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ACTION ALERT: Payday lending reform needs 100 calls

Do you think that Ohio should have the worst payday lending interest rates in the country that can be around 600%? If no, then please call your Ohio House Representative today to support House Bill (HB) 123.

The House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee recently voted 9-1 to move HB 123 forward. With enough pressure from constituents, the bill is likely to come before the full House for a vote in mid-May. This is coming after revelations of an FBI investigation of payday lender lobbyists providing lavish international travel to the ex-Ohio House Speaker.

It is critical we make our voices heard to legislators over these two weeks. We can’t become complacent.

Our goal is to have House members receive 100 calls urging them to vote YES on this bill. Will you be one of those calls?

Please call your members of the Ohio House and ask them to vote YES on HB 123 to protect consumers and reject the influence of predatory payday lenders.

Here’s a simple sample of what you can say:

My name is ____ from ____. I am calling to urge you to vote YES on bipartisan payday loan reform, HB 123, to protect consumers and reject the influence of predatory payday lenders. Can we count on your support?

After you call, feel free to send us a note telling us how it went, and so we can thank you for your advocacy.

In case you missed the recent coverage, check out:

Editorial: Ohioans Deserve Answers to Payday Lending Questions
The Columbus Dispatch

Payday Lender Made International Trips with Ohio House Speaker
Dayton Daily News

Your calls can and are making a difference.

Thank you for your advocacy!

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Supporters pleased Ohio House Committee votes to move payday loan reform bill forward

Full House, Senate Must Act To Enact These Fair, Overdue Reforms

Nate Coffman speaks to the press following the successful vote on HB 123.

COLUMBUS – April 18 – Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform applauded the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee for today voting 9-1 to send House Bill 123 on to the full House for a vote. If it becomes law, HB123 would make vast improvements to the payday lending landscape in Ohio.

Committee members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill as introduced more than a year ago by Reps. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, and Mike Ashford, D-Toledo. The only dissenting vote came from Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, who unsuccessfully tried to make amendments to the bill.

“It has been a long, difficult road to get this bill through committee,’’ said Springfield Pastor Carl Ruby, one of the coalition’s leaders. “I thank the majority of committee members who finally saw how much this will help hundreds of thousands of Ohio families trapped in debt and save them millions of dollars each year.

“But I especially want to thank Reps. Koehler and Ashford, who have demonstrated a sustained tenacity in working on this vital effort to protect Ohio residents,’’ said Ruby. “It’s not been easy in the face of payday lenders’ well-heeled lobbying efforts.’’

Coalition leaders also acknowledged Rep. Kirk Schuring, who had worked on amendments to HB 123 but, ultimately, agreed that the original bill should be voted on. “We might not have agreed with everything Rep. Schuring was working on, but we believe his heart was in the right place,’’ said David Thomas, a coalition leader from Ashtabula County.

“It is important that the full House move quickly to approve the bill and send it on to the Senate,” said coalition leader Nate Coffman of the Ohio CDC Association. “We can’t let them forget that in the first year this bill was stalled in committee, it cost Ohioans an estimated $75 million,’’ said Coffman. “The full House and the Senate can’t let that happen any longer. We encourage them to act swiftly in the best interests of all Ohioans.’’

Ohio has the dubious distinction of having the highest lending rates in the nation, with typical annual percentage rates on payday loans approaching 600%.

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ACTION ALERT: Payday Lending Scandal

Dear Members & Stakeholders:

OCDCA has been involved in a coalition, Ohioans for Payday Lending Reform, to enact meaningful payday lending reform. Ohio has the highest costs in the country with the typical loan APR close to 600%.

This week following the resignation of House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger over an FBI investigation with ties to payday lending lobbyists and lavish international trips, HB123, which has been in the house for over a year and would create meaningful payday lending reform, came up for a hearing in the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.

A compromise amendment with support of house leader Kirk Schuring and the bill’s bipartisan sponsors was expected to be voted quickly out of committee. The amendment would close the Credit Service Organization (CSO) loophole, includes a six-month minimum loan term with no early payment penalty and a 50% limit on the total costs and, although not perfect, would lead to dramatically lower costs than today. Payday lender lobbyists vigorously opposed the amendment and exerted tremendous pressure to stop a vote on HB123 from happening.

Your voice is needed more than ever.

Call your representatives at the statehouse today and demand that they pass payday lending reform now to protect people, not predators.

Here’s a proposed phone script:

Payday loan borrowers in Ohio need relief now. Pass HB123 out of the House immediately (if necessary, with friendly amendments from bipartisan co-sponsors Reps. Koehler and Ashford). The bill is a compromise that keeps credit available. It is critical that Ohio closes the CSO loophole, reins in the exorbitant prices and gives borrowers enough time to repay. Payday lenders and their lobbyists are doing everything they can to stop real reform from moving forward. Protect people, not predators.

Check out the latest coverage of the developing story in The Columbus Dispatch and Statehouse News Bureau.

For a quick read on what happened at the Statehouse, read and retweet Brent Larkin’s fiery column that ran in The Plain Dealer or the Akron Beacon Journal‘s editorial.

Please share this email. Now is the time to enact reform and for the legislature to represent people, not payday predators!

Thank you for your advocacy,
Nate Coffman
Executive Director
Ohio CDC Association

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Congressman David Joyce learns about importance of HUD funding

OCDCA is working with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) to make the long-term case to key Ohio congressional officials about the importance of adequately funding community development and affordable housing in the HUD budget.

Congressman David Joyce (R – Geauga County) recently attended an educational convening with COHHIO and OCDCA members at the offices of Extended Housing in Painesville and learned about how housing is foundational to success and how federal programs work together to leverage resources to uplift the community.

From L to R – Gina Wilt (COHHIO), Karen McLeod (Extended Housing), Congressman David Joyce, Nate Coffman (OCDCA), Bill Faith (COHHIO)

Our organizations will continue to make the case in DC and throughout Ohio. We greatly thank Representative Joyce for spending the day with us, and our members who helped demonstrate their critical work.

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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

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Stuck in dial-up age, rural Ohio still pushing for high-speed internet

A recent Dispatch article featured Terri Fetherolf of OCDCA member Vinton County Economic Development Board.

Marion Renault of The Columbus Dispatch:

“McARTHUR — Terri Fetherolf has two wishes for Vinton County: clean water and fast internet.

The first is imperative for its safety and health. “But rolling out broadband is key to our economic survival,” said Fetherolf, Vinton County’s development director.

Today, high-speed internet has become a utility as important as sewage systems, the electricity grid and highways.

But despite the internet’s tightening chokehold on technologies embedded in our pockets, homes, vehicles and public spaces, more than 1 million Ohioans have zero access to fast, reliable broadband at home.

Almost a third of Ohio’s rural residents lack home access to broadband, compared with just 2 percent of urbanites, according to Federal Communications Commission estimates. Those figures are slightly better than the national rate.

Last week, a legislative proposal to establish a $50-million-per-year broadband development grant program inched forward, fueling the hopes of advocates.”

Read the full article.

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Congress considers going easy on predatory lenders

The New York Times Editorial Board:

“The payday lending industry is pressing its friends in Congress to repeal rules that shield borrowers from short-term loans that trap them in debt at interest rates of 400 percent or more. The rules were issued last year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a last gasp of consumer financial protection before President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as its new chief.

The new administration is openly hostile to the rules — which become effective in August 2019 — and is clearly looking for ways to undermine them. Meanwhile, bills introduced in both the House and the Senate would repeal the rules outright, opening the door for the return of lending practices that make working-class families poorer.

The payday industry advertises itself as a source of “easy” credit for workers who run short of money before their next paycheck and take out loans that are typically supposed to be repaid within two weeks. But there is nothing “easy” about this arrangement, as the consumer protection bureau showed in a study of more than 12 million loans. Among other things, the research revealed that the industry relies on people who can almost never repay on time, which usually means they borrow over and over again.

Among the study’s findings: Eighty percent of payday loans were rolled over or renewed within two weeks; three out of five loans were made to borrowers who paid more in fees than they borrowed; four out of five borrowers either defaulted or renewed a loan over the course of a year; and one in five payday borrowers — including elderly people on fixed income payments — remained mired in debt for the entire year.

As they press for federal legislation to overturn the rules, the lenders have been lobbying state legislatures to expand their right to issue payday loans for longer than 45 days, loans that would not be covered by the regulations.

The industry spent lavishly in Florida to pass a law that will allow an annual rate of nearly 300 percent on a three-month loan of $1,000, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The lenders are blocking bills restricting the industry in other states, including Ohio, where borrowers typically pay an annual rate of 591 percent — the highest payday loan costs in the United States.

Read the full editorial.

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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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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!