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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

March 16, 2016


Community Development in St. Louis: A Call for More Regional Collaboration

By Jenny Ryan

Community Development Specialist | Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
Throughout my past year of working at the Community Builders Network (CBN) I have visited with many community development corporations, banks, philanthropic organizations and government agencies to learn about their experience working in community development in the St. Louis region. I have been heartened to see more organizations collaborating across neighborhood lines and geographic boundaries. But we can do more.
St. Louis has a history of its nonprofit organizations and city governments working independently instead of collaborating to address community development challenges. So it is welcome progress when organizations share resources and planning responsibilities to build a better St. Louis. At CBN we encourage and facilitate our member organizations to collaborate on community development projects and apply for funding jointly – collaborate instead of compete.

To read the full 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
The Fourth Annual CBN Awards Reception
We are pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Community Builders Network Awards Reception will take place on March 31 at T-Rex! The Annual CBN awards reception recognizes individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions that help make St. Louis a better place to live. Please join us for an evening of food, networking, and fun as we award those making a positive impact on St. Louis neighborhoods. To see this year's award winners, click here. For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.

Community Development Groups Battling For Survival
This story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlights the work of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in the St. Louis region and the dwindling availability of community development block grant funding. The article mentions the work of several CBN members including Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, Lemay Housing Partnership, Beyond Housing and Riverview West Florissant Development Corporation. A new collaboration called InvestSTL is leading an effort to increase funding for CDCs from private sources and foundations. To read the fully article from the Post-Dispatch, click here.

Lucy Smith selected as 2016 Community Builders Network Resident Awardee
This blog post by Urban Strategies highlights the work of one the Community Builders Network Awardees, Lucy Smith, who has played an important role in the Choice Neighborhood Initiative Near North Side Campaign. To read the full article on Lucy's efforts, click here.

Police Substation Moves into Local Drug House
This story was aired on KSDK earlier this month. CBN member, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC has redeveloped a formerly notorious "drug house" in the Tower Grove South area. The unit has had 117 calls to the police in a 3 year period and was considered a Problem Property. TGNCDC has transformed this unit into affordable housing units and a police substation. To view KSDK's report, click here.

Four St. Louis Organizations awarded $1.8 million in affordable housing grants
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines has announced the winners of $1.8 million in grants for affordable housing in St. Louis. Among the winners of this grant are CBN members, Beyond Housing, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, and Habitat for Humanity of Saint Louis. For more information on this story, click here.

Unique Public Art Installation in Dutchtown
Earlier this week, Dutchtown South Community Corporation announced that four "traffic calming" murals would be installed at intersections throughout the the Dutchtown neighborhood. The installations were completed yesterday. To see the murals, their locations, and to read the full story on this project, click here.

Grassroots Neighborhood Revitalization in Hyde Park
This article by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis highlights the work of Sun Ministries in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Since opening six years ago, Sun Ministries has opened a woodshop, Sun Cafe, a maintenance business, and a landscaping business, all of which are employed by local residents. To read the full story, click here.

Tower Grove Neighborhoods: A Case Study of the Consolidation of Three Community Development Corporations
UMSL and Creating Whole Communities released this case study last month on the consolidation of the Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation, the Grand Oak Hill Community Corporation and the Southwest Garden Housing Corporation. The three corporations formed Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC in 2014. This case study describes the process and the outcomes of this consolidation. To read the full case study, click here (opens a PDF).

New on Metropolitan Mirror: Opportunity Through Public Investments
The Public Policy Research Center at UMSL released a new paper on better leveraging public investments in affordable housing. This paper highlights recent changes in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulations that require demonstrating how investments lead to opportunity, and how this change will affect the location of affordable housing. To see the full report, click here (opens a PDF).


Green Communities, Prosperous Places
Heartland Conservancy Members is hosting this breakfast and seminar on innovations in green infrastructure and economic and community development. This conference will take place on March 17th at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. For more information, click here.

Public Hearing Notice and Draft 2015 CAPER
The City of St. Louis is hosting a public hearing for comments on the the draft of the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) on March 17 from 5 to 7pm. For more information about this upcoming hearing, click here.

Eastern Missouri Nonprofit Conference
On April 1, Nonprofit Missouri (NPMO) is hosting this one-day conference in Downtown St. Louis. This conference will feature several sessions on various topics including a session lead by Dr. Jason Purnell on the For the Sake of All project. For more information about this event, click here.

What's Brewing? Vandeventer Neighborhood
On April 7, the What's Brewing? series continues with a focus on the Vandeventer Neighborhood. Join Creating Whole Communities from 7:30 to 9am for breakfast and a discussion exploring this emerging neighborhood. For more information, click here.

15th Annual Youth Violence Prevention Conference
On Thursday, April 7, the University of Missouri-St. Louis will host this one-day conference youth violence and youth violence prevention at the J.C. Penney Conference Center. This event will feature several prominent speakers from across the country. For more information, about this event, click here.

Achieving a Sustainable Energy Future
On April 13 and 14 the Saint Louis University Center for Global Citizenship will host this conference on sustainability, energy, innovation and policy. For more information about this event, click here.


Community Development Academy
The University of Missouri Extension is hosting the Community Development Academy from March 28 through April 1 at Mercy Center in west St. Louis County.  The Academy will offer two courses on "Building Communities from the Grassroots" and on "Empowering Communities for the Future." For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Give STL Day 2016 Nonprofit Registration is Still Open
Give STL Day nonprofit registration opened on January 12 and more than 400 nonprofits have signed up to participate this year. The St. Louis Community Foundation is inviting more to participate in the third annual Give STL Day. Registration and training sessions are still open for those organizations interested. To view the remaining training sessions, click here. For registration information, click here.


March 31
2016 Community Builders Network Awards Reception


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 are sharing maps that show where people who work in the Central Corridor live. 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.

Inclusive Planning Impact Grants
Transit Planning 4 All is offering this grant for non-profit organizations and government agencies to promote transportation access for people with disabilities and the elderly. Applications for this grant are due by this Friday, March 18. For more information, click here.

Affordable Housing Program Pre-Application
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is offering funding up to $500,000 through its Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The pre-application period for this grant runs until March 31. For more information about this grant, click here.

Women on Mission Saint Louis Grant
Women on Mission Saint Louis is currently accepting applications for two grants to be awarded for $42,500 each. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations serving the College Hill community. The deadline to submit a grant application is March 31. For more information, click here.

Route 66 Grants
The National Parks Service Department of Interior is offering this grant for groups dedicated to the preservation of historic U.S. Highway 66. Awards from this grant range from $30,000 to $5,000. The deadline to apply is April 1. For more information, click here.

CDFI Program
The CDFI Program is an opportunity for financial assistance and technical assistance for CDFIs and certifiable CDFIs. The deadline to apply for this program is April 18. For more information, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Home$tart Program
The FHLB of Des Moines opened its Home$tart and Home$tart Plus program on February 1. FHLB Des Moines bank members will have the opportunity to reserve up to $100,000 per program in 2016 to promote homeownership in the community. Members can receive up to $5,000 per eligible household through Home$tart or $10,000 per eligible household through Home$tart Plus to assist owner-occupant homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance. Nonprofit organizations can work with banks to serve residents through this program. For more information, click here

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging $250 to $2,500. Applicants should operate within the service area of a Walmart, Sam's Club or other Walmart facility. Applications will be accepted through December 31. For more information, click here.
Community Development Coordinator
Northside Community Housing, Inc. is seeking a Community Development Coordinator to help manage its "Make it Home" program, leasing and support services, and other responsibilities. For more information about this position, click here.

Positions Available at East-West Gateway
East-West Gateway Council of Governments is currently accepting applications for three positions, a Community Engagement Coordinator, a Policy Analyst Planner, and a Sustainability Planner. To read more about these positions and to apply, click here.

Part-Time Neighborhood Trainer
SLACO is seeking apart time Neighborhood Trainer to develop and manage the resident leadership training program. For more information and to apply, click here

Des Lee Community Builders Graduate Research Assistant
The Community Builders Network is seeking a Graduate Research Assistant to assist with neighborhood research, CBN social media accounts, and the editing of the Community Builders Exchange e-newsletter. This position is open for current or incoming UMSL students only. For more information, click here.
Affordable Rental Housing Development in the For-Profit Sector: A Case Study of McCormack Baron Salazar
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released this working paper which highlights the work of St. Louis based McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS). The paper looks at the ways in which MBS has been successful and how other developers can learn from its successes. The paper focuses on several MBS projects around the country, including the Renaissance Place and the North Sarah developments in St. Louis. To view the full report, click here (opens a PDF).
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