News from Naceda
National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations June 13, 2019

Policy Update

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Strengthen Low Income Housing Tax Credit

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN), and Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) on June 4. The bill would provide a 50% boost in Housing Credit resources, phased in over five years, and set a minimum 4% Credit rate for properties financed with Housing Bonds. These two changes alone are expected to increase production by an estimated 450,000 homes over the next ten years.

Cory Booker Releases Affordable Housing Plan

Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Cory Booker released a new affordable housing plan. It includes a renter's tax credit that would cover the difference between 30% of a person's income and the fair market rent in the neighborhood. The plan would commit $40 billion per year to fully funding the Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate and operate rental housing for people earning less than 30% of area median income. It would also provide federal incentives for localities change to restrictive zoning laws and help lower-income renters obtain legal representation in eviction proceedings.The plan builds on the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity Act that Senator Booker proposed in 2018.

As CFPB Proposes Gutting Payday Lending Protections, NACEDA Members Advance State Protections 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed rescinding their 2017 Final Rule’s underwriting provisions for payday, auto-title and short-term installment loans. The CFPB’s proposed rule removes “ability-to-repay” requirement needed to ensure that high-cost lenders don’t trap borrowers in debt.

As federal protections diminish, NACEDA members are organizing coalitions and working with state legislators to craft bills that expand and preserve protections. The Ohio CDC Association was instrumental in the passage of the Ohio Fairness in Lending Act. Prosperity Indiana successfully advocated to defeat an Indiana bill that would have allowed payday lending products considered criminal loansharking under current state law. Community Economic Development Association of Michigan is currently advocating for a bipartisan bill to cap interest rates on payday loans at 36%.


Thriving Networks

Land Bank Legislation Passes in New Jersey  

HCDNNJ land bank testimonyOn May 30, the New Jersey Senate sent a land bank bill to Governor Murphy after prior approval from the Assembly. The Governor is expected to sign the bill. The legislation is the result of years of persistent collaboration between the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey, city and county officials all over the state, and state legislators. 

Staci Berger, President & CEO of the the Network, stated “Municipalities like Newark and Bridgeton have worked tirelessly to reclaim blighted properties by using tools like the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act. The land bank bill allows towns to take their efforts a step further by reclaiming the eye-sores and municipal budget busters from owners that show no interest in developing them and transforming the property into a community asset."

Shown left to right: Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, the bill sponsor, join Staci Berger and Matt Hersh of the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey at the hearing.

Prosperity Indiana Presents Seven Opportunity Zones Workshops 

Prosperity Indiana, a NACEDA member, is a training and resource partner with the Opportunity Investment Consortium of IndianaThe consortium's goal is to "encourage the transformation of Opportunity Zone neighborhoods into vibrant places profoundly attractive and sustainable for both residents and businesses." The implementation team is comprised of a diverse mix of public and nonprofit partners who came together to promote knowledge sharing and an investor table for Indiana Opportunity Zones through an online deal-matching portal, hosted by LISC Indianapolis. Consortium partners meet regularly to discuss how to build cross-sector capacity around this new federal reinvestment tool.  

Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Jessica Love said, “We joined this consortium as a resource partner to ensure Indiana communities do not miss out on the potential for new investment that could catalyze projects in places that might otherwise be overlooked or undersold. We want to inspire community leaders to seek out projects that are good for their area and not just allow development to happen to them.”

Prosperity Indiana is hosting Opportunity Zone workshops at their seven regional meetings across the state between May 23 and June 26, sponsored by consortium partners and through a grant from Vectren Foundation. The workshops are designed to inform community development nonprofits and local leaders, including potential investors and developers, on how to pair Opportunity Zones with other funding opportunities to maximize impact.

Housing California's Lisa Hershey Honored by National Housing Conference 

Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California (a NACEDA member), was honored by the National Housing Conference for her role in the California Ballot Initiative Team that fought for ten years to get voter approval for an unprecedented $6 billion in new funding for affordable housing. Hershey and fellow honorees Ray Pearl of the California Housing Consortium, Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Cesar Diaz of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California were recognized for exemplifying how organizational partnerships can bring about political change that advance affordable housing in communities in a monumental way.


Healthy Places

Prosperity Indiana and CareSource Foundation Award $95,000 to Four Nonprofits

Prosperity Indiana, a NACEDA member, partnered with the CareSource Foundation to provide $95,000 in grants to Prosperity Indiana members through the Empower Indiana Grant Challenge. Grants for innovations around the social determinants of health were awarded to:

  • Merchants Affordable Housing Corporation for using an integrated permanent supportive housing model to provide health services for homeless families in Indianapolis through a partnership with Raphael Health Center. 
  • Paramount Schools of Excellence for improving academic achievement and health outcomes by using health data to trigger earlier interventions for students with repeated health incidents in two counties.  
  • South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities for engaging a volunteer network to provide resources to tenants to help them solve housing problems, thereby reducing evictions and improving housing stability.
  • United Way of Madison County for developing a network of certified Community Health Workers trained to more holistically address conditions affecting the physical, emotional and financial health of families.

CareSource Foundation Vice President Cathy Ponitz said, "We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Prosperity Indiana and impressed with the hard work of their members across the state. They are leading the way in social innovation to address critical needs across all communities." 

Housing & Mental Health Summit Hosted by Housing Development Consortium

The Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County, a NACEDA member, presented Housing and Mental Health Summit to explore how housing is instrumental in treating mental illness, and how housing insecurity and quality impact mental health. The program included a keynote address by Rep. Jinkins of the Washington House of Representatives, who continues to serve as Director of Organizational Initiatives at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. A panel discussion included representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Plymouth Healing Communities, and front-line staff from Downtown Emergency Service Center and Compass Housing Alliance. Check out the consortium's Housing and Mental Health webpage.

Upcoming Events

Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey
Healthy Homes and Communities Summit
August 1 | Trenton, NJ

NeighborWorks America
National Symposium on Health & Community Development
August 21, 2019 | New Orleans, LA


Creative Places

NEA Announces Funding and TA for Rural Communities

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Jennifer Hughes announced the opening of the 2019 Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design with a call for funding and technical assistance applications. This NEA program offers assistance to communities with populations of 50,000 or less to address local challenges related to economic vitality and quality of life through design solutions. Nonprofits, tribal or municipal governments, regional planning organizations, and other community partners are encouraged to apply by the July 22, 2019 deadline.

The Housing Assistance Council and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP are partnering with the NEA on the program. “Here at the Housing Assistance Council, we’ve been working in community development for decades and we are thrilled to be bridging the gap between that and rural design," said CEO David Lipsetz.

Ohio CDC Association Presents Rural Creative Placemaking Training 

"How Creative Placemaking Can Unlock The Power Of Your Small Town" was held on May 8 in Lancaster, Ohio. Facilitator Brian Feldman of Plan F Solutions focused on the intersection of arts, culture, and community engagement in rural settings. Community development practitioners explored examples of workforce development and cultural tourism, focusing on equity. They participated in a group engagement exercise around barriers to engaging artists in typical community development efforts. 

Nate Coffman, Executive Director of the Ohio CDC Association, said "Our recent creative placemaking training built off the partnership with NACEDA’s Creative Placemaking Immersion Program in 2017. Demand has persisted since then following our initial trainings and attendees welcomed the focus on rural and small-town Ohio."

ArtPlace Unveils New Web Resources on Arts, Culture & Community Development

Since 2011, ArtPlace America has invested in organizations that deploy arts and cultural strategies in service of comprehensive community development and planning. These organizations work to address local equity issues such as pressures of gentrification and displacement, health equity, affordable housing, and questions around the preservation and development of identity. ArtPlace America will sunset in 2020 and has unveiled a new website to provide a long-term resource for people working at the intersection of community development and the arts: Hosted by PolicyLink, the website documents the lessons learned, knowledge gained, and impacts of work supported by ArtPlace's Community Development Investment Program along with other stories and resources.

Grant Opportunity - Levitt AMP Awards Amplify Music & Place

Up to 15 nonprofits in small and mid-sized towns and cities across the country will be awarded $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series. These outdoor, free concert series inject new life into public spaces and create vibrant community destinations. Grant applications open on July 10 and are due by September 20. Register for the June 25 webinar.

Upcoming Events

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit
June 20-22 | Los Angeles, CA


Job Postings

Grounded Solutions Network
Training Specialist Work remotely
Affordable Housing Senior Specialist Washington, DC preferred

City of Seattle
Director of Housing
Seattle, WA

City of St. Lawrence
Housing Administrator
St. Lawrence, KS

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


Funding Opportunities

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

Funding Opportunities