if people would like to stay in their mobile home, they are welcome to continue to stay in their mobile home. For some people. That’s very important. That’s there. They lived there for 25 years, they’ve raised their children there. They want to live in their mobile home. And so we’re we’re allowing that to happen, and then we’re also allowing habitat home replacement on a one to one basis. When if and when somebody wants a new habitat home. So this project requires a lot of flexibility. A lot of political will. A lot of funding. A lot of engineering, it’s really but you know, what boulders doing around mobile home parks is really, I think cutting edge where you know, Lafayette is just working on trying to preserve mobile home parks, as affordable housing. We’re boulders actually rezone mobile home parks many years ago to preserve them from development. So another kind of success story, will there be any Tiny Homes in the demo? No. So they’ll if you do a habitat home, you’re going to do a standard habitat service found one of the designs okay. Yep. And that was? That’s a really good question. I think most of the people that live there want home, not Tiny Homes because they’re used to living in a mobile home, or they’re they’re also large families. There’s quite

15:57
a few very large families,

15:58
some mobile homes. In the same square footage, put up some Tiny Homes not not much different. That’s why Yeah, so yes, no, that’s that’s a good question. It’s also in the floodplain 100 year floodplain. So I’m not sure I think getting fixed foundation raised elevation Homes is also a flood protection requirement. Because where is it located? It’s on violet. And it’s on 10th. And cherry. If you go back door shine on lawnmowers. Both Yeah, you don’t you never know it’s there. It’s not formal Creek. It’s a beautiful community. We did everything in Spanish and English we did. We’ve done three or four years of community engagement. We work very closely with community on a community design process. And so they were very, very involved in this from start to

16:42
finish. When the number of homes were the same as the number of

16:47
mobile homes, it’s actually going to be We’re at 68 now and it’ll go to 73. So it will slightly increase, but it’s still a pretty low density. What we’re trying to do is mirror the state as you can See about lower left hand graphic because we’re allowing people to stay in place we can’t really significantly change the road network which is but there will be a community center and there will be a lot more. There’s no open space there’s barely any trees there now and there will be detention ponds and stormwater and it’ll be renewable and in the new homes and new people are paying their energy bills are almost as much as their pad cost you know, the basics hundred dollars a month in rent, someone’s energy bills are $500 a month. So the new home will cost the same as their existing housing costs, which is also a huge commitment from from flat irons, Habitat for Humanity and the city. So lots and lots of funding going into this project, though. So I think I want to highlight to kind of the other project didn’t have as much subsidy, but it’s much smaller. And then this one is a much larger project. But

17:55
Oh, is this the end of your presentation, I have some remarks by one

17:59
or the other. And so I just wanted to talk to, you know, housing and seniors and older adults What are opportunities to help support you know, and what are the housing levers and tools that are I think available and specific to kind of aging population and so aging in place I hear about a lot and really being able to stay in your home and adapted to the home or maybe build an adu in your backyard and live you know, and rent and live in that or, or we hear a lot in Boulder about not being able to just even sell a home there’s nowhere to buy something else in order to downsize, multi generational living inclusionary housing. So looking at you know, using inclusionary housing funds that are captured through development, land donation community land, trust that so both examples I highlighted where we took land out of the cost of affordable housing that makes a huge difference. So the church donated the land for mica and Ponderosa is a land trust. So the residents won’t own But they’ll have a 99 year lamb leaves which really reduce housing costs, especially boulder density infill ad use looking at occupancy restrictions and we have really strict occupancy in Boulder that present prevents like well even multiple You know, Friends from living together you can have more than three unrelated individuals living in a five bedroom house which is interesting deed restrictions preservation downpayment assistance we just introduced a middle income downpayment assistance program in Boulder fee reductions so these are all the tools that you know we’re looking at. So in order you know what I’m here to do is to just kind of share the message hear from you what you’re seeing in your in your community from your friends and colleagues asked you to be involved and write a letter to your council member saying please You know, put keep affordable housing as a priority. I brought some postcards and you know, even do Some storytelling, and I’m just really trying to get out and meet with as many folks as possible and, you know, share the message and also build advocacy and champions for just continuing to talk about affordable housing as a community priority.

20:15
Is that then you? Can you go back to the seniors side, just hold down and then

20:23
talk? Oh, yeah,

20:23
no, that’s okay. That’s okay. No, I just I just wanted to put the context out there Yeah, on on this. Longmont is about currently about 1.5% ahead in a percentage of affordable units of lower county as a whole. However, it’s probably going to the next time we reported it may drop back because we had defined the affordable rental threshold at 60% ami and we think we’re going to redefine it back down to 50%. Because 65 is your pay that you’re supposed to be able to pay a lot of money and People can’t. So I think both will probably still be ahead and we have our inclusionary zoning is causing the permit the permitting of a lot of new fordable units. We haven’t really seen the impact of that yet because it takes a year or more to get them out of the ground. But we feel like we’re really on pace for that. Now, I also want to put out I think that the, the problem of people being unable to downsize, we’ve identified that we have another underserved segment, which is where we want to downsize into, you know, things that are off are not subsidized, but available to people at 80 to 100% of the area median income, or their family size, which is typically one or two for the older adults. So just wanted that context. Yeah

22:02
What would Could you explain that type of unit like if you could explain what the downsizing if you in your an ideal world what that would look like or?

22:12
Well you know it depends on the family. So I downsized from a ridiculous you know 2800 square foot home to a 1400 square foot home in in quail ridge and

22:29
that house

22:31
I paid

22:34
$200,000 cash for it in in May maybe 22,011 and it’s doubled in price and and isn’t affordable for an awful lot of people anymore. But but that inventory smaller than that maybe even

22:57
you know it has a first floor. It has a first floor

23:02
Master bedroom and it has very tiny yard. It’s not quite a patio, but but that kind of inventory is I think what we’d all like to live in. And it almost doesn’t exist in Longmont and it’s mostly because of the land prices. So our new density stuff will help but we need people to invest in building that.

23:28
And those smaller houses are getting more expensive. Yeah,

23:31
as the months and years go by, that’s right. They go they go on the market, as as at a low price and then they appreciate really fast.

23:42
It’s a problem. Imagine

23:45
trying to renovate and adapt existing housing, for affordable use. And I’m thinking this is something I remember 20 years ago, I used to drive past

24:00
mansions that people are building through Boulder County.

24:05
Thinking, gee, it would be nice if somebody could take one of those houses that’s

24:12
no longer really necessary in the market for large families or whatever. And some divided make for apartments in there for independent living for seniors. Because there are I think there are a lot of elders who would not particularly want to live in a large, you know, facility high rise, facilitate their age, able to be mostly independent or get whatever health care they might need in place. And they don’t particularly want to live by themselves. They don’t want to have shared space either so and

24:54
so that would that be kind of a zoning change? Do you think

24:57
that’s right? No, well Actually,

25:02
our our zoning right now our new high density zoning is amenable to that. So you know we can have, if you have enough land space, you can have an auxiliary dwelling unit in your backyard. That’s what you that’s what a d u is. So that’s a good thing because that means that you’ve got somebody else living really close to you if you’re if you’re older, I have a family who would otherwise be homeless, homeless living in my upstairs, but that’s a transitional arrangement because we have to share the kitchen and we have to share a door and it doesn’t really work for seniors because it’s upstairs

25:48
where they live.

25:50
Sit but that sort of thing is also allowed in Boulder at least for one extra are allowed him in Longmont at least for one extra family And then the, you know, you can also call it an ad you if it’s physically attached to your house like structurally I could put an apartment above my garage, for example, that’s an 82 although again, on my lot, it’d be upstairs it wouldn’t be any good for seniors if I did that. So there’s our agenda, our zoning supports it as infill

26:30
there’s another barrier a lot of times too, especially seniors, being able to change their property, sell their property and downsize and that has to do with homestead exemption. When they sell they lose their homestead at homestead exemption for 10 years. That is so smart Janine, I don’t because I’m caught in that I

27:01
So, so really they’re nice