Public Policy and Advocacy

The Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) advocates on behalf of CDCs and their communities to create public policy and a regulatory environment that will assist CDCs to be successful in their mission of revitalizing and strengthening communities. To discuss a policy concern, please contact Nate Coffman at ncoffman@ohiocdc.org or 614-461-6392 x 207.

State Policy

Ohio Payday Lending Reform

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.

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%.


 Pastor Carl Ruby and Nate Coffman explain the necessity for payday lending reform.

Pastor Carl Ruby and Nate Coffman explain the necessity for payday lending reform.

“We are certain voters will support this if legislators don’t act on reform”

February 28, 2018 - Leaders of an initiative to put payday lending reform on the November statewide ballot this morning 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%.

Nate Coffman, of Ohio CDC Association in Columbus, and Pastor Carl Ruby, of Springfield, are filing 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.

The Attorney General must then certify the petition to the Secretary of State. At that point, Coffman, Ruby and other supporters can start collecting the 305,591 valid registered voter signatures that must be filed by July 4 in order to get the issue on the November ballot.

“These petitions, these signatures are proof that we mean business,’’ said Coffman. “It’s been nearly 12 months since a bi-partisan reform bill, House Bill 123, was introduced and the legislation has stalled ever since. It seems like they don’t care that every day this bill doesn’t move forward, it costs Ohioans an average of $200,000 in excessive borrowing costs, or about $75 million annually. That’s not acceptable. And that’s why we are pushing for a ballot issue.’’

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.

“It’s time for the voters of Ohio to have their say, because apparently many in the legislature are not willing or eager to advance HB 123,’’ said Ruby. “With a few notable exceptions, they seem more interested in placating the special interest groups who are profiting from these loans, than in protecting the working class borrowers who are sinking deeper and deeper into debt.’’

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.’’

Members of Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform, a diverse statewide coalition of more than 100 individuals and organizations that support passage of HB 123, will be asked to support the ballot initiative.

Nick DiNardo, of Cincinnati, and Michal Marcus, of Cleveland, are joining Ruby and Coffman in the push for a November ballot vote. 

Ohio Housing Trust Fund Expansion - Home Matters to Ohio

The Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF) is the state’s primary and most significant resource for Ohioans when home is out of reach. Organizations across Ohio are coming together in a broad-based effort to expand the OHTF by at least $15 million annually through the state budget process by restructuring recording fees. Home Matters to Ohio!

Support Form – To lend your organization’s support to the expansion effort, please fill out the support form online. Click here for a PDF copy of the endorsement form.

Supporters - For a list of supporters, click here.

OHTF Background – Click here for more information on history and programs served by the OHTF.

Economic Impact of the OHTF - In early 2017, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) released a study on the economic impact of the OHTF. To read the 2011 economic and job creation study, click here.

Federal Policy

President Trump Proposes Extreme Cuts to Community Development Programs

The Trump Administration released a fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget outline, or “skinny budget,” that proposes draconian extreme cuts to housing and community development programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD), the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) among others.

The budget proposes only $40.7 billion in funding for HUD, 13.2 percent below current levels, and proposes eliminating several critical programs, including Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Section 4 Capacity Building, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) among others. It also calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Under this proposal in 2018 Ohio would lose $137,466,074 in CDBG and $38,905,750 in HOME funds.

In all 62 programs are proposed for elimination. While the “skinny” budget proposal is only the first step in a lengthy budget and appropriations process, it is a clear signal that housing and community development programs are at risk. It’s important for community development practitioners to make your voices heard.

To help tell the story of CDBG and HOME in Ohio, we've created flyers for each of the programs. View the CDBG flyer and HOME flyer. You can use these flyers when talking about these programs. The flyers are editable PDFs that allow you to enter your organization's contact information on the back.

We realize advocacy is not easy for everyone, but it only takes 30 seconds to make a call! To prove how easy it is, check out this video of Nate calling Senator Portman's office:

Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding

Find sample articles and tweets from CHCDF.

HOME Coalition

Sign the HOME Coalition's letter urging Congress to protect and restore funding for HOME.

Voices for National Service

Join them in asking Congress to protect the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps. Ask your member of Congress to protect national service. It takes only two clicks to send an e-mail to Congress.

Ohio Congressional Profiles – Click here for detailed profiles on each Ohio congressperson

Community Development/Housing Staff – Click here for list of House and Senate staff

Please contact Nate Coffman to discuss any policy concerns:
Email: ncoffman@ohiocdc.org
Phone: 614-461-6392 x 207
Twitter: @NateTCoffman