The public sector has long been a crucial partner and provider of investment in communities. From housing to sidewalks to small business loans to zoning to transportation and more, government helps community building organizations and residents achieve their visions for their neighborhoods. We look forward to working with governments throughout the region to build great places for people to live. We hope you will find this page a resource for news, research, best practices, and policy recommendations regarding government and neighborhood improvement.

Policy Recommendations for Government

Working with governments throughout our region, we hope to partner on policy changes that improve our collective ability to foster great neighborhoods. To open the conversation, below are some potential ways we believe the philanthropic community could improve St. Louis’ regional community building system.

  • Encourage standard, clear, and transparent funding criteria for the allocation of grant funds under CDBG, HOME, Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and other programs
  • Expand affordable housing trust funds in the St. Louis region
  • Create clear and strong programs to encourage Minority/Women Business Enterprises on publicly funded housing and community development projects in the St. Louis metropolitan region

For more detailed policy recommendations, see below:


Memo from Missouri Lawyers: Governor’s State Housing Credit Plan Found Unlawful

Twenty-six lawyers from Missouri’s two leading law firms in affordable housing development sent formal comments to the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) on December 4, 2017. They found the proposal sponsored by the Governor to completely omit Missouri Low Income Housing Tax […]

Missouri LIHTC Program Advocacy Tools from MOWHA

Missouri’s Housing Development Commission (MHDC) has voted not to include the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) in the state’s 2018 budget. The plan is now out for public comment and will return to the Commission for a final […]

City of St. Louis Draft Documents: Public Hearing Notice

The City of St. Louis is soliciting comments on two draft documents: Draft 2018 Annual Action Plan, which includes annual priorities for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for […]

St. Louis County FY 2018 Consolidated Plan Update: Public Hearings

Interested persons, groups and agencies are invited to attend one of four (4) scheduled public hearings to provide input regarding proposed activities for St. Louis County’s FY 2018 Consolidated Plan Update: September 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm CAASTLC 2709 Woodson […]

St. Louis CDA: Public Hearing Notice and Documents Available for Review

The City of St. Louis Community Development Administration (CDA) is soliciting comments on two draft documents: (1) the Draft Substantial Amendment to its 2015 – 2019 Consolidated Plan/2016 Annual Action Plan and (2) the Draft 2018 CDBG/HOME Funding Priorities. The […]

Policy Briefs: St. Louis City April 4, 2017 General Municipal Election

Need more information about some of the issues that appear on the ballot in St. Louis City’s General Municipal Election on April 4? Take a look at our two policy briefs below.      

City of St. Louis Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER)

The City of St. Louis is soliciting comments on its draft Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). The CAPER is an overall review of the housing and community development activities undertaken in 2016 by the City of St. Louis. […]

St. Louis City Mayoral Candidates on Community Development Issues

Select Candidate Responses from the February 22nd Mayoral Forum at the Sheldon On February 22nd, 2017, CBN partnered with nine regional initiatives to host a two-hour mayoral forum at the Sheldon. Transcribed here are select responses to forum questions that are […]

EPA Land Revitalization Toolkit for Communities

The Land Revitalization Program Team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a toolkit highlighting land revitalization strategies for communities interested in sustainably redeveloping formerly contaminated properties. The publication spotlights tools that have grown out of community-based projects assisted by […]

St. Louis County FY 2017 Annual Action Plan – Public Hearings Scheduled

Interested persons, groups and agencies are invited to attend a public hearing to provide input regarding proposed activities for St. Louis County’s FY 2017 Annual Action Plan. Three (3) public hearings will be held between October 20 and November 3: October 20, […]

Cantwell to Launch National Campaign to Increase Federal Resources for Affordable Housing & Homelessness

Cantwell, Joined by Mayors Murray, Strickland and Stephanson, along with housing advocates announce affordable housing initiative & unveil report ‘The Housing Tax Credit: Addressing the Challenges of Affordable Housing & Homelessness’ SEATTLE, WA – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), joined […]

2016 CDBG Funding Recommendations

On Friday, September 18, the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration (CDA) announced their recommendations for the 2016 round of CDBG and HOME funding. In the announcement, ten Community Builders Network (CBN) members were recommended for a total of […]

The Sustainable Projects Marketplace

By Aaron Young, Sustainability Planning Manager at East-West Gateway Council of Governments We keep hearing about how traditional and relied-upon sources of funding are becoming increasingly sparse and increasingly competitive(1).  This typical system of funding is based on a model […]

St. Louis County Office of Community Development

St. Louis County’s Office of Community Development is hosting a public meeting on September 2 on the development of their Five-Year Consolidated Plan for 2016-2020. To see a PDF with more information about this hearing, click on the link below. […]

CDA Embraces New Technology to Greatly Improve Grant Management System

By Daniel Hutti, CBN Graduate Research Assistant In June of 2015, the City of St. Louis’ Community Development Administration (CDA) announced they would begin rolling out a new online grants management system called the Electronic Grants Administration and Management System, […]

Affordable Housing’s Place in Medicaid Reform: Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform

The Center for Housing Policy released a report last week on the ways in which affordable housing providers can work with health care institutions to provide comprehensive care for low-income communities in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As […]

HUDZ Committee Report On Economic Incentives

Last month, St. Louis Alderman Joe Roddy began a conversation on how the City uses economic incentives and on finding the most impactful ways to support revitalization. He shared a detailed presentation on this topic to the Housing, Urban Development, […]

National Groups Oppose Pending Amendment to FY16 Appropriations for THUD Funding

Several national organizations, including NACEDA and the NLIHC, are advocating against H.R. 2577, a bill that would reduce FY16 appropriations for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD). Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of NLIHC, shared a blog […]

St. Lous Receives $200,000 Grant from National Initiative to Harness Data and Technology to Improve the Lives of Low-Income People – RISE to Manage Project

By Larry Perlmutter, Rise Communications and Development Manager Cross-sector partnership will work to place more young people in summer jobs/ develop a more citizen-centered justice system. St. Louis has been selected for a national initiative of Living Cities, Code for […]

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration: Public Hearing and Documents Available for Review

The City of St. Louis’ Community Development Administration office (CDA) is holding a public hearing/public comment period on the Substantial Amendment, Citizen Participation Plan and 2016 CDBG/HOME Funding Priorities on Thursday June 18, 2015. This hearing will take place at 5:30 […]

St. Louis and St. Louis County Promise Zone Map

At the end of April, HUD Secretary Julian Castro visited the Metropolitan Education and Training Center in Wellston to hold a press conference on St. Louis’ designation as a Promise Zone. The St. Louis Business Journal published an article summarizing […]

HUD Announces Changes to Distressed Asset Stabilization Program

HUD recently announced changes to its Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP). The new changes would delay the foreclosure process for a year and give nonprofits more opportunities to purchase vacant properties. To read more about this announcement, click here.

Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

The Cleveland Federal Reserve recently released a report on the effects of racial segregation on neighborhood quality. Their research examines five cities that took part in HUD’s pilot program Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing (MTO) during the 1990s. This […]

Housing Authority Wants Smaller Low-Income Complexes In More Affluent Areas

In response to a request by Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel, the Missouri Housing Development Commission recently presented recommendations for improving subsidized housing in St. Louis County. Their recommendations included placing smaller housing units in wealthier areas and connecting tenants with […]

St. Louis In Line For Federal Aid

HUD Secretary, Julian Castro, spoke yesterday morning at the Metropolitan Education and Training (MET) Center in Wellston to announce Promise Zone designation for St. Louis. The designation gives St. Louis technical assistance and priority status when applying for federal grant dollars. […]

Historic Alliance of Missouri Asks Missourians to Voice Opposition to Historic Preservation Tax Credits Being Put into the Appropriations Process

The Missouri Historic Tax Credit program could face an uncertain future and potential elimination due to proposed resolution in the Missouri Legislature right now. The Missouri Historic Tax Credit program is a vital tool for the success of many community […]

St. Louis Boasts Success with Programs Funded by Federal Community Development Grants

Last week, the Community Development Administration of the City of St. Louis hosted the annual National Community Development Week to highlight neighborhood revitalization efforts in the city. The CDA honored the efforts of three Community Builders Network members: Rise, Hamilton […]

St. Louis Public Housing Complex Wins HUD Job-Training Grant

HUD recently awarded the Clinton-Peabody housing development $3 million in grant dollars for a program that allows residents to keep low rental rates while find higher paying jobs. The program is intended to help residents build some personal wealth. To […]

North County Transit Center To Open Early Next Year

A new transit center in North County near W. Florissant Ave and I-270 is scheduled to open in early 2016. The transit center will connect riders directly with several popular locations including downtown St. Louis and Florissant Valley Community College. […]

Sharing the Innovative Successes of the Sustainable Communities Initiative

This post on HUD’s blog, the HUDdle, highlights Secretary Julian Castro’s recent announcement of the expansion of the Urban Labs Institute, which works to promote innovation in community development. During his announcement, Castro also revealed a new report from HUD’s […]

The Demographics of Wealth – Essay No. 1: Race, Ethnicity and Wealth

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently released its first essay in its “The Demographics of Wealth” series. The first essay looks at trends in wealth accumulation across different races from 1989 through 2013. The report looks at the […]

Demolition near for contaminated North St. Louis Factory

St. Louis Public Radio is reporting that the Carter Carburetor factory is almost finished with its environmental clean up and is nearly ready to be demolished. The factory, which sits near the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club on N. […]

Loop Trolley Breaks Ground After Years of Planning

The Loop Trolley Project held a ground breaking ceremony last Thursday along Delmar Blvd. at the city-county border. The project was first proposed by Joe Edwards in 1997 and is expected to be completed in 2016. To read more about […]

City of St. Louis Participates in Community Progress Leadership Institute

The City of St. Louis was one of 7 cities selected to participate in Harvard University’s Community Progress Leadership Institute. The program trains leaders on skills that help cities address vacant and problem properties. Don Roe, the Director of City […]

City of St. Louis to Participate in Community Progress Leadership Institute

The City of St. Louis was one of 7 cities selected to participate in Harvard University’s Community Progress Leadership Institute (CPLI). Don Roe, the Director of City Planning in St. Louis is leading the City delegation. This program is convening […]

Mayors of Municipalities Fight Back Against Consolidation, Revenue Proposals

In this episode of KWMU’s St. Louis On the Air, host, Don Marsh, discussed  consolidation and Better Together with the Mayors of Normandy and Cool Valley, as well as Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing. To listen or read program highlights, […]

Board of Aldermen Approves Use of Eminent Domain For Possible New NGA Site

Last Friday, St. Louis City’s Board of Alderman approved the potential use of eminent domain to make way for a new National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) headquarters by a 17 to 11 vote. The site of the proposed new NGA […]

Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants – Urban Strategies Project Summary

On January 16, HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced the St. Louis based firm, Urban Strategies Inc., as the recipient of $500,000 in Choice Neighborhood grant funding. The funds from this grant will be used to transform an area just north […]

National Housing Trust Fund to be Funded

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced in December that the suspension on mandatory funding of the Housing Trust Fund will be lifted. Enterprise Community Partners estimate that between $400 and $500 million will be put into the Housing Trust Fund […]

Stenger looks to create Office of Community Empowerment

St. Louis County Executive Stenger reiterates his commitment to creating an Office of Community Empowerment to assist areas of St. Louis County in community revitalization. To read the full article, click here.

Mayor Slay And Comptroller Green Announce $4.6 Million In New Funding Opportunities For Home Repairs

Two new funding opportunities for home repairs are now available within the City of St. Louis. The funds are being channeled through the city’s Home Repair program and through issuances of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. For more information about this […]

Bridgeton Joins St. Ann In Authorizing Special Tax District To Redevelop Northwest Plaza

The City of Bridgeton is joining St. Ann in collecting a 1 percent sales tax to raise funds for the redevelopment of Northwest Plaza. Additional financing support for the project is coming from CID funding and Transportation Development District taxes. […]

University City Adopts ‘Complete Streets’ Policy

The University City City Council recently adopted a resolution for ‘Complete Streets’ policy. With ‘Complete Streets’ policy, University City will incorporate plans for pedestrians, bicyclists, and mass transit users when redesigning their streets. For the full story, click here.

Next St. Louis County Executive Faces Challenge In Strengthening North County

  This St. Louis Public Radio article summarizes some of the policy ideas for community development that have been discussed by St. Louis County Executive candidates Steve Stenger and Rick Stream. Included among those ideas are a new “Office of […]

Stenger And Stream Square Off

Steve Stenger and Rick Stream joined “St. Louis on the Air” and UMSL for a debate on a variety of issues impacting St. Louis County, including community and economic development. To hear this debate, click here. Comments on community and economic development […]

Bridgeton approves $13.2 million contract for new community center

The city of Bridgeton has approved the construction of a new community center to replace their old center on Fee Fee road. The project will be funded by a 2013 sales tax increase in the city. For more details, click here.

US DOT Announces Focus On Bike/Pedestrian Issues

Transportation Secretary Foxx announced the departments focus on bicycle and pedestrian issues at a recent conference. DOT plans to do assessments around the country and release tools to help communities employ best practices in pedestrian safety among other design tools. […]

Apartments Planned For Former Ice Plant In Soulard

A building project within the Soulard Neighborhood Historic District called “Polar Wave” will receive a 10 year tax abatement from St. Louis City to turn the building into apartments. For the full story, click here.

Treasury Department and HUD Partner to Create More Affordable Housing

The Treasury Department and HUD are partnering to expand access to capital and to lower interest rates for agencies that work with affordable multifamily housing. For the full story, click here.

President Obama Nominates Next HUD and OMB Directors

President Obama announced his nominations of Julian Castro as the new HUD Director and Shaun Donovan, current HUD Director, will become the new OMB Director. For the full story, click here.

House Subcommittee Approved FY 2015 appropriations Bill for transportation, Housing and Urban Development

The House committee on appropriations approved its FY 2015 bill on May 21st that included a 1% decrease in spending on CDBG. The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is down 72.2% from FY 2014 enacted levels of spending.  For the summary of […]

The Obama Administration Launches National Resource Network for Local Governments Nationwide

The Obama Administration has launched a network system for local city governments nationwide.  The $10 million pilot program is designed to assist local governments in three distinct categories: on the ground consultant support, policy assistance, and a “3-1-1 for cities”.  […]

Build For STL

The National Day of Civic Hacking ( ) is a White House initiative to promote the use of science and technology to solve civic problems. The weekend of May 30-June 1, cities all across the country will host Hackathons, block parties, […]

The City of St. Louis Seeks input from residents for the 2015-19 Consolidated plan

The 2015-19 Consolidated planning process is underway and the City of St. Louis is seeking input from residents on how to invest up to $100 million over the next five years.  For more information and meeting schedule, click here.

Capacity Building Workshop

Community Development Administration for the City of St. Louis hosts a series of free capacity building workshops for nonprofit organizations discussing a wide range of relevant topics.  For more information click here.

Creating Strong Communities For All in St. Louis County: What Can Be Done At The Local Level?

  SAVE THE DATE Please mark your calendars and join us for the first Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County Policy Forum Creating Strong Communities For All in St. Louis County: What Can Be Done At The Local Level? Speakers: […]

UMSL and the City of Normandy to make big announcement

UMSL and the City of Normandy to announce a new community development corporation, University Square, and art installation at UMSL South Metro Stop on April 17th.  The purpose of the new CDC is to promote economic development within the University […]

City-County Collaborative Grant to Code for America

Mayor Francis Slay announced that he and County Executive Charlie Dooley have collaborated to apply for the Code for America fellowship program.  The cities whose proposals have been selected will receive a team of fellows from software developers to product managers to work […]

Possible approval of Medicaid Reform, Not Expansion

The Missouri House of Representatives continue to seek a solution to the Medicaid Expansion issue.  One  possible solution under consideration is to reform Medicaid instead of expanding it. For the more information on this and other legislative issues click here.

CREA Awarded Fair Housing Collaborative Grant

The City of St. Louis’ Civil Rights Enforcement Agency(CREA) received the Outreach and Education Partnering Grant from HUD.  This grant will allow the City to increase the regions knowledge of Fair Housing practices through a conference, community sessions and local […]

Low Income Tax Credits benefit area developers including CBN Members

The Missouri Housing Development Commission approved $137 million in state tax credits last week. CBN member DeSales Community Housing Corporation will receive $1.7 million in low-income tax credits for acquiring, building, and rehabbing of homes. CBN members Beyond Housing, Lemay Housing Partnership, and Rise […]

President Obama’s 2015 budget calls for an increase in Housing Programs

The Obama Administration has proposed  in the White House budget $1 Billion towards a national housing trust fund that was created in 2008 but has not been funded. For the full story click here.

Missouri Housing Tax Credits Hit the News Again

The St. Louis Post Dispatch runs article on the debate about the costs of Missouri’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit. For the article click here.

NLIHC Examines What The Government Shutdown Means For HUD Programs

The National Low Income Housing Coalition explains what the government shutdown means for HUD funded programs and the impact on the recipients of those funds.   For the full story click here.

St. Louis County Releases The 2013 Strategic Plan Draft

St. Louis County has released a draft of it’s strategic plan entitled, “Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County.” The draft was approved by the St. Louis County Planning Council which includes recommendations from community and civic leaders, local officials, nonprofits […]

2014 HUD Appropriations Bills Stall In House And Senate

The House of Representatives pulled their THUD appropriations bill which would have cut $10 billion from HUD. A more favorable bill in the Senate hit roadblock to consideration. For the full story click here.

St. Louis City Building Sustainable Neighborhood Competition

St. Louis City Sustainable Neighborhoods Competition announces 7 winners!  For the list of winners click here.

2014 CDBG Funding Cycle

The City of St. Louis Community Development Administration is working to increase transparency in their granting process and working to engage the public more. If you are an organization looking to apply for funding, visit the link below for information […]

Federal Reserve Bank Of St. Louis Introduces Center For Household Financial Sustainability

The Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis released its 2012 Annual Report which highlights its Center for Household Financial Sustainability. For more on this story click here.

Tax Credits To Be Preserved For Another Year, Senate Adjourns

The Missouri legislature adjourned without reaching a decision on making substantial cuts to tax credits like the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Affordable Housing Assistance Program (AHAP) among others.  For the full story click here.

Open Letter to Governor Nixon on Anti-Foreclosure Mediation Bill

By Karen Tokarz, Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service Washington University School of Law In 2012, both St. Louis County and City passed ordinances giving homeowners facing foreclosure the opportunity of mediation by a neutral third […]

Bernanke Discusses Creating Resilient Communities

On April 12, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, spoke in Washington about the importance of supporting low-income communities and the need to utilize a multi-pronged approach that includes education, jobs and housing.  To watch the video,click here.

Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative Report Releases

Last month the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities released its first annual report, outlining the initiative, its accomplishments and the future of the program.  For more information click here.

Foreclosure Mediation Bill One Step Closer to being Abolished

The Missouri State House passed a bill to abolish foreclosure mediation on April 4th.  The St. Louis mediation bill in jeopardy gives homeowners an opportunity to negotiate a sustainable payment option on their mortgage. For more information click here.

HUD Announcement Opens Window of Opportunity for the City

By Antionette Cousins (right) Executive Director, Riverview West Florissant Development Corporation and President, CBN Board of Directors Tom Pickel (left), Executive Director, DeSales Community Housing Corporation and Vice President, CBN Board of Directors   On April 18th, the United States Department of Housing and […]

Big Changes for City of St. Louis Community Development

HUD announced Thursday April 18th at meetings with Alderpersons and nonprofits that the City of St. Louis will no longer be allowed to split up the CDBG and HUD program dollars by ward. HUD dollars will be going into a […]

New Federal Transportation Bill

More than 1,000 days after the previous bill expired, Congress finally approved a new transportation bill.   The bill cuts funding to prevent the deaths of people walking or biking and emergency provisions for preserving existing transit service.  It also removes the […]

New HUD Regulations for Equal Access to Housing Programs

HUD announces new regulations for equal access to housing programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Read full story here.