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St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative
December Newsletter
Read on for updates on what's happening related to vacancy in St. Louis and continued ways to engage with the Vacancy Collaborative.
Call for Interest! Place-based Groups Seeking Equitable Development Tools
In 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Anti-Displacement Working Group (ADWG) of the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative hope to assist a St. Louis neighborhood (or set of neighborhoods) with technical assistance and an on-site workshop. This Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program is geared toward neighborhoods who recognize challenges around equitable development and are trying to kick-start efforts to address a specific issue.
  • Eligibility: Neighborhood organizations or other place-based groups in St. Louis City interested in exploring equitable development issues and developing policy recommendations for preventing displacement with EPA and ADWG support.
  • Deadline to apply: 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on January 24, 2020.
  • How to apply: Submit a two-page letter of interest.
  • Timeframe: EPA expects to select one or two recipients by February 2020 and provide all technical assistance by July 2020.
See the full "Request for Letters of Interest" and instructions on how to apply here.
Resources from the CCP National Conference
You may remember, 20 community residents and partners from St. Louis were at the Center for Community Progress' national conference, "Reclaiming Vacant Properties," in Atlanta, GA back in October. 

Presentations and handouts from nearly all of the 70 sessions have been uploaded to the CCP website. Some highlights as identified by our St. Louis attendees are linked below.
Breathing Lights                                                                 Hinge Collective

And you can view presentations by our St. Louis speakers too:
2019 Thank You!
2019 has been an incredible year thanks to the Vacancy Collaborative’s network of committed volunteers, organizations and departments. Thanks to our collective efforts, we’ve been able to build relationships, change policy, and increase capacity for combating vacancy. Here are some highlights from the people who make this happen: 
Top photos from May 2019 Vacancy Workshop (by Chuck Ramsay for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri), Bottom half, clockwise from left: Governor Parsons signing Senate Bill 203, Anti-displacement working group meeting (by Dave Menninger), St. Louis attendees at the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, Vacancy Prevention working group meeting (by Dave Menninger). 
Together, we:
  • Met at 90 working group meetings with 1000+ volunteer hours to gather community input and best practice recommendations.
  • Contributed to passage of state legislation to improve tools to hold private vacant property owners accountable.
  • Supported ongoing pilot programs through the City and other partners related to deconstruction, lot maintenance, and stabilization.
  • Represented St. Louis and shared our stories at two national vacancy events (Code Enforcement Academy in Memphis and the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference in Atlanta).
  • Received an award from the St. Louis Metro Section of the American Planning Association.
  • Helped change the narrative around vacancy through several news articles, videos, and social media.
  • Uplifted effective vacancy efforts across the City through events and communications.
  • Grew our capacity with two new staff members, Ronald and Lilly.
In 2020, we’ll continue our collective efforts to convene committees and working groups to work towards systemic change, advance new policies, share success stories, and work to keep residents and neighborhoods at the center of this work. Some new initiatives will include community workshops, pilot programs, a revamped and resource rich website, and more. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy these final few weeks of 2019, and thank you again for all that you do to make the Vacancy Collaborative a strong network of people working for change.
 
Upcoming Working Group Meetings
For up-to-date details on all the working groups, you can always visit our events page for more information. 

Vacancy Prevention
Thursday, December 19 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, January 7 from 10:00 - 11:30 am
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Na'im Gray at naimgry@yahoo.com

 
Marketing & Engagement
Date and Time TBD
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

 

Stabilization, Maintenance, & Demolition
Wednesday, January 22 from 11:00 - 12:30 pm
Location TBD.
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Laura Ginn at ginnl@stlouis-mo.gov


Anti-displacement
Thursday, January 23 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm 
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, 4232 Forest Park Avenue
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Matt Ampleman at stldisplacementwg@gmail.com
 

Vacancy Data
Tuesday, January 28 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Jonathan Leek at jonathanleek@umsl.edu
 

Submit your Events!

Have community news or events related to vacancy that you want to share with the Vacancy Collaborative community? Email tara@communitybuildersstl.org to share your information for this newsletter. 
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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