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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

March 15, 2017


Closing the City's Growing Wealth Gap

By Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Project at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and Jason Purnell, Associate Professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University

This column was originally published in The St. Louis American.

Conversations about race often feature reminders that, although imperfect, our society has made much progress toward racial equity. Although a comparison between antebellum America and the world we live in today may support that finding, evidence abounds that when it comes to racial wealth inequality, things are getting worse, not better.

Take, for example, a recent report released by CFED and the Institute for Policy Studies, which revealed that if the trends of the past 30 years continue, it will take African-American households 228 years to accumulate the amount of wealth white families enjoy today. Latino households would need 84 years to reach the point where the average white household is today.

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
Join us For CBN's Fifth Annual Awards Reception! 
Tickets are available for CBN's Fifth Annual Awards Reception! The event will be held April 27th from 6:00-8:00 pm at Washington University's Clark-Fox Forum at 6350 Forsyth Boulevard. Food and drinks will be provided! Come help us celebrate some of the great work members of our community have accomplished over the past year.

Community Development At Work: Neighborhood Leadership Academy Empowers Residents To Make An Impact
Since 2002, Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) from Creating Whole Communities and the University of Missouri-Extension has been training neighborhood leaders to make a lasting difference in their communities by tapping into their own networks and resources. NLA participants learn about leadership and community development practices, then apply them by bringing impactful projects to their neighborhoods. Claire Wolff, NLA's new Director and MU-Extension Community Development Specialist, is hoping to further grow NLA by developing an "NLA 2.0" follow-up program for academy cohorts.

Trump Administration Proposes $6 Billion in Cuts to HUD's Budget
Preliminary budget documents obtained by The Washington Post indicate that the Trump administration is considering a $6 billion budget cut for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Targeted resources include the public housing capital and operating funds, the Community Development Block Grant program, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, direct rental assistance payments, housing for the elderly and those with disabilities, and Native American housing block grants. Read an overview from the National Low Income Housing Coalition here. To sign onto a CDBG support letter, click here.

President Trump's Promises On Tax Cuts Already Affecting Low-Income Housing Financing
President Trump's promises to cut the corporate tax rate have already prompted some investors to reduce the amount they're willing to invest in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), since a lower tax rate means less savings per credit. This could result in unexpected funding gaps or delays for affordable housing projects, especially those that are set to begin construction this year. The value of LIHTCs has dropped 10-15 percent since Election Day.

Northside Community Housing Granted Funding To Complete New Housing Development In The Ville and Greater Ville
In December, the Missouri Housing Development Commission selected Northside Community Housing, Inc. to receive federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to fund construction of a new mixed-income housing development in the Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods. The project, St. Ferdinand Homes II, will add 43 new homes to the area on North Sarah Street and St. Ferdinand Avenue.

DeSales Community Housing Closes on DeSales Preservation Housing Project
DeSales Community Housing closed on DeSales Preservation, their latest multi-family housing project! The development includes 65 scattered-site units across 19 buildings in St. Louis City's Fox Park and Benton Park West neighborhoods. All buildings are set to undergo extensive renovation. DeSales financed the project using Historic and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Park Central Development, Tiffany Neighborhood Create Needs Assessment Survey and Action Plan
Park Central Development and the Tiffany Neighborhood recently partnered to draft, conduct, and analyze a Needs Assessment Survey and a five-year action plan for the area based on the priorities of community stakeholders. The neighborhood is now forming three committees to help address the needs identified in the survey: a Development Committee, a Social & Human Services Committee, and a Safety & Security Committee.

National Urban League Will Host Annual Conference in St. Louis this summer
The National Urban League has announced it will host its annual "Save Our Cities" conference, sponsored by Centene and World Wide Technology this year, in St. Louis from July 26th to 29th. The conference drew 21,000 attendees in Baltimore last year. The local Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis was awarded a five-star rating on the organization's rigorous national assessment last week.

Prosperity Connection's Paul Woodruff: "This Matters in St. Louis, This Matters Nationally"
Forward through Ferguson recently featured thoughts from Prosperity Connection's Executive Director Paul Woodruff on how his organization got started, the work they're doing now, and their hopes and plans for the future. Throughout his reflection, Paul returns to the powerful impact Prosperity Connection is making on the lives of the people they serve: "Moms are able to save for their child’s college account. Families are purchasing homes. People are overcoming credit issues."

City of St. Louis Invites Comments on Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report
The City of St. Louis is soliciting comments on its draft Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER), a review of its 2016 housing and community development activities and a prerequisite to receiving allocations from several HUD programs. The draft can be reviewed online, at the Central Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, and at the Community Development Administration (CDA) office. CDA will accept written comments through March 24th and hold a public hearing to discuss CAPER on March 21st.

Proposed Neighborhood Stabilization (NS) Bond Issue
The Proposition Neighborhood Stabilization (NS) Bond Issue, which appears on the City of St. Louis general election ballot on April 4th, was proposed by five St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) board members to stabilize city-owned vacant properties. If Prop NS is approved, the city would issue up to $6 million in bonds per year (to a maximum of $40 million) to be channeled toward repair and upkeep of vacant Land Reutilization Authority (LRA)-owned properties. Bonds would be repaid with a 1-cent increase in property taxes. Check out SLACO's video about the proposal here.

Advocates Launch CarsonWatch to Monitor HUD Activities
PolicyLink, Public Advocates, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council have partnered to launch CarsonWatch, an initiative to monitor activities at HUD under the new administration. You can follow CarsonWatch on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Peer City Identification Tool: Benchmarking St. Louis Data Against Other Cities
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has created a Peer City Identification Tool to help practitioners and policymakers compare and visualize data in the context of other peer cities, including St. Louis. Cities are matched using city-level economic, demographic, social, and housing data, and peer groups vary across four dimensions: equity, resilience, outlook, and housing. Data and graphs are available for download.

CBN Community Engagement Action Group Winter 2017 Research Newsletter
CBN's Community Engagement Action Group is back with more ideas from the field in community engagement! The group publishes periodic research newsletters highlighting best practices, local bright spots, and opportunities for area organizations. The winter 2017 newsletter is now available and features initiatives that support creating a culture of community engagement at hyperlocal, local, and regional levels.


What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series: Bevo and Princeton Heights
Creating Whole Communities will host the third seminar in its What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series tomorrow, March 16th at 7:30 am. This series explores gaps between communities, the opportunities they represent, and how we can build from neighborhood assets. March's session focuses on the Bevo and Princeton Heights neighborhoods.

NLIHC Webinar About President Trump's Budget Cuts at HUD
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is leading a webinar on March 20th to discuss President Trump's proposal to cut critical programs and resources at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

PORTALS: Conversations about the Police by the Policed
On March 22nd, Dr. Vesla Weaver, Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University, will discuss how Americans frame and narrate their interactions with the police, including a look at how Ferguson has shaped a generation's collective memories and politics. UMSL's Dr. Daniel Isom will also provide remarks.

Third Speaker Series Event from UMSL's Public Policy Administration Program
On March 30th, UMSL's Public Policy Administration Program will host Pat Kelly, Executive Director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, for a presentation on the Municipal League's initiative to develop a "unity of purpose" for the St. Louis region.

Hands-on Racial Equity Conference and Training from CREA
The St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA), OneSTL, City Garden Montessori School, and Forward Through Ferguson are hosting a day-long training session on April 1st at City Montessori School: "Fair Housing, Community Voice and Civic Infrastructure via a Racial Equity Lens."

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.

EHOC 2017 Fair Housing Conference
The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) will host its 2017 Fair Housing Conference on April 6th. The keynote speaker this year is Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted. Other speakers and a full agenda will be announced soon.

Missouri Workforce Housing Association Property Management Conference
The Missouri Workforce Housing Association (MOWHA) will host its First Annual Property Management Conference April 24th-25th at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri. Certified national trainer Vivian Probst will provide continuing education for property managers.

People & Places Conference
The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) is partnering with several other organizations to host the peer-learning People & Places Conference for community development practitioners May 31st through June 2nd in Arlington, Virginia.


Bank On, Save Up With DSCC and Midwest BankCentre
Dutchtown South Community Corporation and Midwest BankCentre are teaming up to offer financial empowerment classes through the Bank On Save Up program. Classes aim to help community members build a path to prosperity, wealth building, and homeownership. The next class is tomorrow, March 16th.

Upcoming Courses from UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program
On March 24th, UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership (NPML) Program will host a workshop on a variety of legal topics that affect the oversight and management of volunteers. On March 30th, the NPML program will host a class on successful program implementation and management, including an overview of approaches to assess program impact and questions to think about when considering whether programs are effective.

Leadership in Development & Give STL Day Strategy Session
The St. Louis Community Foundation and Archford Capital Strategies are hosting a free combined Leadership in Development Boot Camp and Give STL Day Strategy Session on March 29th.

Grants Research: An Introduction to Data Resources and Grant Prospect Research
On March 30th, Rise Community Development (Rise) is partnering with Brad Smith, Nonprofit Information Resource Manager with the St. Charles City-County Library District, to host a workshop on grants research. Attendees will learn how to evaluate information about grants, access data resources available for grant development, and use the "Foundation Database Online Professional" tool to identify and evaluate funding prospects.

Homebuyer Training from Lemay Housing Partnership
Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc. provides homebuyer training services for home buyers in all counties in the St. Louis metro area. Participants learn about the home purchase process, homeownership responsibilities, and affordable loan products and financial assistance. The next orientation session is April 11th.

Grace Hill Financial Empowerment Workshop
Grace Hill's next Financial Empowerment Workshop, Financial Vision & Budgeting, will be held on April 12th. Attendees can receive a certificate for attending 4 out of 6 classes. Please email Alnita Smiley to RSVP.

Landlord Training: Property Management Best Practices
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting a series of free Landlord Training workshops this year for all city landlords, investors, and other interested parties. Their April 25th training session will discuss property management best practices, including tips for maintaining and presenting your rental property.

Fundamentals of Economic Development
Registration is open for UMSL's Fundamentals of Economic Development Chancellor's Certificate Program. Sessions are taught by senior economic development practitioners and cover economic and community development concepts and tools. The program runs March 1st-May 3rd. Attendees can sign up for individual modules if they prefer.


March 15 - April 3
Various candidate forums from the League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis

March 17
Nonprofit Missouri Whistle Stop Listening Tour in St. Louis City

March 21
City of St. Louis CAPER Public Hearing

March 25
Rise 20th Anniversary Gala

April 6
Community Day at Cortex

April 27
Community Builders Network 5th Annual Awards Reception

April 28
Lemay Housing Partnership Tasting for Change 2017

April 29
Park Central Development 4th Annual Gala

May 11
Give STL Day 2017

FOCUS St. Louis 20th Annual What's Right With the Region Awards



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 maps that review voter turnout and voting patterns in last week's primary municipal election in St. Louis City. 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 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.

Raising Places Grants from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Greater Good Studio
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Greater Good Studio are launching Raising Places to partner with community leaders on actionable, locally driven responses to the question, "What does it take to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive?" Six $60,000 grants will be awarded to initiatives that support long-term, sustainable change. Cross-sector collaboration is encouraged. An optional informational webinar is scheduled for March 20th; Letters of Intent are due March 31st.

Just For Kids: New Funding Strategy from Deaconess Foundation
In April 2017, Deaconess Foundation will be introducing a new funding strategy, Just For Kids, to advance child well-being in the St. Louis region. There will be three information sessions on April 4th, 5th, and 11th to discuss the new strategy, 2017 funding opportunities, and critical dates and to address attendees' questions. Registration is required and space is limited!

Incarnate Word Foundation Marketplace of Ideas Grant Competition: Dutchtown and Gravois Park
The Incarnate Word Foundation's Marketplace of Ideas Grant Competition is seeking applications for projects in the Dutchtown and Gravois Park neighborhoods. The program aims to encourage community collaboration, uplift community solutions, and build publicity for the richness of community activity. This year, the competition is seeking collaborative, innovative ideas for a summer youth program. An additional $5,000 grant is available for a youth-led project. An informational session is scheduled for March 15th; applications are due April 10th.

CommunityWINS Grant Program
The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Wells Fargo Foundation have partnered to sponsor the CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Program. USCM-member cities may nominate up to three IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits for programs focused on neighborhood stabilization, economic development, and/or job creation. Six awardees will be selected across three population categories. Applications are due this Friday, March 17th.

Improve Your Ability to Access Affordable Housing Program Funding
The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines' pre-application period (March 1st-31st) offers organizations applying for Affordable Housing Program awards with one-on-one technical assistance from FHLB's community investment staff. FHLB will provide feedback regarding your project's eligibility, feasibility, and scoring. More than $40 million in grants is available for 2017.

Karma for Cara Foundation Youth Microgrants
The Karma for Cara Foundation provides youth 18 and under with microgrants of $250-$1,000 to fund service projects in their communities. Application deadlines are seasonal; the next round is due April 1st.

Activating Community Opportunities Using Museums and Libraries As Assets
This grant opportunity invites libraries, museums, community entities, and higher education institutions to complete projects that will help libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) work alongside communities to achieve positive change. Projects should exemplify how LAMs can provide trusted spaces for ongoing community dialogue and should use and adapt approaches drawn from the collective impact, social well-being, and community development arenas. Applications are due April 3rd.

Grants for Community Organizing from the Sparkplug Foundation
The Sparkplug Foundation funds start-up organizations and new projects focused on community organizing, education, or music. The Foundation focuses on small organizations and small, one-time grants that can have a big impact, generally by funding materials or activities that can help an organization become more sustainable. Answers to preliminary questions for the spring 2017 cycle are due April 10th.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Economic Development Projects
This grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides funding for 501(c)(3) CDCs to implement well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for low-income individuals. Projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program are encouraged. Applications are due June 6th.
CAASTLC: Human Resources Director
The Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, Inc. (CAASTLC) is seeking a Human Resources Director to direct and implement planning, development, and administration of all human resources functions, including recruitment and selection, compensation, training and development, policy and procedures, employee relations, performance management and evaluation, and more. Applications are due today, March 15th.

Grace Hill Settlement House: Center Manager, early Childhood Education
Grace Hill Settlement House is looking for an Early Childhood Education Center Manager to manage and supervise all activities at the center level, ensuring compliance with licensing regulations, local and state regulations, Head Start performance standards, and Grace Hill's policies and procedures.

Prosperity Connection and St. Louis Community Credit Union: Accountant (Part-Time)
Prosperity Connection, in cooperation with St. Louis Community Credit Union, is hiring a part-time Accountant to ensure timely and accurate completion of financial reports, invoice payment, ongoing reconciliation of transactions, and more. This role's primary focus will be to assist with financial operations of RedDough Money Center.

Opportunities Available at Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) is seeking summer interns (apply by March 27th; open to undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates) and a part-time Gallery Attendant (applications due April 3rd).

Internship Opportunity: St. Louis Development Corporation
St. Louis Development Corporation is seeking an Economic Development Data Analyst Intern to help their development incentive and project management teams create and design tools and models to capture the impact of redevelopment and incentives. The internship will run 10-12 weeks. Applications are due March 31st.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership: Accountant
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is seeking an Accountant to join their team. Applicants should have a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting or Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and 3-5 years progressive experience (preferably in public, non-profit, or governmental accounting).

Jobs Available at Great Rivers Greenway
Great Rivers Greenway is currently hiring for several internship opportunities, a Part-Time Administrative Assistant, and Seasonal Field Staff to perform greenway maintenance and operations work full-time from May through August. Visit Great Rivers Greenway's careers page here.
Community-Led Initiatives to Improve Health Disparities Among Neighborhoods in Cleveland
From 2010 to 2013, a local foundation in Cleveland, Ohio partnered with an area hospital and community partners to address health disparities among local neighborhoods using the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Model. Community leadership implemented community-derived strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and a culture of health among resident-identified priority areas. Engagement was high among the initiative's target population and the program improved neighborhood physical, social, and resource environments. Access the full report here.
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