Volume 9, Issue 1 / February 2, 2018
AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate RFP Now Open
The VISTA Summer Associates program is an initiative from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that offers individuals the opportunity to become engaged in a community through an existing VISTA project for 10 weeks during the summer.  

Limited slots are available; therefore, this is a competitive process. Applications from current, good-standing OCDCA members are due February 9, 2018 at 5 pm.
Welcome, Alana!

Member News
Welcome New Members!
Warehouse District in Cleveland and Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance in Akron join OCDCA as our newest 2018 members. Welcome!
Excellence in Development Finance Program Award
The CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Program Award is presented to a development finance agency that has implemented an innovative new or particularly successful program. This year's honor was bestowed to member Development Finance Authority of Summit County and Development Fund of the Western Reserve for creating and capitalizing the Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund (ACRF). The ACRF was started to provide financing for business and community development projects within distressed areas/neighborhoods in Akron and began when DFWR dedicated a $6.75M New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) to the Program.  The ACRF is designed to provide loans between $500K and $2M.  Loan underwriting has less strict credit requirements and the Fund provides seven-year interest-only loans at a below market interest rate of 2.4%. Congratulations!
Colerain grandma says People Working Cooperatively saved her house, family
Charlotte Kief doesn't know what she would have done without People Working Cooperatively. Watch this heartwarming story via WCPO.
Azul restaurant to anchor senior citizen development and neighborhood in Maineville
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. Read the full story in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cuyahoga Land Bank Featured as Blight Solution
The Cuyahoga Land Bank was recently featured in a News 5 On Your Side investigative report . The news channel ran the exclusive report in late December as part of its "Cleveland Abandoned" year-long investigation examining blight in Cleveland and surrounding areas as well as solutions to improve communities. 
Mills Lawn fourth-graders eye affordable housing via PBL
The 18 students in Shannon Wilson's class didn't start their project this fall knowing that the local housing market would be their focus of study. All they knew was that they wanted to grapple with an issue that was important to the community. Yellow Springs Home, Inc.'s Executive Director Emily Seibel was visibly moved as the young people shared their research. Read the full story in the Yellow Springs News.
Sharply curtailing family-based immigration as pushed by the White House would be harmful and wrong-headed: Michael Byun (opinion)
Michael Byun, CEO of Northeast Ohio OCDCA member, Asian Services in Action Inc. wrote a powerful opinion piece for Cleveland.com last month regarding immigration.
Share Your Stories
We love hearing about the awesome work you do throughout Ohio. If your organization is mentioned in the news, please share it with us. We love photos too! If you send it to Lisa Much , we can put it on our blog and in this newsletter. 
Partner News
Gap Planning Forum
Join OHFA on February 20th to discuss the draft 2018 Consolidated Housing Development Assistance Program Guidelines and NHTF Allocation Plan and offer your suggestions to strengthen the programs.
HDGF Training Save the Date
OHFA will host a training for developers interested in the non-credit Housing Development Gap Financing (HDGF) program on April 5, 2018. Be sure to mark your calendars now; additional information will be released shortly.
Lou Tisler Picked to Lead the National NeighborWorks Association
The National NeighborWorks® Association (NNA) named Lou Tisler as NNA's next Executive Director. Lou most recently was the Director of the Housing Counseling Network for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and for many years led the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. Congratulations Lou in taking on this national leadership role!
Call for Nominations! HUD's Fourth Annual Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes
HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association, offers this call for nominations for excellence in four categories:  1. Public Housing/Multifamily Housing;  2. Policy and Education Innovation;  3. Cross-Program Coordination, and  4. Research.  Nominations accepted online until Feb. 28. More information about submission requirements
AmeriCorps VISTA Spotlight
January was a great month for OCDCA VISTAs, and in particular for Kristian Hunter serving at Collinwood Nottingham Villages in Cleveland. Kristian is in the middle of a series of events she started called Kicking it with CopsKicking it with Cops is a series of community engagement activities. Officers from the Fifth District, along with community members, share in the experience of playing outdoor activities, cleaning the neighborhood, breaking bread together over a healthy meal, and crafting together - fostering dialogue and creating networks that didn't exist before.  The Kicking it with Cops program already has events scheduled through the end of 2018, and the events have been met with increasing success. Way to go Kristian!
2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard
Now in its 16th year, the Scorecard uses data to paint a picture of how families are doing financially and what states can do to promote prosperity. The 2018 Scorecard, which includes new measures on debt and debt delinquency, as well as a range of measures disaggregated by disability status, will launch on February 6. To get an early look at what the data tell us about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2018, join Prosperity Now for a National Launch Webinar at noon EST on Tuesday, February 6.
Heritage Ohio Revitalization Workshop in Kent
Join Heritage Ohio in Kent, Ohio on February 15th for the first Revitalization Series workshop of 2018.
Legislative Advocacy 101: How to Make Government Work With You Webinar
Advocacy 101 will teach you how to contact and interact with your state representatives on behalf of your nonprofit organization. Join OANO on February 20.
Prosperity Now Midwest Virtual Regional Listening Session
Join Prosperity Now Community Steering Committee Members and Community Champions for a Virtual Regional Listening Session following the release of the 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard. Your voice will be crucial as we explore the trends, policy priorities and opportunities emerging in your area. These Virtual Regional Listening Sessions are open to anyone committed to creating a more equitable economy. All sessions will take place via interactive conference call. The Midwest call will be March 2 at 2 pm EST and will welcome the Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Funding Opportunities
Kazanjian Foundation for Economic Literacy
The Kazanjian Foundation makes grants of various sizes. The average grant is approximately $22,000, however grants as large as $150,000 have been made. Grants are given for projects only that promote economic literacy. Deadline is February 15.
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreements
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities, using EPA's "Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model." The CPS Program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships to help them understand and address environmental and public health concerns in their communities. The EPA's Environmental Justice office reached out to NACEDA to urge community development organizations to apply for this funding opportunity. Deadline is February 16.
Kessler Foundation Signature Employment Grants
Signature Employment Grants are awarded nationally to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities. Preference is given for interventions that overcome specific employment barriers related to long-term dependence on public assistance or advance competitive employment in a cost-effective manner. Deadline is February 18.
GRO1000 Community Garden Dollars
Starting in 2011 and through the company's 150th anniversary in 2018, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is supporting the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the markets they serve. Grants are up to $1,500, and the deadline is February 19.
2018 VA GPD Transition in Place
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of funds for assistance under the Per Diem Only component of VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program. This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) encourages reapplication for those applicants who seek to continue providing ''Transition in Place'' (TIP) grants and new applicants that will serve the homeless Veteran population through a TIP housing model to facilitate housing stabilization. Deadline is February 21.
Fannie Mae Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge
Fannie Mae is launching the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (The Challenge). This initiative will generate innovative ideas that will help us address the affordable housing crisis in America and further support our broad mission to create housing opportunities that are safe, sustainable, and affordable, while managing risk to protect lenders, homeowners, and taxpayers. Specifically, The Challenge is a two-year, $10 million investment by Fannie Mae to generate affordable housing solutions that will help Fannie Mae address the nation's affordable housing issues by advancing sustainable communities. Currently, they are seeking proposals that focus on the intersection of affordable housing and economic opportunity. Deadline is February 23.
NEA Art Works 2018 Funding
These federal grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. Deadline is February 27.
Community-Based Collaborative Action Grants
Enterprise provides $5,000 grants for organizations to host a Collaborative Action. By design, Collaborative Actions allow conversations to emerge that shape the community and social context, and catalyze positive dynamics. These actions may be permanent or temporary, tangible or intangible, and may include creative placemaking, mapping, art installations or community events. They are typically small-scale, low-cost, and short in duration, but often fit into a larger community effort. Deadline is March 9.
Employment Opportunities
Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield is seeking a Project Manager. 

Impact Community Action, Columbus, is hiring a Program Instructor.

CHN Housing Partners, Cleveland, is hiring a Family Self-Sufficiency Manager. 

View more employment opportunities on our website. Organizations with employment opportunities in community development may send their notices for free posting to Lisa Much.
State News
Payday Lending Reform Supporters Launch Statewide Ballot Initiative
Leaders of a coalition that has been pushing for payday lending reform in Ohio for more than a year recently announced they have started a process to put the issue on the November ballot. The ballot issue effort stems from the coalition's frustration with Ohio elected leaders failure to act on legislation that would cap payday loan rates at 28%. The ballot measure would not replace House Bill 123 (HB 123), the long-pending, bi-partisan attempt to implement reasonable reforms that would keep credit available to borrowers.  HB 123 was introduced in March of 2017, after many months of review and discussion of the payday loan industry in Ohio.  Instead it would give Ohio voters the chance to vote on this reform effort which seems to have stalled in the House. Ohio has the highest payday loan rates in the nation, with a typical payday loan carrying an outrageous annual interest rate of 591%. The leaders of the ballot initiative - Pastor Carl Ruby of Springfield, Michal Marcus of Cleveland, Nick DiNardo of Cincinnati, and Nate Coffman of Columbus have helped lead Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform, a statewide coalition that has been calling for hearings on and the passage of House Bill 123. More from the Columbus Dispatch and the Akron Beacon-Journal.
Federal News
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.
Tax Reform Bill Creates New Financing Tool for Community Investments
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new class of community investment vehicles through the Opportunity Zones Program, which aims to drive long-term capital into distressed communities by providing tax benefits on investments in Opportunity Funds (O Funds), which allow investors to pool and deploy their resources in low-income census tracts. The program - which was developed by the Economic Innovation Group and introduced in the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act last year - will be managed by the U.S. Treasury Department and must go through the formal rule-making process before it can be finalized and investments can be made. Governors will have the ability to identify up to 25 percent of their total low-income census tracts to be eligible to receive private investment through the program over the next decade. The 90-day determination period for designating Opportunity Zones began in late December, meaning that governors have only until March 31 to identify these census tracts. Special consideration will be given to census tracts that are currently the focus of economic development initiatives, have demonstrated success in geographically targeted development programs and have recently experienced significant layoffs. To assist states in this process, Enterprise has created a new mapping tool that shows the census tracts eligible for Opportunity Zone classification.  See Enterprise's new Opportunity Zone Classification Map.
Tax Reform Expected to Reduce Affordable Housing Production Significantly
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act retained the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds, which together finance the vast majority of new affordable housing development nationwide, the bill is expected to result in decreased affordable housing production. The tax bill lowers the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, which impacts equity pricing for Housing Credit investments and ultimately Housing Credit production. Accounting firm Novogradac & Company estimates that the change will reduce our future supply of affordable housing by 235,000 homes over the next decade. To address the already vast affordable housing shortage nationwide, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have sponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit by 50 percent. Affordable housing advocates are making the case that, in light of the additional shortage of units that will result from the tax bill, it is now absolutely vital to advance the Cantwell-Hatch legislation and make a meaningful dent in the nation's affordable housing crisis.
HUD Suspends Assessment of Fair Housing Submissions until after October 2020
HUD published a notice in the Federal Register on January 5 suspending most local governments' obligation under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule to submit an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) until after October 31, 2020, and in many cases after 2025. The AFFH rule requires local governments to conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing using an "Assessment Tool" to assist them in meeting their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. The suspension effectively postpones implementation of the AFFH rule until 2025 for a large majority of jurisdictions. Read more from the National Low-income Housing Coalition here.
A New Name Emerges as Possible Head of CFPB
Johnathan Dever, a Republican Ohio state representative and defense lawyer, is being touted as a top candidate to lead the bureau, according to multiple insiders. 
America's Rental Housing 2017
A decade of unprecedented growth in the rental housing market may be coming to an end, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University's 2017 America's Rental Housing report. Fewer new renter households are being formed, rental vacancy rates have risen, and rent increases have slowed. At the same time, renter demographics are changing and nearly 21 million households continue to pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.
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