Payday Lending Reform: We were proud to partner with the Ohio CDC Association to bring about much-needed reform. Over the past twelve months or so, we worked closely with Nate Coffman to support the reform effort spearheaded by a coalition of the Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The roller coaster passage overcame obstacles in both the Ohio House and Senate. As indicated in the attached information sheet, this was truly a team effort that demonstrates the power of people versus a well-financed payday lending industry with numerous lobbyists. We would like to offer many thanks to all stakeholders who supported this effort and signed our petition for a potential ballot issue as a fallback if the legislation was not passed.
Land Contract Ordinance: We thank everyone who joined us in conjunction with the Quality Housing Task Force’s initiative to get this vital City legislation approved. Many individuals in our neighborhoods have been harmed by not having information about the true condition of properties they are purchasing under land contracts. These predatory practices have a disproportionate impact on minority purchasers and neighborhoods. Under the new law, an owner offering a rent-to-own or land contract must (1) provide a certificate of occupancy to the renter/purchaser before the contract is executed. After execution, (2) the offeror must take the land installment contract to the Recorder’s office to be placed of record, and (3) a copy must be sent to the Auditor’s office. (4) Offeror’s are also barred from requiring a renter/purchaser to sign a quit claim deed as part of the contract. Violation of any provision allows the renter/purchaser to void the contract and seek actual damages OR $5,000, whichever is greater.
Housing Court Initiative: Please join us, the Hamilton County Redevelopment Authority, the City of Cincinnati, and other community stakeholders throughout Hamilton County as we continue to pursue the creation of a specialized housing court in Hamilton County to deal with problem properties with creative solutions. You can support this initiative by writing letters addressed to the local Hamilton County delegation of the Ohio State House. We have a form letter from Jessica Powell at the HCRA HERE. Send completed letters to Jessica Powell for collection. If you have any questions, concerns, or need help with this request, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jessica (firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-632-3760) or Jaci Martin at the City Law Department (Jackyn.email@example.com or 513-352-3315).
CRA OCC Review: This review is on our watch list. Earlier this week we joined approximately 100 other NCRC members on a policy call to learn about the pending review of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Community Reinvestment Act was passed in 1977 to end the practice of “redlining,” by requiring banks to lend money in the communities where they are chartered to do business or receive deposits. Banks have made nearly $2 trillion in small-business and community development loans since 1996, according to National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) calculations, to meet the requirements of the law. That’s an impressive record. The CRA announced it will review and revise the rules it sets for banks to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act. As he indicated in his recent New York Times Op Ed, Jesse Van Tol, Chief Executive of NCRC, discusses how these laws define where money flows in the richest nation on earth and where it doesn’t, and how the flow of capital determines, in turn, who has access to affordable housing, to good public education, to small business loans and to financial services that aren’t abusive and predatory.
Neighborhood Voluntary Tax Incentive Contribution Agreement (VTICA). This new initiative takes effect in 2019 and is modeled is based on the Streetcar VTICA and stands to provide property tax abatements to developers, with the developers agreeing to put a portion of the tax savings into the VTICA fund. The money in this fund will be split 50-50 between (1) affordable housing initiatives city-wide, and (2) community development work in the neighborhood in which the abated property is located. This has the potential to bring a lot of financial support to our CDCs! The CDC Association is in the process of applying to be the administrator of this program; we’ll keep you posted!