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Working to end homelessness in Lima

Via Your Hometown Lima Stations:

“Work is continuing to address the homeless problem here in Lima Allen County.

The Lima Rotary Club is teaming up with the West Ohio Community Action Partnership to bring awareness, education, and hopefully a solution to the homelessness situation in our community. The Rotary Club has started a fundraising campaign to provide the help needed for the chronically homeless that want a way out. It’s essential to connect individuals with the resources available to them on a 24/7 basis.

CEO of West Ohio CAP, Jackie Fox says there will be a phone number that can be called that will connect to a live person that will help find the services needed, including a warm bed for the night.”

Watch the full news story, including the interview with Jackie Fox, here. 



County gets $1.55 million housing grant from state

Daniel Carson of The News-Messenger:

“Sandusky County has received a $1.55 million community affordable housing grant that will help homeowners and rental property owners fix up dozens of homes in the county.

The county’s Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program grant is funded by the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Sandusky County is one of 30 communities statewide to receive one of the grants.

County Administrator Theresa Garcia said WSOS is administering the community housing grant locally and has been doing so for at least a decade.

Garcia said the $1.55 million grant is for the next two years and is meant to assist residents with repairs that include installing new windows and other home upgrades.

She said WSOS takes and reviews applications for the grant funding and makes decisions on which homeowners will receive money for home repairs.

“They maintain the whole program,” Garcia said.

The Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the grant, which will be used to rehabilitate, repair and construct affordable housing for low-income Ohio residents as well as provide homeownership and rental assistance.”

Congratulations for the two year award, OCDCA member WSOS Community Action! This is a great acknowledgement of the benefit of OHTF, CDBG, and HOME.

Read the whole story here.


WIN’s healthy housing initiative

Monday, OCDCA member, Working in Neighborhoods chatted on WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition regarding their healthy housing initiative.

Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) empowers people to make informed choices for themselves and their neighborhoods through community building, home ownership, and economic learning. WIN’s Healthy Housing Initiative calls for building or modifying 50 net zero energy-efficient, low-to-moderate cost homes in Cincinnati.

Listen to the 25 minute segment here!


Housing First coalition on pace to end Cuyahoga County long-term homelessness by 2020

Emily Bamforth of

Housing First is on track to end long-term homelessness in Cuyahoga County by 2020.

Housing First will complete its 13th housing project in 2019, bringing the number of units to 781. Since 2006, the organization reduced long-term homelessness in Cuyahoga County by 86 percent, from more than 800 homeless to less than 200, according to the agency’s data.

Long-term homelessness is defined as being homeless over a 12-month period or periods totaling 12 months over a three-year period. The organization works to create permanent housing and provide job, mental health, recovery and other support services.

It also puts a focus on helping people with disabilities or mental health problems, which can be a major factor in becoming homeless.

Homelessness will not completely disappear in the county. Long-term homelessness makes up 20 percent of the county’s homeless population, but they use 70 percent of emergency services in shelters, hospitals and the justice system, according to Housing First.

Housing First brings together a number of private and public organizations. FrontLine, a mental health center, provides counseling services and the Cleveland Housing Network Housing Partners is the lead developer for the housing projects. EDEN, a housing development organization, co-develops, owns and manages the apartment buildings.

Read the whole story here.


A $700,000 grant will help save blighted, vacant homes and beautify CLE neighborhoods

Karin Connelly Rice of Freshwater Cleveland:

Ever since the real estate housing crash in 2008, Cleveland communities have been faced with tackling the problem of vacant and blighted homes—pulling down property values and aesthetic appeal in neighborhoods already struggling.

According to Justin Fleming, director of real estate for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), there are about 9,500 vacant homes in the City of Cleveland. “I’d estimate that approximately 4,500 of those are structurally capable of being rehabbed within a reasonable budget,” he says. “The other 5,000 are likely structurally too far gone to reasonably save.”

But thanks to a three-year, $700,000 grant given to CNP by Detroit-based Quicken Loans, some of those homes with rehab potential will get that much-needed work. The grant is meant to provide CNP with funding for its efforts to stabilize housing markets and revitalize city neighborhoods.

“We’re really excited about this partnership with Quicken Loans,” says CNP president and CEO Joel Ratner. “We were looking for ways to rehab more homes to not only increase home ownership, but to also get these houses back on the tax rolls. We’ve been talking to them for a long time, and they’re also interested in [addressing] blight.”

Read the whole story here.


People Working Cooperatively “Ramp it Up for Veterans” WCPO telethon raises $50,000 for veterans

Last week, Cincinnati-OCDCA member People Working Cooperatively, in partnership with WCPO conducted a telethon to raise funds to aid disabled and low-income elderly veterans with critical home repairs. In a four hour time span, the telethon raised over $50,000.

“The impact will be huge for these hometown heroes who are waiting for emergency home repairs, home modifications and more.”

Get the whole story here.


Action needed on tax reform legislation

Dear advocate:

Please take a moment to read and act on the message below from Hal Keller and our friends at the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. It’s critically important to preserve private activity bonds; exempt housing tax credits from BEAT to encourage affected institutions to invest in America; keep LIHTC basis boost at 30%; and keep the New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit.

Thank you for your advocacy!

Nate Coffman
Executive Director
Ohio CDC Association


As you know, with the passage of the Senate tax reform bill, the next step is for Senate and House Republicans to reconcile differences between their bills. As the Senate and House convene the conference committee to craft a single tax reform bill, it is important that our industry weigh in on these issues. The future of affordable housing and community economic development is at serious risk of devastating cutbacks. Given there might very well be a need to find revenue to pay for measures that will lead to an agreement, we cannot assume the Senate provisions related to private activity bonds and other credits will automatically be retained.

The document linked below explains and addresses our concerns. We need to weigh in with Republican Senators and Representatives and ask them to relay to the conferees the impact these provisions will have on affordable housing production. Names and contact information for the legislators and their tax staff are also linked below for your convenience.

The tax reform framework laid out by Republican leadership in September specifically called out the LIHTC as economically important to the American economy. Yet the pending bills repudiate that commitment. The conferees need to understand that these provisions will negatively affect the economy, job creation and affordable housing production.

Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you. Time is of the essence.

Thank you,
Hal Keller
Oho Capital Corporation for Housing

H.R. 1 Impact on Community Economic Development

Ohio Congressional Delegation


Take Action – Tax Cuts Hurt Communities & Diminish Affordable Housing

It’s been a dizzying few weeks watching the House and Senate proposals to overhaul our country’s multi-trillion dollar tax system. It’s difficult for any citizen, no matter how informed, to follow the differing House and Senate proposals that are moving at such a rapid pace.

Two things are absolutely certain – both proposals will further shift our country’s tax burden away from corporations and the affluent to working families and greatly diminish affordable housing.

In the 1960s, the ratio of federal collections between individual and corporate income taxes was about 2 to 1. Since the Great Recession, this ratio has approximated 5 to 1. This is all being pushed in an era of ever-widening income inequality that will also lead to a significant increase in budget deficits that will set the stage for additional budget cuts and austerity.

Although the Senate budget version is not as harmful for housing as the House proposal, both would irreparably impact low-to-moderate-income communities across Ohio by decreasing thousands of affordable units and costing thousands of jobs through impacts to private activity bonds, Low-Income Housing, Historic, and New Markets Tax Credits.

Last week, COHHIO and our Executive Director, Nate Coffman, were in D.C. advocating against these proposals, and it was clear that Congressional offices are getting oppositional calls but more are needed.

It’s important to make your voice heard and continue to call your Congresspeople.

Please tell them to oppose tax bills under consideration because the proposals will broadly burden low-to-moderate-income households and that specifically it’s important to protect and expand tax provisions that support affordable housing and community development such as private activity bonds, Low-Income Housing, Historic, and New Markets Tax Credits.

Contact Senator Rob Portman.
Contact Senator Sherrod Brown
Contact your U.S. House Representative

Also, join a national Twitterstorm on Tuesday, November 28 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm to urge senators to vote “no” on this irresponsible and unacceptable tax bill. #CutsHurt #AffordableHousing

Thank you for your advocacy and have a happy Thanksgiving!


Akron’s about to get $20 million in housing

Doug Livingston of Akron Beacon Journal:

Akron builders plan to break ground next year on $20 million in housing for America’s newest and oldest residents.

The two projects — a plot of 40 town homes in North Hill, where a glut of immigrants are gobbling up housing, and 40 apartments in Middlebury for the elderly — have Testa written all over them.

Each involves land acquisitions through Testa Real Estate.

The Middlebury project, a three-story brick building with street-level retail, will be owned and operated by East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp. Testa Enterprises Inc. will oversee the other project, the Villas of San Tomasso, a courtyard of parking circled by five rows of townhouses and a lease office with a laundry room and other amenities.

Testa shrunk the North Hill project from 50 to 40 units and secured state tax credits, which will offset some of the $7.4 million cost to construct the three- and four-bedroom town homes. When finished in spring 2019, families will be able to move in for $740 to $843 a month, plus gas and electric.

“It’s become one of the hottest areas in Summit County, quite frankly, with the people coming in from Bhutan and Nepal,” Paul Testa said.

Read the full story here!


What’s happening? HOME, Open enrollment

A brief sample of our October 2017 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

Sign HOME Coalition Letter and Submit HOME Success Stories by November 10

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is looking for HOME success stories. Congress has yet to finalize its fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bills, and the House proposed cutting HOME by $100 million to a historic low of $850 million.

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is looking for HOME success stories. Congress has yet to finalize its fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bills, and the House proposed cutting HOME by $100 million to a historic low of $850 million.   For over 20 years, HOME has been one of the most effective, flexible, and locally driven tools to help states and communities address their most pressing housing challenges. Recent cuts to HOME from more than $1.8 billion in 2010 to $950 million in 2017 have only made it more difficult for America’s most vulnerable households to access a safe, decent, and affordable home.

  1. Sign on to the HOME Coalition’s letter urging Congress to restore HOME funding to at least $1.2 billion in FY 2018. Sign your organization on to the letter now.
  2. Submit HOME success stories to show the impact of the HOME Program and give a face to who the program serves. Please use this HOME success story template and submit stories to Althea Arnold (aarnold AT or Clay Kerchof (ckerchof AT

The deadline to sign your organization onto the letter and submit success stories is November 10. Thank you for your support of this crucial resource.

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe!