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The Vacancy Collaborative Newsletter
It's been a busy month for the Vacancy Collaborative! The working groups are busy setting their priorities, the Co-chairs of all the groups met for a half-day workshop, and the entire VC is working towards a measurable action strategy to guide our work.

Read on for more detailed updates and continued ways to engage with the Vacancy Collaborative.
Vacancy Collaborative Stories
One of the Vacancy Collaborative's goals is to share stories about groups and organizations creating positive momentum to address vacancy.

This month's story is written by Samuel Yang, a volunteer with the Vacancy Collaborative. He sat down to talk with three new employees hired in the last year to add capacity to the City's Land Reutilization Authority (LRA).  You can check out the story here. 


                           


Is your group or organization creating positive momentum to address vacancy? Reach out to Tara Aubuchon at tara@communitybuildersstl.org if you want to share your story.

If case you missed Samuel's first story about national vacancy expert Alan Mallach's visit to St. Louis in October 2018, you can check it out here.
Co-chairs Workshop Recap
On February 15th, the co-chairs of the two committees and six working groups met for the first time since the Vacancy Collaborative launched to share updates, coordinate efforts, and get to know one another. 

The half day event included report-outs and updates from all of the co-chairs. You can read their summaries here.

We also spent time imagining the media headlines of the future which provided an important reminder of what positive outcomes we're striving for as a collaborative.

Finally, we discussed three documents that the VAC has drafted to serve as guiding resources for the entire VC. Each of the working groups is currently reviewing and editing these documents to make sure everyone has a chance to weigh in on their content. We'll adopt the final versions later this year.
  • The Vacancy Action Strategy will list out specific action steps and the necessary resources and timing needed to achieve them. Working groups or committees will lead specific strategies relevant to their goals.
  • The Accountability Plan lays out how we adhere to a shared set of transparent communication goals to remain accountable to the community and each other.
  • The Letter of Support allows individuals and organizations to sign on to our goals and be recognized for their involvement in the VC.
Attend an upcoming working group meeting to be part of the conversation in giving feedback and finalizing these documents. We'll share the final drafts once all the groups have had a chance to weigh in on them.
The February 15th co-chairs meeting. From Left: Jonathan Leek, Laura Ginn, Na'im Gray, Dana Malkus, Pamela McLucas, Sundy Whiteside, TinA pihL, Bob Lewis, Peter Hoffman, Austin Albert, Shavette Wayne-Jones, Patrick Brown, Tara Aubuchon. (Not Pictured: Vince Schoemehl, Matt Ampleman).
Working Groups
For up-to-date details on all the working groups, you can always visit our events page for more information. 

Vacancy Data
Tuesday, Mar 19 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm
T-REX, 911 Washington Ave Suite 500
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Laura Ginn at ginnl@stlouis-mo.gov


Marketing & Engagement
Thursday, Apr 4 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm
SLU Law, 100 N. Tucker Blvd, Room 116
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Dana Malkus at dana.malkus@slu.edu

 

Anti-displacement
Thursday, Mar 28 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location TBD.
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Matt Ampleman at stldisplacementwg@gmail.com

 

Vacancy Prevention
Thursday, Mar 14 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, 4232 Forest Park Avenue
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Peter Hoffman at pjhoffman@lsem.org

 

Reinvestment and Reuse
Tuesday, Apr 2 from 10:00 - 11:30 am
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 (the Learning Studio)
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Vince Schoemehl at vincestlouis@gmail.com

 

Stabilization, Maintenance, & Demolition
Date and Time in March TBD. 
SLDC, 1520 Market St, Boardroom, 2nd Floor
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Austin Albert at alberta@stlouis-mo.gov
The February meeting of the Vacancy Prevention Working Group.
Join a Reading Group!
Are you interested in reading and discussing vacancy-related articles and books with others in the VC?  We hope to start an informal reading and discussion group that will meet periodically (probably once a month or so).  If you are interested in participating, please contact Dana Malkus (dana.malkus@slu.edu). 
Other Community News & Events
Proposition NS (Neighborhood Stabilization) Update
Prop NS funding represents an exciting opportunity for St. Louis to leverage up to $40M to stabilize vacant buildings owned by LRA, and market those buildings for sale and rehab. This is the first time the City has ever had dedicated funding resources to better manage potentially dangerous vacant buildings within the neighborhoods experiencing the most vacancy and abandonment. After important debate over the last few weeks, the Mayor's Office, along with the original Prop NS petitioners and members of SLACO, have agreed to work together to develop a comprehensive policy that the City and LRA will adopt for the implementation of the new stabilization program. Once this draft policy is complete, it will be shared through the Collaborative to our partners and the community!  

Dollar Homes Program
The LRA Commission has authorized a one year pilot program to sell single family residential properties owned by the Land Reutilization Authority of the City of St. Louis for $1.00, subject to certain requirements. To learn more about the program, see the LRA's information page. You can also read more about the Dollar Homes in this recent Post-Dispatch article

Neighborhood History Workshops
Thanks to the generous support of the Missouri Humanities Council, SLACO is hosting a series of neighborhood history workshops to help neighborhoods uncover a clear sense of identity, assets and challenges.These workshops, led by local humanities scholars, aim to foster collaborative, community-led neighborhood histories in order to create stronger, more resilient communities. Each session will involve a presentation and hands-on experience on how to develop a neighborhood history. Following the workshop series, two neighborhoods will be selected through an RFP process to receive additional assistance and a small budget to develop their neighborhood history. Click here for dates and here for more detailed descriptions of the workshops.
 
What is the Vacancy Collaborative?
The Vacancy Collaborative (VC) is a coalition of partners committed to the reduction of vacant property as a top priority in St. Louis. The VC is not a stand-alone entity, but a coalition of community representatives, private and non-profit stakeholders, and City agencies. The VC helps to coordinate existing vacancy efforts under one umbrella and encourages the public and private sectors to work together toward solutions in a comprehensive and coordinated way. Head to www.stlvacancy.com for more information.

Support
Funding to support coordination of the Vacancy Collaborative was provided, in part, by Missouri Foundation for Health, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis.
Copyright © 2019 Vacancy Collaborative, All rights reserved.


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