Ohio Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady Approved Major Funding for Utility and Rental Assistance

Ohio: Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady led the effort to approve $32 million for utility and rental assistance. The funds will be distributed to local nonprofits and the Department of Job and Family Services. Efforts they support will include eviction prevention and a Resiliency Bridge Pilot Program to help residents move into higher-paying careers. O’Grady said the county’s goal is to make a generational impact with these investments and empower struggling families.

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Ohio City Council President Shannon Hardin Allocated $2 Million to Help College Students Secure Housing

Columbus, Ohio City Council President Shannon Hardin and fellow city councilmembers allocated $2 million to extend the Success Bridge Housing Stabilization program, which coordinates with community partners to help college students secure housing. The program started as a pilot in 2020 and provided emergency financial assistance and longer-term housing solutions to nearly 100 students. Success Bridge closed earlier this year, but Hardin worked to authorize $1.6 million from the city to pair with $400,000 from the city’s federal Emergency Rental Assistance programs. “Students more often fall behind on rent rather than tuition,” Hardin said. “This is a proven way to keep people in school.”

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Rhode Island Brett Smiley Directs $3 Million Grant for Building Resilience in Non-Profits Serving Underserved Providence Communities Program

Providence: Rhode Island Mayor Brett Smiley announced $3 million in grants for the Building Resilience in Non-Profits Serving Underserved Providence Communities program. This grant will help the grantees improve and expand their impact, including key social and behavioral services, employment opportunities, and more. “These grants are a long-term investment that will help prepare our community organizations become more resilient in future disasters and ensure residents can still have access to quality services,” Smiley said.

American Rescue Plan: Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft Received Funding for First Wave of Support for Housing Projects

Nevada: Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft worked with the Board of Commissioners to approve new funding to get 3,000 affordable housing units up and running, adding to a multi-million dollar plan that includes federal HOME-ARP funding. The first round of new funding will support housing projects already in the pipeline while the second is expected to spur construction of new long-term rental housing. This will offer lower-income residents relief from housing costs.

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Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin Uses Federal CHOICE Neighborhood Funds to Revitalize Aged Housing Units

Alabama: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin won a $50 million grant from the Housing and Urban Development CHOICE Neighborhood Program to modernize aged housing units. The project funded by the grant aims to provide 1,000 subsidized, affordable and market-value homes to replace 900 units in one of the nation’s oldest public housing communities. “Since my first day in office my number one priority has been neighborhood revitalization,” added Woodfin. This initial grant of $50 million will kickstart a $294 million investment in these neighborhoods.

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Michigan Senator Sam Singh Sponsored Legislation to Improve Affordable Housing with Brownfield Development Expansion

Michigan Senator Sam Singh sponsored a legislative package and signed into law this week will increase the supply of affordable housing in the state. The legislation includes modifications to the “state’s brownfield development fund, expanding it to support housing developments.” The brownfield development program in Michigan provides reimbursements for redeveloping contaminated, blighted, or historic properties through tax increment financing. Singh celebrated the signing, saying, “These bills will give our local communities more tools, and incentive, to invest in affordable housing projects.”

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San Diego Councilman Raul Campillo Supported Ordinance that Ensures Protections for Family Child Care Providers

California: San Diego Councilman Raul Campillo championed a new ordinance that strengthens protections for family child care providers operating from their homes. The new protections will prevent landlords from seeking unreasonable eviction or rent increases. “We know that family childcare providers play a vital role in providing essential services for families and that they can be a big part of improving the supply of childcare options in our city,” said Campillo.

Representative Mari Manoogian: New Program Boosts First-Time Homebuyers

Homeownership is vital to building a long-term, stable economic foundation, yet rising prices and stagnating wages have made homeownership unattainable for many young people. On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed NewDEAL Leader Michigan Rep. Mari Manoogian’s legislation to establish the state’s First-Time Home Buyers Savings Program. The new program will allow residents to open special savings accounts to save for and eventually purchase single-family homes. Contributions and withdrawals from the accounts will be tax-exempt. “Homeownership is a hallmark of the American Dream,” said Rep. Manoogian. “This new program will put young people and new families on the pathway to success and will help our state retain its best and brightest…” Read more about the legislation here.

Former County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty: Novel Strategy to Address Mental Health and Homelessness

This week, Santa Cruz County, CA Supervisors, including NewDEAL Leader Ryan Coonerty, unanimously approved a new strategy for addressing mental illness among homeless individuals in the county. The “Mental Health Services Act Innovation Plan” aims to enroll approximately 600 people experiencing homelessness. The program will send field teams to meet participants where they are and provide clinical and case management services to both address mental health concerns and help transition participants into permanent housing. The program will help the County plot a permanent response that could serve as a model for other localities. Read more here.

Speaker of the Maine House Ryan Fecteau: Reforming Zoning and Land Use in Municipalities

This week, NewDEAL Leader Speaker of the Maine House Ryan Fecteau is championing a new effort to combat the state’s affordable housing shortage through ending zoning regulations. Among other provisions, his bill would require localities to let private property owners build up to four housing units on their land, rather than restricting them to single-family homes. Fecteau’s goal is to not only quadruple the number of new affordable housing units built in Maine each year from 250 units to 1,000, but also ensure that those affordable housing developments will remain affordable for the next 30 years. Read more about Speaker Fecteau’s bill, which has wide bipartisan support. And for more on solutions for the housing crisis, register to join experts and NewDEAL Leaders for our March 16 virtual event “Implementing the Recovery: Improving Access to Affordable Housing”.