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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

June 10, 2015


Parks and Greenways Have the Power to Transform Communities

By Todd Antoine, Deputy Director of Great Rivers Greenway

The renovation of Ruth Porter Mall Park is an incredible example of how greenways and parks can transform communities.  It also shows what can be accomplished when the needs of an underserved community are made a priority.
Work is now underway to extend the greenway further south from Delmar and DeBaliviere to Forest Park in conjunction with the Loop Trolley project. When complete, this neighborhood will have even more green space for walking and biking but will also be connected to Forest Park:  the crown jewel of our regional park system.
Residents have discovered that the urban green spaces and trails have done more than create a bikeable, walkable community. They have also encouraged deeper inter-community neighborhood relationships, strengthening the region, and making St. Louis a better place to live.

To read the full article, 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
National Groups Oppose Pending Amendment to FY16 Appropriations for THUD Funding
Several national organizations, including NACEDA and the NLIHC, are advocating against H.R. 2577, a bill that would reduce FY16 appropriations for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD). Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of NLIHC, shared a blog post on her stance on the proposed amendment. To read her blog post, click here. To view the NACEDA's advocacy letter on this legislation, click here.

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration: Public Hearing and Documents Available for Review
The City of St. Louis' Community Development Administration office is holding a public hearing and public comment period on the Substantial Amendment, Citizen Participation Plan and the 2016 CDBG/HOME Funding Priorities. Related documents are available to review online or in person at select locations in the city. A public hearing will take place June 18 at 5:30pm. For more information, click here.

HUDZ Committee Report On Economic Incentives
Last month, St. Louis Alderman Joe Roddy began a conversation on how the City uses economic incentives and on finding the most impactful ways to support revitalization. He shared a detailed presentation on this topic to the Housing, Urban Development, and Zoning Committee on May 6. To see a video of his presentation and to view his PDF presentation, click here.

The Low Income Investment Fund Social Impact Calculator
The Low Income Investment Fund (LIF) has created a Social Impact Calculator that measures the social and economic impact of investments in low income communities. To read more about this new calculator, click here. To try out the calculator, click here.

Proposed Stadium Plans Would Destroy Several Historic Buildings On the National Register
The proposed plan for the new Rams stadium on the riverfront north of downtown St. Louis would demolish four buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. In response, architectural historians and neighborhood preservationists are raising their concerns and even suggesting alternative plans that would integrate the historic buildings with the planned stadium. To read more on these historic buildings, click here.

Altruistic Web Developers Spend Weekend Building Projects to Help St. Louis
During the last weekend of May, members of the group OpenDataSTL convened in downtown St. Louis for the "Make St. Louis Better" hackathon weekend. Over the weekend, OpenDataSTL created apps and websites intended to improve regional hunger and volunteerism, and to visualize St. Louis history and geography. To read more about this event, click here.


Near North Side Saint Louis Neighborhood Planning Initiative
The Near North Side St. Louis (NNS) Choice Neighborhood Planning Initiative is continuing its working group meetings and community meetings through the month of June. Community meetings take place every 3rd Thursday of the month. There are also three working group meetings that take place every other week. For general information on this effort, click here. For regular updates from the NNS St. Louis Facebook page, click here.

Crowdfunding for Real Estate: What Does it Mean for St. Louis?
The Urban Land Institute of St. Louis is hosting this panel discussion on the leveraging crowdfunding to generate capital for real estate developments and improvements. This discussion is set to take place June 24 at the Palladium. Fore more information, click here

More Choices for More Families
The Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is hosting the 6th Annual National Conference on Housing Mobility. This two day conference will take place July 15 through July 16 in Chicago. For more information about this conference and to register, click here.

Fifth Annual MOWHA Conference
On Wednesday, July 8, the Missouri Workforce Housing Association will host its fifth annual conference in Kansas City. This 3 day conference will feature events for those working with or interested in Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Affordable Housing programs. For more information on this conference, click here.

CDA Nonprofit Workshop: Identifying Measureable Outcomes and Per-Unit Costs
St. Louis City CDA is offering this training on June 10th from 1-4 pm on how to identify your outcomes and how HUD determines reasonableness of costs for your proposals. To register for the training, click here.

Special Taxing Districts
The Community Builders Network is hosting a training on creating and managing special taxing districts (both Special Business Districts and Community Improvement Districts) on June 16th. To register for the training, click here.

Volunteering Across the Life Span: Engaging Volunteers of All Ages
This June 26th training by UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program is part of the Chancellor's Certificate on Volunteer Management. This course will focus on issues from recruitment to training to retaining volunteers of different ages. For more information and to register, click here.

CDA Nonprofit Workshop: CDBG Proposal Best Practices
June 29th from 9:30am to 12:00pm St. Louis City CDA will cover best practices in proposals for the 2016 CDBG funding cycle. To register for the training, click here.

CDA Nonprofit Workshop: CDBG Financial Management
Join St. Louis City CDA June 30th from 1-4pm for a training on financial management of CDBG funds. CDA staff will provide government accounting updates, discuss 2016 application cost allocating methods and budgeting, and conduct an interactive session on spending and record keeping practices for agencies reimbursed on performance basis. To register for the training, 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!

Farmers' Market SNAP Support Grant
The USDA has funding available to help facilitate the use of SNAP services at Farmers' Markets. Applicants can receive awards ranging between $15,000 and $250,000. The deadline to apply is June 18. For more information, click here.

Strong Local Economies
The Surdna Foundation has funding available to provide support for minority owned businesses and to reduce barriers to economic mobility. To view more information and to apply for a Strong Local Economies Grant, click here.

Neighborhood Greenways Facilitation Consultant
Trailnet is seeking a consultant to assist the Neighborhood Greenways program in facilitating 5 three hour Project Committee sessions. Interested applications should send in their information by June 19. For more information, click here.

Director of Community Development
The City of Creve-Coeur is seeking a Director of Community Development. The position will remain open until filled, but a review of applications will begin starting June 19. For more information, click here.

Sustainability Coordinator
Madison County, Illinois is seeking a Sustainability Coordinator to assist the Planning and Development Department with maintaining and implementing the county's sustainability plan. For more information on this position, click here.

Affordable Housing's Place in Medicaid Reform: Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform
The Center for Housing Policy released a report last week on the ways in which affordable housing providers can work with health care institutions to provide comprehensive care for low-income communities in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As part of the ACA, health care institutions are incentivized to improve patient health through more holistic solutions, including addressing social needs. To read the reports suggestions for collaboration, click here.
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