Membership on the Citizens’ Housing Commission:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
The following questions and answers provide information intended to reflect the adopted Resolution and/or City Council discussion about the formation of a Citizens’ Housing Commission.
Who can be a member?
Any resident of the City may apply to be a member. To apply, a resident must complete an application by either filling out a form online or print and submit it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are also available for pick-up from the Development Services Department, located on the second floor of City Hall at 121—5th Ave. N.
Membership is intended to come from all areas of the city. To help provide for this broad representation, a map was created to show seven geographic areas (based on U.S. Census tracts), each of which has approximately the same number of people. Each area (or “zone”) will be assigned by the Council President to have one City Council person who will select two residents from her/his assigned area to serve on the Housing Commission, along with one alternate. (The alternate would serve when the regular member from the same area is absent. Alternates are encouraged to attend all meetings to keep apprised of the issues but cannot vote unless doing so in lieu of an absent Commissioner from the same area.) In addition, after Councilmember selections have been made, the Mayor may select one member and one alternate from the remaining applications. Note: Preference will be given to applicants who do not currently serve on other City boards or commissions.
Exception to membership: An amendment (Resolution No. 1428) to the original Housing Commission Resolution was adopted May 7, 2019 stating that anyone who has served on a codified City board or commission within the last two years is not eligible to serve on the Housing Commission. (See question below for an explanation of codified boards and commissions.)
The City Council has requested that the applications include, besides standard questions for city board and commission applications, specific questions about: length of time living in Edmonds; whether the person rents or owns his/her residence (recognizing that the Commission’s membership should probably include both owners and tenants), and whether the applicant is also a landlord. The intent is to have a diversity of members.
What is a “codified board or commission”?
A codified board or commission is a term for those official boards and commissions that are expressly established in the City code. Anyone serving on such a board or commission within the last two years is not expected to be eligible for service on the Housing Commission. Codified boards and commissions include: Architectural Design Board, Cemetery Board, Arts Commission, Civil Service Commission, Disability Board, Medical Self-Insurance Advisory Board, Planning Board, Youth Commission, Edmonds Sister City Commission, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, Economic Development Commission, Salary Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and Tree Board. [Note: Research is being done on whether any other boards and commission are “codified”.]
Is the Housing Commission intended to be comprised of people with all the same perspective or from the same part of town?
The City Council welcomes diversity of people and ideas. Housing Commission members may have different opinions and beliefs, be of different races and ethnicities, include both owners and renters, be different in age, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, family size, professional background, religious affiliation, length of time living in Edmonds, educational level, and neighborhood of residence, and may have other differences and similarities.
Will any City Council members serve on the Commission?
Two City Council members will be appointed as liaisons to the Commission, serving in a non-voting, advisory capacity.
How and when must Commissioner applications be submitted?
Applications may be completed and submitted online. Another way to apply is to fill out a printed application form and either email it to email@example.com or send it by postal mail or hand delivery to: Administrative Assistant/Development Services Department/City Hall/ 121 Fifth Ave. N./Edmonds WA 98020. Although applications may be submitted anytime, applications that have been submitted by May 30th, 2019 will be considered first. Due to some delays in postal delivery, first consideration of applications changed from May 15, 2019 to May 30, 2019. When all members have been appointed, no new applications will be considered unless a membership vacancy arises.
How long will the Citizens’ Housing Commission be in place?
Appointments to the Housing Commission are anticipated by late May or early June. The Commission “sunsets” (ends) on January 1, 2021.
What is the Commission supposed to do?
By the end of 2020, the Commission should have recommendations ready for the City Council on housing policy options for consideration. The proposed housing options should expand the range of available housing. They should also be nondiscriminatory related to age, gender, race, religion, physical disability, or sexual orientation.
When will the Commission meet?
The first meeting of the Citizens’ Housing Commission will be called by the City Council President after all or most positions have been filled. At the first meeting, Commissioners will discuss options for regular monthly meeting dates. Note: Thursdays are generally best for scheduling City facilities and avoiding conflicting City meetings. Other meetings may be scheduled too, as the Commission finds necessary.
Commissioners will sponsor or assist with additional City events at least once per quarter to provide updates and hear from the public on housing issues. Progress reports from the Commission will be provided to the City Council at least quarterly, starting the third quarter of 2019.
All Housing Commission meetings and public events will be announced on the Citizens’ Housing Commission website that the City maintains.
Does the Housing Commission replace the Citizens’ Planning Board?
No. The Planning Board is a long-term citizen board. Most cities in Washington (and across the U.S.) have a planning board or planning commission that advises the City Council and Mayor on a wide range of community planning issues, including land use, infrastructure, housing, environment, transportation, and more.
The Housing Commission is an important temporary board, assigned to focus during the next year-and-a-half on housing policy options for the City Council’s consideration to expand the range of local housing.
Will Housing Commission meetings be open to the public?
Yes, Housing Commission meetings will be noticed and open to the public.
How can people not on the Commission provide input?
Many opportunities to stay aware of housing issues and provide input will be available to the community. Opportunities are expected to include open houses, written comments, and public meetings. A dedicated webpage, which will be updated periodically, has been added to the City website. As future meetings, events, and surveys get scheduled over the next few months, the information will be shared on the webpage and elsewhere.
How has the Citizens’ Housing Commission opportunity been announced?
Announcements have come from the City in several ways, including:
Postcards were mailed to every known household address in the City. The postcards announced the Commission opportunity and referred readers to the City website for more information. Postcards went out in batches, based on mail carrier routes, and were expected to be delivered between May 1st and May 7th, 2019.
A press release was issued on April 26, 2019.
A memo was sent to everyone who is on the City’s email list for housing issues on April 30, 2019.
Does getting a postcard about the Citizens’ Housing Commission mean I am a City of Edmonds resident?
Not necessarily. In a few locations, the mail routes crossed into areas that are not actually within Edmonds’ incorporated city limits. In these cases, a postcard about the Housing Commission may have been delivered to a household that is officially outside of Edmonds (even though it may have an Edmonds address). However, only Edmonds residents are eligible to be appointed to the Commission. Of course, anyone, resident or not, is welcome to follow the process.
What if I have more questions?
For additional questions about the Housing Commission process, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may call Debbie at 425.771.0220.