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Early April News and Updates
Thanks to the generosity of the St. Louis REALTORS®, Carrollton Bank, and True Title Company, the first $5,000 of donations on Give STL Day will be matched!  

Early giving started on April 5th. Give STL Day is on May 6th. A donation to the Vacancy Collaborative helps ensure that this inclusive, community-centered effort to combat vacancy is sustained for years to come.

 
What Your Donation Can Do
Paid Fellowship - Apply Today!
We are looking for a Policy & Partners Fellow to work with the Vacancy Collaborative and Green City Coalition over the next two years. The Lead for America fellowship program selects, trains, and places leaders ages 21-30 in high-leverage roles within their local communities. The deadline is May 15, 2021 (not April).

Check out the listing by scrolling down to Missouri, and learn more about Lead For America here.

Please share!
Congratulations to the Mayor-Elect, Tishaura Jones!
On Tuesday St. Louis City elected its first black female Mayor, Tishaura Jones. The Vacancy Collaborative is looking forward to working with the new Mayor's Office to advance the policies and programs that will address our vacancy challenge. 

Earlier this year the Vacancy Collaborative's partners identified three recommendations for the Mayor's Office to prioritize: 
  • Designating a cabinet level position dedicated to institutionalizing cross-departmental coordination and leading a strategy to tackle our vacant property challenge and prevent further vacancies. 
  • Increasing the capacity and role of the City Counselor’s Office, specifically in the Problem Properties Section 
  • Ensuring proactive, equitable development and incentives in conjunction with neighborhood-based planning efforts supported by a strong and funded Planning and Urban Design Agency.
News and Events

 
Next Up: Property Management Services and Software. Tuesday April 27th @ 6:30pm via Zoom. Registration Link 

These free, monthly trainings are 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.  

 Our Network in the News  

The Post Dispatch highlights ways St. Louis City can use American Rescue Plan funds to invest in our communities. Vacancy Advisory Committee Members Bob Lewis and Dana Malkus share ideas for addressing vacancy. 
 

Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative mentioned in 'We Live Here' Podcast about Environmental Racism

This episode highlights Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Law Clinic’s 2019 report on Environmental Racism in St. Louis. The Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative and vacant lot interventions are highlighted as solutions.  
 
Clear Titles Legislation Featured in Podcast from St. Louis REALTORS®

Learn more about recently introduced Clear Title Legislation, the challenge of vacancy in the City of St. Louis, and the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative’s efforts to address the issue.
 

Other News and Events  

April is Money Smart Month! 

On Thursdays in April, join the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force for the Money Smart Month - Preparing for Home Ownership Series.


Study looks at relationship between crime/environmental factors
St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission
(VPC)
and the Institute for Public Health (IPH) at Washington University in St. Louis conducted a study that assessed the impact of vacant property on Criminal Violence in the City.

The study team found a ten-fold risk for homicide near vacant lots in the City of St. Louis.
Working Group Spotlight
Clear Titles Subgroup

The Clear Titles Subgroup is part of the Vacancy Prevention Working Group. The goal of the subgroup is to systematically solve land title problems that hinder the redevelopment of vacant property.

For the last two years, the group developed recommendations that would update state law to modernize the legal notice standards necessary to identify and clear title clouds through the tax sale process. These changes will reduce the wait time for vacant property to move through the tax sale process and improve the insurability of titles sold at auction or owned by the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). The result should make it easier for people to purchase and rehab these properties, and access the bank financing necessary to do it.

These recommendations have been adopted by Senator Roberts and Representative O’Donnell and have been incorporated into legislation introduced in both the Missouri House and Senate. You can track the bill in the House here and in the Senate here.

You can learn more about the legislation here.

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: Next Meeting TBD. Contact: tara@communitybuildersstl.org for more information. 
Marketing and 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, and the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis. 
 
You can make a donation now if you are so inclined :)
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