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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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Entries in affordable housing (35)

Thursday
Jul132017

Lead Safety Network Gathering Announced

Cleveland Lead Safe Network (CLSN) is hosting our Summer Convening on Thursday July 27th at 4PM at 3500 Lorain Avenue. 

 We're pleased to have Councilman Larry Sykes from Toledo City Council as our guest speaker. Councilman Sykes was instrumental in getting the Toledo Lead Safe Housing ordinance enacted one year ago. He was also active in the effort to fight off State Pre-emption of local lead poisoning laws.

 We expect to have a presentation on the proposed Lead Safe Housing ordinance that is being prepared for Cleveland City Council.

 Seating is limited so please register in advance by email (just hit reply and leave your name, phone and organization) or leave a voice message at 216/359-1060.

 Then share the below flyer with everyone in your rolodex or email contacts file.

 From Spencer Wells

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
May022017

Thanks to HUD and Folks at CAHA

Thanks to the local Department of Housing and Urban Development staff and Office Director Pamela Ashby for the certificate yesterday at my last Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance meeting as Executive Director of NEOCH.   CAHA started in the late 1990s by NEOCH, Cleveland Tenants Organization, Legal Aid Society,  Alliance of HUD Tenants, HUD, City of Cleveland Community Development, CMHA, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and Cuyahoga County Department of Senior of Adult Services.  It was started to work to preserve and protect affordable housing.  The goal was to assure that all groups were operating on the same page with the same information.  It was an attempt to know before a property was lost to foreclosure, and then advocates could go about their work to bring publicity and mobilize coalitions. 

I have had the honor to work to with Phil Star (CAHA Chair), Spencer Wells, Cleo Busby, Linda Warren, Peter Iskin, Scott Pollock, Marty Gelfand, two executive directors (Mike Foley and Mike Piepsny) from CTO and many others to keep this program going for years.  I worked to schedule guests for the meeting every month.  NEOCH is committed to continuing this group and is proud that CAHA serves 30 members on the first Monday of the month.  Thanks to everyone for setting aside time every month to talk about affordable housing in our community.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Tuesday
Aug252015

Housing Cleveland 10 Years Old

Ten years ago we were all shocked by the storm hitting the Gulf Coast and then over the next two weeks the inept response to those struggling with the disaster.  We saw how the Army Corps of Engineers had done a disservice to the region by creating a failed levee system that resulted in drowning of the Crescent City.  In Cleveland, we helped with a relocating hundreds of people in both temporary and long term assistance.  Cuyahoga and Cleveland officials along with the Red Cross, Mental Health Services, and hundreds of volunteers opened the Cleveland Convention Center to those struggling with the loss of their housing.  The community pulled together to make it as easy as possible to find relatives and find housing in Greater Cleveland.  We were fortunate to have just opened the website HousingCleveland.org only two weeks before.  This allowed caring landlords to list their property just as hundreds were traveling north to find a place to live after their houses were flooded in the Gulf region.

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority directed all of their landlords to the site to list their property.  Within one month we had already populated the site with 4,000 potential units and 400 available units.  Everyone wanted to help and we had this wonderful website overseen by the North Carolina Not-for-Profit Company, Socialserve who helped set up this resource.  They have the call center to respond to questions and help landlords list their property.  Socialserve also calls landlords who have not logged in and keep the information updated.   NEOCH helped to set up a local advisory board of housing, government and social service providers to manage the website.  The local community really embraced the website, and it quickly shot up to one of the largest of these housing search websites in the country. 

SocialServe.com recently sold off the software  (click for press release) to focus on customer service and expansion.   We have had as much traffic as much larger cities, and the website has expanded to 36 states from the dozen or so 10 years ago.  The disaster services folks in many states have embraced the website realizing how valuable it is to have a place to list available housing units in the event of a natural disaster.  The website is free to use for both the individual searching for housing and landlords listing their property.  We partner with CMHA to list the properties in which landlords who accept a voucher may have vacancies.  The call center has Spanish speaking staff to handle potential tenants who do not speak English. 

We have had before the housing bubble burst over 1 million people searching for housing in one year on the site.  There are 700 available units on the site today.   There are 5,500 landlords using the site who have placed 32,000 units in the database.  There were 992,500 searches done over the last year by nearly 300,000 users.  There is an ability to log in to the site for housing case managers to get additional information about the properties on the site.  It is only operational in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties at this time, but we hope to expand it statewide.  We are happy to celebrate 10 years of HousingCleveland.org and look forward to future growth. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Thursday
Jun252015

VICTORY!! Housing Trust Fund Preserved

Good afternoon housing advocates!

Because you responded when asked, because you made the calls, sent the emails and made the necessary personal contacts, the message to save the Trust Fund got delivered to our lawmakers. Because of all you did, this became a priority in Conference Committee, and because of all you did, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund was restored.

A few shout-outs in and around the Statehouse: To Reps. Ryan Smith, Kirk Schuring, and Denise Driehaus, who were backed by House leadership and other Reps, and who pushed Senate leaders who ultimately agreed to drop the proposed change. To Sens. Mike Skindell and Charleta Tavares and the Democrat Caucus for their unwavering support. And to the Kasich administration, including the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and especially the Office of Budget and Management, and the Office of the Governor for understanding the important role the Trust Fund plays in both protecting vulnerable populations and moving the economy forward.

We encourage you all to thank your State Representatives and Senators for their support as soon as possible.

This demanding exercise taught us a couple of things: 1) together we can impact housing policy; and 2) we still have a lot of work to do. We learned there is a high level of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge at the Statehouse about what the Trust Fund is and does. A continued lack of understanding will keep the Trust Fund and all of our housing programs vulnerable to future attacks like this, so doing a better job of educating our public officials has to be a top priority.

We urge you to get to your members yet this summer, while it’s fresh in their minds, and show them the value of the Trust Fund in your community. 544 organizations across the state signed on to the letter to the Governor. Let’s use the momentum and strength we’ve all created to elevate the importance of our state’s greatest housing resource!

With gratitude,

Bill Faith
Cathy Johnston
Suzanne Gravette Acker

This post is from the staff of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio

Wednesday
May202015

Weekly Update on Homeless Stories in the News



Here are a few interesting news stories about homelessness from the last week.  Click on the blue text to view the source article.

by Dan the Intern

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry