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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

January 4, 2017


Wanted: Development policies For A More Equitable St. Louis

By Andrew Arkills, Data Analyst and Community Leader

In May of 2016, the City of St. Louis released a detailed report on tax incentives. Since then, we have seen few proposals for more equitable policies. For all the talk of applying racial equity lenses to systems, somehow, St. Louis’ development policy continues to escape serious examination.
Over the past 15 years, the City’s development community has been awarded billions of dollars in city, state and federal tax subsidies and incentives. The result? More racial segregation and an accelerating trend toward neighborhood-level income segregation. Recent analysis shows that 72 percent of these subsidies went to developments in the Central Corridor, where we are seeing another incentive-fueled development boom.

To read more of this op-ed, click here.

Measuring the Benefits of the City's Tax Incentives

By Otis Williams, Executive Director of the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

This column was originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The City of St. Louis, under Mayor Francis Slay’s direction, commissioned an independent study of all incentives offered throughout the city as a checkup to our progress and to monitor the results of incentivized projects.

It was done in an effort to reinforce our chief goal as the city’s economic development agency, which is to support and cultivate sustainable economic and financial growth—both of which need to be equitable and sufficient to provide enough jobs and opportunities for our residents, while also supporting the fiscal health of our government bodies.

To read more of this 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

Survey: Help Us Improve This Newsletter! 
We're working on some improvements to this newsletter and would like your feedback on how we could enhance our content and format. Click here for a short 11-question survey on how the Community Builders Exchange could serve your interests better. Thanks!

Local Bright Spot: Lemay Homes Opens Up Opportunities For the Community 
Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc. and Rise Community Development, with the support of partners in the community of Lemay and the greater St. Louis region, completed construction this fall on 40 new single-family affordable homes. The development is part of a long-term collective effort to lift the well-being of Lemay and its residents. Community leaders recently shared their insights with us on what this project and others mean for Lemay and the people who live and work there.

Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC Purchases 34 Units in Shaw to Help Sustain Affordability
In an effort to help sustain affordability in the increasingly desirable Shaw neighborhood, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC has invested $2.2 million to buy 34 housing units in 10 multifamily buildings on DeTonty Street and Shaw Boulevard. The purchase was made possible thanks in part to a $200,000 grant and financing terms facilitated by financial services firm TIAA-CREF.

Rise and Dutchtown South Community Corporation Deliver Community-Driven Planning in South City
Rise Community Development, Dutchtown South Community Corporation, and other local stakeholders have partnered to engage residents in a community-driven planning process for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods, which includes Benton Park West, Gravois Park, and Northeast Dutchtown. Visit for progress updates.

St. Louis Receives HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant
Last month, St. Louis was officially awarded one of five Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants for $29.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant is expected to leverage additional private and nonprofit funding for projects on the City's north side. Click here for commentary on the award and photos from NextSTL.

St. Louis Housing Authority Awarded Grant To Connect Public Housing Residents To Jobs and Training
The St. Louis Housing Authority was the only agency in Missouri and the St. Louis Metro East area to receive a Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Grant from HUD in December. The $492,000 award will help connect public housing residents to education, job training, placement, and opportunities to build computer and financial literacy.

HUD Secretary Julián Castro On His Work And The Future of Fair and Affordable Housing
Current HUD Secretary Julián Castro will yield his role to the Trump administration's Ben Carson in a few weeks. In this interview, Castro reflects on the work his team has done during his two and a half years at HUD, his most significant accomplishments, and his thoughts on the future of fair and affordable housing.

Great Rivers Greenway To Begin Construction On Chouteau Greenway This Year
Great Rivers Greenway plans to begin construction early this year on the five-mile Chouteau Greenway, which will eventually link the St. Louis riverfront to Forest Park. The first quarter-mile segment will be built between Boyle and Sarah Avenues.

Nominations Open For Annual What's Right With The region! Awards
FOCUS St. Louis is accepting nominations for the 20th Annual What's Right With The Region! Awards, which highlight 20 individuals, organizations, and/or initiatives working to make a difference in the St. Louis area. Nominations span five award categories and will be accepted through February 6th. An awards ceremony is scheduled for May 11th.

St. Louis public Radio Shares Favorite Photos From 2016
St. Louis Public Radio's first photojournalist joined the organization just over a year ago. Here, she shares her favorite photos from 2016, many of which capture the year's most pivotal and memorable moments for the St. Louis community.


Earned Income Tax Credit Community Forum
On January 12th, the Confluence Scholars Strategy Network and the Missouri Budget Project are hosting a free community forum on the impact of passing a potential state Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC) for Working Families in Missouri. EITC experts will serve as panelists and will be available for conversation at a reception to follow.

New Partners For Smart Growth Conference
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, the U.S.'s largest smart growth and sustainability event, will convene in St. Louis on February 2nd-4th. This year's conference is focused on "Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities."

Hunger and Food Deserts in St. Louis
FOCUS St. Louis is hosting its first policy forum of 2017 on February 9th. This seminar will discuss the impact of hunger in our region and how it can be addressed. The event is free, but donations for Operation Food Search are encouraged.

2017 St. Louis City Mayoral Forum
On February 22nd from 6:00-9:00 pm, a group of regional initiatives focused on creating a more racially equitable St. Louis will partner to host a forum to address candidates in St. Louis City's upcoming mayoral election. The forum will focus on regional issues outlined by priorities of the Forward through Ferguson report. Registration is free and required.

OneSTL Sustainability Summit
OneSTL's inaugural Sustainability Summit will foster conversation on how organizations and individuals can help identify, set, and achieve metrics and targets for sustainability in the St. Louis region. The event will be held on April 5th on the Washington University campus. 

People & Places Conference: Spring 2017
Save the date for the People & Places Conference next spring! The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), in partnership with several other organizations, is hosting a peer-learning conference for community development practitioners next May 31st through June 2nd in Arlington, Virginia.


Homebuyer Training from Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc.
Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc. (LHP) offers home buyer training services for home buyers in all counties in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Participants learn about the home purchase process, homeownership responsibilities, and the affordable loan products and financial assistance that might be available to them. LHP's next orientation session is scheduled for January 10th.

Sue Shear Institute Pipeline to Local Office Program
The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life will host its two-evening Pipeline to Local Office Workshop on January 25th and 26th. This program is designed for those interested in running for municipal office or volunteering on a campaign.

Civic Leadership Programs From FOCUS St. Louis
FOCUS St. Louis is currently accepting applications for its 2017 leadership programs: Emerging Leaders (due January 6th), Coro Women In Leadership (due January 6th), Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, FOCUS Impact Fellows, Leadership St. Louis, and the Diversity Leadership Fellowship.

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference Technical Assistance Workshops
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is coordinating with local partners to host two technical assistance workshops in St. Louis on February 1st: a Protected Bike Lane Pop-Up Event from 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and a Do-It-Yourself Great Cities Workshop from 1:00-6:00 pm. Both events are open to the public.

Funding Your Neighborhood Project Workshop
UMSL, Creating Whole Communities, and the University of Missouri Extension are hosting a workshop on February 18th that will share tools and techniques for funding your neighborhood project. The event is free, but registration is required by February 15th.

Asset Management Training from the Brown School of Social Work, NeighborWorks America
This three-course certificate program, Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management, prepares professionals to successfully manage property and services, maximize performance, and strategize sustainable growth. Courses can be taken independently or in pursuit of NeighborWorks America's "Asset Management Specialist" designation.


January 3 - 30
St. Louis Public Library Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Events (various locations)

January 10
24:1 Open House and Annual Community Meeting

January 15
Skinker DeBaliviere 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

April 27
Community Builders Network 5th Annual Awards Reception

May 11
Save the Date: Give STL Day 2017



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.

This week, we're sharing a map that reviews the use of economic development incentives by St. Louis City neighborhood. To view this week's map, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is put out by the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, with the support of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision at UMSL, to bring you quality up-to-date community development information, analysis, and opinion.

St. Louis County January 2017 CDBG NOFA 
The January application period for the St. Louis County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is now open. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) can be accessed here. All applications are due January 31st by 4:00 pm.

Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Workshops from Smart Growth America 
Smart Growth America is offering free technical assistance to local governments, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations interested in leveraging small-scale manufacturing to help revitalize a neighborhood and create economic opportunities. Applicants selected will receive a professionally facilitated workshop and customized action plan for project implementation next steps. Applications are due this Friday, January 6th.

Russell Sage Foundation Grants for Social Inequality Research
The Russell Sage Foundation is inviting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for its Social Inequality Grants program. These grants fund research on the causes and consequences of rising inequality in the U.S. Topics of interest include neighborhoods and communities, economic well-being, intergenerational mobility, labor markets, education, families, and child development and outcomes. LOIs are due January 9th.

PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program
PeopleForBikes is accepting Letters of Interest (LOIs) through January 20th for its Community Grant Program, which supports bicycle infrastructure projects and advocacy initiatives focused on making it easier and safer for all people to ride bikes. Funding requests up to $10,000 are accepted and additional funding partnerships are encouraged.

Partners for Places, Round Ten
This grant matching program builds partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. Through Partners for Places, national funders invest in local community improvement projects and relationships that make urban areas more livable and vibrant. Applications must come from a team that includes a city or county sustainability director and a local foundation. Applications are due January 30th.

Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Community Health Grants 
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) supports pediatricians seeking to collaborate within their communities to ensure all children have access to health services. CATCH is accepting applications for three community health grant opportunities: Planning and Implementation Grants, Resident Grants, and Resident Obesity Grants. Applications are due January 31st.
DeSales Community Housing: Director of Community Health Initiatives
DeSales Community Housing Corporation is looking for a Director of Community Health Initiatives to oversee strategies to advance health equity within DeSales' service area. This involves planning, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based programs and services that address health disparities at a neighborhood level.

Regional Arts Commission: Database Manager
The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is hiring a database manager to help RAC transition its database management processes into cloud-based customer relationship management software. This role also provides administrative support for RAC's grants and finance department. Applications are due January 13th.

Positions Available at Great Rivers Greenway
Great Rivers Greenway is looking for a Director of Finance, a Vice President of Development, a Greenway Operations Supervisor, and a Summer 2017 Intern. Intern applications are due February 22nd. For all other roles, preference will be given to applications received by January 20th.

Missouri Botanical Garden: Vice President of Institutional Advancement
The Missouri Botanical Garden is seeking a Vice President of Institutional Advancement to lead the Garden's fundraising and membership operations. This role also supports the Garden President's efforts to engage senior leadership, the Board of Trustees, and other community leaders in fundraising.

YouthBridge Community Foundation: Executive Administrator
YouthBridge Community Foundation is seeking an Executive Administrator to provide hands-on oversight of office operations and general administrative support to staff members. Applicants should have a versatile skill set and be able to juggle multiple projects effectively.

Positions Available at Gateway Greening
Gateway Greening is looking for a Farm Manager, a Communications/Fundraising AmeriCorps VISTA, and a Food Distribution AmeriCorps VISTA to join their team. Click here to visit Gateway Greening's Careers page.

Positions Available at Beyond Housing
Beyond Housing is seeking a Senior Apartment Building Resource Specialist, a Rental Housing Resource Specialist, and a part-time Cinema Supervisor to join their team. Click here to visit Beyond Housing's Careers page.
New Report: Housing in the Evolving American Suburb
A new report from the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing studies suburbs in the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas and the issues that will shape suburban residential demand and development in coming years. Housing in the Evolving American Suburb finds that most Americans still live and work in the suburbs, suburban growth has driven metropolitan growth in recent decades, and the suburbs as a whole are both racially and ethnically diverse. The report classifies suburbs into five distinct types (mapped in a searchable atlas) and outlines development trends, issues, and opportunities unique to each. 
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