|For Immediate Release: February 23, 2021|
From: Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition (GCHC), Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC), Affordable Housing Advocates (AHA) Contact: Josh Spring (GCHC): email@example.com; 513-716-7455, Margaret Fox (MARCC): firstname.lastname@example.org; 609-439-1881 John Schrider (AHA): email@example.com; 513-720-3219 www.actionforhousingnow.com
|Today, the Hamilton County Board of Elections confirmed we collected enough valid petition signatures so that on May 4, Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to vote to invest $50 million of our money every year into stable housing tens of thousands of us need and can afford. In a time of uncertainty, distancing and struggle, it speaks volumes that more than 200 volunteers collected signatures from over 9,500 people, many of whom, with no public gatherings, had to make a way to sign. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is grateful to the thousands of Cincinnatians that have pushed the issue of affordable housing this far. Our campaign has been, and will continue to be, grassroots and community driven. |
Passage of this charter amendment will ensure $50 million city dollars is invested in the construction and preservation of affordable housing every year in Cincinnati. Thousands of essential workers who have kept us all going through this pandemic; home health aides, food delivery drivers, grocery store employees, teaching assistants, pharmacy technicians and nursing assistants, to name a few, cannot afford the median cost of even a one-bedroom apartment in Cincinnati. Even before the pandemic, thousands of Cincinnati families have been struggling for a long time to keep their home by paying for housing they cannot afford, because nothing they can afford is available to them. Because having nowhere you can afford to live is not sustainable, so many adults and children have totally lost their housing.
If passed by Cincinnati voters, each year these funds would build or preserve 500 or more homes affordable to Cincinnati households whose annual income is at or below 60% of the area median income; currently $34,327. Today, the 41% of Cincinnati households with incomes at or below this level are competing for a regularly decreasing number of homes they can afford. Once homes are developed with these funds, they will stay affordable.
This initiative is different from what we are used to. If passed in May, these dollars will prioritize thousands of hard-working Cincinnati families who typically can’t catch a break. It would also establish a Community Oversight Board, which will ensure the money is spent as it is supposed to be spent. The Oversight Board will be a group of regular people, nominated by regular people. Cincinnatians will easily be able to know how the funds are being invested and be a part of making those decisions. This board will include people who work in social services, fair housing, neighborhood and housing development, funding, housing and homelessness advocacy and law. The board will specifically include people who rent; have experienced homelessness; and own their homes. As an all-volunteer board, they will ensure fiscal responsibility over the Public’s money, and invest it according to the Public’s interest.
How often have you voted for something and actually saw the positive effects of it? When have you voted for something new and then looked around your neighborhood and seen real results? If enough Cincinnatians vote for this on May 4, you will see the results. You will see it through the renovated buildings, the families who no longer have to bounce from couch to couch, the shortening lines in front of eviction court, the seniors who can afford to stay in their neighborhood, the new living-wage construction and property management jobs, the children who grow up without the trauma of regularly losing their home, neighbors and school connection.
Through the Public’s continued support, we can start down the path to a Cincinnati where everyone has a safe, stable place to call home. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is ready to continue channeling this energy and driving forward a vote for affordable housing on May 4, 2021.
To get involved, visit www.actionforhousingnow.com or call 513-421-7803.
Everyday at the Homeless Coalition, we demand access to affordable housing, livable wages, and housing protections to everyone in our community. We recognize that the weight and burden of anti-Black racism cannot only be carried by those who are bravely facing displacement each day, but by our entire community who accepts the “false-peace” as our Black communities are erased by white generational wealth.
Known as gentrification, displacement is heralded and privileged by governmental policies that have claimed a “renaissance” in Over-the-Rhine while aggressively ignoring the impact on Black residents – the majority of whom have been forcibly removed from the neighborhood over the past decade. As the wealthy, white, elite set their eyes on the West End and countless other neighborhoods, it’s time to get focused on the fundamentals.
This Black History Month, we will offer our public education program to you, including essential Speakers, innovative Trainings, and informative Tours – all virtual and open to all – please help us build an informed community!
We hope that you’ll share this experience with your family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Register here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/244215
Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can, but your financial support helps us compensate the Speakers and Trainers and keeps our program free to others. BUT Please do not let the cost be a barrier – free tickets are available now!
Register and remember to put the Zoom link on your calendar! Thank you!
The Homeless Coalition is hiring one AmeriCorps VISTA service member to organize tenants in eligible Project-Based Section 8 properties. This is a one-year contract starting in March 2021. Throughout the service year, the AmeriCorps member will organize with tenants of Project-Based Section 8 housing and will build residents’ capacity through outreach, education, and leadership development. They will support tenants to form tenant associations at properties that lack tenant representation. Deliverables include research, outreach materials, and tenant engagement plans. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 31, 2021.
- Register to create a New Member account in the MyAmeriCorps portal
- After your New Member account is created, apply for our VISTA opportunity. This will require you to write a two, short reflective essays, and to submit contact information for two references.
- We plan to conduct at least two rounds of interviews. The final step in the interview process is a background check through the AmeriCorps funding partner. Individuals with misdemeanors or felonies on their records are considered on a case-by-case basis. The AmeriCorps funding partners are still figuring out how the background checks will be conducted without LiveScan fingerprinting.
At the Homeless Coalition, we embrace and encourage differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our team unique.
The Benefits of AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a network of service opportunities, and VISTA is one of the three AmeriCorps programs. VISTA, which stands for Volunteers in Service to America, specialize in alleviating the causes of poverty through building capacity in their communities. AmeriCorps members are not volunteers, interns, or entry-level at their host site. They are community members who are actively seeking opportunities to enrich themselves through civic engagement and community building.
At the Homeless Coalition, the Community Organizer VISTA members will receive a living stipend, full health care coverage, childcare if needed, transportation assistance either through a bus card or mileage reimbursement, and an educational award upon completion of the service year. The living stipend is approximately $1026 each month. A living stipend is “reimbursement for living expenses,” not income. It will not affect any government benefits members receive, such as housing vouchers, SNAP, or anything else.
Join the Virtual Candlelight Vigil Gathering
Join us on the longest night of the year as we honor the many people in Cincinnati & Hamilton County who died young in 2020 because of homelessness.
All friends, family, service providers and everyone is welcome.
Or by phone: Meeting ID: 920 5173 2746
Add the event, with a couple clicks to your calendar, by visiting our Mailchimp post: https://mailchi.mp/cincihomeless/homeless-memorial-day-virtual-vigil
The City of Cincinnati is experiencing a critical shortage of affordable and accessible housing, and the economic collapse from COVID 19 has made this situation worse. Over 40,000 households pay more than they can afford for a safe and stable home. This has forced thousands of families with children; working adults; and our elders into the trauma of homelessness. Everyone deserves access to the security of a home. The problem is real. Now let’s talk about a solution.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home. We are organizing a grassroots, community-driven ballot initiative to secure permanent funding for the city’s Housing Trust Fund, and are currently collecting signatures to support a vote in May 2021. Campaign organizers from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now include members of the Greater Cincinnati Area Coalition for the Homeless, from the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, and from Affordable Housing Advocates.
We are seeking three part-time Community Canvassers to join our Organizing and Advocacy team for a limited term to start on Saturday, October 16 and to conduct voter outreach and petition gathering through the November 3, 2020, election. The final end date for this position is Friday, November 13, 2020. This position will engage members of the public through door-to-door canvassing efforts and at scheduled community events, implementing our campaign’s organizing tactics and strategies.
Learning from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now campaign staff and volunteers, the Community Canvassers will have the following primary responsibilities:
- Prepare and submit walk sheets for use in field canvass efforts
- Participate in team planning of organizing strategies
- Meet numeric targets for door-to-door canvassing
- Engage community members in dialogue, provide information, and drop campaign literature
The ideal candidate will have basic computer literacy, experience in canvassing or community organizing, commitment to principles of racial and social justice, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work scheduled but flexible hours including evenings and weekends.
Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands described here are representative of those for this function. The work will be performed primarily in an outdoor environment with exposure to climate and weather
conditions that may include wind, rain, bright sunlight, fluctuating temperatures, or snow. Additionally, canvassers might be working inside high-rise buildings with stairs; walking for several hours on sidewalks or uneven pavement; and standing during an entire shift. All canvassers are expected to wear a mask and maintain social distance to protect themselves and the community from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
While performing the duties of this position, the canvassers are expected to:
- Talk, hear, and see in the normal range, with or without correction
- Use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls
- Reach with hands or arms
- Occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
- Occasionally climb stairs
- Regularly move and stand for extended hours in weather that may be windy, cold, snowy, rainy, or hot
- Listen, hear, speak, and write in English
The pay rate for these positions are $15 per hour for 20 hours per week. The start date is Saturday, October 17. A flexible schedule is required.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on Tuesday, October 13. Interviews will take place over the phone on Wednesday and Thursday. We will contact the selected candidates on Friday, October 16, and the positions will begin on Saturday, October 17.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now and its member organizations envision a society grounded in the principles of intersectional social, racial, and economic justice. As such, we prioritize an inclusive workplaces that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each individual. Our vision and values are reflected in all our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, Cincinnati Action for Housing Now seeks individuals who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work.
Our Affordable Housing Trust Fund policy change initiative needs 9000 signatures to be on the ballot in May 2021! This initiative will require the City of Cincinnati to spend $50 million dollars a year on housing that is affordable for people who earn less than $24,000. Be part of this historical moment through our “1000 Hours to Affordable Housing” campaign!
Register for any number of hours that fits your schedule and availability, and collect signatures from the people in your social network. Maybe they are your friends, family, or coworkers. Maybe you want to attend your neighborhood Farmers’ Market. Maybe you want to petition on the sidewalk. How you collect signatures during your hours is up to you. We will give you a petition packet that includes the signatures forms, a clipboard, pens, buttons, postcards, speaking points, and a face mask. The rest is up to you!
It’s easy! Complete the form. Give us your name, phone number, and email address. Tell us how many hours you are committing toward signature collection.
After you register
You will receive a Welcome Packet in your email that includes a toolkit with more information, and a link to the post-completion Survey. You will complete this survey after you have finished your hours.
The signature collection period is from Monday, August 16-Sunday, October 4, 2020. Instructions for picking up and returning your petition packets is included in the Welcome Packet.
Congress is currently negotiating the next coronavirus relief bill. With mass unemployment and over 500,000 Ohio tenants wondering how they’ll pay next month’s rent, emergency rental assistance must be part of the solution!
Join us today to push Ohio’s Congressional delegation to act to prevent a wave of evictions during this pandemic!
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced legislation (S. 3685, H.R. 6820) to provide a $100 billion time-limited emergency rental assistance program in the next coronavirus relief bill. The U.S. House has already passed similar legislation, but so far Senate leaders have been reluctant to act. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) could help break the partisan divide.
Sen. Portman, who introduced the Eviction Crisis Act in December, understands the damage eviction causes to people, but he has not yet publicly advocated for emergency rental assistance to help the millions of unemployed Americans facing eviction during the public health crisis.
Phone Calls: You’ll likely leave a message or speak to a staffer, but when phone calls add up, they really can help sway your member of Congress. Below are some suggestions on what to say when you call Sen. Portman and your members of Congress. Feel free to contact COHHIO Advocacy Director Gina Wilt with any questions, and let her know who you called so we can keep track.
- I’m calling to ask you to please support the inclusion of Emergency Rental Assistance in the next coronavirus relief package.
- The House passed legislation to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance for workers – this would go a long way to help the 1.5 million unemployed Ohioans who are wondering how they will pay next month’s rent.
- Without emergency rental assistance, millions of tenants will face eviction, and landlords won’t be able to pay their mortgage, taxes and employees.
- Emergency rental assistance is essential for keeping Americans safely housed, and for stabilizing our economy.
- Please support the Emergency Rental Assistance Act and vote to include it in the next coronavirus relief bill.
- Personal stories are great – describe your struggles to stay housed during the pandemic.
Emails: Phone calls have the most impact, but our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition have also created an easy email template to urge your Congressional representatives to prioritize emergency rental assistance. All of these contacts add up, so please speak out on behalf of struggling renters!
Social Media: Twitter is also a great way to get the word out about the need for emergency rental assistance. If you tag members of Congress, they’re more likely to see your message. Below are some sample tweets, and please use the hashtag: #RentReliefNow
Covid has decimated our workforce. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans don’t know how they’ll pay next month’s rent. We need #RentReliefNow to prevent mass evictions and homelessness in the months to come. @SenRobPortman
1 in 5 Ohio tenants couldn’t pay rent in July. Extra unemployment benefits expire soon. @SenRobPortman please support $100B in emergency rental assistance to ensure unemployed renters have a home during the pandemic. #RentReliefNow
No one should lose their home during a global pandemic. @SenRobPortman you can help by supporting $100B in emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus relief bill. #RentReliefNow
You can also retweet our #RentReliefNow tweets on our Twitter feed.
- COHHIO’s Housing & Homelessness Roundtable with Sen. Brown
- National Low Income Housing Coalition: Responding to Coronavirus
- Dayton Daily News: Pandemic, economic crisis to trigger wave of evictions
Get your calendars out! The Coalition’s Education Program is excited to announce our public education program for July! All events are open to the public, virtual, and Pay-What-You-Can ($0-$50), however, tickets are required.
Each event is approximately 2 hours, including a discussion. (Housing Protections and Production 301 will run a little longer.)
Please share and help us get the word out! Because the events are virtual, people from everywhere are encourage to attend!
Updated with Direct Ticket Link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/244215
Affordable Housing 201
Housing Protections 301
Housing Production 401
Speaker Event with Melissa
Speaker Event with Willa
Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement (Virtual) Walking Tour
Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Today
The Homeless Coalition is offering virtual programming… Consider attending our events!
- Training: Homelessness 101, Affordable Housing 201, Housing Protections 301, and Housing Production 401 give you access to the fundamentals of homelessness and affordable housing.
- Speakers: Melissa Mosby and Willa Jones will tell their stories and lead a discussion at each event. More Speakers will be available in the future.
- Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Virtual Tour: Get grounded in Cincinnati history and get clarity on current events.
- Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Today: Get updated on actions, struggles, and current issues facing Over-the-Rhine.
Do each Training, attend either Speaker’s event, and take a Tour to earn your Homeless Coalition Ambassador Certificate! You’ll also find more ways to plug in and to share the message.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now seeks activists and organizers to join campaign teams for our affordable housing trust fund campaign.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund campaign is a community-driven movement to pass a local ballot initiative that will secure money for the city-wide Housing Trust Fund. We are looking ahead at this initiative on the May 4, 2021 ballot. It will take a collaborative effort across the entire community, and we are happy to get you involved. A brief registration form will connect you to the Campaign Team that is the best fit for your skills, your personality, and your strengths.