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What’s Happening? Payday lending reform, federal budget, & trainings

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

While you’re reading this, why don’t you just read the whole newsletter and subscribe?

FY 2018 1.3T Dollar Spending Bill Includes Increases for Housing and Community Development
As part of the bill signed into law recently, overall HUD funding increased 4.6 billion dollars over FY17, more than 12 billion dollars above the president’s FY18 request. The approximate 10% increase is in line with the 10% overall increase the bill provides to non-defense discretionary programs. HOME funding increased (412 million) as part of the agreement, as did the Community Development Block Grant Program (305 million). USDA housing and rural development programs also saw increases. The budget also included a new line item for 100M in social impact partnershipsView a list of expenditures compared with past years. This is certainly positive given the last eight years of austerity but there still is a long way to go to get to pre-2010 funding levels and beyond.

Source: NLIHC analysis of federal appropriations enacted by Congress


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!




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


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


ReUse Industries-Athens MakerSpace

Rural Action

Shaker Heights Development Corporation

Somali Community Association of Ohio


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


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.


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Do you need funding support for your programs?

Are you looking for ways to bolster your existing programs or find funding for new ones?

There are many ways Ohio CDC Association may be able to help. Do you know them all?

Empowering Communities – Innovation Funding to Combat the Social Determinants of Health
In late February 2018, OCDCA and the CareSource Foundation will release the Empowering Communities RFP. Empowering Communities is a project that provides a mechanism for funding new and innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health. This innovation funding is available to OCDCA members. Look for the RFP release in just a few weeks.

Social Enterprise Incubation Program
The Social Enterprise Incubation Program (SEIP) is an intensive four phase program consisting of rigorous training and tailored technical assistance for OCDCA members while they create their own social enterprise. This program culminates in a structured “shark tank” where the participating CDCs gain access to startup capital. More information about this technical assistance and funding program will be available in the coming months.

AmeriCorps VISTA
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. OCDCA members pay only $1,600 broken into quarterly installments for this full-time AmeriCorps member. Additionally, OCDCA operates a VISTA Summer Associate program. Both RFPs for 2018 have passed, but will open again in December 2018.

Ohio Microbusiness Development Program
The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for OCDCA members 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 RFP for this program opens in the fall.

Funding Opps
Each month, OCDCA members receive a lengthy newsletter called Funding Opps, which lists countless funding opportunities for Ohio community development organizations, separated into the buckets of affordable housing; food access; community engagement; community economic development; and financial empowerment.

All of these programs are available on a competitive basis to OCDCA members. Joining is simple and can happen at any time. All new member dues are 50% off for the first year – no matter when they join, just use code NM2018.

For more information about membership, please contact Melissa Miller, Associate Director, at or (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.


What’s happening? Federal updates & new staff

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

Welcome, Alana!
OCDCA is pleased to welcome Alana Perez to the staff! Alana joined our office on January 16th and is our new AmeriCorps VISTA Program Manager, making her the new face and day-to-day overseer of the OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA Project.

She comes to us after serving as an AmeriCorps State Member with the American Red Cross in her hometown of Los Angeles. Prior to that, she graduated from Denison University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. We’re excited to have her here, and members shouldn’t be afraid to reach out on all things VISTA.

Administration Takes Aim at CRA – Sign on Letter
According to Forbes, the Trump Administration is taking aim at changing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The rumored changes are at best a mixed bag. The Wall Street Journal expects the most dramatic overhaul to CRA in the last 20 years. Read the letter that NCRC will send to the Treasury detailing our recommendations for enhancing the ability of CRA to direct banks to address the credit and capital needs of underserved communities. You can also read a 2-page summary of the letter. You can sign on and be a part of this letter by using this link to complete the sign on form.

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe!


RFP Open: AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate

Jump-start your summer with a VISTA Associate

The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program is a 10 week initiative that offers organizations the opportunity to engage individuals in their community and get help enhancing existing programs.

The OCDCA AmeriCorps Summer VISTA RFP, which is separate from the year-long VISTA RFP, is now available.

Applications are due by February 9, 2018.

Funding for the OCDCA VISTA Project is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Limited slots are available; therefore, this is a competitive process.

This will be your only opportunity in 2018 to apply for OCDCA VISTA Summer support.

For questions or technical assistance, please contact Alana Perez at aperez AT or by phone at 614-461-6392 ext. 204.

Join us next week for a webinar that will provide an overview of the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program.

What Is The OCDCA VISTA Summer Associate? / January 31, 2018 / 10:00 – 11:00 AM


How ‘Not in my backyard’ became ‘Not in my neighborhood’

Emily Badger of The New York Times:

In Seattle, the neighbors don’t want apartments for formerly homeless seniors nearby. In Los Angeles, they don’t want more high-rises. In San Jose, Calif., they don’t want tiny homes. In Phoenix, they don’t want design that’s not midcentury modern.

Homeowners in each of these places share a common conviction: that owning a parcel of land gives them a right to shape the world beyond its boundaries.

The roots of this idea are as old as nuisance laws that have tried to limit how one property owner can harm another. Over the decades, though, homeowners have expanded their claim on the world beyond their lot lines. This means they look out for schools and streets in ways that are vital to American communities. But increasingly it also means the senior affordable housing, the high-rises and the tiny homes — also arguably vital to the larger community — are never built.

“One of the reasons why we always justified the mortgage interest deduction was we wanted people to be rooted in their communities,” said Vicki Been, the faculty director of New York University’s Furman Center and a former commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City.

The idea was for people to be invested in the quality of nearby schools, the safety of neighborhood parks and the outcomes of local elections. In one sense, the triumph of this idea should be celebrated, she said. But the danger of it is becoming more apparent, too.

“Communities always need to be changing,” she said, “and we can’t have a process that gives every individual sort of a veto over change.”

Read the full piece here, which details NIMBYish and how it has changed over time.


PCRG seeking session proposals for the 2018 community development summit

The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group will hold their eighth annual Community Development Summit on May 15-16 in Pittsburgh. They are currently seeking session proposals for this annual event.

Each year, the Summit features exciting keynote speakers and engaging breakout sessions designed to cover the myriad of issues that surround community development. Sessions from past years have covered topics from strategies for increasing financial resources available to communities; to land use topics such community planning, land recycling and affordable housing; to transit-oriented development and issues around access.

The Summit is a truly regional event, drawing speakers and participants not only from PCRG member organizations and neighborhoods, but also from surrounding cities, the broader region, and across the country. PCRG strives to make the Summit accessible to everyone who is passionate about rebuilding and sustaining healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities – from community development professionals and elected officials to neighborhood volunteers.

Each year’s Summit focuses on a different theme that guides the selection of keynotes, session presenters, and more. For 2018, the theme is: Honoring the Past, Planning for the Future: 30 Years of Community Development in Pittsburgh. This year, they will provide space for reflection and rejuvenation to gather and celebrate the many accomplishments made over the last generation of community development.

Send your proposal by January 31, 2018.


What’s happening? Tax cuts

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

TAKE ACTION: Tax Bills Batter Opportunity and Affordable Housing

The so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” will decrease affordable housing, decrease jobs, decrease economic opportunity in a multitude of ways (healthcare, education), increase taxes on tens of millions of low-to-moderate income households, widen already deep income/wealth inequality, increase our national debt that will squeeze future domestic spending, and will redistribute wealth (upward) from average Americans to corporations and the affluent.

Although the Senate budget version (expected to be voted on in the coming hours) 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 (Housing Bonds), Low-Income Housing, Historic, and New Markets Tax Credits.

By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut, according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office. Out of 42 top economists, only 1 believes the GOP tax bills would help the economy. “Aside from the redistribution of wealth (upward), hard to see this changing much,” wrote Richard Thaler, who just won the Nobel Prize in economics.

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 families and that specifically it’s important to protect and expand tax provisions that support affordable housing and community development namely private activity bonds (Housing Bonds), Low-Income Housing, Historic, and New Markets Tax Credits.

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

Regardless of the final result, it’s critically important to continue to not only educate members of Congress but to educate family, friends, and co-workers on the factual real-world impacts of these measures. Thank you for your advocacy!

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