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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

August 31, 2016


Modern-Day Redlining in Communities of Color

By Elisabeth Risch and Jackie Hutchinson, Co-Chairs of the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA)

This column was originally published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on August 18th, 2016. To view the original article, click here.

In St. Louis, it is harder to get a loan in communities of color. That's what a new report by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) found. The report looks at mortgage lending data in the St. Louis region over the last few years and finds extensive disparities in communities of color.

The data and the maps in this report help to visualize what many of us already know and experience. Lending is concentrated in white areas and scarce in black neighborhoods. Certain neighborhoods have poor access to banking resources, and many households are unbanked or underbanked, particularly African-American households. In the entire St. Louis metropolitan area, median family income of the neighborhood is the best predictor of home loan activity. However, in the City of St. Louis, the racial composition of a neighborhood is also a strong predictor of mortgage activity. In hyper-segregated neighborhoods in which the population is over 75 percent black, less than one percent of homes received a home purchase loan in the 2012-2014 period. Most problematic: the lack of lending in high minority areas is not fully explained by income differences. Credit is still available to white neighborhoods with the same income level.

To read more of this week's 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
Restrictive Zoning and Inequality
The Brookings Institution reported this month on the ways land use regulations can aggregate to patterns of "opportunity hoarding." Restrictive zoning can clamp the availability of affordable housing, and data shows that low-skilled workers are moving to high-growth areas at a lower rate than they have historically. Barriers related to NIMBYism, often rooted in concern over property values and school quality, keep low-income renters out of certain neighborhoods and constrain community capacity for diversity and mobility. Read the full article here.

Better Targets and Controls for St. Louis Area Tax Incentives
A study commissioned by the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is calling for more scrutiny, reporting, tracking, and analysis in the use of tax incentives in the St. Louis area. Current processes for distributing incentives have been criticized for their concentration in St. Louis's central corridor and, in the case of property tax abatements, heavy reliance on aldermanic discretion. SLDC's study, conducted by the Public Policy Research Center and Public Financial Management, Inc., has found that there is negligible correlation between individual developments and their economic impact or job creation beyond the footprint of the development project. Click here to read the full article.

St. Louis Listed Among Top 50 Most Economically Segregating School District Boundaries
St. Louis shows up three times in a new report on the 50 most economically segregating school district boundaries in the U.S. EdBuild, a nonprofit focused on school funding reform, compiled Fault Lines to highlight stark income segregation that exists between many neighboring school districts nationwide. St. Louis City is listed as a high-poverty district alongside low-poverty districts Webster Groves, Clayton, and Affton 101. Fault Lines ranks these boundaries respectively as the 12th, 19th, and 48th most economically segregated district borders in the country. Click here to view the data and here for the full report.

Midtown's Former Federal-Mogul Foundry To Be Redeveloped
The Lawrence Group, in partnership with Bull Moose Industries, has begun redevelopment work on the former Federal-Mogul foundry on Forest Park Avenue in Midtown St. Louis. The City Foundry St. Louis at Cortex will feature restaurants and a food hall, retail space, offices, and garage and surface parking. The project is expected to generate up to 870 new jobs and hopefully lead to additional development in neighboring areas. Click here to read the full article.

Park Central Development's Brooks Goedeker Talks With STL Live
Brooks Goedeker, Executive Director of Park Central Development, recently talked with STL Live about Park Central's mission, partners, recent projects, and first steps outside of the Central Corridor through a Community Improvement District (CID) they've helped create in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. "Community development is the ultimate team sport," Goedeker said. "To see our work making a difference is tremendous." Click here to watch the interview and learn more about Park Central's capacity-building work and neighborhood events.

North County Inc. Calls For Nominations For 30 Leaders In Their thirties Campaign
North County Inc. is requesting nominations and sponsors for their 2016 NCI Salutes 30 Leaders In Their Thirties Campaign. Nominees should be young professionals who work and/or live in North County and are "proactively helping create a more livable community" through their work, volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and/or community involvement. Nominations are due September 8th. Awardees will be invited to attend a reception and luncheon on October 27th. Click here to read the full press release and here to access nomination forms online.

Outside In: Paint For Peace Exhibit Highlights Community Response Through Art
A new exhibition presented by the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and Regions Bank opened last Saturday, August 27th. Outside In: Paint For Peace features murals and painted panels that grew out of the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown and the community response that followed. Attendees can view the artwork at various locations throughout St. Louis, including COCA's Millstone Gallery, Gallery 210 at UMSL, the Missouri History Museum, and Ferguson Youth Initiative. For more information, click here.

Homeownership, Community Engagement, And Tenure Segregation
Georgetown University sociologist Brian McCabe, author of No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community, and the Politics of Homeownership, talked with How Housing Matters this month about his research on homeownership and civic engagement. He questions the notion that homeowners necessarily make more active community participants and explores the idea that residential stability, the act of "settling down" in a particular place—not a person's status as a renter or homeowner—tells a more complete story about someone's capacity for community involvement. Click here to read more.


Revitalizing Older Industrialized Cities: What Can the U.S. Learn from Europe?
Creating Whole Communities, the Public Policy Research Center, and Development Strategies will host a panel discussion on urban recovery and revitalization on September 21st from 4:30-6:00 pm. Special guest and visiting scholar Dr. Jörg Plöger, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development in Dortmund, Germany, will lead the conversation. A reception will follow from 6:00-7:00 pm. Click here to download a flyer and here to register.

It's A Big, Big World: Event From St. Louis REALTORS®
The Inclusion Advisory Group of the St. Louis REALTORS® hosts its annual It's A Big, Big World event on Friday, September 23rd. The event begins at 9:30 am with a presentation and discussion on housing issues and the related work and roles of the REALTORS® group. A multicultural fair with food trucks, artisans, prizes, and more follows from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. Click here for more information.

University of Missouri Extension Community Development Academy
The University of Missouri Extension's Community Development Academy builds the capacity of community-focused organizations through intensive, experiential training courses that help participants learn how to work collaboratively on community issues. This fall's Community Development Academy will be held September 26th-30th in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. For more information and to register, click here.

2016 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference
Early registration ends today, August 31st and regular registration ends September 21st for the Center for Community Progress's seventh national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, to be held September 28th-30th in Baltimore, Maryland. This year's theme is "In Service of People and Place." Conference attendees will explore strategies for reclaiming vacant properties and strengthening neighborhoods facing vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment. For more information, click here.

Vacant Properties Summit
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, SLU School of Law Legal Clinics, SLACO, and Thompson Coburn LLP are sponsoring a Vacant Properties Summit on Thursday, October 20th from 8:00 am-1:30 pm. The seminar will discuss legal tools for generating renewal of privately-owned vacant properties. Click here for details.


Running A Successful Monthly Giving Program
The Network for Strong Communities is hosting a session on monthly giving programs on September 12th from 12:00-1:00 pm. Attendees will learn how to plan, implement, monitor, and improve their organizations' monthly giving programs from two subject-matter experts. Click here to sign up.

Homebuyer Orientation Class From Lemay Housing Partnership
Lemay Housing Partnership's next Homebuyer Orientation Class will be held on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:00 pm. Attendees will learn about the homebuying process and potential opportunities to access assistance covering downpayment and closing costs. Click here to learn more and to register.

Landlord Training: Nuisance Abatement And Prevention
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting a series of free Landlord Training workshops this year for all city landlords, investors, and other interested parties. On Saturday, September 17th, the training session will discuss nuisance abatement and prevention. The workshop will be held at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Avenue) from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. For more information, click here.

NPML Annual Fundraising Institute
This year's annual Fundraising Institute from UMSL's Nonprofit Management & Leadership (NPML) Program will be held September 26th-29th. This series of workshops highlights the most up-to-date information and ideas on fundraising practices. Attendees can choose sessions of interest and register for each individually. Click here for more information.

Asset Management Training from the Brown School of Social Work, NeighborWorks America
This three-course certificate program, Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management, prepares professionals with key skills and knowledge to successfully manage property and services, maximize performance, and strategize sustainable growth. Courses can be taken as stand-alone opportunities or in pursuit of NeighborWorks America's "Asset Management Specialist" designation. Click here for details.

Cost-Free Business Education for St. Louis Business Owners
Business education program Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is accepting applications from growth-oriented businesses that have a presence in urban or economically underserved areas. Participating business owners will receive business education, marketing assistance, one-on-one coaching, and an opportunity to attend a day-long business education conference this fall. The program is being offered free of cost to participants thanks to the financial support of Regions Bank and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. For more information, click here.


September 9
Beloved Streets of America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Dinner

September 16
Forest Park Station Placemaking Transit Stop Walk Audit

September 16
North City Business Development Center Grand Opening

September 17
St. Louis Public Radio MetroQuest

September 24
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC All-In For Change Annual Poker Tournament

October 1
Grove Fest 2016

October 1 - 2
Historic Shaw Art Fair



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 look at population between 1970 and 2010 in the St. Louis region. 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.

Russell Sage Foundation Grants for Social Inequality Research
The Russell Sage Foundation is inviting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for its Social Inequality Grants program. These grants fund research focused on the causes and consequences of rising inequality in the United States. Topics of interest include but are not limited to neighborhoods and communities, economic well-being, intergenerational mobility, labor markets, education, families, and child development and outcomes. LOIs are due September 9th. Click here for more information.

Our Town Grant Program for Creative Placemaking
The deadline to apply to the Our Town grant program from the National Endowment for the Arts is September 12th. Our Town supports creative placemaking projects, initiatives that are designed to create more vibrant, livable communities by uniting art and culture with community development and revitalization. The grant requires partnerships between arts organizations and government, nonprofits, and private organizations. For more information, click here.

Innovative Solutions To Food Insecurity
Missouri Foundation for Health and Incarnate Word Foundation are providing grants of up to $10,000 to fund St. Louis-region projects that create innovative community solutions to food insecurity. This funding opportunity is for new initiatives only and does not apply to community gardens or traditional farmers' markets. The deadline to apply is September 16th. Click here to learn more.

Buckingham Pillar Grant Program
Clayton-based financial planning firm Buckingham is accepting applications for its 2016 Pillar Grant Program through September 21st. These grants fund nonprofit organizations pursuing initiatives and projects that promote community development through entrepreneurship and wellness. Buckingham plans to award five to seven grants of up to $10,000 each. Click here to learn more and apply.

Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund
The Spirit of St. Louis (SOS) Women's Fund, a collective giving and grantmaking organization and a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, opens its 2016-2017 grant cycle on September 1st. SOS grants will be made to 501(c)(3) organizations focused on arts and culture, education, environment, health, and/or social services and are not restricted to initiatives focused on women. Letters of interest are due September 30th. Click here to learn more.

Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking opportunities to provide communities with construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments to support economic development strategies built to create jobs, leverage private capital, and strengthen regional competitiveness in the global marketplace. Grants are provided under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Click here to learn more.

Surdna Foundation Grants For Urban Infrastructure
The Surdna Foundation's Sustainable Environments Program invites Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) from nonprofit organizations working to improve or overhaul outdated, overburdened urban infrastructure. Grants will fund four main program categories: Sustainable Transportation Networks & Equitable Development Patterns, Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, Urban Water Management, and Regional Food Supply. Favorable proposals will foster collaboration, focus on underserved communities, and/or encourage long-term investments and solutions. Click here for more information.

Ben & Jerry's Foundation Grants 
The Ben & Jerry's Foundation is seeking organizations to apply for year-long grants of up to $25,000. Applicants should be community-organizing groups that are working to address issues related to social and environmental justice, including sustainable and just food systems. Pre-proposals will be accepted from August 1st through October 14th. For more information, click here.

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging from $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 31st. For more information, click here.
Beyond Housing: Director of Community Engagement
Beyond Housing is looking for a Director of Community Engagement to serve as a member of its management team. This role will work to ensure that community voice plays a central role in the organization's decision-making processes and oversee the systems and staff that connect Beyond Housing's clients, residents, and stakeholders to programs, services, and resources. For more information, click here.

Community Council of St. Charles County: Executive Director
The Community Council of St. Charles County (Council) is seeking an Executive Director to replace the current Executive Director, who is retiring in December 2016. This role facilitates the Council’s strategic plan, provides fiscal management for the organization, leads the Council's staff, and builds collaborations and partnerships in the community. Resumes will be accepted until September 12th. Click here for more information.

Gateway Greening: Development Manager
Gateway Greening is looking for a Development Manager to lead its philanthropic efforts as a part of the organization's management team. Primary responsibilities include cultivation of a philanthropic and donor-centered culture, leadership and oversight of all fund development activities, and management of membership and corporate partners programs. This is a new position at Gateway Greening. Click here for the full job description.

Positions Available At Grace Hill
Grace Hill is seeking candidates for several open positions, including a Patch Head Start and Early Head Start Manager, a Family Advocate, and a Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Specialist. Click the links above to learn more and apply. Applications are only accepted online; no phone calls or hard copies, please.

Volunteer Opportunity: Trailnet Bike and Pedestrian Counts 2016
As a part of their fifth consecutive year participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, Trailnet and Great Rivers Greenway are looking for volunteers to help document bicyclists and pedestrians at designated locations on September 13th or 14th from 5:00-7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to connect with neighbors while supporting active regional transportation. Volunteers will also be entered to win an Apple iPad. Click here to learn more.
Housing Conditions And Kindergarten Readiness
New research out of Cleveland, Ohio links poor housing and neighborhood conditions to low kindergarten readiness scores. Using children's home addresses and public housing data, the study found that children exposed to foreclosure or substandard housing were less prepared to start school. They also moved more often, were at higher risk for maltreatment, and were more likely to have high levels of lead. The authors acknowledge that family poverty also affects school readiness, but report that housing conditions contribute in a unique way. Click here to read a study summary and here for a policy brief.
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