Sarasota Housing Authority Resident's Association

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Community Carnival

You're invited to a Community Carnival in Newtown, this Friday, June 30 from 5 to 8 pm, sponsored by Lakewood Ranch Presbyterian, Faith Church and Bethesda Outreach along with the Boys and Girls Club.

The event will be held at the Boys and Girls Club at 1790 21st Street.

There will be free food, live music, lots of games for the kids and a DUNK TANK!

Bill Russell, Executive Director of the Sarasota Housing Authority, is actually going to be a great sport and get in—that should be funny! It would be great if some Task Force members and other members of the community could be there for a while.

If not, I’ll have plenty of pictures in the upcoming newsletter.

Karen M. Curry,
Director of Resident Opportunities & Self SufficiencyHousing Authority of the City of Sarasota

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Parent Support Group

[At left is Jackie Green - group leader for Parent Support Group]


Mission Statement:
The parent support group provides support andempowerment to public housing parents who seek self-sufficiency in theareas of parenting, home management, employment, education and training, and community involvement.

1. To provide a resident-driven context based on trusting relationships wherein parents will be motivated to explore new life goals;
2. To further the knowledge base of parents in effective child-rearing practices;
3. To increase the knowledge base of parents regarding community resources related to child care, home budgeting, and opportunities for employment, education and training, and community involvement.

1. To remove barriers to parent participation by assisting parents with transportation and child care;
2. To provide group leadership that facilitates the development of group norms that promote trust wherein honest communication can occur;
3. To schedule presentations by community resources in areas defined by group members (e.g. budgeting practices; utility billing practices; adaptive ways to deal with conflict at home and in job settings, etc.);
4. To develop a resource directory in the areas of affordable child care, low cost children’s clothing, low cost furniture, insurance and health providers, and opportunities for employment, education and training and community involvement;
5. To facilitate the relationship between public housing residents who are group members and designated community mentors who will support, motivate, and enhance knowledge areas defined by the residents.

Group Design and Group Leadership:
The parent support group meets for two hours weekly at the Janie Poe Residents Association or at a location agreed upon by group members. The group leaders are Marion Goldberg, Ph.D. and Ms. Jackie Green, public housing resident.

As the professional leader, Dr. Goldberg is responsible for the following tasks:
1) Creates the self-sufficiency curriculum;
2) Co-leads the group with Ms. Jackie Green when available;
3) Provides weekly consultation to the paraprofessional group leader.

The paraprofessional group leader, Ms. Jackie Green, is a public housing resident who is responsible for the following tasks:
1) Receives weekly consultation from Dr. Goldberg;
2) Creates a monthly schedule for self-sufficiency curriculum topics and speakers;
3) Liaisons with mentors recommended by the Public Housing Task Force who are assigned to designated public housing residents in the parent support group;
4) Facilitates the creation of a resource directory by assigning tasks to committees within the group;
5) Assigns responsibility for child care, refreshments, and transportation assistance;
6) Leads or co-leads group discussions wherein open, honest, supportive communication occurs;
7) Maintains attendance records and documentation of community service records.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Consultant Provides Detail in Response to June 13 Posting

Working with Residents:
Working with residents in planning the redevelopment is discussed in Sections C.1. Scope of Services and C.2 Lead Developer’s Role:

Under C.1. it says: It is expected that the Lead Developer and his/her planning and design team members will work with HACS, residents and other interested parties to develop site plans through an open planning process with participation by residents, neighbors and other interested stakeholders.

Under C.2. it says: The Lead Developer will be required to work in partnership with HACS, current residents and other neighborhood and local organizations to design and implement each Redevelopment Plan and under the list of services the developer is to provide the RFP says Collaborate with HACS and the residents to implement a general management structure for the development that includes a long term role for the residents. The developer is required to ensure resident involvement throughout the planning and implementation of the project, and Develop and implement a M/WBE and a Section 3 program in conjunction with life skills training, contracting and apprenticeship for resident ownership and participation in the development process.

Under Section D.4, Content of RFP Response, Respondents have to provide Public Housing Resident Participation, Minority and Public Housing Resident Equity/Contracting Participation, and relocation plans. All of these requirements are factored into the scoring of the RFP responses as discussed under Section E.2

Providing Social Services :
Included in the list of services to be provided by the developer under C.2 is Work with HACS to fund and coordinate on-going community and supportive services for public housing residents at the redeveloped sites.

Section D.4 requires a Community and Supportive Services Plan that requires Respondents to Describe proposed Community and Supportive Services Plan for current residents of HACS Newton developments. Provide specific examples of similar work undertaken by the Respondent’s team at other developments. This plan is part of the scoring criteria in Section D.4.

Also, at the 6/12 meeting with the RFQ/RFP Evaluation Committee, we discussed with Valerie adding language to the description of the Section D.4 Relocation Plan to be provide in the responses regarding an MOA with residents. We’ll include such language in the next draft circulated to the committee.

Number of PH units :
Bonus points are to be awarded for the inclusion of more PH units in Respondents’ proposals (see Sections B.1, B.3 and E.2.) At the 6/12 meeting we discussed adding a 10 point sliding scale for bonus points for proposals that provide for more PH units. That language will be added to the next draft.

Ultimately, the number of PH units will be determined by the maximum number that is financially feasible within the context of good design. The Advisory Committee that approved the conceptual site plans decided that a total of 852 units in 2 and 3 story buildings was the optimum number of units that could be developed. Additional units would require taller buildings and greater density, which the Committee, which received input from the community, did not feel was in the best interests of the public housing residents or the surrounding community nor financially feasible.

The mix of public housing, non-public housing affordable and market rate units to be built on the site is a function of both policy and financially feasibility (especially as no federal funding is available for these sites and state funding is very competitive). The conceptual site planning effort sought to maximize affordability while proposing a financially feasible unit mix based on conservative financing, market and land use assumptions. The number of units and mix of units proposed by RFP Respondents may vary from the conceptual site plans based on what the developers think is financially feasible and good design. Scoring of the RFP responses, as discussed in Section E.2., is to be based primarily on financial feasibility, the number of affordable units (with bonus points for PH units), and quality of site planning and design.

Building Heights, Storm Water Retention, Community/Open Space:
Taller, elevatored buildings are more expensive to build due to a variety of building code, construction material and design issues, and that additional cost does affect financial feasibility. In addition, the Advisory Committee, did not think it good policy, good planning or financially feasible to include mixed income family units in mid-rise buildings on these sites, so the conceptual site plans incorporated elevator buildings only for Senior units. (In addition, the Committee also felt that it would be more difficult to obtain County and City financial support and site plan approvals to build mid-rise family buildings.)

More land may be available for development if developers find they do not need to set aside as large a portion of the site for water retention as we have conservatively estimated to be the case. As stated in Section B.1 of the RFP, The portion of each Development Site set aside for surface storm water retention was an estimate. Respondents may propose the amount of land for surface storm water retention, or alternative water retention systems, as they deem to be appropriate and in accordance with Southwest Florida Water Management District regulations for storm water management.

The conceptual site plans included community space at each site within each site’s management and leasing building (the next draft of the RFP will be clearer on what was incorporated in the conceptual). Any land designated for community facilities and open space comes at the expense of residential units. The Advisory Committee decided on the balance of community space/open space and residential units shown in the conceptual plans with the goal of maximizing the number of units. The RFP Respondents may propose additional community space and open in their plans based on marketing/financing and planning considerations, and those proposals will be evaluated based on the RFP’s scoring criteria.

[Submitted by Brian Heegar, consultant to HASC]

Friday, June 16, 2006

Carmen Valenti Comments on Recent Post

The following comments are offered in response to the June 13, 2006 posting. [Submitted by Carmen Valenti, HUD Receiver for SHA].

Having read the posting we felt that certain comments presented were either inaccurate or misleading. In addition to the comments below I would like to add that at the Newtown meeting referred to in this posting a number of neighboring residents did raise concerns relative to the height issue. Furthermore, the "local developers" comment that elevators are not expensive may be a relative comment, our research has indicated that elevators would add a cost of approximately $150,000 per cab. On the issue of water retention vaulting, we have publically said on numerous occasions that water retention vaulting was being considered but it would be a very costly option and would greatly increase the estimated funding gap. More than likely to achieve our intended affordability goal this cost would need to be borne entirely with public funds. The comment that,"in general the RFP does not mention residents and the developers responsibility to them," is totally inaccurate. Concerning the number of public housing units it has always been the position of the HA to try to achieve the greatest number of public housing units as possible within land and financing constraints, and have expressed a willingness to consider increased density. In closing I would like to add that all of the evaluation criteria utilized in the RFQ/RFP were established by the seven member committee, and not unilaterally by the HA.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Comments Needed for Redevelopment RFP


Valerie Buchand received last Friday the draft RFP (Request for proposal) which will be sent to the five candidates for the developer of the mixed income public housing properties. The Sarasota Housing Authority wants to send out this RFP this Friday. The committee of seven (which includes two public housing residents - one is Valerie Buchand) met Monday to discuss the proposal. Valerie was advised she had until tomorrow, Wed, June 14, to submit any comments.

A finalized document would be made available to her Thursday.

In general, the RFP does not mention residents and the developer's responsibilities towards the residents.

Social services need to be in place for them before the first shoveful of dirt is turned. Right of return policy and a Memorandum of Agreement with the residents needs to be included. There is no mention of community centers & parks in the new mixed income communities.

But, first and foremost, the Public Housing Task Force wants 388 family public housing rental units to return.

If senior units (efficiencies) are necessary, then add those on to the number of family units. The RFP currently states that there would be a total of 282 units which would combine family and elder units. On the current Housing Authority waiting lists there are some 300 head of households (translates into over 1,000 people) and only about 30 seniors. McCown Towers is currently devoted to elders and handicapped individuals/all efficiencies.

We would like to the see the developer encouraged to design for more public housing units. At the Newtown Community meeting, residents indicated they would be fine with more height and more density. 20 units per acre would not be unreasonable. Janie Poe has 10 units per acre presently and there is space to spare. A local leading developer, who looked over the plans sketched out by the consultant, said that elevators are not that expensive and water storage can easily be retained in underground vaults to provide more building space.

When Valerie receives the final version, we will send out a press release from the Task Force if most of these concerns are not addressed.

Call Valerie at 544-3262 for an electronic version of the RFP and/or to make any comments for her submittal.

Time is of the essence.

Thank you!

Jude Levy

Thursday, June 01, 2006

May Housing Board Meeting

The SHA monthly board meeting was held on May 31.

Pictured are Bill Russell (Executive Director), Carmen Valenti (HUD Receiver and Board), and Jackie Diaz (new resident liason).

There was a discussion of the "admissions and continual occupancy policy" concerning how late rent payment and eviction. The new policy says that the first three late payments will result in notification of policy violation that could result in eviction. The fourth late payment will require a stipulation be signed to avoid immediate eviction. The stipulation states that the resident agrees to eviction if there is a subsequent late rent payment.

Valerie Buchand commented that clarification of the language was needed to prevent misunderstanding. The board agreed.

The community service policy was discussed - this is a requirement of HUD - that able bodied residents that are head of household and not employed must work 8 hours per month at a documented community service project.

Valerie Buchand presented the background and information about the established Parents Support Group. It was agreed that as long as documentation of attendance and time was recorded, this would meet the community service requirement.

The decision by the selection committee to select 5 developers from the submitted 10, as the best qualified, was announced. Dale White's article in the Herald Tribune covers this selection. The next step will be submission of development proposals by these 5 companies.

Also, in the crime report it was noted that drugs continue to be the major issue faced by the Housing Authority. They continue to work closely with the police but cleaning up this criminal activity is a tough task. The section of Dixie between 21st and 24th was noted as being the area of 4 evictions soon after the HA's "one strike policy" for drug activity was established. Recently 2 more warrants were served by the police and subsequent HA evictions have been initiated because evidence of drug activity was discovered.

Jackie Diaz has replaced Valerie Buchand as the Resident Liason on the HA Board. Jackie has been involved in public housing issues and is a community leader.