News from Naceda
National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations August 10, 2017

Policy Update

Senator McCaskill Comes Out Strongly for Community Development Block Grants

When Congress comes back from August recess, they will have 12 working days to negotiate the debt ceiling and begin talks about the federal budget and spending caps by September 30. Legislators know how critical this negotiation will be for the future of LMI people and places. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) recently published an exclusive op-ed with Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN) supporting the Community Development Block Grant program. The exclusive article was a result of CBN's meeting with the Senator's office at People & Places 2017 on June 1.

August recess is the time to push Congressional reps locally to continue support for the programs that serve our communities, like HOME, Our Town, and other HUD and USDA programs.

Senate Expected To Take On Tax Reform

Now that the legislative health care debate has somewhat subsided (at least for now), the Senate has vowed this Fall to begin negotiations on comprehensive tax reform. Any action on taxes could have tremendous impact on the resources available for future annual appropriations — not to mention an impact on tax expenditures such New Market Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Earned Income Tax Credits, and the Mortgage Interest Deduction, among others. Read the progressive, inclusive and equitable policy reforms published by the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility. NACEDA is a participant in the alliance and endorses the reforms.

Bi-Partisan Bill To Expand Housing Tax Credit Gains Traction In Senate

Twenty Senators from both sides of the aisle are co-sponsoring the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to expand and improve Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. If passed, this bill could create or preserve some 1.3 million affordable homes over 10 years, about 400,000 units over the current projections. "The Cantwell-Hatch bill is a true sign of hope," states Phyllis Chamberlain, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed. "Not only will it serve as proof that our legislators can rise above politics and work together for the benefit of our communities; it will also help thousands of Pennsylvanians have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home."


Thriving Networks

NACEDA Members Organize Our Homes, Our Voices Events Across the Country

Hartford, CT resident Hattie Harris shares her experience with Governor Dannel Malloy

Ten NACEDA Members organized events for the Our Homes, Our Voices Week of Action events, advocating for greater federal investments in affordable homes and communities. The Connecticut Housing Coalition held a press conference to celebrate nine buildings that were saved from neglect and disinvestment by leveraging federal investments. Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke, announcing $11.5 million in Community Development Block Grants and decrying the "devastating hardship" President Trump's proposed $6 billion cut to the HUD budget would create. Long-time resident Hattie Harris talked about what it was like to live in an unsafe, distressed neighborhood, expressing the importance to her and her neighbors of having safe, affordable homes.

The Housing & Community Network of New Jersey partnered with Monarch Housing to host a NJ Hill Day. Attended by 450 advocates, two Senators and nine House Members, the event focused on personal stories, including one by NACEDA Executive Director Frank Woodruff. Network Communications Coordinator Nina Arce summed up the event in her blog, Advocates Tell Legislators: Skinny Budget Leaves NJ Hungry. To find out about the other eight events organized by NACEDA members, go to the Our Homes Our Voices events page.

California Member Advocates for Affordable Housing That Reduces Climate Change

Housing California, Enterprise, TransForm and California Housing Partnership Corporation coordinated an Advocacy Day at the State Capitol to preserve funding for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program (AHSC). The state created AHSC in 2014 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing the shortage of 1.5 million affordable homes. AHSC is funded by the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which collects proceeds from cap-and-trade auctions.

"In two years, the program has funded 58 developments offering 4,500 high-quality, affordable homes for residents who are being pushed further and further out from job and transit centers by rapidly rising rents and home prices," explained Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California, in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee. “With federal and state funding for affordable housing continuing to decline, AHSC is more critical than ever. Climate change policy is about saving the planet through making better choices. We will always come up short if we fail to include solutions for the people we wish to save,” Hershey stated. View the policy briefing AHSC District Profiles provided to legislators.

Prosperity Now Releases 2017 Scorecard

Access data on how residents in states, counties and cities across the nation are faring when it comes to their financial health from the 2017 Prosperity Now Scorecard. It provides recommendations on state-level policies that could be enacted to put households on stronger financial footing, including housing policy recommendations.


Healthy Places

CED Coalition Administers Commercial Waste Compactor Grants in Washington, DC

Because of its long-standing relationship with District government, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) was identified as a natural fit to administer the District’s new commercial waste compactor grant program. Local businesses can receive up to $13,500 for the purchase or lease of a compactor, intended to cut down on rodent and insect issues, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. “Not only did we seize the opportunity to help neighborhood businesses address their sanitation issues, we also saw a chance to increase our visibility with local businesses — and get paid for doing it!” said President and CEO Stephen Glaude. CNHED has been partnering with the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development and a 20-member steering committee on a Small Business Policy Project since 2012.

Massachusetts Trainings Focus on Forging Partnerships with Hospitals

The Massachusetts Association of CDCs' Mel King Institute held a full-day training on Forging CDC-Hospital Partnerships: Hospitals Investing in Community Health in three locations across the state. The trainings were led by Enid Eckstein, consultant, director of health at Mass Community Action Network, and author of Hospitals Investing in Health. Each training included a profile of a local hospital as well as information relevant to that region’s needs. The workshop helped community development professionals:

  • Gain and share ideas for they can collaborate with hospitals to address local challenges and seize local opportunities;
  • Understand the public policy and internal contexts that drive how hospital community benefit staff choose to invest in community priorities;
  • Understand and analyze hospital community benefit and finance information to make relationship-building more effective and efficient;
  • Frame and message their “asks” in ways that demonstrate mutual benefit to hospitals, community development corporations, and the people they serve.

A participant in the Boston session said, “I feel more fluent in hospital economics and what their priorities are. The case study with Tufts [Medical Center] was also helpful because now I know how to do this research on my own.” View the presentations and resources. The trainings were made possible with funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation.


Creative Places

Frank Woodruff Led Arts and Health Sessions at NJ Board Retreat

NACEDA's Executive Director headed to the Jersey Shore to lead strategic planning sessions at the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey's annual board retreat. The creative placemaking session focused on strategies for CDCs to engage with artists, integrate them into programs, and raise resources for this work. Frank led a discussion on how community development improves health — and how to communicate about those benefits with the health sector. They explored ways to build relationships with healthcare providers and leverage regulations that encourage the health sector to invest in improving the social determinants of health in low-income communities.

Americans for the Arts Launches Public Arts Resource Center

NACEDA partner Americans for the Arts launched the Public Art Resource Center — an online portal useful for placemakers working in or with the public art field. Access a wide array of resources from sample documents and templates to case studies, research papers, and ordinance guidance. The portal guides you through multiple questions to arrive at resources tailored to your specific projects. The Community Stakeholder and Field Partner sections provide concept-to-execution guidance on projects ranging from planning a mural to using art for sustained civic engagement.


Job Postings

Georgia Advancing Communities Together (Georgia ACT) — Atlanta, GA
President & CEO

Housing Action Illinois — Chicago, IL
Marketing and Communications Consultant (staff position)
Program Coordinator

Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
Housing Specialist — Harrisburg, PA
Director of Finance and Administration (part-time) — Jenkintown, PA

To post a job opportunity, contact Suzanne Gunther. A $25 donation is suggested for non-members.


Funding Opportunities

Go to our website for current grant opportunities. They're updated throughout the month.

Funding Opportunities