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Federal Home Loan Bank - Cincinnati

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Analytical View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 01 2017 at 2:43pm
A Readily Available Supplementary Financing Source to Expand
Middletown's Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Betterment Efforts

Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) - Cincinnati:  The FHLB and its' member banks
provide supplementary funding grants via the Affordable Housing Program (AHP). In my
two years as the city's Community Development Coordinator, a partnership was formed
with People Working Cooperatively (PWC) and Fifth Third Bank that yielded $150,000 of
AHP capital

These funds, along with $150,00 of city CDBG funds plus $200,000 in PWC labor and
materials, greatly expanded the city's Emergerncy Home Repair (EHR) Program.  In
contrast, today the EHR activity has only one-fifth of the resources of the former
$500,000 elderly-handicapped home owner undertaking.  The current $100,000 is
comprised of $50,000 in city funds and $50,000 in PWC contributions.  As an aside, AHP
funds are being utilized by Habitat for Humanity in Hamilton to provide supplementary
capital for their Third Ward Community Development housing endeavors. 

Prior to moving to Middletown, I served as Community Development Officer in Hot
Springs, AR.  We initiated a partnership with a local member bank (Bank of the Ozarks)
and applied for $250,000 in funds through the Federal Home Loan Bank - Dallas to
leverage $250,000 in CDBG funds.  Our application was approved thereby providing ten
(10) first-time home buyers with "gap financing" to successfully acquire and rehabilitate
vacant, blighting residences for affordable residency in the two target neighborhoods.

Additionally, the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate there has also partnered with the
Bank of the Ozarks in successfully applying for and receiving AHP capital in support of
their aggressive new home ownership developments.
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buddhalite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 01 2017 at 7:15pm
Hmmm.....methinks thou dost protest too much, you've been pretty busy out here on the forums....

But - I have to say, all this is nice, and if you want to talk Springfield, Missouri - let's do it - know the city well, and i can see where that program would work well there....

But Middletown is a bit different.  Frankly, I'm not sure that the 'target' areas of blight and vacancy are worth saving - at any cost.

You see - I've done a bit of homework here.  The residences in question - well, many I wouldn't even walk on the front stoop - the timbers are rotten.  Many have sub-floors that are so rotten - you'll just fall in the basement.  It's not a good investment to rehab many, many of these houses.

Plus, it's not wise to build new homes there - people don't want to live there to begin with (hence the vacancy and the blight) - so I really don't think that this program is all that applicable in Middletown.

Look - I'm an east ender.  Always during the 15+ years of residency in Middletown that I've been here has been on the east end - literally a stones throw from I-75.  A friend of mine last week said to me - hey, now that you guys are back, we can all get together and go try some of those new restaurants downtown.

I said - "Why?  Ok, sure the food may be incredible - but when I'm done eating at 8:30 on a Friday or Saturday night - what else is there to do all the way over there?"

She looked at me and thought for a few seconds (and she's a lifer in Middletown) - "You're right about that - no movies, no shopping, no entertainment, nothin'.  Well, we should still try the restaurants before lack of traffic shuts them down!"  

I think our best bets right now are to condemn - seize (em dom) - clear - deed - move on to the next one.  I know, I know, Adkins is reading this right now thinking he's won me over - but I've spent much time deliberating over this issue - and yes, there's a cost - but the longer term is perfect.  Those who want to stay in those neighborhoods reap the benefits of less blight and perhaps larger lots - and if we can ever turn some manufacturing back on in this city - maybe a developer could rebuild some affordable housing out there someday.

Of course - it's all a pipe dream right now.  If I had 100 Million Dollars - I'd give it to the city to fix this - but it wouldn't be enough, sadly.  We've got to get rid of the eyesores (as is our civic responsibility) and let time tell the rest.

I'm more interested in what the City and its leaders are doing to bring BUSINESS AND JOBS!  Those will fix the entire situation without the need for one single government dollar!

That's the solution.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Analytical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2017 at 3:33am
Well, we're now served notice by BuddhaLite that Middletown has a new urban planner and community development expert in our midst.  Coincidentally, he's well-versed on my hometown of Springfield, MO.  How fortunate can we be?  Any day now Doug Adkins will be contacting him to enlist his services in planning future older neighborhood, job creation and downtown revitalization initiatives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2017 at 12:13pm
Albeit larger in population than Middletown, Youngstown shares many similar challenges insofar as an older housing stock, outdated infrastructure, prevalence of crime and economic development needs as typical of Ohio rust belt cities.

But, that's where the similarities stop as Youngstown devotes nearly two-thirds of its' HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Programs funding for miscellaneous affordable housing plus street improvements projects.  They also have dedicated $175,000 this program year to address crime prevention.

Not surprisingly, Youngstown concentrates most of its' HUD-funded initiatives in targeted neighborhood areas to enhance overall program impact   Why not in Middletown?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2017 at 11:03pm
Dear Analytical,

Glad to know your hometown is Springfield.  I lived there for several years myself - my favorite place to eat there is Shanghai Inn on Glenstone.  That cashew chicken is off the chain.  I loved Hamby's too.  Only restaurant I had ever seen as a kid with liquid sugar on the tables.   So, I think it's easy to say that I am well versed in Springfield, Missouri.  It may be your home town - but I resided there and go back regularly for business.

I also know Youngstown - and many of the other places you could mention...

The problem you have here is that you think that replication of strategy is in some way a universal endorsement of its success.  It is not.

As I said before - all things are not equal - you can't compare the likes of Greenville to Middletown - we've tried and it doesn't work. 

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2017 at 6:48pm
YOUNGSTOWN, OH NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (YNDC)
AN OVERVIEW OF TEN (10) TARGETED AREAS YNDC INITIATIVES

Activities like this Youngstown initiative would make a real difference in upgrading Middletown's older impacted neighborhoods.  Of particular interest is their "Lots of Green" endeavor to undertake a Phase One interim re-purposing of vacant lots created by HUD-funded governmental action.

PROGRAMS


Home » Programs

15 Vermont

YNDC fully renovates vacant homes to a high standard for sale to new

homeowners at an affordable price.

866 Canfield Road

YNDC’s REVITALIZE Rental program offers an opportunity to rent a quality

rental unit.

YNDC is a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency dedicated to helping you

achieve sustainable home ownership. We assist clients with identifying and

resolving the barriers to homeownership in one-on-one counseling sessions as

well as in a group, classroom-style setting.

Iron Roots Urban Farm, a project of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development

Corporation, is a 1.7 acre working farm and training center located at 820

Canfield Road on the south side of Youngstown.

Want to invest in Urban Agriculture and eat fresh all summer long? Enroll in

the Iron Roots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for a weekly

subscription to healthy, fresh produce directly from the farm and support

community revitalization!

A strategic partnership between YNDC, ServeOhio, and the City of Youngstown,

the AmeriCorps REVITALIZE Project is Youngstown’s front line in the effort to

FIGHT BLIGHT in our neighborhoods.

VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to America, is a national service program operated

by the Corporation for National and Community service. VISTA members serve for

one year, represent all walks of life, and work to strengthen the capacity of YNDC’s

programming to better meet needs at a citywide scale.

YNDC's small business development program is designed to help new and

established entrepreneurs in Mahoning County reach their business goals, with

all services beginning with a one-on-one intake meeting. Please contact Liberty

Merrill at 330.480.0423 to see if our services are right for your business!

Paint Youngstown

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) offers a

limited exterior home repair program, PAINT YOUNGSTOWN, to assist residents

of owner-occupied, single family homes with exterior improvements at NO

COST to owners.

YNDC Lots of Green cover image

Lots of Green, YNDC’s vacant land reuse program seeks to repurpose vacant

land and empower city residents to transform the physical fabric of their

neighborhoods.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2017 at 7:02pm
Okay,

So I picked one of your listed examples here to review.  The one I chose was Lanterman - simply because it is the 'model' block according to its own description.

I went straight to google maps.  The first thing I did was take a virtual drive up and down the streets on the target map.  Surprisingly, their idea of blight is some cracking paint and/or mildew on a roof....because that's the most 'blight' I could find in that area.

The streets are bad - sure - but that's not what we are talking about here.  Plus, it's not in the middle of a food desert, there's plenty of commercial activity in walking distance and lots of churches, mechanics, gas stations, etc. all within at least 1,000 feet of the area.

Doesn't really compare to Middletown and the blight we face at all, I don't believe.

These clearly qualify as TLC properties, not massive undertakings with uncaring owners.

Bob


Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 09 2017 at 10:10pm
With nearly 50% of the CDBG funds allocated just for Code Enforcement personnel, not to mention another $140,000+ earmarked for other administrative Neighborhood Revitalization Department purposes, there's precious few HUD dollars left to be utilized for much of anything.

It's never a waste of time or effort to make note of success stories of other Ohio and nationwide municipalities.  Taxpayer funds deserve to be spent for cost-effective, high impact and sustainable neighborhood betterment endeavors.  City staff should be willing, if not required, to spend the time to seek out other form of matching funds to expand program impact.  The Federal Home Loan Bank - Cincinnati is one readily available source.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 10 2017 at 8:42am
Posted: Mar 05 2017 at 1:25pm
The workbook for next week's City Council meeting includes the city staff proposed budget for the 2017-18 CDBG
Annual Action Plan.  Of the $670,261 provided to the city by HUD, $474,397 (70% plus) will be spent for
administrative purposes (Rehab Program Delivery, Code Enforcement and Administration).

Emergency Repair Assistance - $50,000
Rehab Program Delivery - $15,000
Fair Housing (H.O.M.E.) - $5,000
Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio, LLC - $15,000
Community Center - $41,000
Senior Center - $46,000
Code Enforcement - $330,345
Demolition - $38,864
Administration - $129,052 (Estimated)

TOTAL = $670,261
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 10 2017 at 4:23pm

Thanks to Analytical’s breakdown of Adkins’ workbook figures for the Community Development Block Grants (HUD) portion of the proposed 2017-18 budget, the TRUTH about where the $670,261 HUD grant that the city will receive is made clear:


Administration - $129,052 (Estimated) This will be taken off the top as the usual administrative cost to run the program.


Rehab Program Delivery - $15,000 This cost is not explained but it appears to be additional charge for administration of the program which was already listed above.


Code Enforcement - $330,345 This is used to pay SEVERAL (mostly unnecessary) city inspectors to do the job that takes ONLY ONE PART-TIME INSPECTOR to do the SAME JOB in Hamilton.


Total Administrative Costs - $474,397 That’s OVER 70% of the entire $670,261 HUD Grant


Did the city learn this from the Berny Madoff school of high finance?


Code enforcement is by far the largest use of CDBG money (nearly half). Middletown could not get by without inspectors abusing our senior citizens. Remember that if an inspector is sent to YOUR property and find nothing wrong they will make up a problem (every house in Middletown needs new gutters and trim painted even if it was just completed last week). Any honest government would try to help our seniors instead of making their lives miserable. If the money for inspectors and administration was used to actually better Middletown, maybe we would have a better Middletown.


Now to the reason why we have so many inspectors that will be paid with the ear marked $330,345 code enforcement administrative fee!! When Adkins lost us the section 8 program he still had to keep his buddies (the inspectors) employed, so he put them in building inspection and departments where they were not needed, such as, community development, neighborhood improvement and revitalization; so that then the citizens paid the salaries that had been paid by HUD.


This has been an ongoing problem for years. Every Government grant or handout to the city was ripped off by half or more for administrative fees. That happened with the Super Fund money for the Aeronca clean-up. After the city used up the Super Fund for administrative fees there was no money left to finish the job. When they went back to the Super Fund they were told that they had been given enough money for the job. So, guess who ended up paying for the clean-up? That’s right, the Middletown citizens’ tax dollars paid for the job.





"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 10 2017 at 6:23pm
WhistlersMom -

Among nationwide CDBG grantees, the percentage of funds allocated for Code Enforcement is roughly 4%.  In contrast, the City of Middletown allocates close to 50% of these limited HUD resources.

In addition to the preceding, the city's Emergency Home Repair endeavor now has $100,000 in combined resources available to assist elderly/handicapped home owners with items such as rusty gutters or peeling front porch paint.  That is ONE-FIFTH of the $500,000 in combined resources that were available in from late 2007 through 2008.  You are correct in that priorities for city usage of CDBG funds have dramatically changed in recent years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 10 2017 at 11:20pm
WhistlersMom -

Now that Butler Metropolitan Housing Authority (BMHA) administers the HUD Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program that was previously run by C.O.N.S.O.C. and later Nelson & Associates for the city, they have administrative funds that are used for inspection purposes.  I don't know if they contract out these services like Nelson & Associates did, or have inspectors on their staff.

Regarding the City of Hamilton's staff for their Code Enforcement program, I have no actual information.  In the case of Middletown, I presume that Larry Tuttle is still the Chief Building Official.  I don't know if he has any support staff after the layoff of his two supplementary inspectors roughly seven years ago.  And, the Code Enforcement Division has an even larger staff than when I oversaw this activity back in 2007-2008.

Fairly recently, Mr. Adkins provided a post stating that the current number of Section 8 vouchers located within the Middletown city limits had mysteriously dropped to 895.  This meant that 767 of the 1,662 Section 8 program units were located elsewhere following program turnover to BMHA not very long ago.  I have often wondered about his puzzling information???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 10 2017 at 11:23pm


Analytical-


Mr Adkins “erroneously” stated that there was a fortuitous reduction in Middletown’s Section 8 vouchers. He was reporting only the vouchers under the Butler County/Middletown program (895 vouchers) and ignoring the Warren County/Middletown program (767 vouchers). There was no change/reduction in the total number of Middletown’s 1662 vouchers (but perhaps an attempt to manipulate the facts and figures to his advantage).



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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