• 22 Feb 2017 6:00 PM | Deleted user

    Great news for Prosperity Indiana members!  Today the Indiana Senate Public Policy Committee voted unanimously to advance SB 227, a bill that Prosperity Indiana members identified as a key priority and worked closely with Senator Jim Merritt to introduce.  Read our hearing coverage and a summary of the bill on our blog post here: https://www.prosperityindiana.org/Blog/4643710.  The bill will now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

  • 22 Feb 2017 8:32 AM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana will offer seven training courses throughout 2017, underwritten by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. We are seeking proposals from individuals and organizations interested in developing training on the following topics:

    Affordable Housing Development for Homeownership

    Tentatively scheduled for July 25-26 in Indianapolis

    Proposed content should provide an overview of strategies for affordable housing development for homeownership and include:

    • Predevelopment needs, including land acquisition, subdivision, and construction finance
    • Differences between development of scattered sites and subdivisions
    • Funding sources and subsidy layering
    • Finance requirements, including rules regulating conversion of homeownership units to rental units if unsold, and their ramifications for developers

    Community Engagement

    Tentatively scheduled for October 25-26 in Indianapolis

    Proposed content should provide an overview of strategies for community engagement and include at least one of the following topics:

    • General engagement strategies
    • Youth engagement
    • Engagement of Latino/a populations
    • Engagement of non-English speakers
    • Engagement of racial minorities
    • Engagement of people with disabilities
    • Engagement of LGBTQ populations

    Note: Trainers may opt to submit a proposal for the full training, or for individual modules. If the proposal is for the full training, it should divide the content into modules as directed in the RFP.

    Comprehensive Rural Development

    Tentatively scheduled for September 13-14 in Indianapolis

    Proposed content should address the interrelated issues of the following topics:

    • Housing
    • Infrastructure
    • Transportation
    • Brownfield redevelopment
    • Economic development in an agricultural community

    Note: Trainers may opt to submit a proposal for the full training, or for individual modules. If the proposal is for the full training, it should divide the content into modules as directed in the RFP.

    All proposals are due by March 22, 2017. If you have any questions regarding the RFP, please contact Rachel Mattingly at rmattingly@prosperityindiana.org or 317-454-8542.

  • 21 Feb 2017 12:18 PM | Deleted user

    Attend this Creative Placemaking Workshop in June, hosted by the Indiana Arts Commission.

    June 8–9, 2017
    Indianapolis, IN

    Creative placemaking describes an intentional and integrated role for the arts in place-based community planning and development bringing artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of economic and community development strategies.

    This high-energy day and a half-long workshop will introduce the practice of creative placemaking as a viable strategy for small and/or rural Indiana communities and neighborhoods. Sessions focus on practical ways to get started and how to make a meaningful impact and are led by artists and creative placemaking professionals from throughout Indiana and the Midwest.

    Save the date to bring your team and explore how cultural assets and artists are positioned to help your community succeed!

    Click here for more information and to register.

    Registration: $50 per person, $45 per person for two or more registrants.

    Why should Prosperity Indiana members attend?

    Director of Capacity Building Rose Scovel says, “Our members approach placemaking from a variety of perspectives - creating opportunities for artists, making use of public space, engaging residents and visitors, and improving quality of life - this workshop will offer an opportunity for those new to placemaking and those with a strong sense of the topic to engage with others, learn from experts, and consider the CREATIVE aspect of placemaking.”

  • 17 Feb 2017 12:40 PM | Deleted user

    The National Development Council (NDC) is seeking a full-time Field Director for its East Regional Team (includes Indiana).

    Field Directors deliver NDC’s core services, including technical assistance and capacity-building, to local governments and non-profit corporations. The position will require substantial travel. Ideal candidates embrace NDC’s mission and bring a sense of humor and passion to their work.

    NDC’s work focuses on homes, jobs and community. Founded as a national nonprofit in 1969, NDC has worked for almost 50 years fulfilling its mission to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities. NDC directs capital to support the development and preservation of affordable housing, the creation of jobs through training and small business lending and the advancement of livable communities through investment in social infrastructure.

    Follow these links for more information on this opportunity and the full job description

  • 16 Feb 2017 8:00 PM | Deleted user

    As we outlined in our introduction to this year’s session of the Indiana General Assembly, fighting back efforts to expand predatory lending in our state was identified as a top state policy priority for this year.  Accordingly, Prosperity Indiana has been hard at work with other non-profit advocates to stop SB 245 from advancing  in the Senate.   Today, we are excited to announce that we were successful in killing off the bill, thanks in part to your engagement, responses to our action alert and Prosperity Indiana member testimony. Steve Hoffman, the President of the Prosperity Indiana Board and the President/CEO of Brightpoint, based in Fort Wayne, provided testimony opposed to the measure and shared client insights and details of the Community Loan Center his organization administers to reduce reliance on payday lending.

    The bill was under consideration in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions committee and after testimony from advocacy organizations, members of the faith-based community, veterans, former payday borrowers, and a former payday lending employee, the bill ultimately died with a bipartisan vote of 4-5. 

    That vote was particularly critical considering an amendment was offered at the last minute that was billed as a less harmful version of the bill, but it still would have allowed a loan amount to $1750 for up to 18 months at an interest rate to 18% per month on the principal balance, which would work out to 216% APR, a harmful product for vulnerable consumers.

    Below is the testimony provided by Kathleen Lara, Prosperity Indiana's Policy Director.


    FEBRUARY 16, 2017

    Thank you Chairman Holdman and Members of the Committee,

    My name is Kathleen Lara and I am the Policy Director for Prosperity Indiana an organization that represents 230 non-profits, units of local government, private companies statewide dedicated to building stronger communities.

    I wanted to start by taking a moment to express that we also appreciate that bill supporters tried to make improvements to the loan terms compared to the original bill and also that we respect the committee’s interest in trying to find ways to meet the needs of unbanked or under banked individuals and families, but we still feel SB 245 is the wrong approach.

    You have already heard exactly how high-cost loans trap vulnerable consumers in debt cycles, but haven’t heard is how this more broadly affects community stability. 

    Our members are based in Hoosier cities and towns of all sizes focused exclusively on long-term community prosperity, helping low-income individuals and families attain economic sufficiency, break cycles of poverty, and address blight and foreclosures. 

    They are also organizations left to try and help consumers repair the financial damage left behind when they were inevitably unable to pay back these loans at exorbitant rates. 

    Our members watch payday lenders that are almost exclusively concentrated in low-income communities market their products as easy financial solutions and know that consumers seeking a last-resort hand up are instead likely to end in default or bankruptcy. 

    Our members watch these products drain $70 million in fees from the low-income communities they seek to support. 

    They know that the inability for households stuck in high-interest loan debt to pay expenses like rent, transportation, health care, and food directly correlates to the housing instability and foreclosures, bankruptcies, loss of local spending and accordingly, loss of local job creation they work hard to combat.  

    An expansion of high-cost lending without regard for a consumer’s reasonable ability to repay is not a true alternative; rather it is another dead end.  Even under the amended bill, someone making $12k per year can qualify for $1000 end up paying pay close to $2500 in interest.

    We are grateful for the conversation regarding the financial needs of low-income consumers, but we believe the utility assistance, home repair loans, financial literacy education and payday loan alternatives, such the Community Loan Center program Steve referenced, that are offered by our members are the kinds of programs that truly deserve investment and support.  

    We urge the committee members to instead focus on these solutions. Thank you for your time today.

  • 16 Feb 2017 10:46 AM | Deleted user

    By Suzanne Gunther, NACEDA, and Nina Arce, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey

    A lot great things are happening in New Jersey and we’re eager to share the tremendous accomplishments of NJ’s community development sector on the national stage. Join us for the largest gathering of community development professionals in the country at People & Places 2017. Mark your calendars for May 31-June 2 in Arlington, Virginia (minutes from DC and Reagan National Airport), this peer-learning event will bring together approximately 800 community development placemakers, partners and supporters from across the country. 

    Call for Presenters

    Do you have a passion about the work you do? Have you helped orchestrate a successful state or local policy campaign? Do you want to share your strategies and tactics with community development professionals from around the country? If so, the People & Places 2017 steering committee invites you to propose a session to present at the most diverse and inclusive community development event in the nation. Some travel assistance is available for selected presenters. To submit a proposal for a workshops, panel, roundtable discussion, or TED-style talk, respond to the Call for Presenters by Friday, February 24.

    People & Places 2017 is hosted by five national networks to inspire each other, strengthen our skills, unite our networks, and raise our voices on behalf of the communities we serve. The hosts are:

    • National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations,
    • National Urban League,
    • National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders,
    • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Developmet
    • Network for Developing Conscious Communities.

  • 13 Feb 2017 9:59 PM | Deleted user

    Today, Prosperity Indiana staff expressed support for SB 485, a measure that, if enacted, would provide for a new home modification loan pilot program to help homeowners in Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties.  

    The program would allowing the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to make zero interest or low interest loans low- and moderate-income individuals or families that include individuals with disabilities or individuals who have a child with disabilities to improve accessibility.  Below is the testimony Prosperity Indiana's staff provided today in support of the measure.

    FEBRUARY 13, 2017

    Chairman Grooms and members of the committee,

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak this morning. My name is Kathleen Lara and I am the Policy Director for Prosperity Indiana, a network of 230 non-profit organizations, units of local government, private companies and institutions dedicated to building vibrant communities and resilient families.

    Our member network is devoted to expanding economic opportunity and improving the quality of life in communities of all sizes throughout the state. That is why I come before you today in support of SB 485.

    Our members know that while the economy has been improving overall, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers still struggle to meet their basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care.

    In fact the Out of Reach Report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition ranks Indiana 38th in the country for housing affordability. That is particularly true for families that include and individual with a disability, as our state has a deficit of safe, affordable and accessible housing. We have numerous member initiatives, including work with the Legacy Foundation in Lake County working to bolster efforts to address community development concerns, including housing affordability so we are encouraged by the introduction of this bill.  We hope to work with Senator Melton to address some administrative concerns we have with regards to the structure of this bill, but believe this is an important measure that should move forward.

    Thank you for your time today.

  • 13 Feb 2017 11:08 AM | Deleted user

    The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) is seeking your input as they develop their 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.

    To do so, IHCDA will be conducting listening sessions around the state. At these sessions they hope to create a collaborative, solutions-focused environment where they accurately identify the best approaches for creating an Indiana with a sustainable quality of life for all Hoosiers in the community of their choice.

    Provided below are dates, times and locations. Please register if you plan to attend.

    NW Regional Session
    February 14, 2017
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Chatham Square Apartments
    3619 Champlain Street
    Lafayette, Ind. 47905
    Click here to register.

    SW Regional Session
    February 15, 2017
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    607 Third Avenue
    Jasper, Ind. 47547
    Click here to register.

    SE Regional Session
    March 1, 2017
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    New Hope Services
    725 Wall Street
    Jeffersonville, Ind. 47130
    Click here to register.

    Central Regional Session
    March 14, 2017
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    RealAmerica Headquarters
    10711 America Way, Suite 200
    Fishers, Ind. 46038
    Click here to register.

    NE Regional Session
    March 15, 2017
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Allen County Library
    900 Library Plaza
    Fort Wayne, Ind. 46802
    Click here to register.

  • 09 Feb 2017 6:30 PM | Deleted user

    Today, Prosperity Indiana rose in opposition to SB 309, a bill that would end net metering and solar energy investment, which would have dramatic and negative consequences for community development organizations and sustainable development throughout the state.  

    Prosperity Indiana’s Director of Sustainability, Allyson Mitchell, was joined by other non-profit advocates, residents, local businesses, environmental advocates, and school corporation representatives in offering testimony opposed to the measure.  Read her testimony below for context on the bill’s impact for Prosperity Indiana’s membership.

    FEBRUARY 9, 2017

    Chairman Merritt and members of the committee,

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak this morning.   My name is Allyson Mitchell and I am the Director of Sustainability for Prosperity Indiana, formerly the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development, or IACED. We are a network of 230 non-profit organizations, units of local government, private companies and institutions dedicated to building vibrant communities and resilient families. I hope that my testimony will give voice to other Prosperity Indiana members in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state committed to using energy alternatives to make a difference in our communities, and those who work on the front lines assisting low-income individuals and families ascend from poverty into economic stability.

    Working to advance policies that respond to urgent human needs, help expand economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in communities of all sizes throughout the state is essential to our members and partners.  That is why I come before the committee today urging opposition to SB 309, a bill that will limit the choices for low income Hoosiers to pursue strategies for economic self-sufficiency.

    It is critical to recognize the natural intersections between the benefits of distributed energy generation like solar and the needs and interests of low-income communities. Solar technology, coupled with efforts to increase energy efficiency, can dramatically lower utility costs for residential properties. While certainly beneficial to everyone, these kinds of outcomes can have particular significance for lower-income households, who often struggle to stretch earnings to cover basic costs like utilities, health care, and transportation. We feel Senate Bill 309 does not consider the interests of low-income Hoosiers.

    Rooftop solar provides individuals with the ability and independence to generate their own electricity. You may not picture the mobile home owner who wants to use solar panels to reduce his monthly utility bill and have more money to feed his children when you imagine rooftop solar. Or the low income housing developer pursuing solar to help his tenants keep up with their bills and keep their lights on. But rooftop solar is indeed used exactly those ways.  It is a path to personal financial responsibility for low income Hoosiers in cities, small towns and rural areas. Indiana should be increasing, not limiting, the choices and opportunities for low income Hoosiers to improve their quality of life.

    In my role at Prosperity Indiana, I am developing a program called Solar Uniting Neighbors, or SUN. The program aims to remove inequalities and barriers to the acquisition and installation of solar panels, lower energy costs for transformative community economic development projects, and build capacity for solar energy in Indiana. We envision solar panels on the roof of our member organizations - soaking up rays, lowering operating costs, thereby allowing more funds for programs that help low income individuals help themselves. We also envision providing a low interest loan to a low-income, single-parent homeowner for a small solar array so she can afford her electric bill year-round and build credit in anticipation of sending her daughter to college. If passed, Senate Bill 309 could eliminate these types of projects.

    Prosperity Indiana and its members believe in working collaboratively on asset-building strategies that help lift Hoosiers out of poverty permanently, and access to net metering is one such strategy. Senate Bill 309 ultimately eliminates net metering, a critical part of financial infrastructure within solar project financing that ensures low-income Hoosiers can access the sun to power their homes, their personal financial goals - and their dreams.

    We have concern that Senate Bill 309 does not take into account the impact that ending net metering would have on low income Hoosiers and therefore we urge you to vote NO on Senate Bill 309. Thank you for your time today.

  • 09 Feb 2017 10:20 AM | Deleted user

    An article by Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Andy Fraizer on succession planning was featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Bridges, a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In it, Andy highlights the advance planning that member HOPE of Evansville did to ensure a successful executive transition. 

    HOPE's Executive Director Josh Case said, "Time, patience, flexibility and oversight from the leadership at HOPE helped me adjust well to this new role.”

    Read the article on the St. Louis Fed website. 

    Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for Community Reinvestment Act officers, academics and government officials. 

    Andy's appointment to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) was announced in April 2016. 

Policy News

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