Irvine Land Trust | Updates & Concerns
Patrick Strader (via phone)
Land Trust Chair Melissa Fox was in Sacramento
Irvine Community Land Trust
The Land Trust was created by the city council in 2006 for the creation of permanently affordable housing. In its 13 years of existence, the city has given the land trust $72 million in cash and land and was operated for 11 years as part of the city housing managers responsibilities. The Trust was always required to provide periodic reports to the city on its activities and finances until the Land Trust voted to become “independent” in 2017-18. Currently, councilmembers Melissa Fox and Anthony Kuo represent the City on the Land Trust.
The Land Trust Board voted 3-1 at their June 17, 2019 meeting to provide certain financials (not all) as was requested by the City. This information was routinely available for public review before the Board made critical bylaw changes in 2017-18, and comes 9 months after the city was told they would be receiving this info. Board member Patrick Strader, VP of StarPointe Ventures voted no to the request for providing the city with any financial information.
The City requested that reports include comprehensive details for each of the following:
- Annual beginning of year budget
- Quarterly budget updates
- Annual end of year audit
- Financial settlement statements for each completed project
Why did the Land Trust Board amend the bylaws to change their relationship with the city, and what authority did the Land Trust have to make this decision? We asked. We looked. We found no documentation from the city directing the Land Trust to separate from the city.
The remaining city funds due the Land Trust are $22,669,070 and based on city projections the final payments should be made in fiscal year 2024-25. This is a lot of money and Irvine residents should know how it’s being spent. Where is the state transparency law (Brown Act) & the Irvine Sunshine Ordinance when you need it?
Branda LinJune 25, 2019 at 9:08 am
I attended the last ICLT meeting on 6/17 because I was concerned about the lack of transparency of financial info from the ICLT, knew the city requested more information, and wanted to see how the ICLT would respond. What I didn’t expect was the turn that the meeting took when Executive Director Mark Asturias had great concern and was pretty adamant about not providing the total employment costs (including salary info, expenses, etc) which the city used to receive. It will be interesting to see what the ICLT hands over to the City Council at tonight’s meeting.
judithGJune 25, 2019 at 10:25 am
I am so over the ICLT! Thank you Jeanne for continuing efforts toward transparency. The City of Irvine is struggling to meet our budget with falling sales revenue AND has a problem with Affordable Housing. Is this $22MM better spent to in other ways to address AH? Direct Rent subsidies? Purchase & refurb existing apt complex dedicated the AH? Create new AH arm of with in the City? They manage all aspects of AH, including state mandates?
The break off of the ICLT from the City was claimed to reduce bureaucracy and expedite housing. Now they are spending $$ on PR to justify their existence. Why not deliver on your mission. Share the your financials or I vote to reallocate the $22MM to other “real” housing non-profits, with transparency and results or look at alternative AH methods as share above.
Comments are closed.