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Miss the Fair Housing Forums? Presentations now available on-line

June 25, 2013 in Housing

June Fair Housing Presentations

The NEOSCC is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. In mid-June 2013, through a series of Fair Housing Presentations, we reached out to the 12 Counties to present draft data and listen to your thoughts on this important issue. The documents below represent the data and draft findings from the presentations given on each County during June 18 through 20. Please continue to provide your feedback through our Fair Housing Surveys and by reading and reviewing our draft report. Comments will be accepted until July 9th.

 

Ashtabula County - Slides | Handout

Cuyahoga County - Slides | Handout

Geauga County - Slides | Handout

Lake County - Slides | Handout

Lorain County - Slides | Handout

Mahoning County - Slides | Handout

Medina County - Slides | Handout

Portage County - Slides | Handout

Stark County - Slides | Handout

Summit County - Slides | Handout

Trumbull County - Slides | Handout

Wayne County – Slides | Handout

 

 

See what’s being said about our Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

June 20, 2013 in Housing, News

This week around the Northeast Ohio region, NEOSCC staff are presenting and taking comments on the draft of initials findings from our Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Below are some excerpts of what a few local media outlets had to say about the study and the work we are doing. You can click on each article to read the story in full.

 

“Study: Blacks in Mahoning County receive more predatory loans”
by Burton Speakman,The Vindicator

“The overall point of the study was to show where issues exist within Northeast Ohio and develop a vision of what this area should be, said Anthony Kobak, project manager for NEO Sustainable Communities Consortium.

Then the area needs to develop plans and find funding for programs to help make any necessary changes to make area housing more equitable, he said.”

“Reports show minorities denied loans”
by WKBN Staff, WKBN Channel 27 News

“The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium has released its Fair Housing Report.

The initiative incorporates 12 counties in the northeast Ohio region. The study looked at private lending practices, public sector housing complaints and the community reinvestment act.

Among the data analyzed was that provided by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for home purchase loan applications from 2004 through 2011.

Of the 328,557 loan applications originated in the region, 65,149 were denied. American Indian, black, and Hispanic residents experienced a higher rate of loan denial than white or Asian applicants. Black and Hispanic applicants were also issued higher interest rate loans, and black borrowers experienced a rate nearly twice that of white applicants, according to the report.”

“Fair housing data presented on Lake, Geauga counties”
by Betsy Scott, The News-Herald

“The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium is behind the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice — a document a number of jurisdictions in the region are required to have by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the state, depending on the grant funding agency.

The 2,500-plus-page analysis identified racially and ethnically concentrated areas, measured racial/ethnic isolation and segregation, evaluated access to opportunity areas, and recommended ways to reduce social and economic disparity…

The presentation included the number of housing complaints to HUD from 2004 to 2012 — 31 total in Geauga and 138 in Lake, for reasons including familial status, race and disability. Mortgage loan denials also were reviewed, showing a pattern of higher denials among minorities.

Agency representatives at the presentation disputed some of the data, particularly that which was gathered from a local government survey about fair housing information in their respective communities. They said it didn’t paint an accurate picture…

The results of the fair housing study will be integrated into a planning process for changes to be implemented. They also can be incorporated at the local level, said Anthony Kobak, project manager for NEOSCC.

“Each local entity can accept it as their own analysis of impediments, a portion of it or not at all,” he said. “HUD is concerned with the findings, but moreso how you are addressing them.”"

 

To view the fair housing report online, visit vibrantneo.org/regional-aifhea-draft-report.

To submit comments comments or questions, send to NEOSCC, 146 S. High St., Suite 800, Akron, OH 44308, or email akobak@neossc.org.

Regional AI/FHEA Report on Fair Housing available for public comment

June 10, 2013 in Housing

The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.  Today begins the public review period for the draft reports.

The purpose of the comment period is to allow the public an opportunity to review and comment on the draft findings and suggested recommendations.  COMMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL JULY 9, 2013. Please note that these are proposed findings and recommendations and are subject to change.  All interested citizens are encouraged to attend any of the public meetings and/ or forward written comments to:NEOSCC, 146 S. High Street, Suite 800, Akron, OH 44308 or info@neoscc.org.

Please go to our Regional AI/FHEA Draft Report page to access the documents.

Schedule released for Fair Housing Report Review and Presentations

May 17, 2013 in Housing, News

2013 Northeast Ohio Fair Housing Draft Report Review and Presentations

The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC ) is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.

The public comment period for the report draft will include on-line, in-print and presentation options for your review.  Provide your knowledge, opinions, and feelings about fair housing choice.

The purpose of the comment period is to allow the public an opportunity to review and comment on the draft findings and suggested recommendations.  COMMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL JULY 9, 2013.  Please note that these are proposed findings and recommendations and are subject to change.  All interested citizens are encouraged to attend any of the public meetings and/ or forward written comments to:  NEOSCC, 146 S. High Street, Suite 800, Akron, OH 44308 or akobak@neoscc.org.

State and Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, ancestry or military status.

Schedule

On-Line or In Print Review

June 10 – July 9

Three-volume draft study available for public comment online at www.vibrantneo.org or may be reviewed at the following location (fees may apply for copies):

  • NEOSCC, 146 S. High Street, Suite 800, Akron, OH

Presentations

June 18

  • 9:00am – Mahoning County, Covelli Centre (Community Room), 229 E. Front St., Youngstown
  • 11:30am – Trumbull County, The Wean Foundation (Western Reserve Room), 147 W. Market St., Warren
  • 2:30pm – Lake & Geauga Counties, Mentor Municipal Center, City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 8500 Civic Center Blvd., Mentor
  • 7:00pm – Ashtabula County, Ashtabula County Old Courthouse, Commissioners Meeting Room, 2nd Floor, 25 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson

June 19

  • 9:00am – Portage County, Portage County Regional Planning Commission,  124 N. Prospect St., Ravenna
  • 11:30am – Summit County, Akron Urban League (President’s Hall), 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron
  • 2:30pm – Medina County, City of Medina, City Hall (Multi-purpose Room),  132 North Elmwood Ave., Medina
  • 7:00pm – Stark & Wayne Counties, The Lillian Beane Center, 1711 16th Street SE, Massillon

June 20

  • 9:00am – Lorain County, Lorain County Transportation & Community Center, 40 East Ave., Elyria12:00pm – Cuyahoga County, Castell Conference Center at Lutheran Hospital, The Castele Learning & Conference Center, 1730 West 25th St., Cleveland
  • 2:30pm – Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Heights Community Center, All-Purpose Room, 1 Monticello Blvd., Cleveland Heights

Housing: Strategies to respond to residents’ needs and values

April 26, 2013 in Housing

Housing choice connects with transportation options, public health & improved access to opportunities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a publication outlining various strategies communities can use to ensure redevelopment plans respond to the needs of existing residents and reflect their values.  The strategies are grouped under seven common elements that connect environmental justice, smart growth, and equitable development:

  • Facilitate Meaningful Community Engagement in Planning and Land Use Decisions
  • Promote Public Health and a Clean and Safe Environment
  • Strengthen Existing Communities
  • Provide Housing Choices
  • Provide Transportation Options
  • Improve Access to Opportunities and Daily Necessities
  • Preserve and Build on the Features That Make a Community Distinctive

Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities was developed jointly by EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and HUD’s Office of Sustainable Communities.

For complimentary hard copies of the report (including free shipping), email nscep@bps-lmit.com or call 800-490-9198 and request product code: EPA 231-K-10-005.  You can download a pdf of the report here:  EPA Creating Sustainable Communities report. Feb 2013.

Learn: What is the cost to live here and get there?

March 28, 2013 in Housing, News, Transportation

As two of the most significant expenses in our personal lives, housing and transportation cost can play a key role in our quality of life and where we choose to live.  Over the last few years a new tool has been developed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology to analyze some of these costs relative to income and geography.

To integrate this way of thinking into the choices and decisions made by home buyers, renters, urban and transportation planners, and developers, CNT and our collaborative partner, the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), developed a groundbreaking tool, the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, that measures the true affordability of housing choice-by factoring in both housing and transportation costs in a neighborhood.

The cost of getting around takes a significant bite out of household budgets. The average family in the United States spends about 18% of after-tax income on transportation, but this varies significantly by income and geography. The H+T Index establishes an affordability standard for transportation costs of 15% of household income.

The H+T Index offers an expanded view of affordability that combines housing and transportation costs and sets the benchmark for housing and transportation affordability at no more than 45% of household income. By this measure, the number of affordable neighborhoods in the United States drops to 28%.

A regional view of H + T Costs can be found on the Conditions and Trends platform. You can use the index on-line to compare different geographies in Northeast Ohio as well as other parts of the country.

Fair Housing Forums – Presentations Now Available

March 25, 2013 in Engagement, Housing

The NEOSCC is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. In early March 2013, through a series of Fair Housing Forums, we reached out to each of the 12 Counties to present preliminary data and listen to your thoughts on this important issue.

The documents below represent the data from the presentations given in each County during the week of March 11 through 15.

Please continue to provide your feedback through our Fair Housing Surveys or by emailing comments to info@neoscc.org.

Presentations by County

Ashtabula County FHF

Cuyahoga County FHF

Geauga County FHF

Lake County FHF

Lorain County FHF

Mahoning County FHF

Medina County FHF

Portage County FHF

Summit County FHF

Stark County FHF

Trumbull County FHF

Wayne County FHF

City of Elyria Fair Housing Board sponsoring Fair Housing Conference on April 4

March 21, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, Housing, News

Speakers include:

Marija Georgievski, Executive Director, Lake Erie Landlord Association (Landlord Best Practices)

Dennis Muzilla, Manager, First Federal Savings & Loan of Lorain (Compliance with Fair Lending Practices)

Mindy Wright, Housing Manager, Lorain County Urban League (Foreclosure Counseling 101)

Emily C. White, Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (Rent to Own:  Beware of Scams)

Thriving Communities Institute: From Vacancy to Vitality

March 19, 2013 in ACT, Conditions and Trends, economic development, Housing, News, Toolkiit

In 2011, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy launched an effort to combat the devastating impact of abandonment and disinvestment on Northeast Ohio’s core cities. Entitled the “Thriving Communities Institute,” the initiative targeted the reduction of vacant residential properties, primarily through demolition. These properties, according to Institute Director Jim Rokakis, reduce property values in our neighborhoods. Studies show that one vacant property on a street will significantlyreduce the value of adjacent homes. Soon, due to loss of value, foreclosures and “bank walk-aways,” the nearby homes become vacant as the disease spreads. Soon the entire neighborhood is dead and diseased, having been destroyed by this contagious and toxic process. Then the adjacent areas are infected and the disease spreads further … predictably, relentlessly, and with devastating consequences.

The impact of disinvestment in the urban core also has negative implications for the region’s natural environment. Depressed urban markets drive potential residents further away from the center and into suburban and exurban communities. The demand for housing and retail services away from the core increases development pressure on previously undeveloped open spaces and agricultural lands. The abandoned housing left behind prevents reuse of urban properties for urban gardens, parks, and greenways. Residential vacancies cause unnecessary consumption of “greenfield” land for development while prohibiting the repurposing of unoccupied land for environmental remediation; it is a two-edged sword.

According to Director Jim Rokakis, Thriving Communities Institute is already lending its hand to transform vacant and unproductive properties into new opportunities to attract economic growth, to bring green space to the region’s cities, and to support safe, beautiful neighborhoods. In working with community leaders in Northeast Ohio, the Institute has learned that urban revitalization is a process, one with many steps supported by great partnerships. Thriving Communities is helping secure vacant, unhealthy properties by establishing and supporting county land banks throughout the region. County land banks provide counties with much-needed ability to quickly acquire foreclosed and vacant property. These land banks can safely hold a distressed property, clean its title, and prepare it for a better day. The goal is to secure vacant properties – which would otherwise attract crime, lower neighboring home values, and incur public services costs – so that they can be put to better use in the future.

Additional information about the Thriving Communities Institute is available through their website: http://thrivingcommunitiesinstitute.org/. This site includes opportunities to provide support, become better engaged, and share stories or photographs. Questions about the Institute may be directed to either Jim Rokakis (jrokakis@wrlandconservancy.org) or Robin Thomas (rthomas@wrlandconservancy.org).

What Can I Do Today?

Share your thoughts on Fair Housing this week!

March 11, 2013 in Housing

You are invited to attend our Fair Housing Forums this week!  The NEOSCC is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Through a series of Fair Housing Forums, we are reaching out to each of the 12 Counties to listen to your thoughts on this important issue.

Listen to preliminary findings of the study.  Provide your knowledge, opinions, and feelings about fair housing choice.  Please offer your suggestions on how to eliminate impediments to fair housing choice – ways we can work together to further fair housing in Northeast Ohio.

State and Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, ancestry or military status.

Meeting Schedule

March 11
9:00am – Summit County, Akron Urban League (President’s Hall), 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron
1:30pm – Cuyahoga County, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Corporate Offices, Board Room)
8120 Kinsman Rd., Cleveland
6:00pm – Cuyahoga County, Hall of La Sagrada Familia, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

March 12
9:30am – Wayne County, Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority (Training & Conference Center),
1273 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster
2:00pm – Medina County, City of Medina, City Hall (Multi-purpose Room), 132 North Elmwood Ave., Medina
6:30pm – Lorain County, Lorain County Transportation & Community Center, 40 East Ave., Elyria

March 13
9:30am – Ashtabula County, Ashtabula County Head Start (Lake Erie Room), 4510 Main Ave., Ashtabula
2:00pm – Lake County, Lake County Administration Bldg., 105 Main St., Painesville
6:30pm – Geauga County, Geauga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Community Room)
385 Center St., Chardon

March 14
9:30am – Portage County, Portage County Regional Planning Commission, 124 N. Prospect St., Ravenna
2:00pm – Trumbull County, The Wean Foundation – Western Reserve Room, 147 W. Market St., Warren
6:30pm – Mahoning County, Covelli Center (Community Room), 229 E. Front St., Youngstown

March 15
9:30am – Stark County, The Metropolitan Centre, 601 Cleveland Ave. N.W., Canton