• 28 Feb 2018 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    NDIANAPOLIS – The Prosperity Indiana Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jessica Love will be the organization’s next Executive Director. She will fill the position currently held by Andy Fraizer, who announced in December he would be leaving to become the Executive Director for the Community Foundation of South Jersey.

    “Jessica has demonstrated excellent leadership skills, strong business acumen and strong communication skills during her eight years with Prosperity Indiana,” said Nate Lichti, Board Vice President and Transition Committee Chair. “The Board is very excited about Jessica’s ability to help Prosperity Indiana members impact communities and to carry out strategic initiatives.”

    Love, a native of Alabama, has served in the role of Associate Executive Director for Prosperity Indiana since 2013 and was previously the organization’s Senior Program Manager, providing technical assistance primarily around federal grant programs. Immediately prior to joining Prosperity Indiana, Love was the Program Manager for Community & Economic Development with the South Central Alabama Development Commission in Montgomery, Ala.

    Love said, “I can look back over my life and see where my future at Prosperity Indiana got its start – volunteering in soup kitchens, rehabbing migrant worker housing, and tutoring at-risk youth while still in high school. Leading a service organization during that time, I learned who I was as a leader – a servant first, seeking to listen with humility, empower others to create change and recognize achievements along the way.”

    Before entering the nonprofit sector, Love was the managing editor for The Selma Times-Journal, a daily newspaper in Selma, Ala. She received her BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from Taylor University in Upland, Ind. Love’s combined background in management, fundraising and communications made her an excellent match for this role.

    “Jessica has an aptitude to learn, build consensus and work as a team. The organization is blessed with a staff with tremendous capabilities and a passion for the mission, and we’ll be looking to provide additional support in the near-term. We think she’s the perfect leader to build collaborations, empower members and maintain integrity to have impact in Indiana communities,” Lichti said.  

    Love said she’s learned a great deal from working with Fraizer throughout her tenure at Prosperity Indiana and hopes to capitalize on the momentum that has been created under his direction. Lichti added that Prosperity Indiana is grateful for Fraizer’s 10 years of service and appreciates his thoughtful leadership.

    He said, “Andy’s successful tenure led to a huge expansion of services and the implementation of comprehensive community development initiatives across the state. His leadership in Indiana will be missed.”

    Board President Steve Hoffman likewise recognizes what Fraizer has meant to the field over the past decade.

    “Andy has meant a lot to this organization over his time here. He has meant a lot to other organizations and individuals as well. We will miss him and wish him the best,” Hoffman said. “We are likewise excited to welcome Jessica into the leadership role. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of her knowledge, skills and abilities ready to take on the Executive Director role.  Jessica has been an integral part of our success in recent years, and our future success is secure under her leadership as well.”

    Leveraging a succession plan that has been in place since 2015, the board and its Search and Transition Committee vetted Love through a rigorous process that included four rounds of interviews and a presentation of her 100-day plan.

    Of the board’s selection and process, Fraizer said, “Jessica is the right choice to lead Prosperity Indiana into the future. Her passion for service, management experience and openness to ideas provide a critical skill set for exercising leadership. During her tenure as the Associate Executive Director, she has brought crucial operational grounding to meet the mission and deliver high quality service to members. I am elated with the Board's decision and appreciative of the thorough process they undertook to understand Jessica's capabilities."

    Love is working with Fraizer to ensure the transition is as effective and seamless as possible. She assumes her new role on March 2.

    Love said, “I’m thrilled by this opportunity to serve Prosperity Indiana’s members and Hoosier communities in a new way. We have a great team and a strong board that are committed to delivering on our mission. With their help, I plan to give everything I’ve got – building on a legacy of great leadership – to improve lives across the state.”


  • 23 Feb 2018 4:30 PM | Jessica Love (Administrator)

    Policy Director Kathleen Lara was asked by the Indianapolis Business Journal, regarding House Bill 1319: Should lawmakers allow payday lenders to expand their offerings?

    Her response in the February 23, 2018 edition of the IBJ: 

    Indiana is ground zero in a push by payday lenders, testing whether states will allow predatory-lending expansion. But a large coalition of faith leaders, veterans and community-development advocates are standing with Hoosier consumers to push back against this effort to offer new loans that will further destabilize divested neighborhoods and devastate low-income borrowers.

    House Bill 1319 would allow payday lenders to continue offering small, two-week payday loans of up to $605, carrying annual interest rates of up to 391 percent. It also expands the payday lenders’ exemption from Indiana’s 72 percent loan-sharking cap, allowing for larger, longer-term loans at rates up to 222 percent. This is the third session that payday lenders have sought a new exemption, claiming it will help credit-impaired borrowers weather financial emergencies.

    Payday lenders assert that the volume of loans speaks to the need. But their model relies on a cycle of debt—on average, eight to 10 payday loans long, speaking to the predatory nature of the model versus the need. They also argue that failure to pass this bill forces consumers into unregulated online loans. To the contrary, Pew Charitable Trusts found that borrowers in states with strong regulations, like a rate cap, do not head online. Instead, they dramatically reduce their usage of online and storefront payday lenders.

    Lenders want to distract legislators from the reality on the ground. Organizations around the state provide food and utility assistance, affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities, home repair loans, financial counseling, and innovative payday loan alternatives, such as the Community Loan Center program—all to address the root causes of financial instability. But too frequently, consumers seek their assistance only after payday loan debt has exacerbated their financial crises.

    The Center for Responsible Lending finds that payday borrowers are more likely to default on credit cards, lose their bank accounts, delay medical care, rely on food-assistance programs and fall behind on housing payments. We have seen payday loans contribute to more bankruptcies and foreclosures in our state. Currently, Indiana has the seventh-highest bankruptcy rate nationwide.

    Is it any surprise that 15 states now cap all loans at 36 percent? Bellwether Research polled Hoosier voters on this approach: 88 percent said they support a 36 percent cap. Unfortunately, a bill by Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, to cap rates never got a hearing. Instead, HB 1319 is moving Indiana in the opposite direction.

    HB 1319 would allow a minimum-wage worker earning $15,000 a year to qualify for a $1,500, 12-month loan. That borrower would pay $1,598 in fees alone—more than the original loan total. Twenty percent of the borrower’s already-meager income would be diverted from buying essentials to paying exorbitant fees. That is not a lifeline. It is an anchor further drowning Hoosiers in debt.

    Simply put, when it comes down to dollars and cents, these payday dollars make absolutely no sense for struggling consumers. We strongly encourage discussion on ways to meet the needs of underserved consumers. HB 1319 is not the answer.

  • 22 Feb 2018 5:37 PM | Kathleen Lara (Administrator)

    It has been a whirlwind first half of 2018 session of the General Assembly. We have made strong progress on key priorities, but have also critical alerts to share with our members as well that warrant immediate action.  

    As we laid out at the start of session, Prosperity Indiana pursued an ambitious state policy agenda to advance key priorities to empower our member network.

    Property Tax Exemption for Non-profits

    1) One such goal was to introduce and advance legislation on a topic we have worked hard to address for numerous years- ensuring fair tax treatment for non-profit owned affordable rental housing for low-income families. Senator Eckerty again took the lead in sponsoring legislation, SB 213, that would do just that. Currently, non-profits statewide wholly own properties and use them to provide safe, affordable housing options for low-income renters help meet this critical need and reduce reliance on emergency shelters. Unfortunately, they have no way of knowing from county to county whether or not their clearly charitable purpose will be recognized for property tax exemption due to vague language in state code. SB 213 establishes a narrow, clear definition, preserving these critical housing options for vulnerable Hoosiers.

    Update (2/27): We unfortunately have to share that the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee did not give this legislation a vote.

    Update (2/22): We are pleased that the Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee held a hearing on this bill and Prosperity Indiana members Mark Lindenlaub with Thrive Alliance and Steven Meyer with King Park Community Development Corporation testified in support of the measure on January 30. The Committee voted to approve the measure 11-1. The bill then was approved by the full Senate on February 6 with a vote of 45-3. Just this week, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the measure as Mark Lindenlaub and Nate Lichti, a Prosperity Indiana Board Member, joined representatives from the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Leading Age, and the Indiana Community Action Association in support of the measure. We are presently working to get the Committee to hold a vote on the measure.

    Stopping the Expansion of Predatory Lending

    2) Another key issue for 2018 network priorities is cutting down on predatory lending in the state. In that interest, we supported SB 325, a bill to cap payday loans at 36% and cut down on debt traps for low-income consumers. These predatory loans, offered at triple digit interest rates, destabilize Hoosier families and communities because this debt trap can lead to bankruptcy and housing instability.

    Update (2/22): Unfortunately, this bill did not receive a hearing, despite 8 Senate co-sponsors of the measure.

    Worse still, a bill Prosperity Indiana has worked hard to oppose is still moving forward. HB 1319 would authorize a new, longer-term installment loan product from payday lenders that would carry interest rates rate exceeding 200% APR. These rates are significantly higher than other installment loans already offered in Indiana and would hurt vulnerable consumers, trapping them in a cycle of debt and increasing their dependency on food stamps and delaying on medical care and rent, and increasing their likelihood of bankruptcy.

    Specifically, the bill:

    • Adds a new three-18 month installment loan product, called an “unsecured consumer loan,” to be offered by payday lenders that conservatively would produce loans at around 200 percent APR, but could reach higher depending on how fees and interest are applied;

    • Allows all consumer loans up to $54,600 charge up to a 36 percent interest rate. Currently only loans of $2000 or less can charge 36 percent;

    • Exempts the finance charge on installment loans from the current felony criminal loan sharking standard of 72 percent APR to allow these loans to reach triple-digit APRs.

    Update (2/27): We are thrilled to share that this payday expansion bill has died as Senator Mark Messmer, Chair of Commerce and Technology, where the bill was assigned, decided not to take up consideration of the measure, citing a lack of support in his caucus.  Thank you for your advocacy!

    Update (2/22): Despite testimony from coalition of faith leaders, Prosperity Indiana members, and other consumer advocates, the bill passed out the House Financial Institutions Committee on January 24 and passed by a thin margin of 53-41 on January 31. Prosperity Indiana member response to our calls to action along with those of other coalition partners have been VERY effective and Senators are expressing to us that they are very hesitant to support the measure because of constituent feedback, so please keep calling your Senators! The Senate Commerce and Technology is set to hear the bill on Thursday at 9 a.m.

    Resources for Combating Blight and Abandonment

    3) In order to combat the scourge of abandoned properties that threaten the safety and stability of Hoosier communities, Prosperity Indiana worked with members and Senator Becker to introduce SB 422, a bill that would empower community redevelopment through acquisition, disposition, and adequate funding for neighborhood revitalization strategies. This legislation is based on national best practices and would help improve processes for land banks and/or redevelopment commissions to help them more effectively acquire properties and fund efforts to combat blight.

    Update (2/22): The bill received a hearing in the Senate Local Government Committee on January 17, but was not voted on. Conversations will continue over the summer to try and address fiscal impact concerns in preparation re-introduction for the next session.

    More Updates:

    Check back here on Friday, March 2 for key updates on other critical bills we are engaged on, such as SB 11, addressing SNAP benefits and HB 1314, addressing educational outcomes for foster and homeless youth, and HB 1278, bill that would make it harder to establish Economic Improvement Districts.

    Statehouse Day:

    Thank you to the more than 50 members and partners who participated in our Statehouse Day, Prosperity IN Action, on January 23. Participants representing a spectrum of services, interests and communities across the state, spoke to legislators about their individual concerns as well as the network’s 2018 priorities. We were grateful for all the members who joined as they were exceptionally effective in sharing examples of impact each of these priorities has on Hoosier communities and the clients our members serve.


  • 22 Feb 2018 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Prosperity Indiana has recently begun working with the City of Rushville and Ginn Farms on two different, and exciting, technical assistance projects. The work on both projects is financially supported by the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) using US Department of Housing and Urban Development Rural Technical Assistance grants.

    The City of Rushville participated in a creative placemaking workshop in June 2017 hosted by the Indiana Arts Commission and other partners including Prosperity Indiana and member Harrison Center for the Arts. Municipalities that participated in the workshop were eligible to apply for an arts consultancy through the Indiana Arts Commission, and Rushville applied for assistance in developing an Arts Council and an Arts Master Plan to facilitate arts as a community economic development strategy. The community, already a Stellar Community, is ready for such a project and would benefit from technical assistance, but it was a more intense project than the arts consultancy was intended to address. That's where the NALCAB HUD Rural TA program stepped in, funding Prosperity Indiana to work with the city on development of the Arts Council and the Arts Master Plan. The work includes key stakeholder interviews, focus groups, leadership development workshops, a community visioning session, and supporting working groups as they develop SMAART goals and action plans for achieving the vision. It also includes development of resource guides for the Arts Council as it begins work in the community. The project began in January and will continue through August.

    Founded in 2015, GinnFarms is a small Agricultural Education Nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation seeking to expand its programs into other rural Indiana counties. The organization’s missions is to protect the honey bee by encouraging new farmers to engage in self-reliant and natural farming practices. With one staff person, 3 board members, 12 volunteers, a variety of supporting partnerships, and recent grant awards from the US Department of Agriculture and the United Way, GinnFarms is in a prime position to receive capacity building services for sustainable growth and effective program impact.

    Prosperity Indiana will work with GinnFarms to assess their organizational capacity through the CapMap tool during the first quarter of 2018. The tool will provide GinnFarms with an organizational baseline, identify areas of improvements, and provide strategies for the organization to build its capacity.

    Prosperity Indiana will also assist GinnFarms in a strategic planning process that incorporating feedback from interviews with staff board members, and other potential community stakeholders and results in follow-up guidance and support.

    After the assessment and strategic planning work, Prosperity Indiana will support Ginn Farms with needed capacity building in the areas of resource development, program development, leadership development, partnership and coalition building, community and stakeholder development, grant management, outcome measurement, and real estate acquisition.

    Are you serving a rural area in Indiana? Are there projects where you could use technical assistance to advance your work? You could be eligible for participation in the HUD Rural TA program through NALCAB and Prosperity Indiana. Contact Director of Planning Services Rose Scovel (rscovel@prosperityindiana.org) or Director of Sustainability Allyson Mitchell (amitchell@prosperityindiana.org) for more information.

  • 08 Feb 2018 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At Prosperity Indiana, we recognize that the success of our members’ work requires the vision and leadership of policymakers and administrators who understand housing, education, human services, workforce and business development, transportation, and health to advance strategies that address community needs.

    Prosperity Indiana has more than 30 years of experience successfully working with policymakers and advocating for strong, innovative policies that support the work of our members. Prosperity Indiana members influence our policy priorities and play an important role in our advocacy work.  Prosperity Indiana's advocacy priorities are outlined in our State, Federal, and Administrative Policy Agendas.

    Here are some more ways Prosperity Indiana makes it easy for members to engage:

    • Get access to the online advocacy resources and Action Center to learn how you and your organization can get involved.
    • Receive regular policy updates and Action Alerts to stay informed and engaged.
    • Prosperity Indiana members get exclusive access to our Legislation Tracker, an exhaustive list of all introduced legislation that pertains to member issue areas.
    • Prosperity Indiana’s Priority Bill Tracker is a member-exclusive resource which lists bills likely to proceed at the State House or are of greatest concern to Prosperity Indiana’s policy team.
    • Not sure who your representatives are? Use our online tool to find your government officials.

    If you have questions or would like to know more about how Prosperity Indiana’s advocacy supports your work, contact Kathleen Lara, Policy Director, at klara@prosperityindiana.org.


  • 06 Feb 2018 4:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation (MFCDC) is seeking an AmeriCorps Financial Empowerment member to perform activities that will stabilize and enhance MFCDC’s capacity to deliver financial education services for individuals seeking resident development services including MFCDC and Mapleton Properties rental residents, MFCDC Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) participants and other interested residents living in the Mid-North community.

    Qualified applicants will have a high school diploma, have strong communication skills, be dedicated to completing the full six (6) months of service, and have experience interacting with diverse communities and the ability to integrate into an existing community. View the full position description here.

    Interested applicants can contact MFCDC's Housing Director Courtney Goodwyn at courtney@mfcdc.org or (317) 800-6609.

  • 29 Jan 2018 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    On January 24, Prosperity Indiana announced the winners of its annual leadership and program awards. The Prosperity Indiana Summit, held on January 24, 2018, was an occasion to celebrate the leaders and innovators in the community economic development field. The 2018 award winners come from a pool of committed community leaders and innovative programs across Indiana.

    Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Andy Fraizer said, “It is my honor to congratulate the 2018 award winners and thank them for their work to strengthen Indiana’s communities.”

    “Community economic development is executed and supported by nonprofit, private and public organizations. Impactful work is only possible because of the energy, passion and leadership of practitioners and local neighbors. It is their civic service that makes Indiana prosper.”

    Award winners include: Building Better Neighborhoods, Muncie; Mark Gould, 1st Source Bank, South Bend; Larry Gautsche, LaCasa, Goshen; Pat Gamble-Moore, PNC Bank, Indianapolis.

    Key Award for Program of the Year
    Sponsored by Ice Miller, LLP
    Presented to Building Better Neighborhoods, Muncie

    Participants Heather Williams, Ball State University, Tyler Kalachnick, Ice Miller; Andy Fraizer, Prosperity IndianaThe Program of the Year Award honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented community development initiative. This award recognizes a unique program model that leads in the area of service provision and/or volunteerism.

    Building Better Neighborhoods, a program of Ball State University’s Office of Community Engagement, works to empower Muncie residents to identify and solve community challenges. The program acts as a bridge between the resources of Ball State University and the needs of Muncie neighborhood associations.

    Over the past four years, the program has resulted in multiple immersive learning partnerships, customized training programs for neighborhood leaders, an online resource guide and an annual conference tailored to neighborhood associations. In the last academic year, Building Better Neighborhoods supported nine projects in seven neighborhoods, impacting over 12,000 residents and engaging 99 university students.

    Other Key Award Nominees:

    • 12 Steps to Financial Success, Old National Bank, Evansville
    • Bankable, Anderson
    • CreatINg Places, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority
    • Felege Hiywot Center, Indianapolis
    • Indy Reads Community Classrooms
    • Kids Matter Camp, Norwood Neighborhood Association, Indianapolis
    • Miller Spotlight, Gary
    • Vincent Village, Fort Wayne

    Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award
    Sponsored by Brightpoint
    Presented to Mark Gould, 1st Source Bank, South Bend

    Participants Mark Gould, 1st Source Bank; Steve Hoffman, Brightpoint; Andy Fraizer, Prosperity IndianaThe Staff Member of the Year Award honors an extraordinary individual who contributes to his or her organization and to the community economic development field as a whole. This person shows leadership, personal initiative and is a public servant.

    Mark Gould has spent more than 20 years supporting community organizations and initiatives. He has been active and committed to numerous civic and professional organizations in Indiana where his experience and leadership have earned him the respect of many across the state. His extensive relationships with community economic development and nonprofit organizations throughout Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan, along with his passion and deep knowledge of the area, have raised the bar and set an example for his colleagues. Gould’s passion and tenacity for the field of economic development are apparent in his leadership of community development efforts.

    Other Staff Member of the Year Award Nominees:

    • Jacquelyn Dodyk, Affordable Housing Corporation of Marion
    • Craig Graybeal, ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc.
    • Andrew Hoffman, NeighborLink Fort Wayne
    • Stephanie Roland, Old National Bank, Evansville
    • Jennifer Sandlin, Ohio Valley Opportunities, Madison
    • Stephanie TenBarge, ECHO Housing Corporation, Evansville

    John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award
    Sponsored by Merchants Bank of Indiana
    Presented to Larry Gautsche, LaCasa, Inc., Goshen

    Participants Larry Gautsche, LaCasa; Janine Betsey, Merchants Bank; Andy Fraizer, Prosperity IndianaThe Rural Development Leadership Award honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in improving the quality of life, influencing the policies, and fostering opportunities for growth and development for the betterment of rural Indiana.

    Larry Gautsche has spent his career serving the needs of disadvantaged and disabled individuals and families. During his tenure at LaCasa, the agency has grown exponentially from a small, local agency that primarily focused on improving one property at a time to a highly respected, financially resilient community development corporation that operates 324 units of affordable housing. Gautsche will retire in August, leaving behind a lasting legacy of economic vitality and hope in the communities where he has provided dedicated service.

    Other Rural Development Leadership Award Nominees:

    • Dale Bliss, Advantage Housing, Inc.
    • Sharon Reed Colbert, Esther’s Boutique
    • Natalie Westbrook, God’s Grace Community Church

    Michael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award
    Sponsored by PNC Bank
    Presented to Pat Gamble-Moore, PNC Bank

    Participants Pat Gamble-Moore, PNC Bank; David Stewart, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority; Andy Fraizer, Prosperity IndianaThis Leadership Award, jointly presented by Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, honors an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development field.

    Over the course of the last 30 years, Gamble-Moore has become known for her professionalism, wide range of skills, dedication to quality, commitment to excellence, and, above all, commitment to communities and to the people she serves. With her broad experience ranging from corporate to nonprofit sectors, she displays the strengths of dynamic leadership with an exceptional ability to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances. She brings thoughtful and insightful contributions to any endeavor she joins, and her enthusiasm and expertise are highly valued.

    Fraizer said, “Pat’s leadership distinguishes a commitment to community-led revitalization efforts across Indiana. Her advocacy for community economic development and understanding of adaptive change and transactional expertise are distinguishing factors for her award.”

    Other Leadership Award Nominees:

    • Ben Joergens, Old National Bank, Evansville
    • Janet Katz, Northeast Indiana Local Food Network
    • Nathan Kring, Tipton Main Street
    • Mayor Christopher McBarnes, City of Frankfort
  • 29 Jan 2018 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Small businesses are an integral part of a vibrant community. These local shops, restaurants, and service providers contribute to the character of a place, turning it into a community. Recognizing this, FHLBank Indianapolis has announced a new grant program specifically designed to support these small businesses.

    This grant will provide FHLBI members' customers with the tools they need to succeed and create economic opportunities that may not have existed before.   

    To learn more about how this and other FHLBI programs can help your community, plan on attending one of the Affordable Housing and Community Investment Program Workshops this spring.

    March 7 – Evansville, IN

    March 8 – Indianapolis, IN

    March 15 – South Bend, IN

     

    Know an outstanding individual working in affordable housing and community economic development? FHLBank Indianapolis is seeking nominations for the Community Spirit Award! Nominees must be employed by an FHLBI member financial institution and work in a community lending, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), or other housing or economic development capacity within the institution.

    Deadline for Indiana nominations is June 1, 2018.

    Click here for more information



  • 19 Jan 2018 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    Do you serve low-income residents? Are you looking for strategies to improve your clients’ financial success? Consider joining the Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC)!

    Through the IFCC, Prosperity Indiana will place AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to strengthen their capacity for improving the financial capability of their clients. Members will assist their sites with assessing clients’ current financial capacity and assessing the capacity of the organization and its partners to meet client needs. These assessments will allow the member and service site staff to identify gaps in programming and opportunities for improving intake, referrals, and other operational practices to connect residents with appropriate services.

    Current IFCC members are assisting their organizations with a wide range of activities, including

    • Organizing classes for affordable housing residents to learn financial literacy skills
    • Developing referrals and resources for VITA site participants
    • Surveying housing authority residents to identify their financial capacity needs and priorities
    • Coordinating partners in a new collective impact initiative to align resources for clients and collectively track outcomes

    Your organization does not have to offer financial services to participate in the IFCC. If you serve low-income clients and are interested in connecting them with resources to improve their financial literacy and capacity, you can benefit from this program!

    The IFCC is now recruiting service sites interested in hosting AmeriCorps members completing 24 weeks of service before August 10. Looking for a shorter-term member placement? Contact Rachel Mattingly at rmattingly@prosperityindiana.org to discuss your program goals, as shorter terms may be available. Interested organizations should fill our our service site application form


  • 12 Jan 2018 6:20 PM | Kathleen Lara (Administrator)

    As session filing deadlines passed and bill lists completed, Prosperity Indiana’s Policy Team has been hard at work tracking legislation and pushing forward key bills on behalf of our members and in line with our 2018 State Priorities.  Please review the key bills and updates highlighted below and take action where indicated.  Also, please visit our member legislation tracker page for full priority bill lists.

    Ask your Senator to Co-sponsor/Support SB 213, to protect access to affordable rental housing for low-income individuals and families (Sponsored by Senator Doug Eckerty)

    Prosperity Indiana worked again to introduce this measure to provide clarity for non-profit organizations with Senator Eckerty. The bill has been referred to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee and we urgently need your help trying to secure a hearing!  Please contact Chairman Holdman and share details of why you support the measure and ask him to hear the bill. 

     

    Background: Currently in Indiana, we have a significant lack of affordable rental housing options for low-income individuals and families. Non-profits statewide that wholly own properties and use them to provide safe, affordable housing options for low-income renters help meet this critical need and reduce reliance on emergency shelters.  Unfortunately, they have no way of knowing from county to county whether or not their clearly charitable purpose will be recognized for property tax exemption due to vague language in state code.  SB 213 establishes a narrow, clear definition, preserving these critical housing options for vulnerable Hoosiers.

                   

    Ask your SEnator to co-sponsor/support SB 325 TO PUT A 36% CAP ON PAYDAY LOANS AND CUT DOWN ON PREDATORY LENDING THAT TRAPS LOW-INCOME CONSUMERS IN DEBT (Sponsored by Senator Greg walker)

    In recent years, Prosperity Indiana and numerous other advocacy organizations have pushed back against legislative efforts to expand payday lending products, but we had not had legislation we could support to cut down on these predatory products that devastate our communities. This year, we worked to find a legislator willing to introduce a bill to empower low-income borrowers by cutting down on the predatory rates lenders can charge on short-term loans and Senator Greg Walker introduced SB 325. So far, we have had difficulties trying to secure a hearing date, so please help us build support and tell Chairman Perfect why you think it is critical to hear the bill and move this legislation forward.

     

    Background: Predatory loans, offered at triple digit interest rates, destabilize Hoosier families and communities because this debt trap can lead to bankruptcy and housing instability. SB 325 would cap these loans at 36 percent interest, which is the most effective way to stop the cycle of high-cost debt intentionally created by payday lenders. This is the rate the U.S. Department of Defense secured to protect active duty military members and 15 other states have implemented caps of 36 percent or less to protect borrowers. It is a rate that allows wide access to credit without creating an incentive for a lender to seek out distressed borrowers who are unable to repay. Additionally, a new poll shows 88 percent of Hoosiers support a 36 percent rate cap on annual interest for payday loans and seventy-five percent indicated they would be more likely to vote for a legislative candidate who favors lowering the rate to 36 percent.

     

    Ask your Representative to oppose HB 1319 A BILL THAT WOULD AUTHORIZE INSTALLMENT LOANS AT EXTREMELY HIGH INTEREST RATES  

    (Sponsored by representative martin carbaugh)

    Please help us oppose the following measure by finding your State Representative and asking him/her to oppose this bill that will likely be heard in Committee on Wendesday, January 24.

     

    This proposal would authorize a new, longer-term installment loan product from payday lenders that would carry interest rates rate exceeding 200% APR.  These rates are significantly higher than other installment loans already offered in Indiana and would hurt vulnerable consumers, trapping them in a cycle of debt and increasing their dependency on food stamps and delaying on medical care and rent, and increasing their likelihood of bankruptcy.

    Specifically, the bill:

    ·         Adds a new three-18 month installment loan product, called an “unsecured consumer loan,” to be offered by payday lenders that conservatively would produce loans at around 200 percent APR, but could reach higher depending on how fees and interest are applied;

    ·         Allows all consumer loans up to $54,600 charge up to a 36 percent interest rate. Currently only loans of $2000 or less can charge 36 percent;

    ·         Exempts the finance charge on installment loans from the current felony criminal loan sharking standard of 72 percent APR to allow these loans to reach triple-digit APRs.

     

    Ask Your SEnator to co-sponsor/support SB 422 TO EXPAND RESOURCES AND TOOLS FOR COMMUNITIES TO COMBAT BLIGHT (Sponsored by SEnator Vaneta Becker)

     

    Abandoned properties threaten the safety and stability of Hoosier communities. While the Indiana General Assembly has made significant incremental legislative progress to empower local responses over the past few years, existing tools and resources are unfortunately not equal to the challenges that continue to exist. That is why we seek legislative changes to further empower community redevelopment through acquisition, disposition, and adequate funding for neighborhood revitalization strategies. SB 422, authored by Senator Becker, is based on national best practices and would help improve processes for land banks and/or redevelopment commissions to help them more effectively acquire properties and fund efforts to combat blight.


Policy News

Prosperity Indiana
1099 N. Meridian Street, Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone // 317.222.1221 
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