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Advocates and congressional champions secure increased affordable housing funding for 2018

From the National Low Income Housing Coalition:

The final fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bill – released yesterday, March 21, by Congressional leaders – includes a significant increase in funding for affordable housing and community development programs at HUD and USDA, along with an increase in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and an important reform to the tax program. This successful outcome is due to the hard work of advocates across the nation and strong Congressional champions, including Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and David Price (R-NC) – the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees – as well as Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and others.

The bill provides HUD programs with $4.6 billion in additional funding overall compared to FY17, or more than $12 billion above the president’s FY18 request. With a 10% one-year increase to HUD, many programs were funded at levels significantly above what was proposed in either the House or Senate draft bills. The spending bill renews all Housing Choice Vouchers and provides new vouchers to veterans and people with disabilities, allocates nearly $1 billion in additional funding to repair and operate public housing, and boosts funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) to the highest level in seven years. Moreover, the final bill includes none of rent increases proposed by the president in his budget request. See NLIHC’s updated budget chart for more details.

The final FY18 spending bill is a clear repudiation of the president’s budget request, which would have cut funding for HUD by nearly 15%, or $7.4 billion, compared to FY17 levels, provided the HUD secretary with the authority to increase the financial burden on current and future tenants, eliminated 250,000 Housing Choice Vouchers, and slashed or zeroed out funding for public housing, the national Housing Trust Fund, HOME, and Community Development Block Grants.

The House is expected to vote on the bill as soon as today, March 22, followed by the Senate soon thereafter. Congress must enact the spending bill before the current stop-gap spending measure expires on Friday, March 23. Congressional leaders could turn to a short, day-long continuing resolution to provide enough time to overcome procedural hurdles. Once the bill is enacted, NLIHC and our partners in the Campaign for Housing and Community Development will turn our full attention to defeating the president’s FY19 budget request, securing the highest allocation possible for affordable housing and community development programs, and defeating harmful benefit cuts.

Read and learn more on the NLIHC’s website.

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Community Development Week starts April 2nd

Please find below information from the Ohio Development Services Agency regarding Community Development Week April 2 – 6.

The week is an excellent opportunity to highlight the successes of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Home Investments Partnerships program (HOME), and other critical community development resources.

Each year, you, our community development professionals are asked to do more with less. Through your collaborative efforts, we’ve been able to help many low- and moderate-income individuals in communities across the state.

This year marks the 32th anniversary of National Community Development Week. It is an opportunity for you to showcase your communities’ accomplishments and projects. It is an excellent opportunity to educate residents, business owners and elected officials about the CDBG, HOME and other community development programs through ODSA and how they improve the quality of life for all.

The work you do locally helps to strengthen communities across Ohio. We encourage you to participate in in Community Development Week this year. The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) has a planning guidebook for the week. The National Community Development Association also has resources and ideas for events and outreach you can do locally.

If your community is planning any activities or events during the week, please contact Deauna Gibbs at deauna.gibbs@development.ohio.gov or 614-752-9556 with more information. We would like to highlight the change you’re making in the communities where you live and work.

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Public service scholarship applications

The Ohio Conference of Community Development (OCCD) Foundation Scholarship application is open until April 13.

OCCD would encourage you to make people aware of this great opportunity to provide some financial assistance to those seeking college degrees in economic and community development related fields.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be a resident of Ohio
  • Applicant must attend an accredited university in Ohio and meet the following requirements:
    • Undergraduate students: must be a third- or fourth-year undergraduate student enrolled full-time in Fall 2018

    • Graduate student: enrolled in a graduate program part-time or full-time in Fall 2018

    • Must be enrolled in a field of study that prepares students for a career in public service, including public administration, planning, public finance or related field

    • Applicant must be in good academic standing

Scholarship

  • A maximum of $2,000 paid directly to the awardee’s university
  • One-year student membership to OCCD

Share far and wide with students!

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Building a Successful HDGF Deal: No Credits, No Problem!

Looking to build or renovate a modest affordable housing deal but not sure where to start?

Want to master the application process for OHFA’s non-tax credit Housing Development Gap Financing program?

Are you a development pro but want a refresher on this dynamic program?

Join OHFA on April 5th for an interactive training with their experienced staff!

Registration is open through March 22, but seating is limited, so save your seat now.

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OCDCA releases 2017 annual report

Group photo after the Friday morning Member Awards Breakfast at the 2017 OCDCA Annual Conference in Toledo, October 5-6.

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.

OCDCA has just released its 2017 Annual Report.

Special thanks to our members, partners, sponsors, and funders for supporting us through 2017.

You can read the annual report on our website. While there, you can subscribe to receive our newsletters to learn about these things first and consider a donation to strengthen the work of the OCDCA network.

We look forward to continuing our work with all partners, funders, and members. We had a great year and are looking forward to an even better 2018!

 

 

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OCDCA announces AmeriCorps VISTA sub-site grantees

2018 AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisors learning how to screen and recruit members.

Last month, OCDCA awarded thirty-two OCDCA members positions for a year-long AmeriCorps VISTA to begin summer 2018.

The Ohio CDC Association VISTA Project, created in 1995 as a partnership between the Ohio CDC Association and the Corporation for National and Community Service, places VISTA Members every June or July at OCDCA member organizations throughout the state.

VISTA Members are full-time volunteers that serve at a non-profit organization and focus their efforts on building organizational, administrative, and financial capacity for organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, strengthen community groups, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

VISTA Members develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers. They do not provide direct service, which is defined as the act of providing services to the identified clients of a program.

Funding for this program comes from the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) with additional support from the Ohio Development Services Agency Ohio Housing Trust Fund (for housing initiatives) and USDA Rural Development Rural Community Development Initiative (for rural-based initiatives). View a list of all OCDCA funders.

On March 7, 2018, all the supervisors traveled on a very snowy day to downtown Columbus to learn about VISTA, proper VISTA supervision, and federal and OCDCA requirements for the program. It was a great day of learning and networking.

Awarded Organizations

Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet)

Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

Campus District, Inc.

Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc.

Community Food Initiatives

Community Matters

Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization

East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation

Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI)

Famicos Foundation

FutureHeights

Home Repair Resource Center

INCREASE Community Development Corp (INCREASE CDC)

Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, Inc.

Live Healthy Appalachia

Metro West Community Development Organization

MidTown Cleveland, Inc.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Ohio City Incorporated

Organize!Ohio

ReUse Industries-Athens MakerSpace

Rural Action

Shaker Heights Development Corporation

Somali Community Association of Ohio

StarkFresh

Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF)

The Well Community Development Corporation

Tremont West Development Corporation

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

Working In Neighborhoods

Yellow Springs Home, Inc.

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation

Congrats to all of the selected organization! For more information about the Ohio CDC Association AmeriCorps VISTA Project, please contact Alana Perez at aperez AT ohiocdc.org.

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State of the Arts: Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood reimagined

Mark Arehart of Ohio Public Radio:

“A new coloring book features public spaces in one Akron neighborhood. It’s a mural project called the Kenmore Imagineer and residents hope it will add a splash of color to Kenmore Boulevard.

The mural project, Kenmore, Ohio, will appear along Kenmore Boulevard.
CALEB ARONHALT

“Kenmore gets a bad rap outside of Kenmore, and even sometimes inside of Kenmore,” Tina Boyes, executive director of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, said.

It was once its own city, with a bustling downtown full of shops and theaters and even streetcars running along Kenmore Boulevard.

“I think people have seen the decline of the neighborhood due to disinvestment of industry,” she said.

But she believes the neighborhood is coming back. It has several music venues, a barber shop, guitar shops, comic book stores and even an indoor skate park.

“Kenmore has so much life and so much vibrancy that you don’t see on the surface,” she said.”

Read more (and listen to the story) from Ohio Public Radio that talks about exciting work in the Akron neighborhood and one of OCDCA’s newer members Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance.

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Approaching partnerships between health care institutions and community development organizations

Amanda Abrams for Shelterforce:

The shift has been unmistakable: health care organizations are increasingly focusing on upstream factors that affect their patients’ health. To some degree, that shift is the result of state and federal legislation, particularly the Affordable Care Act, which regulates nonprofit hospitals’ preventive care activities. But it’s also just common sense. Addressing patients’ big-picture realities—that is, the social determinants of health like housing, job creation, and food security—can have deep impacts on their day-to-day health and the interventions that are needed.

That new mindset has been a boon to many community development organizations, whose target populations—low-income groups—often tend to be frequent hospital users. The result has been a wide range of collaborations between community development groups and health care institutions that have sprung up around the country. In many cases, the partners have jointly determined that the community’s health problems could be mitigated through the provision of safe, healthy, affordable housing, often making housing development and rehab a front-and-center priority.

It’s a win-win situation: health care institutions save money as patients’ chronic conditions and repeat visits are reduced, while community development groups locate new sources of funding that can further their missions.

Read more in Shelterforce (and subscribe while you’re there!). You’ll hear about OCDCA members LISC of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation.

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What’s happening? Payday lending reform & federal budget

A brief sample of our February 2018 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

First round of signatures filed to put payday lending reform initiative on statewide ballot

Leaders of an initiative to put payday lending reform on the November statewide ballot on Wednesday turned in over 2,000 petition signatures to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. This is the first step to getting the measure on the ballot. Backers are pursuing this direction because state lawmakers have not acted on reform. The petition language calls for a constitutional amendment that would cap payday loan interest rates in Ohio at 28%. Pastor Carl Ruby, of Springfield, and Nate Coffman filed the petitions. At least 1,000 of the Ohio voter signatures must be validated and the Attorney General’s Office must determine that the summary of the proposed constitutional referendum is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed law.

Payday lenders charge an average 591% annual percentage rate in Ohio, the highest such rate in the nation. Pastor Ruby said that rate is ridiculous, and he is tired of seeing lenders gouge vulnerable, lower-income working Ohioans. The ballot initiative mirrors some of the reforms called for in the bi-partisan  HB 123, which seeks to establish a maximum interest rate on such loans of 28% plus a maximum monthly fee of $20. Coffman pointed out that in 2008, Ohioans overwhelmingly voted in favor of payday lending reforms. “Since then, payday lenders have by-passed the will of the people and state law and are charging even higher prices,” he said. “That’s unacceptable, and we are certain Ohio voters will agree if legislators themselves don’t move quickly on reform.” View Nate on the  The State of Ohio show (12-minute mark) and  In Focus. Check out more coverage from the Columbus Dispatch, Plain Dealer, Dayton Daily News, WHIO, and WKSU.

The coalition would like to thank the many OCDCA members that collected signatures during a short window of time.

The coalition will be in touch soon with a call for volunteers for the second phase of signatures.

 

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe to it!

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Empowering Communities RFP now open

Ohio boasts a strong reputation for innovation combined with heart. The diverse nature of the state includes eight urban centers, sprawling Appalachian counties, countless suburban towns, and rural communities. As a result, Ohio serves as an economic, cultural, and political microcosm of the United States. That translates into being a hotbed of activity for test markets and pilots of all kinds.

Social issues and solutions are the key to economic growth and community stability. We are eager to leverage more than 200 outstanding Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) community development organizations to accelerate and implement next-generation social innovation.

Empowering Communities Grant Challenge

Ohio CDC Association and the CareSource Foundation are tackling this head-on by launching the Empowering Communities Grant Challenge.

The Empowering Communities Grant Challenge opportunity will provide funding for innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health. The process consists of three stages:

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) process
  • Concept Presentation including Q&A
  • Implementation Phase

Requesting organizations must be a nonprofit member in good standing of Ohio CDC Association, and applications are due by 4 PM EST on May 4, 2018.