May 2015

Newsletter Archive

With spring in full swing, we are excited to feature an ambitious urban agricultural community launched by West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation in Providence, Rhode Island. The Sankofa Initiative combats blight, reduces food scarcity, provides culturally relevant food to neighborhood residents, and contributes to the ongoing transformation of the West End.  In addition, we feature a recent report on the future of lease-purchase in promoting homeownership, profile efforts that provide an alternative to predatory payday lending, and highlight a simple technique to create engaging, vibrant public spaces.

On June 17, NeighborWorks will host a summit on Comeback Communities in New Orleans to examine what ingredients are needed to make a neighborhood comeback possible.  Register today to join us for the summit and a follow-up day of service to contribute to the ongoing recovery of this great city.


The ‘Sankofa Initiative’ – A High Impact Urban Agricultural Community
West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation is constructing an urban agricultural community in Providence’s West End with more than 16,000 square feet of gardening space, a large market where residents can sell produce and crafts, and 50 units of affordable housing. With an impressive size and scale, the project has the potential to meaningfully improve the health, housing, and economic prospects of West End’s diverse residents.
Find out more about this initiative >

Lease Purchase Agreements – History and Promise
Lease purchase agreements were developed to carve out a path to home ownership for people locked out of traditional mortgage financing. Unfortunately, these arrangements have a patchy success rate. In Lease-Purchase Failed Before – Can It Work Now? – The Center for Community Progress discusses this history and highlights new lease-purchase models adopted by mission-driven organizations across the country. The report also recommends ways to make these agreements stronger.
Read the report >

Payday Lending Alternatives
Payday lending is used to get cash in a pinch, making them attractive to low-income borrowers who often find themselves without cash-on-hand for emergencies or every day expenses. But the high fees and rates associated with typical payday lending operations makes them risky propositions. To address these concerns, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville and Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore have developed alternative short-term lending instruments with less burdensome rates and eligibility requirements.
Learn more about these projects >

Building Vibrant Spaces through the ‘Power of 10’
The Project for Public Spaces – an organization whose mission is to make places more vibrant - has designed a place-making tool built on the simple principle that more is better. Called the ‘Power of Ten,’ the framework works on the premise that people are drawn to places where lots of activities and events are taking place, and communities can make places thrive by providing people with a greater number and variety of things to do.
Find out more about the 'Power of Ten' >

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UPCOMING EVENTS
Comeback Communities
New Orleans, LA
June 18, 2015

Request for Applications: Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP)
Online
June 30, 2015

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant Opportunity
Online
July 23, 2015

National Housing Conference (NHC) 2015 Annual Policy Symposium
Washington, DC
June 12, 2015

more events/details
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