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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

March 4, 2015


Low-Income Renters Need Energy Efficient Housing

By Dana Gray, Community Outreach Coordinator at Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation

Housing is expensive, not just the cost of the physical structure but also operating expenses.  Community Development Corporations often work to provide affordable housing to low-income families, but we need to give more consideration to energy costs and energy efficiency.  There is a collaborative effort underway to make utility energy efficiency programs more effective for affordable multi-family housing.  It is called Energy Efficiency for All - Missouri.
Missouri’s Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) was enacted in 2009 with the passage of SB376.  The role of MEEIA is to require Missouri’s investor-owned electric utilities to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.  Ameren MO launched a suite of customer programs beginning in 2013 as part of a 3-year program in response to MEEIA.  The Missouri Public Service Commission has proceedings underway to review and recommend improvements to Ameren Missouri’s energy efficiency programs. 

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

Winners Announced for 2015 CBN Annual Awards Reception
On March 19, the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis and Rise will host the 3rd Annual Community Builders Awards Reception at the Cortex One Building on Forest Park Avenue. This year, eight CBN Award Winners will be recognized and Rise will announce the winners of their Collaborative Grant Awards. To see this year's award winners, click here.

Letter to Protect Programs Serving Low Income People
If you support funding for low-income housing, here is an opportunity for your organization to sign a petition to preserve federal dollars. The Coalition on Human Needs and the SAVE for All Coalition have drafted a letter to send to your US Senator and Representative to preserve funding for programs that support low-income people. The SAVE for All Coalition is asking that interested organizations sign this letter by March 12. For more information, click here.

HUD Releases Proposed 2016 Budget
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released President Obama's proposed HUD budget for 2016. The 2016 budget includes $49.3 billion in funding, which is an 8.7 percent increase over fiscal year 2015. For more information on the proposed 2016 budget, click here.

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends in Better Health
This story from NPR's Morning Edition describes the poor housing conditions of low-income families and the resulting negative health outcomes. In a recent poll conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, NPR uncovered that 40% of low-income households believe that poor housing conditions lead to poor health. When housing conditions improve, however, communities see reduced rates of obesity, asthma, and other poor health outcomes. To read or listen to this story, click here.

St. Louis Passes Bills to Reduce Section 8 Concentration in Poor Neighborhoods
Aldermen in the St. Louis City passed two measures intended to discourage the concentration of use of Section 8 housing vouchers. One of the measures lifts some of the inspection requirements for landlords of Section 8 users. The other measures bans a landlord from rejecting use of a Section 8 voucher. Mayor Slay sign the two bills, and they will go into effect in March. To read the Post-Dispatch's article on these two bills, click here.

Mixed-Income Housing Grant Adds a New Layer to St. Louis Development Saga
This article from Next City shines light on three development projects taking place in St. Louis City's near northside. The three projects include Paul McKee's "Northside Regeneration," the potential NGA relocation site, and, more recently, Urban Strategies was announced as one of the recipients of HUD's Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant. To read more about Next City's description of these three projects, click here.

Community Engagement, respect emerge as themes during social justice town hall
On Saturday, February 21, members of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis co-hosted a town hall on social justice issues at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. During the town hall, attendees shared experiences with social justice and discussed solutions. Members of the highway patrol, the county police and the city's police departments also attended the event. To read more about this town hall, click here.

Civil Rights Oversight Body Considers Possible Reforms After Death of Michael Brown
The Missouri Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights commission met on Monday, February 23 to accept public input on community and police relations in the region. The committee will next review this input and put forth recommendations for policy makers. To read the details of their recent meeting, click here.

Washington University Invests in Skinker Pedestrian Brightway
This article from nextSTL describes a new project by Washington University and the city of St. Louis to improve the safety of Skinker Blvd. between the university and Delmar Blvd. The University recently installed over 100 new street lamps as part of their "Brightway" project. To read more about this project and its potential safety benefits, click here.

Why did Kansas City's Murder Rate Fall While St. Louis' rose? STL delegation seeks answers
St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Jennifer Joyce, and other local officials recently met with the governing board of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA). The St. Louis delegation met with the NoVA board to learn about the efforts of this collaborative group to reduce crime. To read about NoVA's efforts and their results, click here.


Call for Participation for the 2015 EcoDistricts Incubator
The EcoDistrics Incubator three-day workshop on neighborhood and sustainable development is seeking applications for participation. Application teams should have a project that is focused on sustainable development, and team members should have the authority to enact the proposed changes. Interested teams need to apply by Friday, March 6. For more information, click here.

Affordable Multifamily White Paper Event
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is releasing a white paper with recommendations for solutions for energy efficiency programs that have untapped potential for cost-effective home savings. The NRDC will unveil their new white paper on Friday, March 13 from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Groups interested in attending this unveiling should RSVP to Ariana Gonzalez at by Friday, March 6.

Community Development Through Transportation Infrastructure? Transportation's Impact on Neighborhood
Citizens for Modern Transit is hosting this discussion on transit possibilities in St. Louis Thursday, March 12 from 7:30 to 9:30 at the Regional Arts Commission building on Delmar. Speakers at this forum to include Rosa Ortiz, Ken Christian, Don Roe, and Kevin Triggs. For more information, click here.

How Trauma Impacts Social, Emotional and Health Outcomes
Alive, Well STL, the St. Louis Mental Health Board and the Department of Mental Health are hosting this free presentation on Tuesday March 24 at the O'Fallon Park YMCA. The presentation will discuss the impact of trauma on brain development and what the community must do to help. For more information and to register, click here

Missouri Gateway Chapter: U.S. Green Building Council Seminars
The Missouri Gateway Chapter is hosting a series of U.S. Green Building Council Seminars taking place on March 10 and 11, and May 12 and 13. For more information on these seminars and to register, click here.

2015 St. Louis Spring Planning Workshop and Award Ceremony
On Tuesday, March 31, the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association will be hosting their Spring Planning Workshop and Award Ceremony at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall on Chouteau from 1pm to 9pm. This event will feature several speakers, including Chris Krehmeyer, Paul McKee, Todd Swanstrom, and Rosalind Williams. For more information, click here.

CREA Fair Housing Kick-Off 2015
The City of St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency is hosting the 9th Annual Fair Housing Month Kick-Off Celebration April 1 at 4:30 pm. The event is set to take place at the O'Fallon Recreation Center on W. Florissant. This year the theme is "Recognizing Those Who Served" and the event will honor organizations that serve our Veterans. For more information, click here.

Modern Segregation: Addressing Barriers to Equality in Local Governments
On April 10, the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council is hosting a conference on the ways in which local governments and community development practitioners can address racial inequality and segregation. To learn more about this conference and to register, click here.



Missouri Common Grant Application: Free Orientation for Nonprofits
On March 11, the Gateway Center for Giving is hosting this orientation for nonprofits interested in applying for funds that accept the Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA). This orientation runs from 8:30 to 10 am at the Nonprofit Services Center on Manchester Road. For more information and to register for this orientation, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank Application Workshop
On Friday, March 13, the Community Builders Network will host this free workshop featuring Rick Bloxham of the Community Investment Department at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. For more information and to register, click here.

Accounting for Non-Accountants: Understanding Basic Financial Information in a Nonprofit Organization
The School of Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is hosting this one-day introductory course on Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 pm at the JC Penny Conference. Registration is required. For more information, click here.

Community Development in Middle Market Neighborhoods
On Friday, March 27, the Community Builders Network in collaboration with Rise will host this training session on best practices from the Healthy Neighborhoods Model in Baltimore. This training will take place from 9am to 12pm. For more information and to register, click here.

2015 Missouri Housing Summit
The 2015 Missouri Housing Summit is set to take place at the St. Louis City Center Hotel from April 29 through May 1. This summit will feature a variety of workshops intended to support practitioners in housing development, mental health services, and community development corporations. For more information on this summit, click here

National Cultural Districts Exchange
Americans for the Arts recently launched the National Cultural Districts Exchange, an online toolkit for organizations interested in fostering and developing cultural communities. This toolkit includes introductions, research, maps, and more. To find out more about this resource, 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!

Federal Funding Economic Development Assistance Programs
The United States Economic Development Administration has announced its 2015 quarterly funding opportunities for economic development assistance programs. Eligible programs need to meet EDA priorities, which include rebuilding distressed communities and promoting sustainability and global competitiveness. The deadlines to apply for quarterly funding are March 12 and June 12. For more information on these funds, click here.

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration Announcement of Notice of Funding Availability
On Friday, March 20, the St. Louis CDA will release its Spring 2015 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). For more information on the NOFA requirements from 2014, click here. More information on the 2015 release will be published on the CDA website, found here.

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Cost-Share Grants
The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is offering cost-share funding for projects that restore and rehabilitate buildings and infrastructure along historic Route 66. Applications for this grant are due Friday, March 27. For more information, click here.

NFL Foundation Grassroots Program
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is accepting RFPs from non-profit, place-based organizations seeking to improve local football fields that are in poor condition. The deadline to submit a proposal is March 30. For more information on this grant, click here.

Women on Mission-St. Louis Grant
Women on Mission-St. Louis is now accepting applications for its grant for organizations serving the College Hill neighborhood. The last day to apply for this grant is March 31. For more information on this grant, click here.

Community Capacity Building
The Deaconess Foundation has announced availability of Community Capacity Building funding. Funding is available for advocacy, building collective impact network capacity, and youth support programs. The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, April 6. For more information on this funding opportunity, click here.

Sustainable Environments Program
The Surdna Foundation is offering funding for organizations that improve and create sustainable infrastructure in under-served communities. The foundation is offering grants in four categories: Sustainable Transportation Networks and Equitable Development Patterns, Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, Urban Water Management, and Regional Food Supply. For more information about these grants, click here.

Civic Engagement Specialist
Grace Hill Settlement House is looking for a part time Civic Engagement Specialist responsible for outreach, planning and execution of their Leadership Program. This position requires an associate degree in Social Work, Communications, Visual Design or other related fields. Applicants should send their cover letter and resume to

Board of Directors for Tower Grove South Neighborhood
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC currently has one Board of Directors position available to serve and represent the Tower Grove South Neighborhood. The term of this position is two years. For more information, click here.

STL Youth Jobs Summer Help
STL Youth Jobs is seeking employers for their summer youth employment program. Youth will be paid by MERS Goodwill. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Regional Community Development Specialist
The University of Missouri Extension is seeking a Regional Community Development Specialist to provide leadership and facilitate collaboration among organizations that improve communities in Ste. Genevieve, Franklin, St. Francois, and Washington counties. For more information about this position, click here

Service Project Coordinator
Horizon Housing Foundation is seeking a Service Project Coordinator to manage contracts and donations and work with property managers and outside organizations. The deadline to apply for this position is March 30. For more information on this position, click here.


Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America's Neighborhoods
The Center for Community Progress released this publication on the characteristics of land banks across the nation. Their paper examines the underlying policies of land banking and what makes certain land banks a success for neighborhood vitality. Their publication is available to purchase as a hard copy, but a pdf can be downloaded from their website for free. For more information and to download the publication, click here
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