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This blog is dedicated to distribute current information about the Coalition for the Homeless in Cleveland or poverty or the state of homelessness. Entries are written by board or staff of the Coalition. The opinions contained in this blog reflect the views of the author of the post. This blog features information on shelters, affordable housing, profiles, statistics, trends, and upcoming events relating to homelessness. We welcome comments, and will remove offensive or inappropriate messages. All postings are signed by the author.

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Friday
Jun062014

Putting Together a Plan for Homeless Voting

Wednesday
Jun042014

CAHA Housing Meeting from June 2014

At the recent Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance meeting held on Monday, June 2 at the US Bank Centre, attendees discussed various changes, updates, and projects concerning public housing.

Starting off the meeting was Priscilla Pointer Hicks of the Housing choice Voucher program. Hicks, retiring this summer, gave a summary of the CMHA Voucher program. She detailed the effects of HUD’s 2013 budget cuts, such as slowed voucher issuance, weaker customer service quality, and the loss of a third of her staff. In addition, Hicks mentioned that 900 vouchers are currently underutilized due to an increasing turn-over rate of homeless veterans. Moreover, only 95% of the budget is being spent, which is a stark contrast to the ideal 97% and last year’s 105%. The lower spending can be seen as a direct consequence of the staff and budget cuts. However, Hicks was also quick to recognize the many positive aspects of her program and the numerous improvements underway.

For one, the program’s customer service call center is being replaced by their caseworker system in which individuals are assigned a personal caseworker. Also, a new inter generation housing property containing 40 units will be a new addition to the community. These positive changes are harbingers of a brighter future for the public housing sector, and we have Hicks to thank for some of these changes. She served her community selflessly for 15 years but will now hand over the reign to Latweeta Smyers, a former New Orleans housing director of asset management. We wish both Hicks and Smyers luck in their future endeavors.

Scott Pollock of CMHA Public Housing spoke next and presented his periodic look at the Housing Authority. Pollock spoke on matters regarding the federal budget, current demographics of housing residents, and development activities. Of those development activities, one stood out in particular: RAD, the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. A voluntary program of HUD, RAD allows public housing and modern rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) properties to convert to long-term Section 8 rental assistance contracts. RAD, according to Pollock, is spearheading the future of public housing by generating funds the CMHA Public Housing program requires now that capital funding is in decline.

The capital fund is currently at $1.9 billion – a slight increase from last year but not quite sufficient nonetheless. In D.C., the House proposed budget of $4.4 billion was also unsatisfyingly lower compared to the President’s budget of $4.6 billion, highlighting further budget concerns for HUD with direct implications on Pollock’s program. On a brighter note, Pollock touched upon six new projects in the works, some of which include a cedar extension unit and a heritage view unit, both of which have been funded and approved. Pollock then briefed the rest of the group on the amendments of the 2014 Housing Agency plans and the future hearing to be held in July of this summer. He expressed hope for better quality housing and increased funding for the future.

Other notable updates in the meeting included a report on the proposed move of HUD Multifamily staff out of Ohio and a report on Troubled Properties. On a final note, all these changes and updates discussed at the meeting will surely have an impact on the community, and we hope that the members of the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance will continue their work to foster positive change. Please contact  Brian Davis at (216) 432-0540 for questions and suggestions about the meeting.

by Lora Zuo

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Tuesday
Jun032014

Housing Cleveland Website is a Wonderful Resource

HousingCleveland.org is a website constructed by a whole host of non-profit and government organizations.  A FREE website for housing related needs. Helping people to have access to affordable housing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  Dedicated to working smart by providing resources that offer significant opportunities for families with the need to find safe, decent and sustainable housing.  It also offers understanding of tenants and landlord rights, providing information regarding evictions, conflict mediation services, social services assistance, housing vouchers, disability housing, fair housing oversight and family housing/energy savings.

HousingCleveland.org allows case workers for low-income individuals, such as homeless people, to easily search and navigate extensive listing within Cuyahoga County.  Encouraging landlords to list their properties on the site, and providing tools and resources for homeowners to have easy access to the process.

HousingCleveland.org is a guide to building strong families while sustaining housing opportunities. Dedicated to helping families and the community by providing quality service to address the needs of clients that range from simple to complex.

HousingCleveland.org has grown to become the premiere affordable housing listing in Ohio, with a database of 33,500 housing units, 1,183 apartment units are currently available.

HousingCleveland.org is a reliable, high quality, easy-to-use application.  Generates rent comparison base on comprehensive, detailed rental information, rating tools for locating housing in areas with specific features, such as schools, crime, lead safe guidelines and much more.  We can serve your housing agency needs by solutions that utilize leading edge technology that will meet both local and statewide housing needs.

by Gloria McCurdy

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

 

Sunday
Jun012014

Housing 101 Has Space for you

The next Housing 101 will take place at NEOCH on June 13 at 10 a.m.  We still have space for you to attend. We will have a discussion of the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law and the local law by Randy Cunningham of CTO.  We will also have a look at Permanent Supportive Housing and the local fair housing law.  All of the presentations will give the participants a chance to find resources that they can utilize in the community.  We will have a look at the HousingCleveland website as well as the services available to homeless veterans. 

How do you get help with evictions?  How do you get access to a login for the Housing Cleveland website?  How does a veteran start their journey toward stable housing in our community?  How does a person who has been homeless for a long period of time access permanent supportive housing?  How does a prospective tenant get help with potential discrimination when they are searching for housing?  All these questions will be answered at the forum.  Hope that you can attend.

Here is the page describing the June 13 event and a flyer that you can print and distribute

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Jun012014

New Street Chronicle Available for Sale

The new issue of the Street Chronicle (Issue #21.2) is out on the streets right now and being sold mostly at the West Side Market and downtown.   This is a really nice paper with some really good content.  Thanks to Brent for putting it together, and thanks to the many volunteers who wrote for the paper.  Cindy Miller, one of our former photography students submitted a couple of great images that are included in the paper pictured above.  We have an in depth look at the rights of transgender individuals in using the shelter by Anne Nickoloff.  There is a spotlight of Eileen Kelly and the ID collaborative and Norman wrote two articles about outreach and an entitlement demonstration in March. 

There is a local news updates and a number of stories written by the vendors including a rememberance of a previous vendor, Randy, who died. Cindy along with submitting fantastic photos gave an account of how a small town dealt with the cold weather.  Simona gave an account of going from homelessness to finding housing this year in her article.  Check out the paper which is still only $1.25 with the profits from the paper going to the vendors.  Not only do they write for the paper, but they then sell their words on the streets of Cleveland.  Check out the poetry by Daniel Thompson in this issue.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry