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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

February 17, 2016


It's About Good Governance

By Chris Krehmeyer, President/CEO, Beyond Housing

Can we please press the pause button on the rush to dismantle municipalities in the County?  Pause does not mean change should not occur.  It does not mean past practices of some municipalities are acceptable.  It does not mean consolidations or mergers will never occur.  Pause implies: can we have a thoughtful, rational conversation about what we are trying to achieve and how do we get there?  Can local communities drive this conversation, not Jefferson City or the County Executive’s office?  The state and county are clearly partners in this conversation but they should not be the drivers. 

To read the full op-ed, click here.

We invite readers to contribute to the civic conversation about community development in St. Louis by writing an op-ed for the Community Builders Exchange. Op-eds should be short (400-700 words) and provocative. If you have an idea for an op-ed, contact Todd Swanstrom at
The Fourth Annual CBN Awards Reception
We are pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Community Builders Network Awards Reception will take place on March 31 at T-Rex! The Annual CBN awards reception recognizes individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions that help make St. Louis a better place to live. Please join us for an evening of food, networking, and fun as we award those making a positive impact on St. Louis neighborhoods. For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.

It's Time for a Change
In this blog post, Sean Thomas reflects on the numerous successes of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group under his tenure as Executive Director for the past 12 years. In this post, he also announces he will be stepping down as Executive Director of ONSLRG soon. To read Sean's message and about his organization's accomplishments, click here.

University Square: A Look Back at 2015
University Square Community Development Corporation recently released its 2015 Community Newsletter. The newsletter highlights many of the CDC's accomplishments from this past year, including the expansion of the NorthPark Business park, the completion of the first phase of the Great Streets Natural Bridge project, as well as several projects on the UMSL Campus. To view their 2015 newsletter, click here (opens a PDF).

FY17 Request Goes Bold to End Family Homelessness
This post from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) highlights President Barack Obama's recent FY17 budget request and its impact on housing and community development. This budget request would maintain funding for the HOME program at FY16 levels, decrease CDBG funding from $3 billion in FY16 to $2.8 billion in FY17, and increase funding for HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program to $46 million from $40 million in FY16. To read NLIHC's full blog post, click here.

Congress Passes Housing Reform Bill with Rare Bi-Partisan Support
Earlier this month, NLIHC shared a post on the passage of House Resolution 3700, the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act. The resolution passed with a vote of 427 to 0. To read a summary of what is included in HR 3700, click here. To read NLIHC's post announcing its passage in the House, click here.


Regional Plan Update: Open House and Survey
Great Rivers Greenway is updating its Regional Plan and is looking for resident input. Great Rivers Greenway is hosting two Open House events this month and is accepting feedback through an online survey. The first Open House event is tonight at the Bridgeton Trails Branch Library from 4 to 7pm. For more information about these events, click here.

Colorbrave - A Series of Discussions About Race and Building an Anti-bias Community
On Friday, February 19, City Garden Montessori will host this event to discuss and highlight the need to be "colorbrave rather than colorblind." For more information about this event and to register, click here.

What's Brewing? Hyde Park
The What's Brewing? series is continuing on March 3 in the Hyde Park neighborhood. This event will feature a panel discussion on what is contributing to the emergence of this neighborhood. For more information about this event, click here.

Achieving a Sustainable Energy Future
On April 13 and 14 the Saint Louis University Center for Global Citizenship will host this conference on sustainability, energy, innovation and policy. For more information about this event, click here.



Understanding and Overcoming the Challenges of Voter Registration
NLIHC is hosting this webinar today from 1pm to 2:30pm on overcoming challenges to voter registration. To register and join this webinar, click here.

Accessing Investment Capital through CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

Tomorrow, the Federal Reserve System will host a Connecting Communities webinar on accessing the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, which assists CDFIs in gaining access to long-term capital. The webinar will take place tomorrow from 2 to 3pm. For more information, click here.

Give STL Day 2016 Nonprofit Registration is Still Open
Give STL Day nonprofit registration open on January 12 and more than 400 nonprofits have signed up to participate this year. The St. Louis Community Foundation is inviting more to participate in the third annual Give STL Day. Registration and training sessions are still open for those organizations interested. To view the remaining training sessions, click here. For registration information, click here.

Connecting Hard-to-Serve Populations with Jobs: Breaking Down Barriers for Youth Unemployment
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will host the second part of this webinar series on February 25 from 2pm to 3:15pm. For more information about this webinar, click here.

Benchmarking Jam
The Missouri Gateway Chapter of the US Green Building Council is hosting a Benchmarking Jam on February 25 at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Commerce Bank Education Center at the corner of Kingshighway and Shaw. This is an opportunity to learn how benchmarking can be used to save energy and money for your organization. For more information, click here.

Funding Your Neighborhood Project
On Saturday, Feburary 27, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is hosting this workshop on best practices for securing funding for community projects. For more information about this workshop, click here.


March 31
2016 Community Builders Network Awards Reception

The Community Builders Exchange would like to highlight a map relevant to community development in each issue. Please let us know if you have a map that would be of interest to our readers.

In this week's edition we are sharing maps on integrated communities in St. Louis and how they have changed from 1970 through 2010. To view this week's maps, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is a partnership between the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, the St. Louis Home Repair Network, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to bring you quality up-to-date community development information. Look for the St. Louis Community Builders Exchange every other Wednesday morning!

Scotts Miracle-Gro:GRO1000 Grassroots Grants
Scotts Miracle-Gro is offering grants of up to $1,500 to help communities with green space and community garden projects. The deadline to apply for this funding opportunity is February 22. For more information and to apply, click here.

ArtPlace America: National Creative Placemaking Fund
The National Creative Placemaking Fund is intended to bring culture and the arts into community development projects. Grant funding per project typically ranges from $50,000 to $500,000. Applications for this grant are due by March 2. For more information, click here.

Open the Door to Affordable Housing
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is offering funding up to $500,000 through its Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The pre-application period for this grant runs through the month of March. For more information about this grant, click here.

Women on Mission Saint Louis Grant
Women on Mission Saint Louis is currently accepting applications for two grants to be awarded for $42,500 each. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations serviing the College Hill community. The deadline to submit a grant application is March 31. For more information, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Home$tart Program
The FHLB of Des Moines opened its Home$tart and Home$tart Plus program on February 1. FHLB Des Moines bank members will have the opportunity to reserve up to $100,000 per program in 2016 to promote homeownership in the community. Members can receive up to $5,000 per eligible household through Home$tart or $10,000 per eligible household through Home$tart Plus to assist owner-occupant homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance. Nonprofit organizations can work with banks to serve residents through this program. For more information, click here.  
Community Development Coordinator
Northside Community Housing, Inc. is seeking a Community Development Coordinator to help manage its "Make it Home" program, leasing and support services, and other responsibilities. For more information about this position, click here.

Executive Director of Cornerstone
Cornerstone Corporation is accepting applications for a new Executive Director. For more information about this position and to learn more about Cornerstone, click here.

Executive Director of SLACO
The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations is seeking a new Executive Director. The deadline to submit letters of interest has been extended to February 19. For more information, click here.

Part-Time Neighborhood Trainer
SLACO is seeking apart time Neighborhood Trainer to develop and manage the resident leadership training program. For more information and to apply, click here

Project Manager
Park Central Development is seeking a Project Manager to work with planning, development and implementation of project.  The deadline to apply for this position is February 12. For more information, click here.

Des Lee Community Builders Graduate Research Assistant
The Community Builders Network is seeking a Graduate Research Assistant to assist with neighborhood research, CBN social media accounts, and the editing of the Community Builders Exchange e-newsletter. This position is open for current or incoming UMSL students only. For more information, click here.
City and Metropolitan Inequality on the rise driven by declining incomes
In January, the Brookings Institute released a new paper highlighting the widening gap between the highest earners and the lowest. The paper measures growth in inequality using a "95/20 ratio," which is the ratio of households incomes at the 95th percentile compared with household incomes at the 20th percentile. For example, Boston has a 95/20 ratio of 17.8, which means household incomes at the 95th percentile are around 1,780% of what household incomes are at the 20th percentile. Boston has the highest 95/20 ratio among cities according to this paper. However, not only is this ratio high, it is widening. Using Boston again as an example, 20th percentile incomes fell by around $1,300, from 2007. Meanwhile, 95th percentile incomes increased by over $21,000. To see more results and to read Brookings' paper, click here. Brookings also regularly shares metrics on the nations largest metropolitan areas in a section called the Metro Monitor. You can see how St. Louis stacks up when compared to other metro areas in terms of economic growth, standards of living, and inclusion. To view the Metro Monitor, click here.
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