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Fullerton City Lights Citizen SRO Advisory Committee Minutes October 6, 2005

Fullerton City Lights Citizen SRO Advisory Committee Minutes October 6, 2005

City Lights Citizen SRO Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes October 6, 2005 4:00PM

Meeting Called to Order: Co-Chairman Andresen called meeting to order at 4:15PM
Members Present: Paul Andresen, Sunbie Harrell, Carolyn Johnson, Glenna Axe
Members Absent: William McGarvey III
Staff Present: Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor Kim Husereau, Clerical Assistant III
Project Management: Jasmine Cruz Assistant Property Manager, Fullerton City Lights

A. Roll Call

Member Paul Andresen, acting as Chairman, called the meeting to order, conducted a brief roll call and confirmed that a quorum was present.

B. Approval of Minutes

Acting Chairman Andresen confirmed that all members present had received and reviewed the August 4, 2005 minutes.

A Motion was Made by Committee Member Johnson, Seconded by Committee Member Harrell, and Carried unanimously by members present to APPROVE the minutes of August 4, 2005.

C. Discussion Of Work Program/Activities

1. Update on A/C
Ms. Morad advised that city staff had completed their inspection report and found the only outstanding item at the SRO to be the installation of A/C units. She expressed her disappointment that there were no representatives from Solari Enterprises in attendance at this meeting, as she had requested them to provide the committee a report on the status of the installation project. Ms. Morad continued, stating that she had received conflicting information regarding the progress of the work being done by the contractor responsible for the installation of the A/C units. Ms. Morad informed the members that telephone calls had been received by Code Enforcement and the Fair Housing Council regarding complaints about these A/C units. She further stated that although A/C units are not required, the law specifies that heating units are mandatory and the design of the units being installed features a combination A/C and heating capacity. Ms. Morad stated that the SRO is out of compliance if there are non-operational heating units.

Member Axe interjected that it will be important to advise tenants and on-site management about the potential need to clean filters on the units in order to insure that they continue to function properly after installation. Member Axe described that currently the A/C units required the filters to be removed periodically and cleansed with water in order for the units to function properly. Ms. Morad responded that the she believed that the design of the units being installed was such that there may no longer be a need to maintain the filters in that manner. She added that she intended to confirm this with Solari Enterprises.

At this time Ms. Jasmine Cruz entered the meeting room and introduced herself as the Assistant Manager on site at Fullerton City Lights SRO. Ms Cruz stated that she was attending as a replacement for Gem Reid, who had recently separated from employment as On-Site Property Manager and was thereby unable to attend this meeting. The committee members then paused from the discussion in progress and introduced themselves to Ms. Cruz. Following the member introductions, Member Harrell inquired of Ms. Cruz the most recent status of the installation of the A/C units. Ms. Cruz reported that work had begun this week, with progress being made to replace approximately 30 units. Member Harrell remarked that lack of a working A/C unit during the recent days of 90 degree heat would have been uncomfortable for the tenants. Ms. Cruz concurred and stated that fans had been purchased and provided to the affected tenants in order to alleviate the heat.

Ms. Morad requested Ms. Cruz to provide a written update specific to the status of the installation being made to Unit 201 so that she could forward the information on to the Fair Housing Council and Code Enforcement, as Code Enforcement has an open case on the matter. Ms. Cruz acknowledged the request and provided an estimate that work being done was progressing at the rate of approximately 10 units per month, with the duration of the project possibly requiring as much as six months to complete. She clarified that as replacement units are installed, additional new complaints are being submitted by tenants not already on the list of units requiring replacement. Thus, although it may take approximately three months to install A/C units to the current list, it could take a great deal longer to complete the project overall.

Member Harrell asked if the apartments that were awaiting installation had non-functioning units that included heaters. She wondered if the building got very cold during the winter months and noted that that colder weather was approaching. Ms. Cruz acknowledged that the units do provide both heat and air conditioning and that the building does get relatively cold during the Winter months. She further commented that it was her understanding that although the units being replaced did not have working A/C the heaters were in working order. Member Johnson expressed her surprise that installation would take so long to complete. Ms. Cruz explained that the replacement systems are discontinued models that require a great deal of work in order to install; including a need to access all the adjoining apartments and cut holes in interior walls in order to run the wiring and ventilation needed for just one unit.

Member Andresen addressed Ms. Cruz on the point to clarify whether or not there are non-working heaters. He expressed his opinion that a non-working heater was of greater priority to address, than a non-working A/C unit. Ms. Morad concurred.

Ms Morad recapped the discussion by requesting a summary letter from Ms. Cruz advising the specific need for replacement of non-working A/C versus non-working heater units. Member Andresen reiterated that the heaters must be addressed as a priority over non-working A/C at this time, as the weather will be growing cooler over coming months.

2. Next Quarterly Inspections
Ms. Morad advised that the City's Building Inspector will be conducting an on-site inspection during the month of October to complete a quarterly report. Member Johnson inquired if a new Inspector had been hired into Housing and Community Development. Ms. Morad clarified that an outside consultant was still be utilized as interim Inspector until the open position could be filled.

Member Andresen confirmed that the Committee will inspect in January 2006. Details will be discussed at the next Committee meeting.

3. Emergency Responses
Ms. Morad distributed the updated Emergency Response to Fullerton City Lights Report. The statistics indicated a slight increase in Police responses, although most of the responses were welfare checks and several area calls not necessarily resident issues. A death occurred due to accidental over-dose of medication. The Fire responses were all related to medical issues.

D. Non-Agenda Items

Member Andresen asked if there was any further discussion or questions on any topic. Ms. Morad advised Ms. Cruz that the committee had not received items promised by Mark Singleton of Solari Enterprises during the last meeting. Specifically, a copy of the letter previously mailed to Mrs. Wilson and copies of the St Jude Resource Book. Ms. Cruz responded that she would follow up on the open items with Mark, who had been out of the office recently due to illness.

Ms. Morad distributed hand-outs to the members that listed the Affordable Housing available in the City of Fullerton that are subsidized and also all of the facilities throughout the County of Orange.

Member Johnson inquired as to whether the SRO was fully occupied. Ms. Cruz advised that there are currently approximately five vacancies.

Member Harrell asked of Ms. Cruz the details regarding recent evictions. Ms. Cruz advised that a majority of the evictions had occurred as result of financial problems and some for recurring violations like disturbing the peace. These violations do not always require law enforcement involvement. Ms. Cruz explained that incident reports are maintained and when a volume of problems occur, the information is turned over to lawyers for review. Action is then carried out on a case-by-case basis in accordance with instruction issued by the lawyers. In evictions due to non-payment, a three day notice of payment due is given and then a notice is posted on the tenant's door advising them of ten days to pay the past due rent or move. Ms. Cruz added that there are occasions where non-payment does result in the tenant being locked out.

Member Johnson requested that Ms. Cruz elaborate on the current vacancies at the SRO and what the process was to place new occupants. Ms. Cruz stated that a lengthy waiting list is maintained. She described that 3 to 5 candidates are interviewed for each apartment at which time a tour is given and all rules and regulations are explained. Next, third party references are checked for each applicant. The time required to conduct the interviews and receive third party responses can take up to five weeks. Ms. Cruz commented that often persons interviewed find another apartment during the time expended to complete the process.

E. Next Meeting Date

The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 4PM. Ms. Morad noted this will be the meeting where the January inspections are assigned and a copy of the City Inspector's report from October will be available for review.

F. Public Comments

No public comment.

Meeting Adjourned: Co-Chairman Andresen adjourned the meeting at 5:10PM.