Code compliance Overview
The City code compliance specialist is responsible for responding to calls for service and addressing a variety of complaints related to potential infractions of Ashland’s Municipal Code. It is common for a substantial portion of the position’s time to be directed at land use and zoning issues, building safety and actions impacting environmentally sensitive areas. Many factors influence code compliance activity including the time of year, increases in development and construction activity, as well the adoption of additional City codes. The code compliance specialist responds on average to approximately 800 calls for service annually, with a daily active case load of between 30-50 cases. The position works closely with many City departments, as well as State and Federal agencies to provide a comprehensive and coordinated response.
Code Compliance Cases
Mandated Services - AMC Chapter 1.08 – General Penalties provides the authority for the code compliance specialist to seek compliance and enforce all the provisions of the municipal. The code compliance specialist has the authority to investigate infractions related to buildings and properties after first making a reasonable effort to secure permission by the owner or other person having charge of the premises.
Expected Services - Resolving complaints and seeking agreed upon compliance through mediation and a solution-oriented approach is expected, rather than impersonal enforcement and the presenting of citations in City’s municipal court.
Discretionary Services - The nature of the position and assortment of inquiries often creates opportunities to employ non-conventional techniques. While time-consuming, settling a long-standing neighborhood nuisance through the soliciting community volunteers can result in more resilient communities and achieve long-standing results.
Housing program overview
The Housing program is responsible for addressing various housing needs in the community. Since there is no single solution to adequately address the housing issues facing the City, the program takes a comprehensive approach to program development. This approach ensures that all available tools are used to increase the supply of affordable housing and address the social service needs of residents in the community.
The Housing Program Manager works closely with the Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission, and the City Council to achieve Council Goals. These goals guide the focus of the Housing program, which includes providing financial assistance to non-profit organizations through Community Development Block Grants, Affordable Housing Funds, and Social Service Grants.
In addition to providing financial assistance, the Housing Program Manager coordinates with other City departments, public and private organizations, contractors, citizen groups, and the public to develop and maintain housing and social service programs. This administrative work is crucial to ensuring that the needs of the community are met effectively and efficiently.
Mandated Services - The State of Oregon has established policies and regulations to encourage the development and preservation of affordable housing Oregon does, however, have laws that relate to housing and affordable housing. For example, Oregon's Land Use Planning and Zoning laws require that cities plan for and provide for housing that is affordable to a range of income levels within their jurisdictions.
Additionally, the state provides grant funding for affordable housing development and preservation through programs such as the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. Therefore, while the establishment of a housing program is not mandated by Oregon law, cities within the state are required to plan for and provide affordable housing, and the state provides resources to support the development and preservation of such housing.
The Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is subject to federal regulations and guidelines. The program is authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, and is further governed by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), specifically 24 CFR Part 570.To receive funding under the CDBG program, the City of Ashland must submit an annual Action Plan to HUD that describes how the funds will be used to meet the program's statutory objectives, and is required to comply with other federal requirements, such as environmental and fair housing regulations, as well as maintain adequate records and reporting systems to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of CDBG funds.
The Housing Production Strategy (HPS) is a document that outlines a plan to address Ashland’s unmet housing needs with a focus on equity and public input. The Housing Production Strategy report identifies a set of specific actions the city intends to undertake over an 8-year period to promote the development needed housing. The City will be required to report annually on the City’s progress toward consideration and implementation of the identified actions in the HPS document over an eight-year period to the State of Oregon.
Expected Services - The Housing Program oversees all affordable housing in the City, including reviewing contracts, verifying household incomes, and monitoring rent or sale prices using tax information to maintain program integrity. The program conducts studies and collects data to identify housing needs and provide policy recommendations that meet City Council Goals and distribute limited resources effectively.
The Housing Program also manages grant administration services for the City's Social Service Grant Program, CDBG program, and Affordable Housing Fund. The Social Service Grant Program allocates general funds to agencies and organizations that help vulnerable citizens, and the Affordable Housing Fund receives $100,000 annually from Marijuana Tax Revenue. The Housing Program supports the Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee, which reviews and recommends CDBG allocations, grant awards, and monitors projects funded by CDBG, City of Ashland Social Service Grants, and the Ashland Housing Fund. The Committee is established in AMC 2.19. Additionally, the Housing Program coordinates with local and regional service providers and community partners to provide emergency assistance to homeless individuals and families and households at risk of homelessness. They allocate state and federal resources and develop new resources using tax revenue as needed to address emergency sheltering needs and provide direct services to the homeless.
Discretionary Services - The Ashland City Council has consistently promoted the development of policies to support and expand workforce housing and regulated affordable housing within the City, and engagement and collaboration with regional efforts to address homelessness.