Council to look at housing trust fund

The Ashland City Council will consider whether to create an affordable housing trust fund when it meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

The Ashland Housing Commission is still looking at ways to finance the trust fund, but has recommended one funding source so far.

Back in 1985, the city gave out rehabilitation loans using federal Community Development Block Grants. The 0 percent interest loans only have to be paid back when property is sold, refinanced or inherited.

At the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, 21 of the loans had not yet been paid back. The loans had a total value of $99,843.

But during July, four loans worth $19,652 were paid back.

The Ashland Housing Commission is recommending that those July loan repayments, and any future repayments from remaining loans, be placed into a newly created Ashland Trust Fund.

That money alone wouldn't be enough to pay for affordable housing, but the trust fund could be buttressed by private donations, grants and other funding, housing commissioners hope.

The main purpose of the trust fund would be for rehabilitation, preservation and building of quality rental and home-ownership housing for households earning less than 120 percent of the area's median income, according to a memo to the City Council from city staff.

Among other agenda items Tuesday night, the City Council is scheduled to:

  • consider whether to increase the size of solar systems that can be hooked into the city's electric grid and receive payments for the electricity they generate from 25 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts;
  • consider whether to give initial approval for an ordinance that would allow booting and towing of vehicles owned by people with five unpaid parking tickets or unpaid parking fines of more than $250;
  • and discuss the U.S. Forest Service's latest plan to thin brush and trees from the Ashland Watershed to reduce wildfire risk.

For a complete list of agenda items and details on each item, visit

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or To post a comment, visit

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