Crown Square on Fox 2

People are noticing the work Rise does in Crown Square. Old North St. Louis had the good fortune of a visit from Fox 2 News on Friday, February 19. Please enjoy these videos demonstrating how partnering with communities builds stronger, more equitable St. Louis area neighborhoods. It’s what we do. Rise “lifting our communities”.

House Bill 613 – Improving Sustainability of Affordable Housing

HB 613 is a victory for the affordable housing sector in Missouri. Previously, low-income residents began receiving unreasonable hikes in their real property tax because some assessors had begun disregarding existing precedence and raising property taxes as they could on unrestricted properties. HB 613 bill codifies in plain language the manner in which a county tax assessor may assess a property that qualifies for state or local tax credits. It also increases the valuation on a delinquent property before it can be advertised by the collector from $1,000.00 to $1500.00, thereby protecting some of our most vulnerable residents.

During the 2015 legislative session, dozens of Missouri Workforce Housing Association (MOWHA) members spent weeks contacting legislators with requests to support legislative language requiring county assessors to apply an income-based approach when assessing Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties.

On July 6, 2015, the Governor signed the bill. The bill went into effect yesterday, August 28.

There are so many to thank for this accomplishment: At Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC), Frank Quagraine and Weylin Watson explained the importance of HB 613’s provisions. MOWHA member firms collaborated with MOWHA’s governmental affairs consultants Jorgen Schlemeier and Heath Clarkston, who helped spearhead efforts to pass the bill. New MOWHA member accountant Chuck Pierce provided technical expertise to legislators who wanted to better understand HB 613.

In short all these diligent members have assisted in the passing of a significant piece of affordable housing legislation.

Congratulations to everyone who played a role in proposing and pushing through a very crucial piece of legislation.

(The relevant section of language in House Bill 613 follows):

In establishing the value of a parcel of real property, the county assessor shall use an income based approach for assessment of parcels of real property with federal or state-imposed restrictions in regard to rent limitations, operations requirements, or any other restrictions imposed upon the property in connection with: (1) The property being eligible for any income tax credits under section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; (2) Property constructed with the use of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME investment partnerships program; (3)Property constructed with the use of incentives provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development; or (4) Property receiving any other state or federal subsidies provided with respect to use of the property for housing purposes. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “income based approach” shall include the use of direct capitalization methodology and computed by dividing the net operating income of the parcel of property by an appropriate capitalization rate not to exceed the average of the current market data available in the county of said parcel of property. Federal and state tax credits or other subsidies shall not be used when calculating the capitalization rate.  Upon expiration of a land use restriction agreement, such parcel of property shall no longer be subject to this subsection.


The Role of Residents in Building a Future for Neighborhoods

The role of neighborhood residents in building a community-driven future for neighborhoods

Guest blog by Rick Bonasch – Director of Technical Assistance for Rise

Many people wonder if they have much impact on the future direction of their communities. In St. Louis, the answer is a definite “yes”. However to be able to realize that future, residents need to be engaged, work together, build shared vision, work with community leadership, and offer a supportive voice for the changes it wants to see.

First, residents need to get to know each other and learn about shared interests and goals.  If there’s not an active neighborhood organization in existence, then consider starting one or re-energizing an inactive group with new members.

Next, review what is currently planned or proposed for your community, with an eye on long term priorities.  Do those goals still make sense for what the community needs today?  What sorts of other goals do residents have for their area?  Engage local leaders in the discussion with the intent to gain information and understanding and to learn how to influence positive growth and change.  You can be sure there’s a lot of history you’ll be tying in with that will have a role in guiding future efforts.  Build on that background. Explore ways to leverage neighborhood history and previous planning and development efforts toward accomplishing important priorities today.

Where possible, create coalitions and neighborhood committees to create an organized structure to maintain long term focus on neighborhood priorities.   Organized residents help create strong neighborhood leadership.  Strong leadership is necessary to accomplish community goals.  Residents, working together with community leaders, is the best way to accomplish desired goals.

Through community organizing, capacity building, neighborhood planning, organizational strategic planning, and other community development services, Rise helps neighborhood residents and  community based organizations build the capacity to drive neighborhood revitalization.


For more information regarding Rise’s capacity building services, please call Rick Bonasch, Director of Technical Assistance, 314-333-7007.