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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 CAHA (20)

Sunday
Mar222015

CAHA Featuring Bill Faith of COHHIO

Every other year, we like to hear from the leading lobbyist for an end to poverty in Ohio, Bill Faith executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing.  The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance meeting is a once a month look at the state of housing locally.  We review troubled properties and check in on various programs that meet the housing needs to those struggling in the community.  The April CAHA meeting will feature Bill Faith who leads the state housing coalition. 

The meeting is April 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the HUD offices at 1350 Euclid Ave. in the lower level. The meeting is open to the public.  Bill will talk about the Ohio State budget proposals being discussed down in Columbus.  Faith will give some highlights of the potential budget and its impact on housing and homelessness in Ohio.  He will talk about the State Housing Trust fund and the national budget.  The National Housing Trust finally has money and what will that mean for Ohio.  Join us to hear Bill Faith provide his take on state and national issues.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinions of those who sign the entry.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Interesting CAHA update on CMHA

The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance Meeting took place last week and the big news was that CMHA is going to have to open the Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher Program) waiting list.  The last time it was opened was 2011 and 10,000 names were drawn.  The problem is that the list is getting stale with most of the people on the list no longer around.  They either do not respond or have relocated or are no longer in need.  It is most likely that this summer they will have to re-open the waiting list for the voucher program in August or July. 

Everything will be pretty similar to 2011 with the application open for 5 to 7 days exclusively online (no paper applications).  Everyone in need of housing or who suspects they will need help with the rent between now and 2020 should apply.  We will have more details in the near future.

Public Housing officials also attended and reported that there are 9,600 total units in the Public Housing inventory with 99% occupied.  There are now 20,700 people waiting on the wait list with 70% waiting for a single bedroom. The current Public Housing list is 36% families and 23% seniors.  25% of the residents do not have income and 20% are on Social Security.  18% are employed and 17% are on some form of disability.  In a sign of how trivial cash assistance is now in the world only 2% of the total population receive assistance from the welfare department. 

CMHA is starting to rebuild Cedar Estates and renovate Bohn Tower and the former Garden Valley apartments.  They are working on the final phase of Carver Park and renovating Riverside Park.  Some of these properties are being renovated using private bank financing, which had been prohibited in the past. 

The President's budget is favorable toward the housing authorities, but who knows how that will play out by October.  The Housing Authority is working on how these newly created units developed with private dollars will integrate into the public housing system.  This current system has the highest number of occupied units since 1988.  The Housing Choice Voucher program has 14,000 participants and the program but is under utilized.  Most people are not showing up for their appointments to fill the voucher program and the waiting list is rather stale.  CMHA officials estimate that they will exhaust the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list in May of this year. 

The Voucher program is working with the long term homeless, veterans and those aging out of the foster care system.  They are planning to assist with the Pay for Success program to keep the time spent in foster care down.   There are 60 to 70 who leave the program every month and there are only 2,700 left on the 2011 waiting list.  There are 305 in the Veterans program and more to give out. 

The next CAHA meeting will feature Bill Faith of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio on April 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Feb022015

CAHA Meeting Postponed

Because of Groundhogs Day and the depression most of us felt when we heard that the Pennsylvania rodent had predicted another six more weeks of snow, we had to postpone the CAHA meeting for today.  We hope to reschedule for next Monday February 9 at 1:30 p.m. at HUD (1350 Euclid Ave.)  We will post an update on Tuesday.  We hope to have a discussion of the move of Coordinated Intake to 1736 Superior Ave. and the housing assistance for veterans.  Stay tuned for more details.  Here is the link to more details on CAHA.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Jan022015

Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Forum on Monday

The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance (CAHA) is Monday January 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm. at US Bank Centre Building at 1350 Euclid Ave. Lower Level.  It should be an interesting meeting about the state of the Community Development Organizations in Cleveland.  

We have talked about the changes that have taken place over the last few years in the world of the Community Development organizations with the presentations of both UCI and Famicos at CAHA.  At the January meeting, we have invited Kathy Hexter of Cleveland State University and Bryan Gillooly of Bellaire Puritas CDC and Timothy Tramble of Burton Bell Carr Development to provide a look at the work of the CDC now and in the future.  How do they organize neighbors and how will they maintain access to affordable housing locally?  What will the pressure to show outcomes mean and the neighborhood work necessary to clean up after the housing foreclosure crisis?  We have invited City of Cleveland officials to also talk about the changes in the Ward boundaries and the effect of the cuts to Community Development Block grants.

As always we look at any troubled property in Cuyahoga County.  This is the 17th year of CAHA. A monthly meeting to check in on the status of affordable housing locally.  The goal is to stop the loss of affordable housing.  All are invited to attend.  Contact NEOCH to get on the e-mail list.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

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.