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What’s happening? State & federal budget update

A brief sample of our April newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

From the AmeriCorps VISTA Spotlight section:

President Trump has declared this week, April 23-29, National Volunteer Week, where we “pay tribute to the extraordinary faith-based, nonprofit, national service, service club, military service, and community organizations that provide volunteers with opportunities to serve.”

In honor of this, we celebrate our AmeriCorps VISTAs and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

Unfortunately, the President’s proposed skinny budget has called for a total elimination of CNCS. Since his budget reveal on March 16th, he has maintained that sentiment. According to one CNN article:

“It is not a core function of the federal government to promote volunteerism, and therefore, these programs should be eliminated,” the Trump administration wrote. “To the extent these activities have value, they should be supported by the private and nonprofit sectors.”

This agency, which accounts for .03% of all federal spending, promotes volunteerism throughout the whole country, building communities, helping create jobs, fighting poverty, combating disasters. The program and its peril have been written about many times in the last month, including Time’s Money and UPI.

In Ohio, AmeriCorps members raised over 2.7 million in cash and in-kind resources and mobilized 29,807 volunteers in 2015. That’s as many volunteers as the population of the city of Kent! In 2016, OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTAs recruited 1,423 volunteers and raised $684,406 in cash and in-kind investments. Nationally, every $1 spent on youth national service results in more than $2 in savings for taxpayers, and that for each $10 in federal money spent on AmeriCorps, $15 more is raised through private partnerships.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a relatively inexpensive agency that does immense amounts of good by all accounts. After service, AmeriCorps members are significantly more likely to go into public service or the nonprofit sector than their non-AmeriCorps counterparts.

Clearly, CNCS must remain intact. Voices for National Service is an advocacy group dedicated to CNCS and AmeriCorps. OCDCA is a member of Voices for National Service. Join us in asking Congress to protect CNCS, AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps. It only takes two clicks to send your Congressperson this email.

So, please, take a moment to send that email above, maybe call your Congresspeople (we share some tips in the federal news below), and then thank a volunteer. It is still National Volunteer Week after all.



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Web-mapping tool to detail condition of all Columbus properties (and Cleveland and Cincinnati)

By Mark Ferenchik of The Columbus Dispatch:

A new mapping tool will help Columbus residents, businesspeople and community leaders understand the condition of each of the city’s neighborhoods down to individual properties, and its backers hope that it also will help guide development

A $1 million, two-year grant from JP Morgan Chase is paying for a Detroit company to digitize property information in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Loveland Technologies has done similar work in its hometown. Motor City Mapping — — allows users to see not only the condition of properties in Detroit’s neighborhoods, but also parcel-by-parcel information that includes whether houses are vacant or burned out or are trash-dumping sites.

“It became very, very popular in Detroit,” said Jerry Paffendorf, Loveland Properties’ executive director. “There was a lot of interest in helping Detroit out. It needed to understand its land grid, needed to understand blight.”

Columbus’ information isn’t that detailed yet.

But if you go to, you can find general neighborhood and parcel information, which can be updated by users who want to provide more details — “anybody with a spreadsheet of information or anyone who wants to do a neighborhood survey,” Paffendorf said.

Read the whole story here.


Funding Opps: Placemaking, Workforce, and More

Each month, OCDCA members receive the newsletter Funding Opps, which details funding opportunities available for community development organizations in Ohio. We categorize them within our five initiatives: affordable housing, financial empowerment, community economic development, community engagement, and financial empowerment, along with a smattering of “other.”

Here’s a sample from April’s Funding Opps:


HHS Refugee Microenterprise Development Program

The overall goal of the Refugee MED Program is assist refugees to become economically self-sufficient by, 1) assisting refugees to establish microenterprise businesses through the provision of MED loans, training and technical assistance (T/TA), and 2) assisting refugees in building credit history and/or repairing their credit score. Allowable activities under the Refugee MED Program include providing technical assistance on loans, maintaining a revolving loan fund, provision of credit builder loans, and administrative costs associated with managing the MED Program. Deadline is May 5, 2017.


Chevron Community Fund – Harrison & Tuscarawas Counties Only

The Chevron Community Fund was created by the Chevron Appalachian Mountain Business
Unit to direct philanthropic resources to the needs of the communities where the company
operates. Chevron’s mission is to create social and economic growth through capacity
building and community investment. Funding is focused primarily on: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Education and Workforce Development. Basic Human Needs may also be considered. Deadline is May 9.


JPMorgan Chase Fourth PRO Neighborhoods Competition

JPMorgan Chase & Co has launched the fourth PRO Neighborhoods annual competition.

Thriving neighborhoods are critical to the long-term economic success of individuals, communities, and cities. At a time when economic growth is often directed toward reviving commercial corridors and downtowns, many neighborhoods, families and small business owners are being left behind. Every city faces its own set of challenges and needs its own comprehensive strategy for economic growth that ensures opportunities to prosper are extended to distressed neighborhoods and the families that live there.

We know that many neighborhood quality issues are among the biggest drivers of racial and gender income and wealth inequality, and leaving these issues unaddressed is a missed economic opportunity for the entire region. That’s why in 2017 PRO Neighborhoods will continue to support innovative strategies by local community development finance institutions that combine balance sheets, talent and technology to advance economic opportunity in distressed neighborhoods. Deadline is May 16.


U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible

Community Possible is designed to embrace the diversity in our communities. Grants in their work pillar are accepted until May 31. This includes workforce education and economic prosperity.


PeopleForBikes Funding

PeopleForBikes accepts grant applications from non-profit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development, from city or county agencies or departments, and from state or federal agencies working locally. PeopleForBikes only funds projects in the United States. Requests must support a specific project or program; we do not grant funds for general operating costs. Deadline is July 21.


Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants

Our community action grant priorities include education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. Deadline is August 29.

Interested in more? Consider joining Ohio CDC Association!


OHTF expansion may be in next week’s state budget – sign on!

There is real promise that we could expand the Ohio Housing Trust Fund in this year’s budget.

We appreciate all of the support the Home Matters to Ohio campaign received in the last year. Because of this, we’ve made great strides towards expanding the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.

Recently we let early supporters know about the change in strategy and asked them to sign a NEW Statement of Support.

The Home Matters to Ohio campaign was encouraged by our legislative champions to change our approach to work cooperatively with the County Recorders Association and pursue a fee modification that would expand resources for the Housing Trust Fund and Ohio’s 88 counties.

We genuinely believe this strategy will help us make home a reality for many of the state’s most vulnerable residents and help us be part of the solution for Ohio’s opiate crisis.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to reaffirm your support for the Home Matters to Ohio campaign by signing this NEW Statement of Support. So far only about 90 organizations have signed on to the new statement compared to over 400 who signed on to the earlier version. If you didn’t sign the first statement of support, that is fine. We would love your organization’s signature now.

We’re excited about how receptive legislators have been to our message. We are building a true understanding that #HomeMatters and we’re optimistic that some variation of this proposal will ultimately be included in the state budget.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact either,, or

Please stay tuned for more updates. Thanks again for your support and all your advocacy work this week and throughout the year!


Have you considered joining?

The Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) is a statewide membership organization that fosters vibrant neighborhoods and improves the quality of life in all communities through advocacy and capacity building of our member agencies.

  • We help support CDCs, community based organizations, and affiliated organizations through a variety of programs, services, and advocacy as explained in our 2016 annual report.
  • We have succinctly told the community development story in our two short videos.They explain what Ohio community development is and what quantitative impact our members have had in the state.
  • We regularly share funding opportunities to our members and provide resources and trainings. We create resources to make our members’ jobs easier including a public relations toolkit and the recently created CDBG and HOME info flyers.

Each year, we conduct a membership survey to gauge the needs and interests of the members, so we can better serve them.

As the collective advocacy voice of 245 organizations throughout Ohio, we would like to invite you to consider joining OCDCA. Organizations that join now receive a 25 percent discount on their yearly dues.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Miller at (614) 461-6392 ext. 209 or mmiller AT


Call to protect CDBG & HOME funding for community development week

This week, April 17-22, is community development week where we celebrate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) programs.

Unfortunately, the President’s proposed budget has called for eliminating both CDBG and HOME. Because of this, it is essential that our Members of Congress hear from all of us why we must not only keep, but expand these programs.

Use these CDBG and HOME flyers

To help tell the story of CDBG and HOME in Ohio, we’ve created flyers for each of the programs. View the CDBG flyer and HOME flyer.

You can use these flyers when talking about these programs. The flyers are editable PDFs that allow you to enter your organization’s contact information on the back.

Please call or email your US House Rep and Senators Portman and Brown.

We realize advocacy is not easy for everyone, so feel free to use our sample script below. It only takes 30 seconds to make this call! To prove how easy it is, check out this video of our executive director, Nate Coffman, calling Senator Portman’s office:

 Sample call or email script

Feel free to tweak this script for your own community or use different points from the above flyers.

“Hi, my name is ________ and I’m calling to let you know about the importance of federal community development programs to my local community in zip code, _____.

Specifically, the Community Development Block Grant or CDBG program has created or retained 353,000 permanent jobs.The HOME Investment Partnership or HOME program has generated nearly 5 billion in Ohio local income since 1992 while providing much needed access to affordable housing.

CDBG, HOME, and other federal community development programs work and need to be substantially increased. Thank you!”

Find your Congressperson’s contact information

US House of Representatives – Click here to contact your representative
US Senator Rob Portman – Click here to contact Senator Portman
US Senator Sherrod Brown – Click here to contact Senator Brown

Engage on social media

If you want to keep the conversation going on social media, please use the hashtags #CDBG #HOME and #CDWeek2017. Share pictures and stories of projects you’ve done with these funds. Find us on Facebook (we’ll share your posts!) and follow us on Twitter at @OhioCDC and @NateTCoffman.

If you need help explaining community development, you can use these short Ohio videos that answer:
What is Community Development?
What is the Impact of Community Development?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thanks for your advocacy!


How to do real estate development

The Ohio CDC Association is offering two courses  focusing on the “how to” of real estate development. Using a case study approach, participants will learn about the basics of real estate development and how real estate projects are financed.

Intro to Real Estate Development
May 25, 2017
9 am – 4 pm

Chase Building
100 E. Broad Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Register Here!
Lunch will be provided.


Advanced Real Estate Development
September 13, 2017
9 am – 4 pm

TBD – Save the Date!

Lunch will be provided.

Cost is $15 for OCDCA members and $30 for non-members. Invoices will be mailed after participant registers.

The intro course will cover the basic steps in the real estate development process including site development, feasibility, market analysis, financing, and the top challenges CDCs face when they are looking at real estate development in their neighborhoods.

Advanced Real Estate Development will provide an intensive look at how developers, investors and lenders look at real estate investment including development of the financial performance, calculating the debt capacity for a project, and overall financial feasibility.

These two trainings are proudly sponsored by Citizens Bank:


Youngstown streets get cleaning from YNDC, volunteer groups

From WKBN 27:

Saturday, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation worked to clean up the streets of Youngstown.

But they didn’t do it alone.

Volunteer groups came from Cardinal Mooney High school, Youngstown State University and Americorps, among others. They removed trash, dirt and debris from sidewalks along Indianola and took time to clean vacant lots.

YNDC organizers said being able to see results helps volunteers feel a sense of ownership for the work they do in their hometown.

“Actually, these sidewalks we’re standing on literally weren’t here this morning,” said Tiffany Sokol, YNDC housing director. “They were covered by about six inches of dirt and we’ve been able to totally clear these. So now these kids have a clear path to walk to and from school everyday.”

Read or watch the whole story here.


Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2017 Starting at Home Conference

We at Ohio CDC Association are very excited for the 2017 Starting at Home Conference, which is put on by our friends at Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) and Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). We hope you can join us on April 27-28, 2017 for this awesome event. We found a lovely top ten list on the OHFA website, and want to share it.

Top Reasons to Attend the Starting at Home Conference

  • Network with housing professionals interested in using affordable housing as a platform to achieve positive community outcomes.
  • Interact with national philanthropists and researchers.
  • Attend multiple sessions to discuss emerging issues and best practices.
  • Talk one-on-one with renowned experts in housing policy and related fields.
  • Take advantage of sessions focused on health, education, neighborhood revitalization, financial stability and local governance.
  • Join your colleagues in rich discussion about strengthening families and communities.
  • Speak with executives and staff from OHFA and OCCH — partners in the provision of quality housing for thousands of low- and moderate-income households.
  • Learn about what other communities across the nation are doing for their residents.
  • Columbus has a lot to offer! The conference is near a hub of dining and entertainment, with much more just a short walk away.

Don’t miss out on this great conference. Register today! Registration closes on Friday, April 7th!



What’s happening? Federal Budget, Community Development Week, and OHTF

A brief sample of our March newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

President Proposes Extreme Cuts to Community Development Programs

The Trump Administration released a fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget outline, or “skinny budget,” that proposes draconian and extreme cuts to community development and housing programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD), the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) among others.













The budget proposes only $40.7 billion in funding for HUD, 13.2 percent below current levels, and proposes eliminating several critical programs, including Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Section 4 Capacity Building, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) among others. It also calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Under this proposal in 2018 Ohio would lose $137,466,074 in CDBG and $38,905,750 in HOME funds.

In all 62 programs are proposed for elimination. While the “skinny budget” proposal is only the first step in a lengthy budget and appropriations process, it is a clear signal that community development and housing programs are at risk.

It’s important for practitioners to make your voices heard.

Campaign for Housing and Community Development FundingSign on to urge Congress to raise the budget caps. Find sample articles and tweets from CHCDF.

HOME CoalitionSign the HOME Coalition’s letter urging Congress to protect and restore funding for HOME.

Voices for National Service – Join them in asking Congress to protect the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. Ask your member of Congress to protect national service. It takes only two clicks to send an e-mail to Congress.

US House of Representatives – Click here to contact your representative.

US Senator Rob Portman – Click here to contact Senator Portman.

US Senator Sherrod Brown – Click here to contact Senator Brown.

Ohio Congressional Profiles – Click here for detailed profiles on each Ohio congressperson.

Community Development/Housing Staff – Click here for list of House and Senate staff.

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe to get it in your inbox!