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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

July 22, 2015


A Quiet Supreme Court Ruling Affirms that Home Matters

By Chris Krehmeyer, President/CEO, Beyond Housing

The week of June 22nd had two blockbuster Supreme Court rulings that reverberated across the country.  During what will surely prove to be a historical week, the court affirmed the Affordable Care Act and its implementation. In addition, SCOTUS eloquently stated the right of all people to marry whomever they love.

Indeed, two important and powerful rulings.

While monumental in our progress forward,  what many did not see was that nestled in between these historic decisions was a much less heralded fair housing case called Inclusive Communities v. Texas Housing and Community Affairs Department. In the case, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing the use of "disparate impact" claims when filing Fair Housing Act Complaints.

To read the full story, 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 Supreme Court's Housing Decision is a warning against subtle discrimination everywhere
In late June, the US Supreme Court released its ruling on The Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs case. Their ruling upheld Inclusive Communities' ability to claim a "disparate impact" complaint as part of the Fair Housing Act. Alena Semuels of The Atlantic wrote a summary of the case and the Supreme Court's ruling. To read that article, click here. St. Louis Public Radio also shared a history of "disparate impact" using a local example: Black Jack.  To read their article, click here.

Obama Administration Unveil Major New Rules Targeting Segregation Across U.S.
Following the recent Supreme Court ruling on the use of disparate impact claims, the Obama Administration and HUD announced new rules in early July that strengthen the Fair Housing Act. The new rules require communities to use government data already readily available to actively identify areas where patterns of segregation exist. To read more on this development, click here.

CDA Embraces New Technology to Greatly Improve Grant Management System
This summer the City of St. Louis' Community Development Administration (CDA) implemented a new online grants management system called EGrAMS. Along with this new system, the CDA offered training sessions and materials for applicants. For more information on this development, click here

Funding for the HOME Program has been cut by 93%
The Kansas City branch of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is petitioning signatures for a letter to US Congress in support of funding for the HOME program. Current funding appropriations for Transportation, Housing and Development (THUD) cut the HOME program by 93% for fiscal year 2016. The last day to sign on to their letter is this Friday, July 24. For more information, click here.

Actions to Build Resilience to Climate Change Impacts in Vulnerable Communities
In early July, the Obama Administration issued a press release announcing a series of actions that will support vulnerable communities with 'climate-resilience' planning and implementation. Included among these actions are the creation of a new AmeriCorps program, additional funding for HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition, and a financial commitment from the Kresge Foundation to support resiliency efforts in low-income neighborhoods. To read the full press release, click here.

Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation Releases Framework and Vision Plan
In June, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC released its 20-25 year vision for the neighborhoods surrounding Tower Grove Park (Tower Grove South, Shaw and Southwest Garden). To read more about the release of this plan and to read the plan itself, click here.

Village at Delmar Place - Rise's Latest STL Development
In early, June, Rise shared an article on their collaborative efforts to construct 40 new apartments and townhomes. This accomplishment is the result of their partnered efforts with MHDC, Efficacy Consulting, the St. Louis CDA, Sterling Bank, the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Corporation, and the West End Neighborhood. To read more and to see pictures of this new development, click here.


Conversation on Transit Funding
This Thursday, July 23, Citizens or Modern Transit and the St. Louis Regional Chamber are hosting a conversation on transit funding in St. Louis. The conversation will feature findings from CMT's recent Transit Financing Study. For more information about this event, click here.

Green Infrastructure: Reusing Superfund Sites and Promoting Sustainable Communities
Next Tuesday, July 28, the EPA is hosting a webinar on projects and best practices for reusing Superfund sites. For more information and to register, click here.


CDBG Administrative Workshop
The Missouri Department of Economic Development is hosting a two day workshop on the requirements of CDBG grants. The workshop will take place in Jefferson City on August 27 and 28. For more information, click here.

MHDC Developer Introduction Workshop
On Wednesday, August 12, the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) is hosting a Developer Introduction Workshop. This workshop is intended for those interested in developing Minority and Women Owned Business. For more information on this workshop, click here.


July 24
Ferguson CityWalk Concert Series

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Friends and Members Monthly Happy Hour

July 26
Benton Park Neighborhood Association Lakeside Concert

August 21
RISE Up Festival


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.

In this issue, we highlight a series of maps showing how the racial makeup of St. Louis neighborhoods have changed and not changed in each decade since 1970. The maps are a replication of similar work done for the City of Chicago. The original maps can be found in this article by the Washington Post. To view maps of St. Louis, 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!

Invest STL Grant
Invest STL is currently accepting grant applications through this Friday, July 24. The Invest STL grant provides funding for projects that plan to improve a St. Louis community. For more information on the application process, click here.

2016 CDBG Funding
The City of St. Louis' Community Development Administration (CDA) is now accepting Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2016 CDBG funding cycle. RFPs may be submitted to the CDA up until 4:00 pm on August 7. The CDA has a informational documents and a Frequently Asked Questions and Answers page posted to their website. To view their FAQ page, click here. For more information and to submit an RFP, click here.

MFH Show Me Healthy Housing's PRI Funding
The Missouri Foundation for Health is now accepting RFPs for the Show Me Healthy Housing's Program-Related Investment fund. Applications for funding are due by 4pm on Friday, August 14. For more information on how to apply, click here.

Safe Places to Play Grant
The US Soccer Foundation is now accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOI) for the Safe Places to Play Program. This grant is awarded to programs that support soccer programs and soccer fields in urban areas. Grants of up to $50,000 are available. Letters of Inquiry must be submitted by September 25. For more information, click here.

CCHD Community Development Grants
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has announced the availability of grant dollars for community development projects and organizations addressing poverty. Grants range from $25,000 to $75,000. Pre-applications will be accepted between September 1 and November 1. For more information, click here.

Strong Local Economies
The Surdna Foundation has funding available to provide support for minority owned businesses and to reduce barriers to economic mobility. To view more information and to apply for a Strong Local Economies Grant, click here.

Community Impact Grants
The Home Depot Foundation is now accepting applications for its Community Impact Grants. Grants are available for up to $5,000 for volunteer-based community improvement projects. For more information about this grant or to apply, click here.
Traffic Engineer (Bike/Pedestrian Coordinator)
The City of St. Louis is seeking a Traffic Engineer to work with the city's work related to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programs. Applications are due by August 7. For more information and to apply, click here.

Director of Community Development
The City of Creve Couer, is seeking a director for their Community Development department. This position would oversee the city's policies and programs that support development. For more information on this position, click here.
The Growing Distance Between People and Jobs in Metropolitan America
As Metropolitan Regions have become more suburbanized over the past decade, jobs are becoming less accessible, especially for high-poverty and majority-minority neighborhoods. These are the findings of a recent Brookings study measuring changes in the number of 'nearby jobs' from 2000 to 2012 using 2011 LEHD data. According to their research, 'nearby jobs' in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area declined 15.2% during this time period. To view maps of their findings or to read their full study, click here.

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