Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 041337
   

File Number: 041337 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-416-04 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: MDHA PLAN TO FILL VACANCIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING Introduced: 5/6/2004
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 4/13/2004
Agenda Date: 4/13/2004 Agenda Item Number: 7G2B
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE ORIGINAL LEGISTAR #040910. Title: RESOLUTION APPROVING MIAMI-DADE HOUSING AGENCY’S (MDHA) PLAN (PLAN) TO FILL THE VACANCIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING; AUTHORIZING MDHA TO IMPLEMENT THE PLAN; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER AND MDHA TO MEET WITH AN INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF INCORPORATING ASPECTS OF THE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES FIGHTING TOGETHER/MIAMI WORKERS’ CENTER (LIFFT/MWC) PROPOSAL TO FILL THE VACANCIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING INTO THE PLAN; REQUIRING A REPORT [SEE ORIGINAL ITEMS UNDER FILE NO. 040673, 040910]
Indexes: MDHA
Sponsors: Bruno A. Barreiro, Prime Sponsor
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 5/6/2004 Assigned Terrence A. Smith

Board of County Commissioners 4/13/2004 7G2B Amended Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Commissioner Morales stated that although this was not a public hearing item, several citizens were present who wished to voice their concerns regarding the foregoing proposed resolution. Vice Chairperson Sorenson opened the meeting for public input and invited those individuals who had submitted speaker’s cards to come forth and state their concerns in connection with the foregoing proposed resolution. Assistant County Manager Tony Crapp advised Vice Chairperson Sorenson that agenda item 7G2B was related to agenda items 2B3 and 10A9, and suggested they be considered simultaneously. The following individuals appeared before the Board and spoke in opposition to the foregoing proposed resolution: Mr. Tony Ramano, 6127 N.W. 7th Avenue, Miami, representing Miami Workers' Center, stated that the Center was working with LIFFT, which consisted of people on the waiting list for housing. Ms. Rosalie Wiley, 6127 N.W. 7th Avenue, Miami; Ms. Mary Nesbitt, 6127 N.W. 7th Avenue, Miami, stated she was a member of LIFFT and expressed concern regarding the vacancies existing within Miami-Dade County's low-income housing. Ms. Bridgette Johnson, 1240 N.W. 61st St., Miami. Ms. Evoyne Hubbert, 1240 N.W. 61st St., Miami. Mr. Charles Elsesser, Florida Legal Services attorney representing LIFFT, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, discussed the reasons LIFFT believed the foregoing proposed resolution would not impact the current vacancies within Miami-Dade’s low-income housing units. He advised that there were nearly 1100 vacancies in Miami-Dade’s public housing which he stated Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) attributed to restrictions placed on it by the Adker decision. Mr. Elsesser noted that the proposed resolution essentially provided a few more choices of units and geographic diversity to people. He emphasized that the proposal did not provide any discussion regarding how it impacted the vacancy crisis caused by Adker. Mr. Elsesser stated that the problem was that Adker provided a select group of families and seniors first choice of housing. Mr. Elsesser stated that LIFFT’s proposal recommended offering all vacant units to all applicants on the waiting list with priority to determine whether any wanted to live in any of the vacancies. Mr. Elsesser stated that implementation of LIFFT’s proposal would determine whether applicants desired any of the existing vacant units and it would remove Adker from the equation. He added that LIFFT’s proposal was initially accepted by the Board, but was later rejected by staff and labeled unworkable. Mr. Elsesser urged Commissioners to find the foregoing proposed resolution inadequate due largely to its failure to disclose how it would solve the vacancy crisis created by Adker. He recommended staff go back and take another look at the ideas that would affect the vacancy crisis and to bring a report back to the Board that would impact the vacancy crisis. Mr. Romano reappeared and stated that their goal was to fill the vacancies. He stated that the foregoing proposed resolution would not resolve the vacancy crisis in its current form. He noted that the Director of Miami-Dade Housing Agency Rene Rodriguez agreed that the proposed plan submitted by LIFFT would fill the vacancies quickly, but that implementation would have been administratively difficult. He urged the Board not to approve the foregoing proposed resolution, but instead to consider adoption of LIFFT’s proposal. In response to Commissioner Morales’ inquiry regarding the number of existing vacancies, MDHA Acting Director Alphonso Brewster stated there were currently 1000 vacancies and that 600 were ready for immediate occupancy. Pertaining to the large number of rejected offers, Mr. Brewster stated that 64,000 applicants were on the waiting list for public housing in April 2001 but there were only now 30,000 on the list because approximately 33,000 people had been processed through the system and presented offers for housing units. Mr. Brewster stated that LIFFT’s proposal would be difficult to implement due to the inability to track each offer so MDHA had developed a proposed plan to expand the applicants’ capabilities for accessing housing by increasing the housing offers from one to five with a more desirable geographic zone. He added that this plan also included a Department of Human Services component to assist applicants with payment of the required deposit, Mr. Brewster advised that this plan must comply with Adker’s, the LIFFT’s attorneys’, and U.S. HUD’s regulations. In response to Commissioner Ferguson’s inquiry regarding the excessive number of housing unit rejections by applicants, Mr. Brewster stated that some of the factors contributing to a unit being rejected were location, located far away from family and/or medical support system, and fear of moving to an unfamiliar area. Mr. Brewster stated that the rejections were not based on the condition of the units, which were all rehabilitated to code prior to being offered. In response to Commissioner Seijas’ inquiry pertaining to the process for offering units, Mr. Brewster clarified that an applicant would receive offers for five units which would be located in three geographical areas by neighborhoods. Commissioner Seijas expressed concern regarding limiting the geographic area to three neighborhoods and stated she felt this was insufficient to accommodate the population of a county the size of Miami-Dade County. Commissioner Seijas asked the County Manager to conduct an independent study of the alternative approach proposed by LIFFT and report back to the Commission by June 2004. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ inquiry Assistant County Attorney Terrence Smith stated that upon an applicant’s rejection of an offer for a public housing unit, that applicant’s name was removed from the waiting list. Following further discussion among members of the Board, Commissioner Diaz recommended that the Board move forward with the foregoing item and also conduct the independent study requested by Commissioner Seijas, and at the end of August 2004, should the Board determine that the process adopted today did not achieve the desired result, then the alternative approach recommended through the results from the independent study would be considered for implementation. Commissioner Rolle asked staff to ensure that LIFFT was given the opportunity to present its recommendations for consideration for inclusion in the revised plan to fill the vacancies in public housing. Commissioner Ferguson asked that MDHA Acting Director Brewster include in the report a plan outlining what resources were necessary in order to implement a more efficient process for offering and awarding housing units to qualified applicants. The foregoing proposed resolution was amended to authorize the County Manager and MDHA to meet with an independent consultant to determine the feasibility of incorporating aspects of the Low-Income Families Fighting Together/Miami Workers' Center (LIFFT/MWC) proposal to fill the vacancies in public housing into the plan, requiring a report.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION APPROVING MIAMI-DADE HOUSING AGENCY’S (MDHA) PLAN (PLAN) TO FILL THE VACANCIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING; AUTHORIZING MDHA TO IMPLEMENT THE PLAN; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER AND MDHA TO MEET WITH AN INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF INCORPORATING ASPECTS OF THE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES FIGHTING TOGETHER/MIAMI WORKERS’ CENTER (LIFFT/MWC) PROPOSAL TO FILL THE VACANCIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING INTO THE PLAN; REQUIRING A REPORT

BODY
WHEREAS, Resolution. No. R-1268-03 (“Resolution”) was adopted by the Board of County Commission (“Board”) on November 6, 2003; and
WHEREAS, the Resolution directed the County Attorney, with the assistance of MDHA, to discuss, in part, with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), the legal counsel representing the Class Plaintiffs in the case of Anne-Marie Adker v. Miami-Dade County, and Low Income Families Fighting Together and Miami Workers Center’s (collectively “LIFFT/MWC”) legal counsel, a plan to streamline the process for filling the vacancies in public housing; and
WHEREAS, on February 11, 2004, the County Attorney submitted to the Board a report (“Report”), which is attached hereto as Exhibit A, in which he advised the Board that MDHA had developed a Plan to fill the vacancies in public housing; and
WHEREAS, the County Attorney further advised that HUD and the Plaintiffs have no objections to MDHA’s implementation of the Plan, which is attached hereto as Exhibit B; and
WHEREAS, LIFFT/MWC objects to plan and seeks the MDHA to utilize their proposal (Proposal) for filling the vacancies in public housing; and
WHEREAS, the County Attorney also advised that HUD approved the Plan contingent on the Board adopting a resolution approving and authorizing the implementation of the Plan; and
WHEREAS, as the Board of Directors of the housing authority in Miami-Dade County, the Board is required to adopt and authorize MDHA to implement the Plan prior to its implementation,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Approves and authorizes MDHA to implement the Plan to fill the vacancies in public housing.
Section 2. Authorizes the County Manager and MDHA to consult with an independent consultant to determine the feasibility of incorporating aspects of LIFFT/MWC’s into the Plan.
Section 3. Directs the County Manager and MDHA to submit a report concerning the steps to incorporate LIFFT/MWC’s Proposal into the Plan and an update on MDHA’s successes in filling the vacancies in public housing by the June 22, 2004 meeting of the Board.



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