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What’s happening? Conferences, #cdcOhio16, Save the Dream

What’s happening in Ohio community development? This month’s issue features many upcoming events, conferences specifically – including the OCDCA annual conference, Passion for Progress, #cdcOhio16 – funding opportunities, one of which is OHFA’s look at Save the Dream.

Here’s a sample:

Destination: Vibrant Communities – OCDCA Member Discount
Join the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) for Destination: Vibrant Communities on November 10 in Detroit. This full day of interactive workshops is designed to advance the community development industry and is relevant for all staff levels. Learn best practices, innovative ideas and engage with peers while you choose the content that best suits your interests and organization’s needs. Register by October 21, 2016 to receive the early bird rate. OCDCA members get a special discount when registering – use code “NACEDA” to receive it. Registration closes November 2, 2016.

Rising rents increase need for affordable housing in central Ohio

Via Jim Weiker from The Columbus Dispatch:

As the new president and chief executive officer of Homeport, Bruce Luecke is on the front line of the affordable-housing battle.

“The issue central Ohio is facing and will face is that homelessness, or at least individuals who qualify for affordable housing — those paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing — is continuing to grow. Rents are outpacing income growth.”

The median cost of a central Ohio apartment has risen from about $700 a month five years ago to more than $800 a month, according to data from Vogt Strategic Insights.

For those on the margins, that’s a lot.

As Luecke puts it, “there’s no silver bullet” in providing affordable housing to those in need. But he believes improvements can be made, starting with greater cooperation among organizations such as his, which is central Ohio’s largest organization for affordable permanent (as opposed to transient) housing.

Read the whole article here.


Head’s up – we’re having a meeting

The Annual Business Meeting will be held at the Annual Conference on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 11:15 AM at the OU Inn & Conference Center, 331 Richland Avenue, Athens, Ohio 45701.

Persuant to the OCDCA Bylaws, please be advised of the following slate of Board and Officer nominees that will be presented at the meeting.

We hope you can join us for the meeting, where we also celebrate the association’s growth.


For the Board of Trustees: (two year term)

Bambi Baughn, Community Action Commission of Fayette County
Don Corley, WSOS Community Action
Alvin Norris, Adams Brown Community Action Partnership
Roz Quarto, ESOP
Tom Reed, Gallia Meigs Community Action Agency
Ken Smith, Price Hill Will
Julie Sparks, ICAN Housing
Steve Torsell, Homes on the Hill Community Development Corporation

For Officers: (one year term)

Steve Torsell, Homes on the Hill Community Development Corporation
Vice President
Emily Seibel, Yellow Springs Home, Inc.
Beth Long, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
Julie Sparks, ICAN Housing


Ohio Partnership Selected for National Initiative Leveraging Arts to Revitalize Communities

Ohio CDC Association and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation announced today that they were one of three partnerships selected nationwide to engage in an intensive, one year program to build knowledge and advance creative placemaking in the state. Creative placemaking is a strategy to revitalize communities and local economies by intentionally leveraging the power of arts, culture and creativity.

The Creative Placemaking Immersion Program will provide intensive training and technical assistance to the three partnerships. The program is managed by the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) in partnership with Americans for the Arts and is funded in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to NACEDA.

“From small town to urban Ohio, arts and community development organizations are successfully partnering on creative placemaking initiatives,” said Nate Coffman, executive director of the Ohio CDC Association. “We look forward to working with the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation and our local community and arts partners to build cross-sector knowledge on how these unique collaborations can improve the quality of life in their communities.”


Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation is Ohio CDC Association’s lead partner on the initiative. “We are excited about partnering with the Ohio CDC Association to build on our state’s creative placemaking successes,” said Linda Woggon, executive director of Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. “Community development corporations and arts organizations working together will help strengthen our economy and our communities.”

The Ohio CDC Association and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, in collaboration with three additional partnerships within Ohio, will conduct trainings for community development and arts practitioners in Cleveland, Hamilton, and rural southeast Ohio as well as virtual meetings and provide coaching to participants. The partners will produce a video featuring footage of hands-on learning activities from the trainings and tours of the creative placemaking projects in the three selected areas.

The selected partners within Ohio are:

  • Northeast Shore Development Corporation and Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in Cleveland
  • City of Hamilton Development Department and Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton
  • Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District and Appalachian Hills of Ohio Territory in Southeast Ohio

How are Ohio’s small & mid-sized cities faring?

Ohio’s older industrial cities weathered a number of challenges in recent years, including population loss, ongoing economic transition, and neighborhood instability worsened by the Great Recession and foreclosure crisis.

Smaller legacy cities experienced many of these challenges like their larger neighbors Cleveland and Cincinnati, but have different opportunities and obstacles to confront in achieving revitalization.

OCDCA is partnering with Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) to host a webinar that will explore the findings of a recent report by GOPC that examined how smaller legacy cities, from Akron to Zanesville, fared over the last 15 years.

GOPC will share best practices that smaller legacy cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast used to jumpstart revitalization.

How Are Ohio’s Small & Mid-Sized Cities Faring?
October 27, 2016
10:00 – 11:30 AM
Register Here!




Dollars for your microbusiness development program

OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to apply for the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program.

To view the application, please visit the microbusiness page on our website.

The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for community development corporations (CDCs) to further develop a local delivery system that encourages microbusiness development, provides low- and moderate-income households with access to capital for business development and self-employment, and creates and retains long-term jobs in the private sector.

The maximum grant award is $50,000. Of this, up to 10% may be used for administrative expenses. The structure of the lending allocation for the microbusiness program has changed. Please refer to the introduction of the funding application, or click here for more information. The application is due by 4:00 pm on September 30, 2016.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact David Foust at or (614) 461-6392 ext. 204.


Funding opps: a brief sampling

One of the benefits of Ohio CDC Association membership is a monthly newsletter detailing countless funding opportunities that cross our desks. This month’s Funding Opps was released today. Here is a brief sampling of what is inside:

Affordable Housing

National Church Residences Affordable Housing Fund
With assistance from National Equity Fund, National Church Residences has created the Affordable Housing Investment Fund for senior housing. Find out how you can tap into this new fund on September 21. Register for a webinar here.

Wells Fargo Neighborhood Implementation Grants
Neighborhood Implementation Grants support comprehensive community development projects that target specific neighborhoods. The community development project must be based on a current resident-driven neighborhood plan. For single grantees, grants vary in size from $100,000 to $750,000, and are disbursed over five years. For collaboratives, grants vary in size from $250,000 to $1.25 million, and are disbursed over five years. Deadline is October 21.

Efficiency Crafted Homes Incentives
Efficiency Crafted Homes provides financial incentives for new home construction or gut rehabs in Columbia Gas of Ohio or AEP Ohio territory. For more information about becoming an Efficiency Crafted builder, contact 1-877-771-5506 or

Financial Empowerment

State Farm Insurance Community Development Grants
State Farm is committed to maintaining the vibrancy of their communities by assisting nonprofits that support: affordable housing, first time homeowners, neighborhood revitalization, financial literacy, job training, and small business development. Deadline is October 31.

MetLife Financial Inclusion Grants
Financial inclusion grant requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. To be considered for a MetLife Foundation grant, an organization must be a qualified 501(c)(3) organization with a valid IRS Tax ID or equivalent organization. More information here.

Discover Foundation – Financial Literacy Funding
Requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. To be considered, an organization must be a qualified 501(c)(3) organization with program that emphasizes education or financial literacy. More information here.

Community Economic Development

IFF – A New Lending Option in Ohio
IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps Midwest communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. In Ohio, IFF offers affordable, flexible financing from $10,000 to $2 million and works closely with clients from every sector, including arts and culture, charter schools, community development, special needs services, and supportive housing. Since 2014, we have provided over $34 million in loans and new markets tax credits for projects in major cities across the state, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton. More information here.

The Future of Work
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is interested in learning about the future of work. Through this exploration, they are particularly interested in gaining a better understanding of ways that shifts in our economy and workforce might affect our health and health care, and the types of benefit alternatives, support systems and services that workers may need to live the healthiest life possible. Deadline is September 15.

And on it goes… through CED opportunities, to community engagement and food access opportunities, culminating in other opportunities.


New affordable senior housing fund

With assistance from National Equity Fund, National Church Residences has created the Affordable Housing Investment Fund.

This fund provides $50 million of quick strike capital to acquire and preserve affordable senior housing.

Over the next 3 to 5 years, they anticipate preserving 20 or more affordable senior housing properties across the country – encompassing more than 2,000 housing units.

Join us next week to learn how you can tap into this new fund!


National Church Residences’ Affordable Housing Investment Fund
September 21, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Register Here!


More entrepreneurs are moving into Cleveland

Ah, it seems Ohio is just really good at fostering small business from Columbus to now Cleveland.

This recent piece by Kate Rogers at CNBC cites OCDCA member Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization.

“Local groups like the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, which in part focuses on helping brick-and-mortar businesses in the city with resources and real estate, are committed to helping companies succeed. DSCDO is part of a nonprofit coalition that’s helped to raise $30 million dollars to rehab once-troubled areas like the Gordon Square Arts District over the past 10 years. In that time, they’ve brought 85 new businesses and hundreds of jobs to the area.

“Neighborhoods are getting stronger, and people are moving back to the city from the suburbs from other cities; there’s a strong desire to be here,” says Adam Rosen, the group’s economic development director. “It will get better, as long as people continue to move here.”

And people are moving back into the city. Billions of dollars have been injected into construction projects in the city’s downtown in the past few years, bringing an influx of new residents. According to a report from VentureOhio, an organization focused on catalyzing growth in the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, downtown Cleveland has seen a population increase of nearly 80 percent to 14,000 residents, and a 77 percent jump in millennials living in the area since 2000.”

We are proud of our members, the work they do, and the people – and communities – of Ohio.

Check out the CNBC story here.


Patricia Garry nationally recognized for building local communities

Patricia Garry (center) receives the 2016 national award for community development leadership from NACEDA Chair Sharon Legenza and Ohio CDC Association Executive Director Nate Coffman.

Last week, at the 9th Annual National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) Annual Summit, held in Cleveland, Patricia Garry, long-time Executive Director of CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati and contributing founder of Ohio CDC Association, won the Diane Sterner Award.

Patricia is very deserving of this award, having dedicated 51 years of service to Cincinnati communities. She is retiring at the end of the year.

This has picked up some press too, via Brittany York of Soapbox Cincinnati:

“According to Nate Coffman, the Ohio CDC Association’s executive director, Garry is incredibly deserving of the national award, which is why he chose to nominate her. “Her leadership has ensured CDCs in Cincinnati  — and throughout Ohio — will continue to improve neighborhoods for the people who live and work there long after she leaves the field,” he says.”

Congratulations, Patricia.

Read more here.