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St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative February Newsletter
Read on for more detailed updates on what's happening related to vacancy in St. Louis and continued ways to engage with the Vacancy Collaborative.
New Vacancy Collaborative Website! 
The Vacancy Collaborative's website got a major upgrade! Head over to www.stlvacancy.com to check out:
  • Updated content and resources for residents, neighborhood groups, and rehabbers as well as more detail on the Vacancy Collaborative's working groups, activities and more.
  • Newly published work plan that identifies the most immediate next steps to address the city's vacancy challenge while also recognizing longer-term goals. 
  • A new Community Organizations Map that will help drive more meaningful community planning and engagement. 
February Gatherings

February has been a busy month for Vacancy Collaborative Outreach. We've continued attending neighborhood meetings to share information and hear from residents. We also engaged with legislators in one-on-one meetings with Board President Lewis Reed, staff from Comptroller Darlene Green's office, and a meet-and-greet with Alderpersons (we talked with 18 that day). We also held a joint meeting with collaborative leadership to deepen our relationships and connections. Stay tuned for more public events later this year. 

Landlord Rehabber Trainings for 2020

The goal of the Landlord & Rehabber Training Program is to stabilize our communities by building an eco-system of educated landlords, rehabbers, and small developers empowered to reduce vacancy and nuisance. The program will enlist professionals from real estate, property management, law, accounting, preservation, & finance industries to share their knowledge on acquiring and developing real estate and implementing property management best practices.

These FREE trainings are open to all landlords, property managers, developers, and interested parties. Registration will open for each session 3- 4 weeks prior to the event date, through Eventbrite. The next session is on March 24th and will cover "Best Practices to Stabilize a Rental Business." Sessions are every month through September. See our brochure for information on upcoming sessions through September 2020.

This activity is funded by a HUD Community Development Block Grant via the St. Louis Community Development Administration and coordinated by Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, North Newstead Association, and the Vacancy Collaborative.

Some pictures from our January session including our speakers, Marissa Cohen of the Equal Housing Opportunity Council and Wes Kozeny of Kozeny McCubbin Law Office.
 

Proposition Neighborhood Stabilization Update

Proposition Neighborhood Stabilization 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. In January, the City hired Sean Thomas in the role of Prop-NS manager to oversee the new program. If you see him at working group meetings or other events, be sure to welcome him in his new role!
Vacancy in the News
Salvaging Valuable Brick And Lumber, St Louis Public Radio
A January article highlighted the City's deconstruction pilot program. "Unlike demolition, deconstruction saves valuable materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill...and provides more jobs because it requires more workers."
DAVID KOVALUK | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
 

Renewed Commitment to Legal Services, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has been granted four years' of additional funding from St. Louis Development Corporation for it's Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative (NVI) which provides resources for neighborhood groups to use legal tools to encourage absentee owners to fix vacant properties or transfer them to responsible owners. NVI also helps families clean up land titles and create beneficiary deeds.

New Work Plan and Website Released, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Vacancy Collaborative's new website and work plan was featured in a Post-Dispatch article this week!
Take the Pledge!

The work of the Vacancy Collaborative includes many groups and hundreds of individuals engaging in creating a shared vision for addressing vacancy in St. Louis. The power of the Vacancy Collaborative is this diverse and growing coalition of partners, and we want to recognize your involvement! Join our network (it's free!) so we can recognize your involvement.

Working Groups
For up-to-date details on all the working groups, you can always visit our calendar for more information. 

Marketing & Engagement
Thursday, March 5, 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, March 26 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, March 24 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 (the Learning Studio)
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Tara Aubuchon at tara@communitybuildersstl.org

Reinvestment and Reuse
Tuesday, March 3 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: Na'im Gray at naimgry@yahoo.com

 

Stabilization, Maintenance, & Demolition
Wednesday, March 25 from 11:00 - 12:30 pm
Jubilee Community Church, 4231 N Grand Blvd
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Laura Ginn at ginnl@stlouis-mo.gov


Vacancy Prevention
Thursday, March 12 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
Other Community News & Events

March 10: Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy
Join the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council for an introduction to the concept of a Circular Economy. Attendees will learn about a study of the city of Charlotte's waste stream. Initial projects currently underway such as the Innovation Barn, an organics program, and the Send Me on My Way campaign will be discussed, as well as the complimentary nature of the Circular Economy strategy to other existing initiatives.

March 26: Strategic Code Enforcement Webinar
Join the Center for Community Progress on March 26th at 11:00 am (CST) for a webinar explaining how to build equity, efficiency, and effectiveness into strategic code enforcement efforts.

April 4: 24th Annual SLACO Conference 
Join the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) for its 24th Annual Regional Neighborhood Conference. Registration is $35 in advance ($25 for students), $45 the day of the conference and includes continental breakfast and lunch.

April 16: Community Builders Network Awards Night
Join the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN) for their 8th Annual Community Building Awards and help celebrate the people, organizations, and institutions who work hard to make our local neighborhoods safe, healthy, and welcoming places to live. Several of the awardees are involved in the Vacancy Collaborative. 

April 24: Annual EHOC Fair Housing Conference 
The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and the Missouri History Museum present the 2020 Fair Housing Conference “Up A Creek Without A Paddle: Environmental Racism at the Confluence” on April 24th from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM at the Missouri History Museum.


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 © 2020 Vacancy Collaborative, All rights reserved.


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