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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

March 29, 2017


Our Communities Need Us To Fight Missouri Senate Bill 285

By Kimberly McKinney, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, and Sal Martinez, Executive Director of North Newstead Association

This column is partially adapted from a letter that Kimberly McKinney sent out about Senate Bill 285 earlier this month.

In January, State Senator Andrew Koenig of the 15th District introduced Senate Bill 285. This legislation threatens crucial funding that supports affordable housing and community development work.

The bill would modify the Neighborhood Assistance Act by changing the cap on the Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credits and by repealing the Development Tax Credit. Additionally, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit cap for investments in affordable housing activities would be reduced from $10 million to $7 million per fiscal year. The Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit cap would be reduced from $16 million to just $5 million per fiscal year (Sections 32.100 to 32.125). The bill would also place an initial cap of $160 million on Missouri’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and decrease that cap annually until it reaches $90 million in 2020 (Section 135.352).

Frankly, this could be catastrophic for organizations like ours.

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 27 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 and hear Rise announce their 2017 Collaborative Grant awardees.

Trump's Budget Cuts Threaten Community Development Programs
President Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget outline proposes dramatic cuts to housing and community development programs. Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, points out that these cuts are the most severe the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has seen since the early 1980s. Enterprise Community Partners has a list of ways people can voice support for community investment. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro shared some of his concerns about the cuts with HousingWire on March 17.

Senate Democrats Pressure Ben Carson To Live Up To Confirmation Hearing Promises
Democratic senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee have denounced President Trump's proposed budget cuts and are pressuring HUD Secretary Ben Carson to keep the promises he made in his confirmation hearing, when he indicated he would not seek dramatic funding cuts to HUD programs. The senators argue the cuts could increase health risks by exposing more people to lead, mold, and other hazards.

Midland States Bank and Invest STL Partner To Accelerate Revitalization in St. Louis
Midland States Bank has awarded five $10,000 checks to local community building organizations to support pilot projects proposed in last year's CRA Ladder of Capacity Building initiative, also led by Rise and CBN. This is the first major initiative of Invest STL, which is preparing to launch a major fundraising campaign. Awardees Cornerstone, National Housing Support Corporation, North Newstead Association, Northside Community Housing, and Spanish Lake CDC discussed their projects at an awards ceremony on March 9.

Groundbreaking Community Benefits Agreement Between Enterprise Bank and Trust and St. Louis Equal Housing And Community Reinvestment Alliance
Enterprise Bank and Trust recently entered into a community benefits agreement with the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) that commits to lending millions of dollars in low-income neighborhoods in St. Louis and Kansas City. The agreement commits $30 million annually to mortgage loans for low- and moderate-income buyers, $24 million to mortgage loans for minority borrowers, and at least 10 percent of bank assets to community development lending.

Brooks Goedeker, New Executive Director of Midtown Redevelopment Corporation
Current Park Central Development Executive Director Brooks Goedeker will be joining St. Louis University's new CDC, Midtown Development Corporation, as Executive Director on April 3. He'll be leading the redevelopment of about 400 acres that cover SLU's academic and medical campuses.

Bevo Mill Neighborhood Gets National Publicity
Bloomberg published an article on St. Louis City's Bevo Mill neighborhood this month as a part of a broader story on the strength and revitalization that immigrants and refugees have brought to Rust Belt cities in the United States. The article highlights thriving local businesses owned by resident immigrants, who are about 29 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than native-born St. Louisans, per data from New American Economy.

Beyond Housing Honored With Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence
The Missouri Department of Conservation has awarded the Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence to Beyond Housing for their recent venture into urban forestry work. Beyond Housing Community Forester Doug Seely is leading efforts to care for trees and sustain a healthy urban forest canopy in the 24:1 community.

Missouri Foundation For Health Plans Rehab of Columbia Iron Works Building
The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) is planning a move from downtown to the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood as early as spring of 2018. The organization has submitted plans to rehab the old Columbia Iron Works Building at 4254 Vista Avenue.

Local Practitioners Discuss Proposition NS on STL Community Cast
Last week, Sundy Whiteside and Stacy Ross of the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) and Michael Powers of Habitat for Humanity St. Louis talked with local podcast STL Community Cast about Proposition Neighborhood Stabilization (NS), which appears on the St. Louis City April 4th General Municipal Election ballot.

Proposed Sales Tax Increases in St. Louis City (Propositions 1 & 2)
Propositions 1 and 2 (Board Bills 227 and 226) will ask St. Louis City voters in the April 4 general municipal election whether the City should impose a one half of one percent sales tax increase for comprehensive economic development. Voters will also be asked to determine how the proceeds from the corresponding increase in use tax should be spent. Read more in our policy brief.

St. Louis County Launches "Mow To Own" Program in Wellston
The St. Louis County Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority will soon be launching a "mow to own" program like St. Louis City's in Wellston, where it has accumulated roughly 150 pieces of land since the 1990s. About 40 of those are residential lots adjacent to homeowners.

Envision I-70 Wants Your Input on the Future of Interstate 70
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), East-West Gateway Council of Governments, and Metro have launched the Envision I-70 project to study the stretch of Interstate 70 from Wentzville through downtown St. Louis City. Visit the Envision I-70 website to take a survey and share your ideas about the future of Interstate 70.

Landmarks Association of St. Louis Invites Most Enhanced Awards Nominations
Landmarks Association of St. Louis is seeking nominees for their 2017 Most Enhanced Awards, which recognize excellence in the restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of St. Louis architecture. Projects must have been completed between May 1, 2016 and May 1, 2017. Applications are due May 5.

Criticizing the "Smart Decline" Philosophy
This article from CityLab explores the "smart decline" movement in the United States and argues that the approach is short-sighted and wrong for cities. It challenges local leaders in Rust Belt cities to leverage hope into policy that's based on potential and aspiration, rather than leaning on fear to prop policies that promote scarcity and security.

Community Assessment Reporting Tool (CART) from HUD
HUD's new Community Assessment Reporting Tool (CART) is an interactive mapping tool that can help you explore how and where HUD is investing in your community. You can download charts and data and create your own custom maps using a range of variables.


Third Speaker Series Event from UMSL's Public Policy Administration Program
Tomorrow, March 30, 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.

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 5 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 6. The keynote speaker this year is Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted. A full agenda with a schedule of speakers is now available!

Conversation on the State of Immigration
On April 11, FOCUS St. Louis, the International Institute, and the Mosaic Project will host a panel discussion on the current climate surrounding immigration issues, laws, and news with experts in the field. The event is free, but space is limited, so sign up soon!

Grace Hill Solutions Breakfast: What Makes Communities Work?
Grace Hill Settlement House, the St. Louis Business Journal, Prosperity Connection, and St. Louis Community Credit Union are hosting this year's Solutions Breakfast on April 12. Panelists will discuss "what makes communities work." RSVP by April 7!

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

Missouri Preservation Conference
Missouri Preservation will host its 2017 conference May 17-19 in Hannibal, Missouri. Join fellow practitioners and preservation experts for educational sessions, tours, workshops, networking opportunities, and a trade show. This is an essential opportunity for anyone interested in using historic tax credits!

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 31 through June 2 in Arlington, Virginia.

National Urban League Save Our Cities Annual Conference
Registration is open for the National Urban League's annual Save Our Cities conference, which will take place in St. Louis this year July 26-29. Sign up now to take advantage of special early bird pricing!

Save the Date: 2018 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference
The Center for Community Progress 2018 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference has been scheduled for May 15-17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Registration isn't open yet, but stay tuned for more details.


Grants Research: An Introduction to Data Resources and Grant Prospect Research
Tomorrow, March 30, 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.

"How Do We Know We Are Doing Good Work?" from UMSL's NPML Program
Tomorrow, March 30, UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership 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.

Upcoming Give STL Day Workshops
The St. Louis Community Foundation and Regions Bank are hosting a free Give STL Day Strategy Session on April 3. On April 11, the Community Foundation will partner with the Community Service Public Relations Council to offer a luncheon on engaging volunteers for online giving.

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 11.

Grace Hill Financial Empowerment Workshop
Grace Hill's next Financial Empowerment Workshop, Financial Vision & Budgeting, will be held on April 12. 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 25 training session will discuss property management best practices, including tips for maintaining and presenting your rental property.

Vacant, Abandoned, & Deteriorated Properties Training Academy
From May 31-June 1, the Center for Community Progress is hosting a Vacant, Abandoned, & Deteriorated (VAD) Properties Training Academy in Indianapolis. This two-day "boot camp" is for public, private, nonprofit, and community leaders working on difficult property challenges.


March 30
MoDOT Envision I-70 Public Meeting

March 31
East Side Aligned: The State of the Movement

March 29 - April 3
Various candidate forums from the League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis

April 1
North Newstead Association Community Cleanup Day

April 6
Community Day at Cortex

April 19
North Newstead Association Clarence Clovers Community Garden Beautification Day

April 22
Rise Young Professionals Trivia Night

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 Rise's new LIHTC Explorer map. 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.

Aetna Foundation 2017 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is offering grants between $50,000 to $100,000 to support nonprofits pursuing projects that address social determinants of health in five domains: built environment, community safety, environmental exposures, healthy behaviors, and social/economic factors. Note that the Foundation will not fund organizations with annual operating budgets below $250,000. Applications are due April 14.

National Arts Strategies 2017 Creative Community Fellowships
National Arts Strategies (NAS) is seeking applicants for its 2017 Creative Community Fellowship program. The fellowship is for individuals dedicated to using arts and culture to create solutions to community problems and drive change. Online informational sessions are scheduled for April 6 and April 19; applications are due April 23.

Financial Solutions Lab At The Center For Financial Services Innovation
The Center for Financial Services Innovation's Financial Solutions Lab and founding partner JPMorgan Chase invite nonprofit and for-profit organizations to apply for up to $250,000 to support development of products or services that can improve the financial health of Americans, especially low- to moderate-income or underserved customers. Applications are due April 27.

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. Letters of Intent are due this Friday, March 31.

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 3.

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 4, 5, and 11 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. Applications are due April 10.

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 10.

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 6.
Washington University: Senior Analyst
The Department of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration at Washington University is looking for a Senior Analyst to support the Executive Vice Chancellor's efforts in regional economic development initiatives, conduct research and analysis, provide recommendations regarding policies and strategies, and support the team in crafting presentations and communications.

Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis: Gallery Attendant
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) is seeking a part-time Gallery Attendant to open, attend, and close the gallery and greet patrons and visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. Applications are due April 3.

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 this Friday, March 31.
New Research Reveals Complex Relationships Between Arts Organizations and Gentrification
New research on neighborhood change in the 30 largest U.S. metro areas complicates the relationship between arts organizations and gentrification. A common perception is that artists and arts businesses tend to fuel gentrification by settling in disinvested neighborhoods and attracting higher-income groups. This study suggests that the reverse can also be true: arts organizations are often drawn to gentrified neighborhoods. Moreover, the fine arts and the commercial arts do not always have identical relationships with neighborhood change patterns.
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