• 16 Apr 2018 12:15 PM | Deleted user

    Apply for the AARP Community Challenge Grant

    The AARP Community Challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents. In 2017, the AARP Community Challenge awarded 88 grants. These grants support actions that can spark longer-term progress. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand for larger projects. 

    Community Challenge grants can be used to create vibrant public places, physical improvement in the community or innovative programming or services. View last year's winning examples here. 

    The program is open to nonprofits, government entities, and other types of organizations, considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications must be submitted online by May 16 at 5 p.m. (ET). 

    The timeline is as follows:

    • March 21: Launch of the 2018 AARP Community Challenge
    • May 16: Applications are due by 5 p.m. (ET)
    • June 25: Winning applicants will be notified
    • November 5: All projects must be completed
    • December 3: After Action Reports due

    Lots of resources and guides are available to walk you through the application process. Visit this website to learn more. 

    OCRA accepting Quick Impact Placebased Grant Applications

    The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) has announced that the Quick Impact Placebased Grant Program (QuIP), a matching grant program designed to fund placemaking and transformational projects that spark community-wide conversations and creativity, is open for applications. 

    The project funding range is $2,500 to $5,000 and for every dollar in grant funds utilized, 50 cents must be matched, via cash or in-kind, by the applicant. Eligible applicants can include community or civic organizations, local units of government, or schools. 

    “Expensive, labor-intensive initiatives are not the only way to revitalize our rural cities and towns,” said Executive Director of OCRA, Jodi Golden. “QuIP is an opportunity for communities to be innovative and creative with ideas on how to transform a local gathering place or bring energy back into an underutilized community asset.”

    Golden said that eligible projects should be transformational and have a positive impact for the community, and existing and underutilized assets should include a new or additional use. Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to:

    • alley activation;
    • pocket parks;
    • creative projects to showcase community identity;
    • enhancement of existing or underutilized public assets into a new or usable space;
    • interactive life-size games or public game sheds;
    • transformation or decoration of vacant store fronts; and
    • unique signage or identifiers, excluding standard electric signage or non-unique gateway signage.

    The Office of Community and Rural Affairs encourages these projects to be unique to each community and locally inspired. Successful applications will demonstrate community collaboration, partnership capacity and meaningful community benefits.

    An informational video will be released on Wednesday, April 25 that further explains the program and application process. Digital applications must be received by 4 p.m., Friday, June 1, 2018 to info@ocra.in.gov. Applications received after 4 p.m., or paper copies will not be accepted. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/quipgrant.htm.


  • 16 Apr 2018 12:09 PM | Deleted user

    Please click here to join us this Thursday, April 19, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. EST at the Indiana Community Action Association for a screening of The Ordinance, a documentary that examines the payday and auto title industry while following a small Texas town fighting for change. After the screening, members of a coalition of consumer advocates will lead a discussion about the film and answer attendees' questions about the payday industry in Indiana. 

    This event is being hosted by the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network, which creates learning opportunities for community leaders, advocates on policies that affect low-to-moderate income families, and builds capacity for organizations aimed to increase financial stability. It is co-led by Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Institute for Working Families.

    Register here in order to receive email updates about the event. Please download and share this flyer with colleagues who might be interested in joining! 

  • 11 Apr 2018 8:55 AM | Deleted user

    Anderson’s Sweet 16 group, comprised of 17 community leaders in five groups, has spent the last 18 months working on a plan to revitalize the 46016 ZIP code. The group presented their plan at the “For the Love of Neighborhoods” event on Saturday, April 7. They introduced their goals for transportation and infrastructure, housing, health and safety, business development, and education and job training.

    Prosperity Indiana’s own Rose Scovel coordinated the effort. She told The Herald Bulletin, “Residents know what is best for their community, but they may not have access or be aware of the programs and things that are available to them.”

    Click here to read the full article and learn about the plan’s goals.

  • 05 Apr 2018 9:15 AM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana works to connect its members – to resources and to one another. One of the best ways to connect with Prosperity Indiana and other members in the network is to attend a Regional Member Meeting.

    Regional Member Meetings will be held at multiple locations across the state. Join us at a meeting near you to network with community development peers, share ideas, get the latest updates on what Prosperity Indiana is doing for you, and let us know how we can do better!

    The first regional member meeting is coming up on April 17, 2018 in Evansville. Meetings in the Northeast, Southeast, South Central, and Northwest regions will follow in the coming months. We encourage you to attend and engage to ensure you are getting the most out of your Prosperity Indiana membership!

    2017 Northeast and South Central Regional Member Meetings

  • 02 Apr 2018 9:30 AM | Deleted user

    INDIANAPOLIS, March 29, 2018 – Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis Executive Director William (Bill) Taft was recently promoted to Senior Vice-President for Economic Development for LISC National. His role will include leading the expansion of LISC’s economic and workforce development efforts nationally.

    A search committee has been formed led by members of the LISC Indianapolis Local Advisory Board to conduct an internal and external search to fill this role. Taft will remain Executive Director of the Indianapolis office until a new director is named.  

    “I look forward to continuing this important work in this new role,” said Taft. “Indianapolis has been a leader in economic and workforce development and I am excited and committed to expanding these efforts into neighborhoods nationwide.”

    Since becoming a national LISC Program Vice-President in 2014, Taft had also overseen programs in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Duluth Minnesota, and has led efforts to expand LISC’s economic development efforts nationally. In this new role, he will continue to work from the Indianapolis office and be engaged in expanding economic development work locally, as well as across the country.

    Taft was hired as the Indianapolis Executive Director for LISC in 2005. Since its inception in 1992, LISC Indianapolis has invested more than $260 Million to leverage almost $958 Million dollars of investment in the core urban neighborhoods of Indianapolis. These investments in comprehensive community development include affordable housing, small businesses, community facilities, charter schools, commercial corridor revitalization, and green spaces. These occurred through LISC leadership in the Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiative, Fostering Commercial Urban Strategies, Centers for Working Families, and Great Places 2020. 

    He served as the president of Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc. (SEND) from 1991-2005. Under his leadership SEND invested more than $35 Million into the early phases of revitalizing the Fountain Square Area of Indianapolis, created its cultural district, founded the SENSE Charter School, and formed partnerships with the University of Indianapolis. Before SEND, Bill was the Executive Director of Main Street Richmond, and he also served with the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, Senator Richard Lugar, and the National Park Service. 

    For those interested in applying for the open position of Executive Director of LISC Indianapolis, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/603502640/. The role provides the strategic direction and guidance for all aspects of LISC’s program in Indianapolis. The Executive Director is responsible for raising capital and resources locally that are leveraged by National LISC’s support. The position requires a strong commitment to the role of community-based non-profit organizations as agents of positive community change as well as an understanding of and appreciation for other key public and private partners who can offer additional resources to the work of community development in Indianapolis.

  • 26 Mar 2018 12:22 PM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana is pleased to release the following service site application to place eight (8) quarter-time Members in nonprofit organizations or local governments this summer.

    Members will serve 450 hours (approximately 40 hours per week) beginning May 21st through August 10th.  The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) pays almost two-thirds of the costs associated with hosting a Member.  

    For more information, please contact: Carey W Craig at (317) 454.8538, or at ccraig@prosperityindiana.org.  

    Service Site Application QT 2017-2018.docx

  • 22 Mar 2018 5:51 PM | Deleted user

    Last night, Congressional leaders released the draft of their $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package for FY18. Prosperity Indiana engaged Congressional offices in our delegation to advocate for robust community development program appropriations and program updates and we are pleased to share the following summary of the progress made towards those goals in this bill:

    What is an omnibus bill?

    Previous to this deal, the government has been funded under a series of continuing resolutions, or CR’s. The difference between a CR and an omnibus agreement is that under a CR, existing programs receive static funding and it is intended to fund programs for a short period of time. With an omnibus bill, the budget bills from each of the Appropriations Committees are combined into one bill and legislators may adjust programs and funding levels as they see fit. Upon passage, this bill will fund programs through the end of FY18 (Sept. 30).

    Key Prosperity Indiana Member wins:

    Overall, the bill contains nearly $700 billion defense spending and $591 billion for nondefense budgets. The legislation provides a 10% increase for HUD funding overall for this year- $4.6 billion above FY17 levels and significantly higher than any of the budget proposals from Congress or the Administration.  The bill also includes key program improvements for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Rental Assistance Demonstration program.  

    The bill contains funding to renew all Housing Choice Vouchers and provides new vouchers to veterans and people with disabilities. It provides nearly $1 billion in additional funding to repair and operate public housing, and significantly increases funding for Homeless Assistance Grants, Community Development Block Grants and the HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME).  Additionally, the bill does not the HUD tenant rental increases proposed in the Administration’s budget request. Within Treasury, the bill rejected the Administration’s proposal to eliminate Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund grant funds, another critical win for Prosperity Indiana Members.  

    There were some setbacks, such as language pertaining to fair housing rules and a decrease in USDA rental assistance (described below), but overall, this is a package with great wins for our advocacy goals.  Please contact Kathleen Lara at klara@prosperityindiana.org with any questions.


    Funding Level/Key Changes

    Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program

    Prosperity Indiana advocated for the inclusion of reforms to strengthen the LIHTC program contained within H.R. 1661/S. 548 (Click here for bill summaries) in the omnibus

    What was included in this bill:

    • ·        a 12.5% increase in the Credit allocation for four years (2018-2021)
    • ·        Income averaging, on a permanent basis after enactment of this bill, which would allow the 60 percent AMI ceiling to apply to the average of all apartments in a project rather than each individual apartment.  That increases the ability of the tax credit to reach the lowest income households.

    The bill, unfortunately, does not include a fixed 4% rate or some of the other improvements we sought to include, but getting the improvements we did is significant progress. As it stands, the revisions included should help offset the impact of the lowered corporate tax rate which reduces the value of Housing Credits to corporate investors.

    Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

    $3.24 billion (7.8% increase)

    HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)

    1.36 billion (43.4% increase) The highest funding level in seven years!

    McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants

    $2.51 billion (5.5% increase) This includes a $2.11 billion set-aside for the CoC and rural housing stability assistance programs, and $270 million for ESG.

    Public Housing Operating Fund

    $4.55 billion (3% increase)

    Public Housing Capital Fund

    $2.75 billion (41.6% increase)

    Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)

    Under RAD, public housing agencies are able to leverage public and private debt and equity to fix public housing stock. The bill increases the unit authorization cap to 455,000, extends program authorization to 2024, and authorizes RAD conversions of the approximately 120,000 units in Section 202 properties (low-income senior housing) with Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC). Unfortunately, it does not provide any incremental funding to facilitate such conversions.

    Tenant Based Rental Assistance

    $22.015 billion for tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) (5.3% increase), $19.6 billion of which is to renew previous contracts.

    Project-Based Rental Housing

    $11.515 billion to renew project-based rental assistance contracts for calendar year 2018

    Fair Housing

    While the bill does not change the budget for HUD’s office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, it does include unhelpful rider language prohibiting HUD from directing local governments to change their zoning laws under the agency’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule or with the AFFH assessment tool.

    USDA 521 Rental Assistance

    $1.345 billion (4.3% DECREASE) Unfortunately, this program dropped in funding from FY17 level of 1.405 billion

    USDA Multifamily Preservation & Revitalization

    47 million (14.63% increase)

    Choice Neighborhoods Initiative

    $150 million (9.1% increase)

    Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund

    Within Treasury, $250 million (.08% increase).  This includes $160 million for financial awards and technical assistance as well as $500 million in guarantee authorization level for the CDFI Bond Guarantee program level with FY 2017.

    More housing program funding details:

    See the “FY 2018 Final” column of this chart for the National Low Income Housing Coalition for a longer list of key housing program funding levels within HUD and USDA, such as 202, 811, HOPWA, etc.:

  • 15 Mar 2018 11:15 AM | Deleted user

    The Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC) is a statewide partnership joining Prosperity Indiana and local nonprofit agencies like Community Action, United Way, development corporations, and others, including local governments.  The IFCC utilizes AmeriCorps, a national service program, to bridge the gap between low-wealth residents and available financial capability resources through education and empowerment.

    IFCC AmeriCorps Members help create economic opportunity focused on the financial well-being for disadvantaged individuals and families.  Not only do AmeriCorps Members give back through direct service, they are leading change in the communities and organizations they serve.  Members add value to collaborating host sites by bringing their diverse backgrounds to bear in their assignments, leaving an indelible mark on beneficiaries and groups with whom they interact.   Host site organizations gain AmeriCorps places the needs of local communities first, strengthens public-private partnerships, build sustainable alliances Use our programs to build stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community alliances and networks capable of mobilizing resources.

    Members serve from three months to one year in part- or full-time positions while earning a living allowance and an end of service education award all while gaining valuable professional development and skills. 

    Host sites gain a new generation of leaders focused on putting the needs of local communities first, strengthening public-private partnerships, building stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community alliances and networks capable of mobilizing volunteers, and assisting rural and economically distressed communities obtain access to public and private resources.

    The IFCC is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency whose mission is to “improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement”, and Serve Indiana, a state bureau whose aim is to “advance service and volunteerism by informing, connecting, and promoting opportunities and resources that enrich the lives of Hoosiers,”

  • 15 Mar 2018 11:09 AM | Deleted user

    The AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to build the capacity of organizations that work to alleviate poverty. For Prosperity Indiana VISTA members, this takes the form of helping the organization better serve its members through managing networks, providing technical assistance, and supporting member communications. Prosperity Indiana is currently recruiting four VISTA positions: two will replace current VISTA members Allegra Maldonado, Assets & Opportunity Network VISTA, and Kaytlin Eastes, Member Capacity Builder VISTA, while two more (Resource Development VISTA and Communications & Events VISTA) will build Prosperity Indiana’s capacity in new ways.

    When asked what drew her  to AmeriCorps VISTA, Kaytlin said, “After college,   I knew I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector, but I wasn’t exactly sure where. This VISTA position with Prosperity Indiana has allowed me to explore many different facets of not only the organization itself, but also of the broader community development field.” Allegra shared a similar motivation, saying, “I was drawn to AmeriCorps VISTA because I wanted to gain experience in a public service career. Specifically, I was drawn to the Assets & Opportunity Network because I was concerned with how the inter-related issues of income and wealth inequality constrain choice and opportunity for low- and moderate-income families.”

    Much of Kaytlin’s work has focused on building the capacity of not only Prosperity Indiana, but also of its members. In addition to providing internal communications, member services, and Outcomes Platform support, she provides free, short-term technical assistance to Prosperity Indiana members. “One thing I have loved about this position is the variety in my work,” Kaytlin said. “Not only have I learned about the operations and management of Prosperity Indiana, but I’ve also learned about affordable housing, payday loan alternatives, and measuring organizational impact.”

    Allegra’s work centers on the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network. The Network was created to increase asset acquisition for low-wealth Hoosiers and strengthen local economies through policy advocacy and capacity building in partnership with organizations and coalitions. Allegra has spent time raising awareness in communities about the negative financial effects of taking out a payday loan and consumer protections that exist to support consumers as they navigate the marketplace of financial products and services. Additionally, she has explored new initiatives to help Hoosiers build wealth, including programs related to retirement savings, the racial wealth gap, and culturally competent approaches to financial coaching.

    Prosperity Indiana’s VISTAs have not only built capacity within the organization over the past months, they’ve also developed their own capacities as professionals. Allegra said, “During my service term, I’ve learned about technical aspects of community development, asset building, and nonprofits, as well as more about the diverse communities living in Indiana. I have had many ‘firsts,’ including writing my first grant, facilitating my first meeting, and attending my first staff/board retreat. These experiences allowed me to develop certain skills universally valued in the workplace, such as concise and polished writing and confidence networking with individuals in diverse sectors. “

    If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit for AmeriCorps VISTA, please review Prosperity Indiana’s VISTA positions listed below. Interested applicants can contact Executive Director Jessica Love (jlove@prosperityindiana.org) for more information. If you have questions about VISTA service in general, contact Kaytlin (keastes@prosperityindiana.org) or Allegra (amaldonado@prosperityindiana.org).

    Assets & Opportunity Network VISTA – manages the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network.

    Capacity Builder & Impact VISTA – provides technical assistance to Prosperity Indiana members on short-term projects.

    Communications & Events VISTA – leads Prosperity Indiana’s communications, marketing, and event planning efforts.

    Resource Development VISTA – leverages financial and other support for Prosperity Indiana programs.

  • 14 Mar 2018 1:20 PM | Deleted user

    Since 1994, AmeriCorps Members have served our country and our communities with commitment and spirit.

    Not only do AmeriCorps Members give back through direct service, they are leading change in the communities and organizations they serve.  Programs like the Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC) give Hoosiers the opportunity to transform lives and improve neighborhoods through education and empowerment – and the chance to grow as leaders.  Members add value to host sites by bringing their diverse backgrounds to bear in their assignments, leaving an indelible mark on beneficiaries and groups with whom they interact.   

    AmeriCorps Members serve from three months to one year in part- or full-time positions while earning a living allowance and an end of service education award all while gaining valuable professional development and skills. 

    According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency which funds AmeriCorps, eighty-two percent (82%) of host sites surveyed hired at least one Member since 2012.  Forty-two percent (42%) of alumni employed within six months found a job through a connection made during their term of service.  Eight out of ten alumni say that AmeriCorps benefited their career path.  And, most importantly, Members have higher rates of civic engagement than their contemporaries who chose other non-national service paths.

    Want to know more about how your nonprofit organization or government agency can host a next generation leader?  Contact Carey W Craig at ccraig@prosperityindiana.org or [317] 454.8538.   

Policy News

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