Longmont City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement that moves the city closer to taking over much of the responsibility for Longmont Housing Authority operations.
Council members voted unanimously to adopt a “memorandum of understanding” that’s a step toward setting up what officials earlier this month said will eventually be an “integrated partnership” between city government and the Longmont Housing Authority.
The Council also voted unanimously to appoint City Manager Harold Dominguez to the authority’s board. That board is expected to vote to vest Dominguez with “executive authority,” an action the city staff has said will essentially give Dominguez “the same rights and responsibilities as the LHA executive director.”
Jillian Baldwin, the housing authority’s current executive director, is resigning effective Wednesday. She said in an interview last week that she’ll be taking a similar housing agency position in Connecticut starting June 1.
Dominguez praised Baldwin for her accomplishments as executive director and said she had “stabilized the housing authority” after starting that position in September 2018.
The city and the housing authority had announced in a May 1 news release that they’d been working together to reexamine the housing authority’s operations after concluding “the existing model is not sustainable for the long term due to its current size and economies of scale.”
The intergovernmental agreement with the housing agency that got Council approval Tuesday night summarizes “outcomes that will be explored in the future relationship the city will have with the Longmont Housing Authority,” city staff wrote in a memo for the meeting.
Longmont Community Relations Director Karen Roneytold Council during its Tuesday meeting meeting that the housing authority faces “significant financial and operational challenges” in fulfilling its critical role as an affordable-housing provider.
Roney said the city and housing authority will be addressing some of the affordable-housing agency’s immediate needs in the coming few months, including the housing authority’s budget and fiscal system, its staff training and assignments and its compliance with various regulations that govern such agencies.
The memorandum of understanding states that the city and the housing agency “intend to enter into a more formal service agreement” in the future, one that “is likely to be amended from time to time.”
Roney said the city’s intergovernmental agreement with the housing authority will maintain the two parties’ separate independence from each other while it “gets the ball rolling” toward the partnership approach.