Board of Directors

Regular Meeting -- November 21, 2021

The Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 2:30pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting by Zoom: Kim Pillsbury, Lia Nelson (until 3:45), President Kathy Lee, Treasurer Penny Chambers (until 3:30), Secretary John McGarey. Robert McGarey (Executive Director) was also present at the meeting.

Reading of Mission Statement and Approval of Minutes

The Mission Statement was read aloud at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes from the previous meeting were read aloud and approved.

Executive Director's Report

COVID. The HPC is following city of Austin guidelines. The city is at stage 3. There will be a small fully vaccinated gathering for Thanksgiving.

Volunteers. Jon Freeman (mentioned in previous minutes) is more busy than before so may not be able to assist as much as we had hoped.

finances. The staff meeting discussed raising rents at their meeting. We currently have 16.5k in the bank plus extra money in the mortgage account and as a result Bob has been paying $400 extra a month for the mortgage (even though the board approved only $100). The board did not object to the $400. The HPC had $88k in income this year. We have had some federal employee retention credits (about $1300/quarter). They have been paying for the bathroom repairs. The 990s are done.

Insurance. It is seeming more likely that Larry Nelson will be able to get a more reasonable insurance payout and we will pay him 10% of any extra income in addition to what we had received before. We paid the contractor the final check for his work even though he hasn't actually completed the project.

Repairs. The board discussed priorities using a list on Bobs computer. We decided for Bob to get professional estimates on all of the highest priority items: final sewer plumbing work, Lia's closet tiles leaking, cottage tub/shower repair, garage apt shower leak, back porch deck, handicap ramp. Also, Wansley was supposed to pump freon back into the compressor but they didn't do it. We are thinking of buying a mini split but because of their delay on their job we wonder if we can trust them to do it.

Rent & Renters. The center is close to signing a lease with Oceana and Lia for the Blossom Room at a reduced rate.

Kathy did a real estate survey and found that our rent prices are much lower than what is available on the market today. The Austin housing market for rent has gone up 25% since 2017 and nearly 50% for purchase. The size of both the Garage Apartment and the Cottage is around 500 square feet..

Bob reports that our tenants love this place "This place is the best this is paradise" and that in some ways our rental spaces are a valuable commodity even though the buildings are old, in part because this property is so unique. It's hard to actually find anything truly comparable. Bob believes that it would be wise to really make the places nicer.

Proposals were presented for increasing rents by 5, 6, 10, or 11.1 percent especially if we did necessary repairs. The board decided to raise all the rents by around 10% this year. This will happen when their lease came up for renewal and not before. Bob is going to ask what the renters would like to be done to their apartments, then we can get estimates, then we can prioritize.

The board discussed how utilities worked with the apartments. They are all tied together and not independent.

The board discussed the idea of adding a tiny home and whether it fit in our mission and/or vision. Kathy believes that it brings love and playfulness and motivated, like-minded people to the center and improves relationships here. If the tiny home is on wheels, there are fewer City regulations it has to abide by. Possibly we could use a mobile home instead of a tiny home. Bob said that this community thrives with more people when they are motivated. Bob thinks intentional communities might be a great place to find new renters.

We did some shopping and saw that there were options for under $20k such as a travel trailer, even a new one or a built tiny home such as a concrete dome or other interesting shapes.

Since there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:25 pm.