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October 2021 News and Updates
Featured Article
Peter Sabonis, for Nonprofit Quarterly

The Transformative Potential of Community Land Trusts

[Excerpt] Our country has been struggling with an affordable housing crisis for decades. Simply put, there is not enough housing, and what is available is too expensive for those with limited means. However, there’s an up-and-coming player in the affordable housing world that offers the potential to transform it: community land trusts (CLTs).

Read the full article here
News Around The Lou 
Six Prop NS properties are available for sale! Prospective purchasers can submit offers to purchase on this site. Because these buildings will still need additional work to reach a condition that meets occupancy standards, LRA will still review all offers to ensure that purchasers have the necessary resources and capacity to bring buildings up to code. The bid window for these properties closes at 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, October 22nd. Submit any questions to the contact form on the bottom of this page.
 
Play shares deeper insight on historic 'The Ville' neighborhood

The Ville: Avengeance!, written by Mariah Richardson and directed by Thomasina Clarke, provides a deep history lesson and retrospection on how The Ville was during the 1900s. The play had a full house for its 3-night run in front of the Annie Malone Children & Family Services Center.
 


Vacancy Collaborative Events and Resources



The Family Property Project Workshop: Preserving the Family Home
 
Thursday, October 21st, 6 - 7:30 pm.
In-Person and Online Options Available. Registration Link 

In-Person:
Thomas Dunn Learning Center, 3113 Gasconade, St. Louis, MO 63118

If you own property or live in property that has been passed down in your family, you may benefit from free legal services. This clinic will explain Missouri property law and give you the tools and resources to decide how your property is passed down to the next generation.

Learn about what happens to your home under Missouri property law and how clear title and simple estate planning measures can preserve your assets, promote generational wealth, and prevent vacancy in your neighborhood.

Limit for in-person is a max of 20 people. Snacks and refreshments provided. 


Zoom Link For Online Participation Here.
 



Vacant Property Resource  
 
Vacancy Collaborative Launches Vacant Property Explorer
 
The Vacant Property Explorer, introduced in July 2021, is a new, robust tool for viewing and exploring potentially vacant properties in the City of St. Louis. This new tool displays likely and confirmed vacant properties in the City, combining data from several City departments. The new Explorer automatically updates on a monthly basis and provides more detail on the property's history, status and burden to the surrounding area. 

Just click on a colored parcel on the map to learn more about that property. See something that needs updating? Once you click on the property, a popup box will appear on the left. Then just click the Report It dropdown arrow to alert the City department you wish to receive notice. 
 

Community Events and Resources
 
Register for Public Safety Community Planning Session #1

The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission (VPC) is partnering with the City of St. Louis to host a series of town halls and planning sessions to inform Mayor Jones' blueprint for public safety plan. The first public safety planning session for St. Louis City residents will be on October 9 at 10am. Register here.
 


Urban Institute Virtual Event 
Deploying the Homeowner Assistance Fund: How States Can Get Help to Those Who Need It Most

As more than 1 million homeowners exit forbearance over the coming months, states are solidifying plans to disperse close to $10 billion from the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). The fund is designed to prevent foreclosures, losses of utilities, and other hardships that have emerged during the pandemic. Taking cues from the distribution of emergency rental assistance, as well as the Hardest Hit Fund from the Great Recession, states can deploy these funds most strategically by identifying borrowers at greatest risk of default, as well as by supporting homeowning households of color before time runs out.

Join the Urban Institute for a virtual event exploring the data and geography of distressed borrowers, along with a new tool to help policymakers and agency staff allocate funds. Hear from policymakers, housing industry experts, and state representatives as we discuss challenges, roadblocks, and solutions to deploying these funds.

The event will take place via Zoom on October 15th at 10 - 11:30am. Register here.
 

Apply for Neighborhood Leadership Fellows 2022

Neighborhood Leadership Fellows is calling on residents from the St. Louis Promise Zone to apply to be a part of the 2022 cohort. Neighborhood Leadership Fellows is a nine-month leadership training for community leaders aimed at increasing the voices of North St. Louis City and County residents at the civic decision-making tables in order to produce more equitable regional policies for neighborhoods. The program, set to convene on January 21st and will meet one weekend a month for nine months from January through September 2022. All participants who are accepted and complete the program will receive a stipend and UMSL Chancellor’s Certificate in Civic Leadership.

Applications are open until October 18th. Apply here. For more information, click here.
 
Job Announcements
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Staff Attorney
Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative (NVI)
 
Overview:
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is seeking a dynamic, self-starting attorney who has vision, initiative, and a demonstrated commitment to public interest law to fill a full time staff attorney position in its St. Louis office for its NVI program. If selected, the staff attorney would serve place-based community organizations and low-income urban residents to provide legal assistance aimed at preventing residential property abandonment and reducing the harmful effects of vacant nuisance properties in the community. The ideal candidate should have strong leadership skills, experience working within diverse communities, and will demonstrate an understanding of the unique issues of equitable community development as it impacts low-income communities and other marginalized populations. Experience working with grassroots community groups preferred. 

How to Apply: Visit the LSEM employment page on their website for more details and to start the application process. Upload your resume and cover letter through their online application. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Submission Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
St. Louis Community Land Trust
Executive Director

Overview:
The St. Louis Community Land Trust is seeking its founding Executive Director. The Executive Director will lead the land trust’s growth, navigate land acquisition, hire a team, raise funds for the organization, manage the founding board of directors, and recruit and onboard advisory group members.

Building on the work of Green City Coalition (GCC), the CLT will focus on converting vacant land and property in the City of St. Louis into diverse and sustainable green spaces as well as residential and commercial real estate development.

How to Apply: Visit the job listing shared on SLDC page on the St. Louis City website for more details. Then go to the job portal to submit your application here.

Submission Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Telling the Vacancy Story


Over the summer former VC team member, Ronald Jones, conducted several interviews with community members to learn more about the impact vacancy has on individuals and how they are leading the way on solutions. This month, check out Ronald's interview with Brian Hurd.


 
Vacancy Collaborative Recurring Events
The Vacancy Reading Group has continued meeting during COVID via zoom. All are welcome! Contact: dana.malkus@slu.edu for more information. 








 
Working Group Meetings 
Anti Displacement: Meets on the Fourth Thursday of the Month at 5:30pm. Contact: stldisplacementwg@gmail.com for more information. 
Data Analysis: Standing Meetings TBD. Next meeting is 9/15/2021 at 4:00pm.Contact: torrey@communitybuildersstl.org for more information. 
Engagement: Meets on the First Thursday of the Month at 12:00pm. Contact: dana.malkus@slu.edu for more information. 
Reinvestment and Reuse: Meets on the First Tuesday of the Month at 10:00am. Contact: naimgry@yahoo.com for more information. 
Stabilization, Maintenance, and Demolition: Meets on the Fourth Wednesday of the Month at 11:00am. Contact: ginnl@stlouis-mo.gov for more information. 
Vacancy Prevention: Meets every other Third Thursday of the Month at 4:00pm. Contact pjhoffman@lsem.org for more information. 
You are receiving this newsletter because you subscribed, attended a working group meeting, or another Vacancy Collaborative event.

What is the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative?
The St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative (VC) is a coalition of community members, private and non-profit stakeholders, and City agencies committed to reducing vacant property in St. Louis. The VC helps to coordinate existing vacancy efforts under one umbrella and empowers the public and private sectors to work together toward solutions. We convene committees and working groups to facilitate systemic change, advance new policies, share success stories, and support neighborhood-centric solutions. Head to www.stlvacancy.com for more information.

Support
Funding to support coordination of the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative was provided, in part, by Missouri Foundation for Health, the Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Bank, and many generous individual donors. We can't do this work with out you. Please consider making a donation today and share your love for the Vacancy Collaborative!
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