St. Louis has been selected as one of seven cities across three states to attend the 2015 Community Progress Leadership Institute (CPLI), a training program focused on equipping leaders with the skills to address large inventories of blighted and vacant properties for the benefit of their communities. Cities were chosen through an invitation-only, competitive application process. They range in population from just over 40,000 to nearly half a million and have citywide housing vacancy rates of 6-19 percent and high rates of abandonment. They also face challenges such as mortgage foreclosure, poverty, tax delinquency and other property issues. These cities were selected for CPLI because they demonstrate strong leadership and a commitment to developing new solutions for vacant, abandoned and other problem properties.
CPLI sessions will address how to prevent blight and vacancy and how to return vacant buildings and land to productive use. Some of the technical tools that will be explored are data and market analysis, delinquent tax enforcement reform, strategic code enforcement, and land banking. In addition, workshops exploring adaptive leadership will be conducted. For more information, go to www.communityprogress.net/community-progress-leadership-institute-pages-414.php.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has lifted its suspension of mandatory funding to the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), two programs that were created by Congress in 2008 to increase the supply of affordable housing in the U.S. As originally envisioned, both programs would receive funding through a modest assessment on Fannie's and Freddie's ongoing business. FHFA suspended those obligations in 2008 when Fannie and Freddie were put into government conservatorship. For a summary of how each program works and how money will flow to communities, visit http://blog.enterprisecommunity.com/2014/12/freddie-funding-housing.