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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.


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.


Azul restaurant to anchor senior citizen development and neighborhood in Maineville

Polly Campbell of The Cincinnati Enquirer:

An intergenerational development is coming to Maineville that’s a first of its kind in Ohio.

Hopkins Commons will be a neighborhood designed to help senior citizens age in place and stay connected to the larger community. It includes both market-rate and subsidized housing and amenities for people older than 55.

It will be anchored, and partly funded, by Azul, an American comfort-food restaurant open to the public. Chef Nat Blanford will co-own it with Warren County Community Services, which is building Hopkin Commons. They hope to open by April 1, 2018.

Blanford says that the restaurant, open to the public, will be all about comfort.

Read more about this really cool and innovative project.


CDC Impact: Affordable Housing

Over the last few years, Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) has been working hard to quantify the impact of CDCs throughout Ohio. We’ve been collecting and analyzing data from our member organizations and are excited to share our findings – especially in digestible bits.

We are pleased to state that, each year, over one million people benefit from the work of Ohio’s CDCs.

Did you know that, in 2016, Ohio CDCs:

  • Invested over $350 million in their communities and served more than 39,000 households through their affordable housing development, housing counseling, and home repair programs;
  • Developed or rehabilitated over 2,300 affordable housing units for low and moderate income families, senior citizens and veterans and;
  • Repaired or improved nearly 20,000 homes.

There are so many various ways in which this happens across the state.

For example, in 2016, a CDC near Cleveland coordinated 356 volunteers for 46 volunteer projects, hosted 23 housing educational workshops with 782 attendees, and engaged 526 people in some type of service provision including overseeing a bed bug issue intake program, home visits, or housing court advocacy.

Another CDC in Cincinnati provided 486 families energy education to learn how to reduce their usage and save money on their utility bills.

Affordable housing is a critical need in Ohio as well as the rest of the country. The work of Ohio CDCs is truly important in meeting this need.


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!


Construction starts on $9M senior housing in Springfield

Katherine Collins of Springfield News-Sun:

A new $9 million housing project for seniors will be unlike anything the city has seen, Springfield leaders said, and with a wait-list of more than 200 people, it’s needed.

Construction started Thursday on the Community Gardens project on the site of the old Community Hospital, 2615 E. High St. The 50-unit senior living community will be the first “pocket neighborhood” in Springfield and will have affordable rents.

“We’ll have homes facing one another with front porches and walking paths where neighbors can interact and know one another,” said Tina Koumoutsos, executive director of the Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield, which led efforts to get money for the project.

Construction is expected to be completed in a little over a year. A second phase for the lot is planned, she said, that would include 36 additional units.

The unique design of the project is intended to get seniors to socialize, Koumoutsos said.

“It’s really meant to be a place where not only can you have a good place and a safe place to live but a place where you can really thrive … So many of our aging seniors are lonely,” she said.

Read the whole story here.


URGENT: Save the Ohio Housing Trust Fund Expansion!

Your strong support helped convince leaders in the Ohio House of Representatives to add our proposal strengthening the Ohio Housing Trust Fund to the state budget that passed the House last month.

Unfortunately, the Ohio Senate just stripped the proposal from its version of the budget.

Please call your Senator by noon on Thursday and ask him or her to support the Ohio Housing Trust Fund proposal!

Senators need to know that their constituents and community leaders care about this issue and are opposed to removing the Trust Fund proposal.

Find contact information for your Senator.

Talking Points for Calls to Senators:

  • We urge the Senator to restore the Ohio Housing Trust Fund/Recording Fee proposal in the budget.
  • The proposal is a key part of the solution to Ohio’s opiate crisis because it dedicates $6 million/year in non-GRF (general revenue fund) to help house people who are exiting opiate treatment.
  • The proposal stabilizes and expands the Trust Fund, the primary source of state support for homelessness and decent, affordable homes for seniors, veterans, and children.

This Home Matters to Ohio brochure has more information about the Trust Fund.

You will most likely speak to a Senator’s aide or leave a brief voice mail, but please know, these contacts are critically important. After you call, please send a quick email to marcusroth AT to let the coalition know who you contacted.

We still have time to get the Trust Fund proposal restored before the budget is finalized on June 30, but we need your voice!

Despite this setback, we are confident that our efforts will ultimately succeed in increasing state funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.

Thank you for your support!

Nate Coffman
Executive Director
Ohio CDC Association
On behalf of the Home Matters to Ohio coalition


New affordable senior housing fund

With assistance from National Equity Fund, National Church Residences has created the Affordable Housing Investment Fund.

This fund provides $50 million of quick strike capital to acquire and preserve affordable senior housing.

Over the next 3 to 5 years, they anticipate preserving 20 or more affordable senior housing properties across the country – encompassing more than 2,000 housing units.

Join us next week to learn how you can tap into this new fund!


National Church Residences’ Affordable Housing Investment Fund
September 21, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Register Here!


Senior housing provider to invest $110M, change name

OCDCA member, Episcopal Retirement Homes – soon to be  – is investing in its centers to make them more attractive for new and existing residents, said Doug Spitler, president and CEO of the fast-growing senior services organization. But he said the investments such as adding skilled nursing beds are designed to deal with the increasing complexity of medical conditions as a result of people living longer.

“We put our money where our elders are,” said Spitler, who joined the organization in 1982 and became its leader in 1987.

Read more from Bowdeya Tweh at




In Springfield, development approved for former hospital site

OCDCA member, Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield, recently proposed a universally commissioner-approved development plan for a $7 million, 74 unit senior living facility at the former Community Hospital site.

They are seeking tax credits with OCDCA member, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation through the Ohio Finance Housing Agency.

Read more from Michael Cooper in the Springfield News-Sun.