Ohio Community Development News - July 2013

Volume 4, Issue 5 | July, 15 2013


Neighborhood Infrastructure Assistance Program Legislation Introduced
OCDCA, in partnership with the Greater Ohio Policy Center, Heritage Ohio, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing and Habitat for Humanity Ohio - recently saw the introduction of an innovative tax credit program to assist communities with physical and economic revitalization.

Sponsored by Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Representative Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), the companion bills of SB 149 and HB 219 would create a program that will provide tax credits to for-profit corporations that invest in place-based, catalytic community projects.

The Neighborhood Infrastructure Assistance Program (NIAP) is intended to help leverage private dollars for community projects critical for the attractiveness and economic competitiveness of the state. If passed, the NIAP tax credits could be used for corporate and business donations to projects such as:

  • Renovating an historic theater
  • Redeveloping a central business district
  • Developing affordable housing
  • Building a community center
  • Microenterprise business development

For more information about this program, please click here or contact Nate Coffman at ncoffman@ohiocdc.org or (614) 461-6392 x 207. If you support the creation of this program, you can add your name to the growing list of private, public and nonprofit supporters. We'll keep you posted as the legislation moves through the General Assembly.
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Ohio CDC News

Annual Conference
Join us at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza on October 10-11, 2013 for Ohio CDC Association's 29th Annual Conference! For more information about the conference, click here!

Cincinnati is the heart of Ohio's largest metro area, and the "Queen City" has continued to prosper despite the challenges facing many Midwestern cities like it. Local CDC's have led the resurgence of its historic downtown and neighborhood fabric. Thanks to their leadership, Cincinnati is the city that can't stop and won't stop!

This year's keynote speaker will be Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, President of LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers pursuing smart growth policies, and author of The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream. The conference will feature topics including crowdfunding, form-based codes, comprehensive community development, and local food, and other speakers include Kaid Benfield, Jim Capraro, and Kyle Ezell.

The request for proposals for the Ohio Microenterprise Business Development Program is now available on our website. Eligible organizations may apply for funding of up to $50,000, 10% of which can be used for administrative expenses, and 40% of which can be used for lending. OCDCA will host an application webinar on July 22, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. To register for this webinar, please click here.

The purpose of the Ohio Microenterprise Business Development Program is to provide funding for community development corporations (CDC's) to further develop a local delivery system that encourages microenterprise business 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 assistance enabled by this funding can be in the form of either training or technical assistance, or direct assistance to the business in the form of a loan, with loan funds repaid into a local microenterprise revolving loan fund.

Saying Goodbye and Thank You
July 12, 2013 was the last day of the VISTA service term for Lisa Much, Assets Ohio VISTA member. We would like to acknowledge and extend a heartfelt thank you to her for her exceptional year of service. Lisa plans to pursue her career goals utilizing her degree in theater with arts and community development projects. Her skills include fund development, project coordination and training. Her biggest contributions to any organization would be communication and attention to detail. If you know of an opportunity for Lisa, you may contact her at lisammuch@gmail.com. Thank you Lisa!

Welcome Joe Collins
With Lisa's departure, OCDCA's Assets Ohio is pleased to announce its new VISTA member. Joseph "Joe" Collins will be joining us as an IDA AmeriCoprs*VISTA member. He began his service year June 28, 2013. As the AmeriCorps*VISTA member for Assets Ohio, he will be responsible for building capacity to increase assets for individuals by improving tracking systems and allocating funding opportunities. He is also going to help research and write grant proposals to support the funding needs of Assets Ohio. Prior to becoming an AmeriCorps*Vista, he spent the last year working in the legal field. He holds a BA in history from The College of Wooster.

Upcoming Events

Event and Date



Central Ohio Membership

July 17, 2013
Sponsored by Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bank - Columbus

5th Floor Meeting Room
21 E. State St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Click here to register!

Free for all to attend

Basics of Affordable Housing

July 18-19, 2013
Sponsored by Fifth Third

Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus 1125 College Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43209

Click here to register!

$100 for members,
$200 for non-members

Microenterprise Application

July 22, 2013


Click here to register!

Rehab Lab:
Advancing Healthy Homes
August 14-15, 2013

CPO Training Facility
910 E. Broad St.

Columbus, Ohio 43205

Click here to register!

Free for members,
$75 for non-members

Public Relations Webinar

August 21, 2013
Sponsored by Charter One


Click here to register!

Southeast Ohio Membership
August 21, 2013

Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
1 Pinchot Lane
Athens, Ohio 45701

Click here to register!

Free for all to attend

Annual Conference
October 10-11, 2013

Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza
35 W. 5th St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Click here for more


Save the Date!
Ohio CDC Association Annual Conference
October 10-11
Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza

Click here for more information!
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Partner News

GOPC Co-Authors Policy Brief on Revitalizing Legacy Cities
The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) released a report titled Regenerating America's Legacy Cities. The report, co-written by GOPC's Lavea Brachman and published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, finds that enduring assets such as downtowns, parks, transit systems, and academic and cultural institutions are the key to revitalization for struggling industrial cities.

OACAA Self-Sufficiency Calculator
The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA) released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Ohio 2013 report and also a new online Self-Sufficiency Calculator. The Self-Sufficiency Standard is a measure of income adequacy for Ohio. It measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a specific county in Ohio must earn to meet basic needs without public or private assistance. It takes into account the costs of housing, child care, food, healthcare, transportation and miscellaneous items, including the cost of taxes and the impact of tax credits. This information can be used to help families with budgeting, career counseling and assistance programs, as well as by policy makers in making decisions that support working families and strengthen Ohio's economy.

To read the latest Ohio Housing Finance Agency newsletter click here.
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Member News

Homes on the Hill Wins OHFA 2013 Spirit of Homeownership Excellence Award
Homes on the Hill CDC was presented with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) 2013 Spirit of Homeownership Excellence Award as a celebration of National Homeownership Month. Homes on the Hill was recognized for its housing counseling and homeownership program. To date, the agency has counseled more than 5,000 Central Ohioans and provided more than $300,000 in down payment assistance to more than 130 families purchasing a home. Homes on the Hill has brought an estimated $10,000,000 in direct investment to the Greater Hilltop and Westland neighborhoods over the last two years through affordable housing projects such as Hilltop Homes 1, collaborations with Habitat for Humanity, and various neighborhood outreach efforts including community gardens, safety programs, block watch support, and Rebuilding Together. Congratulations to Homes on the Hill!

Community Development Merger
Recently Neighborhood Progress, the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, and LiveCLEVELAND! announced plans to merge the operations of these three long standing organizations to increase the impact and efficiency of community development in Cleveland. More information can be found here.
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Funding Opportunities

Clean Ohio Funding Available
Funding is still available for Clean Ohio Phase II Assessment and Cleanup funding. If you have a project and are interested in Clean Ohio funding please contact the JobsOhio regional network partner. The Ohio Development Services Agency Office of Research prepares the Priority Investment Area map every January and July. The map identifies counties and communities with distressed designations. Areas with the designation are eligible for Phase II assessment grants through Clean Ohio. Important announcements and updates to the Clean Ohio brownfields program are available here.

Choice Neighborhoods
The HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant program has a closing date of September 10th, 2013.

$75 GrantStation for Members of NACEDA State Organizations
NACEDA negotiated a highly-discounted rate for GrantStation in order to improve community developers' ability to attract grant money to their communities. Does your organization belong to a NACEDA state organization? If so, your organization is eligible to have full access to GrantStation for $75 per year. (GrantStation costs $699 when purchased individually.) Your membership includes:

  • Up-to-date database of thousands of grant makers
  • Search tools to help you find the right funders for your organization
  • Online grant writing tools
  • Strategic planning tools
  • Online grant calendar

Click here to sign up for GrantStation at the $75 rate. Click here to view the latest Grantstation webinar for community developers.
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Job Opportunities

For current postings Click Here.

Organizations with employment opportunities in the housing and community development field, please send your employment notices to Mark Harris, at mharris@ohiocdc.org.
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State News

Foreclosures Continue to Plague Ohio
Ohio foreclosures remain at crisis levels, with 70,469 new filings in 2012, according to the annual foreclosure report released by Policy Matters Ohio. The study, based on Ohio Supreme Court data, found that the number of new foreclosure filings dropped only slightly from 2011, by about 1.5 percent, while the number of filings in 2012 remained more than four times higher than it was in the mid 1990s. Ohio filings peaked in 2009 at 89,061. The report recommends a mix of federal and state policy options that include more housing counseling and mortgage modifications. For an interactive map of Ohio with county-level foreclosure data click here.

Five Policy Considerations for Improving Ohio's Housing Markets
Ohio's housing markets face a number of market-specific challenges, including a prevalence of vacant, low-value housing in cities across the state. These challenges impede economic recovery and the long-term stability of many neighborhoods. Over the past few years, research done by the Cleveland Fed on Ohio's housing markets has identified five areas where state-level policy interventions are worth considering: foreclosure fast-tracking for vacant and abandoned property; elimination of minimum-bid requirements; addressing harmful speculation; expanded access to land banks and improved data collection and access. To view the report click here.
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Federal News and Resources

Federal Budget
The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations wrapped up their work on the FY14 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee bills. The House bill would fund HUD programs at much lower levels than the Senate bills at nearly $10 billion. For a comparison of the House and Senate versions for HUD and USDA programs click here. Some differences of note include:

House Version:

  • Community Development Block Grants - $1.6 billion, 50% cut from FY 2013
  • HOME Investment Partnership Program - $700 million, 30% cut from FY 2013
  • Housing Counseling Assistance - $35 million, a 22% cut from FY 2013

Senate Version:

  • Community Development Block Grants at $3.15 billion, a 3% cut from FY 2013
  • HOME Investment Partnership Program at $1 billion, level funding from FY 2013
  • Housing Counseling Assistance at $55 million, a 22% increase over FY 2013

The next step for the House and Senate bills is floor consideration by the chambers. However, when and if the bills go to the floor depends in large part on the outcome of other appropriations bills. Neither the House nor the Senate are expected to pass all of their 12 appropriations bills by the start of the fiscal year (October 1, 2013) and instead are expected to pass a Continuing Resolution while negotiating top line and bill level spending amounts for FY14.

Please contact your Congresspeople and explain how these proposed drastic funding cuts to proven community development programs would negatively impact low-income and moderate-income Ohio families and communities.

To contact your U.S. House Representative click here.
To contact U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown call (202) 224-2315 or e-mail.
To contact U.S. Senator Rob Portman call 202-224-3353 or e-mail.

Preserve LIHTC and NMTC in Tax Reform Efforts
Recently the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced plans to pursue tax reform efforts. The approach will be a "blank slate", meaning that all credits and deductions would be removed from the code "unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives." Senators Baucus and Hatch have asked their colleagues to weigh in on which provisions should be retained or added to the tax code. We need to ensure that as many Senators as possible identify the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) as tax expenditures that must be a part of the reformed tax code.

Please urge Senators Brown and Portman to Include the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) in their Request Letters.

To contact U.S. Senator Rob Portman call 202-224-3353 or e-mail.
To contact U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown call (202) 224-2315 or e-mail.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation to wind down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae within the next five years and establish a government reinsurance agency in their place. The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act would put a system of private mortgage insurers in the first loss position, with the government providing a catastrophic guarantee under a new agency, the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation. Read the NCRC analysis.

Ohio Sequestration Impacts
Ohio stands to lose $184 million in 2013 relative to 2012 as a result of changes in federal appropriations under the sequester, according to the latest analysis from Policy Matters Ohio. The organization is working to understand and document the impact of the federal sequester on the lives of Ohioans. Click here to take a very brief survey asking a few simple questions about the impact of the federal sequester in your area and among the clients you serve. "We'd be most grateful if you would take a moment and fill out the survey. The results are entirely confidential - we ask for your name and organization to verify response, but will not release the information of individual agencies," explained Wendy Patton, senior project director at Policy Matters Ohio. To read an article from Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, putting a face on the impacts of sequestration, click here.

Urban Land Institute Report
The Urban Land Institute released "Where American's Want to Live", a report based on a nationwide survey of several generations, and revealed that there is high demand for residential development that is less dependent on cars for transportation. The majority of respondents reported a preference for living in mixed income housing with access to public transportation. The full report is available for download.

State of the Nation's Housing 2013
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released its annual State of the Nation's Housing Report last week. The report is available for download here and covers topics including the severe housing cost burdens plaguing many Americans and the high mortgage delinquency that is still pervasive. The report was released via live webcast and discussants included Eileen Fitzgerald of NeighborWorks America and George McCarthy of the Ford Foundation.
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