Why Is This Man Smiling?

Steve Ferrarini, President of Ferrarini & Associates
Meet Steve Ferrarini

He’s smiling because his consulting firm bagged a sweet contract to draft a Needs Analysis for Ashland’s Housing Committee and City staff. Seems we might be closer to “solving” the Affordable Workforce Housing “problem” if we commission an out-of-state consulting firm to provide the critical service that Staff, Councils and Committees are unable to do themselves … talk to people.

Continuing the proud legacy of of more study and little action.

Back in 2004 council members raised concerns that for-purchase affordable housing projects was taking priority over rental projects. It was understood how critical rental property is to the local workforce and it was recommended that rental development be encouraged , and that City-owned property could provide that opportunity.

” Given the reversion of asset requirement at the conclusion of affordability period, a for-purchase project would not be feasible. … Essentially a rental development is preferable development for this reason. … The development of City owned property provides an opportunity to ensure the needed housing type of apartments is provided.” September 21, 2004

Now it seems that comprehensive understanding is outdated. There is a growing trend converting apartments to townhouses, sell-off one at an “affordable” price and selling the rest.

According to Council Communications:

“A Rental Needs Analysis is necessary to establish baselines and projections so the City can better anticipate the housing needs of Ashland residents. The for-purchase housing market is well understood through the data provided in the 2002 Housing Needs Analysis and kept current through readily available industry data. The high priced ownership market and the reduced development of apartments may be placing greater pressure on Ashland’s existing rental housing stock. As the City aims to provide the appropriate mix of housing types, commensurate with the incomes of existing and future residents, it is imperative that the City obtain a clear evaluation of unmet rental housing needs and an informed forecast of trends. The personal services contract with Ferrarini and Associates to conduct a Rental Needs Analysis which will provide the City with a comprehensive understanding of the current rental market as well as the establishment of a forecasting model.”


Enter Steve Ferrarini.

We should be lucky this contract even saw the light of day. City rules state that contracts over $25,000 must get approval by council. This one squeaked under at $24,946, but Council did feel they should rubber-stamp it first.

For less than $25K Steve and his five associates will perform a field study, survey of households, expert interviews, market analysis and present their recommendations. Ferrarini’s rate of $140/ hr well exceeeds Ashland’s living wage of $12.14 per hour. Of course, the actual labor can be sub-contracted out at less than minimum wage, as long as they work less than 40 hrs/week.

Ferrarini comes with a strong background in development ventures for the vacation and resort industry.  His clients are exclusively developers and property management groups specializing in Private residential clubs, resort communities, timeshare, five-star hotel & golf courses, projects in the across the US, Hawaii, The Bahamas and Virgin Islands. He sits on the Board or Directors of Hotel Brokers International

A small client list include the Four Seasons Residential Club, Bermuda Properties Limited, Castle Harbor Club: A 46 unit private residential club in a 190 acre destination resort, and Discovery Bay: Gated oceanfront community with fractional private residential club and single family home lots.

I predict that for less than $25,000, developers will get the data they want, but not the answers we need.


Rental_Needs_Analysis.pdf (1743.2KB)

Evictions lead to planned rally “We will ask the city to stop doing business with these developers … Every time they bring a development to the city hoping to make a lot of money, we’re going to be there to remind people what happened with the Lower Pines.”

Ashland vs. Poor Community-based Cable Access center Displaces Three Families —– Facing increased traffic, a lack of affordable housing, and skyrocketing property costs… City considers shifting funds to help needy “There’s a huge inequity … The chamber and festival get money automatically, while the poor struggling arts groups …”

Facing increased traffic, a lack of affordable housing, and skyrocketing property costs… City considers shifting funds to help needy“There’s a huge inequity … The chamber and festival get money automatically, while the poor struggling arts groups …” http://www.dailytidings.com/2003/news0204/020403n1.shtml


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