Happy New Year! Here are several events to help you face the opportunities and challenges of 2017 in your communities!
(See attached flier for more details.)
Sustainable Communities: Online course explores community systems
As communities struggle with increasingly complex social, economic and environmental issues related to sustainability they need the expertise of community development professionals now more than ever. Whether your expertise is in agriculture, natural resources, youth, family or economic development you will be asked to help guide a stakeholder group through a difficult decision making process. The Foundations of Practice course, Sustainable Communities, offers you the tools, skills and knowledge to be the trusted resource community groups need in the emerging dialogs around local foods, energy and natural resources.
Successful community sustainability initiatives rely on understanding systems thinking, sustainability models and the needs and conditions in your town, county, state or region. Tapping into a long legacy of one of the country's most respected organizations, this training, brought to you by the Cooperative Extension System and the Regional Rural Development Centers, provides the background, resources and strategies to support your work in communities.
Best of all, this program comes directly to you! Each week via Zoom, an Extension Specialist will deliver world-class training to you in your office, conference room or even home. Discussions and supplemental resources will be supported using a course website.
The eight-week series begins February 2, 2017. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on timely topics including Energy, Local Foods, Built Environments, Mobility and Natural Resources. Supplemental resources and online discussion opportunities will be available on the course website. Participants can log in at their convenience to explore these topics further, pose questions, investigate additional resources and visit with colleagues in similar situations.
Sustainable Communities is an offering of the Foundations of Practice Program. It is appropriate for individuals who regularly work with community groups in any subject area and have a basic understanding of community development principles. If you find yourself called upon to facilitate community-based initiatives, or you just want to better understand how communities function, this course is for you!
Registration is $125 per person. Register before January 27 and save $25. Registration forms and payment information is available at catalog.extension.org. To learn more about the Sustainable Communities class visit our webpage.
Foundations of Practice is sponsored by the Regional Rural Development Centers in partnership with your Land Grant University network. The course content was created by the eXtension Land Use Planning Community of Practice, Task Force for Sustainable Communities, with grant support from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.
Contact: Mary Peabody, Email: Mary.Peabody@uvm.edu
Individuals requesting a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program should contact Mary Peabody at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 802-656-7232 by January 27, 2017.
Small Town Trends – What’s Coming Next for Rural Communities Webinar
All your life, you’ve been told that small towns are dying, drying up, and disappearing, and that there’s nothing you can do to change it. What if, just once, there was some good news about rural? There is! Big trends are moving in our favor: brain gain, changing retail dynamics, new travel motivations and more. Learn why we have a future and how to shape the future of your town.
Join Becky McCray and Deb Brown on January 18th at 6 pm CST for their next webinar Small Town Trends – What’s Coming Next for Rural Communities. You can register at http://saveyour.town/webinar-trends/
Given all the negative stories on the news and the depressing stereotypes you've heard all your life, you might think all small towns were dying, that the trends to urbanization inevitably will mean the end of all small towns. But that's wrong.
Compiled and published monthly by Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Funding and Finance Opportunities
KRESGE FOUNDATION offers funding through their Developing Healthy Places program on an ongoing basis to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Click here for program guidelines.
THE STEELE-REESE FOUNDATION is offering grants to nonprofits serving rural areas of Idaho and Montana. Nonprofit organizations serving rural regions in the areas of education, health, human services, the arts and humanities, and environmental conservation and historic preservation are eligible to apply. Deadlines: Online letters of inquiry must be submitted by 1/10/2017; invited applications are due 4/3/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the application guidelines for the Idaho and Montana Grant Program.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. This program enhances the capacity of local and tribal communities to effectively target and address significant crime issues through collaborative cross-sector approaches that help advance broader neighborhood development goals. Deadline: 2/2/2017. For more information, and to apply, click here.
USDA is seeking applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). This is a major farmer and rancher funding opportunity that rewards farmers and ranchers for protecting and enhancing natural resources on their working lands. The program is designed to encourage and reward resource-conserving practices such as planting cover crops, rotational grazing, or ecologically-based pest management. CSP also doesn't forget smaller producers: for folks who qualify for the program, the minimum contract payment is $1,500, no matter the acreage. Deadline: 2/3/2017. Click here for an application. For your Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office, click here.
USDA Rural Utilities Service will make grants to nonprofits to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for existing homes. Grantees are encouraged to focus on high-poverty areas; areas with inadequate systems, particularly colonias or underserved trust areas; and places impacted by severe drought. Deadline: 2/6/2017. Click here for funding guidelines.
THE CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE is offering 2017 Day of Service Grants for day of service projects in observance of September 11th and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Projects may focus on child welfare, safety, and health; healthcare access; assistance to veterans and active duty military families; and human services such as the provision of housing and emergency food. Deadlines: Letter of Intent (optional) 2/8/2017; Application 2/22/2017. Click here for funding guidelines.
LOWE’S CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION is offering grants for school improvement projects designed around meeting the basic needs of students, e.g., school gardens, physical fitness areas, and walking trails. Deadline to apply: 2/9/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) is offering funding to American Indians and Alaska Natives through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) initiative. Funds may be used to enhance law enforcement, bolster justice systems, prevent and control delinquency, strengthen the juvenile justice system, serve sexual assault and elder victims, and support other efforts to combat crime. Deadline: 2/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) is offering grants through Art Works 1 for FY 2018. An organization may submit only one application through one of the following two FY 2018 categories: Art Works 1 or Challenge America. An organization may submit one additional application under the FY 2018 Art Works category for a Creativity Connects project. Deadlines: Art Works 1; 2/16/2017; Challenge America; 4/13/2017. Click here to review application guidelines for an Art Works 1 grant. Click here for guidelines on Challenge America grants.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY’S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FUND (CDFI Fund) has opened the fiscal year 2017 application period for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. Deadlines: qualified Issuer Applications must be submitted through AMIS by 3/3/2017; Guarantee Applications must be submitted through AMIS by 3/17/2017. Application materials are available on the CDFI Fund’s website here.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) has launched its Solar in Your Community Challenge to support innovative and replicable community-based initiatives that bring solar power to low-income and underserved communities. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are eligible to participate in the Challenge, which aims to engage and support a wide variety of teams developing innovative and scalable business and financial models that can unlock the low- and moderate-income solar market. Teams will compete for $5 million in resources, including seed funding and technical assistance grants, and a $500,000 grand prize. Each team is expected to consist of a wide variety of stakeholders, including solar companies and entrepreneurs in partnership with key local stakeholders (e.g., utilities, banks, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and community leaders). Deadline: 3/17/2017. Visit the DOE website here for more information on this challenge.
Training Events and Conferences
Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) will host a webinar, “Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC): Accomplishments and Outlook,” Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Click here to register.
Novogradac will offer a webinar, “What the Election Means for Affordable Housing and Community Development,” Thursday, January 19, 2017, 10:00-11:30 AM ET. Nonprofit rate for the webinar is $95.00. Click here to register and see an agenda.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is offering a workshop, “Expanding Services to Rural and/or Underserved Communities,” January 25, 2017, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM PT, at the Shalom Center for TREE of Life in Los Angeles, California. Participants will learn to identify the resources available to develop programs and services in a way that better serves the rural community. There is a $50 fee for this workshop. Click here to register.
Save the Date...
Housing California will be held March 8-10, 2017, in Sacramento, California.
National Housing Conference will host "Solutions for Housing Communications," April 27-28, 2017.
National Rural Health Association Annual Rural Health Conference will be held May 9-12, 2017, in San Diego, California.
Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Information and Other Resources
An article in U.S. News and World Report, “Safely Aging in Place in Rural America,” discusses the health challenges faced by older Americans as they age in place in rural communities, including issues such as limited access to care, social isolation, and higher rates of chronic illness and poverty. Going forward, providing individually tailored support, connecting to local resources, and offering services via telehealth will be necessary to meet the healthcare needs of America's aging rural population. Read the article here.
A new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies says that by 2035, more than one in five people in the US will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group, according to “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Adults 2015-2035.” This growth, the report notes, will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services far beyond what current supply can meet. Get a copy of the report here.
Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire has published a report titled “CDFIs and Online Business Lending: A Review of Recent Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities,” a report about the small business lending marketplace that affects community development lenders. Get the report here.
HUD has released “Breaking Down Barriers: Housing, Neighborhoods, and Schools of Opportunity,” a report about the relationship between neighborhoods and schools and the implications for housing policy. Get the report here.
The Winter 2016 issue of Cascade from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank explores community development capital, resident engagement, anchor institutions, intentional integration in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood, building savings and wealth, immigrant integration and economic development, and workforce development. Get the issue here.
HUD had released a new CDBG technical assistance product, “How to Use CDBG for Housing Activities.” In this six-module video, HUD explains the kinds of housing activities that can be funded with CDBG, how to use CDBG to meet the housing needs of the community, and the key elements to be considered in housing program design. Access the video modules here.
The Democracy Collaborative has introduced the third toolkit in their Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities series, developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and designed to help health systems use their hiring, purchasing, and investing power to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities and communities of color. This installment, “Place-based Investing: Creating Sustainable Returns and Strong Communities,” provides hospital and health system leaders with the tools they need to make their investment portfolios work to improve the health of the communities they serve. Access all the toolkits here.
Transportation for America has released a new guide that shows gubernatorial administrations how a fresh approach to transportation is fundamental to creating quality jobs and shared prosperity while running an efficient government that gets the greatest benefit from every taxpayer dollar. According to the guide, quality of life, vibrant communities, and transportation choices are no longer simply nice add-ons, they are essential to economic growth and prosperity in communities large and small. Get the guide here.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its five-year American Community Survey data with a major focus on rural America. The data shows that people who live in rural areas are more likely to own their own homes, live in their state of birth, and have served in the military than their urban counterparts, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Read the press release from the Census Bureau here, and access the data here.
An article in the Daily Yonder, “Dynamic Delta Leaders: The Big Role of Small Business,” features the unique challenges and opportunities a rural area like the Delta offers to small business owners. Often the unsung leaders within a community, small business owners provide unique services and value to their communities. Read the article here.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has published “How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development.” The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA's creative placemaking program, Our Town, and is intended as a primer for those interested in bringing the arts to the community development table as a tool - along with housing, transportation, public health and other sectors - to advance revitalization efforts in an authentic way. Download the pdf of the book from the NEA website here.
Housing Assistance Council has published “Soldier’s Home: A Closer Look at the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) Home Loan Program.” The document provides a descriptive analysis of the program between 2005 and 2014, and gives an overview of the VA loan program and its trends, borrowers, and lenders. Click here to get a free copy.
“How the Opioid Epidemic Is an Infrastructure Issue” is the title of an article in CityLab that includes an interview with Alan Morgan, the director of the National Rural Health Association, about the connection between housing and infrastructure development and the opioid epidemic. This link has been highlighted by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, among others. The interview also includes discussion on potential approaches to this crisis, the disparities between urban and rural areas, and the lack of access to care for rural people. Read the article here.
HUD has published “Gentrification,” a 350+ page document in CityScape. The Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Minneapolis, the New York University (NYU) Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jointly convened a research conference, “Research Symposium on Gentrification and Neighborhood Change,” on May 25, 2016, to bring together a set of multidisciplinary researchers to explore gentrification and its effects. Selected papers from that conference are included in this Symposium section of Cityscape. Get the document here.
“Access to Care for Rural People with Disabilities Toolkit,” developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities improve access to care for people with disabilities. Browse program models and examples and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results. Click here to view the materials.
An article in Inside Philanthropy, “Which Funders Care About Appalachia and What Are They Up To?” discusses the emergence of the Appalachia Funders Network, a group of over 40 philanthropic organizations banding together to support the "Appalachian Transition." As the coal industry continues to decline, the Network seeks long-term strategies to help revitalize Appalachia and rebuild the region with healthy communities and locally based, sustainable economies. One of the four working groups within the network is the health working group, which focuses on using economic development to address Central Appalachia's health and quality of life issues. Read the piece here.
The National Healthy Homes Partnership has announced the availability of two versions of a new guide (one for consumers, one for stakeholders) for healthy homes, “Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home.” The guides are available on HUD’s website here.
The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute has released a report that looks at the connection between transit and rural livability by conducting surveys and interviews in two rural North Dakota communities: Valley City and Dickinson. Criteria for the survey included rider diversity, trip purpose, transit utilization, transit patronage, service variety, and ease of outreach. Discussion covers several factors of livability including access to quality healthcare. Get the report here.
“Health and Health Care for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs)” is the title of an infographic released by the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows the rates of poverty, job security, insurance coverage, and chronic health needs in the American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States. Get the infographic and source slides here.
The National Association of Development Organizations has published “Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations.” The paper presents concepts and samples to assist in the creation of a plan for measuring progress in rural wealth creation for rural development organizations (RDOs) involved in community and economic development. Get the paper here.
Rural LISC works with 76 partner organizations creating sustainable rural communities across 44 states. Visit our website here and sign up for the Rural LISC RSS feed here. If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to sign up to receive the Rural e-News each month, click here.
Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist
Department of Agricultural Economics
Oklahoma State University
323 Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6025
405-744-8210 – fax
Find grants and professional development resources on my blog