2014 Award Winners
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COSCDA James Reeves Member Contribution Award

Named in honor of long time COSCDA member, James Reeves, this award recognizes an individual COSCDA member who has made the most significant and sustained contribution to the work and mission of COSCDA during the last five years.

Iowa - Leslie Leager

Iowa - Leslie Leager

James Reeves Award: John Greiner presents to Leslie Leager, Division Coordinator, Iowa Economic Development Authority

2014 COSCDA Presidential Award for Innovation

Pennsylvania - Blueprint Communities Project

Pennsylvania - Blueprint Communities Project

Pictured: Berwick's LaSalle Neighborhood.

John Greiner presents to Ed Geiger, Pennsylvania DCED and to John Bendel, Director, Community Investment Federal Home Loan Bank Pittsburgh

The Blueprint Communities initiative targets help to community leaders, enabling them to plan for and carry out effective and comprehensive revitalization efforts that have an enormous impact on the quality of life, both now and far into the future.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLB), the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and other key partners to develop the Blueprint Communities, a revitalization and leadership initiative that serves as a catalyst for creating sustainable communities in our region. While the FHLB has been the lead entity, DCED has provided significant support to assist and sustain this program.

In the first round (from 2005), the Blueprint Communities initiative assisted 22 Pennsylvania communities, with 12 successfully sustaining their efforts and moving forward in their quest for revitalization. In 2014, the initiative will renew its efforts in Pennsylvania. As many as 13 new Pennsylvania communities will take advantage of the enormous benefits Blueprint Communities offers.

The mission of the Blueprint Communities initiative is to serve as a catalyst to revitalize older communities and neighborhoods by:

  • Fostering strong local leadership, collaboration and development capacity.
  • Serving as a catalyst for revitalization based on sound local and regional planning that includes a clear vision for the community and a comprehensive implementation strategy.
  • Encouraging coordinated investments in targeted communities by public and private funders.

Sterling Achievement Award - Community Development

Maine - Hancock County Gleaning Initiative

Maine - Hancock County Gleaning Initiative

Sterling Achievement Award for Community Development: John Greiner presents to Katy Friedman and Hanna Semle, Hancock County Gleaning Initiative

With CDBG funding, a Gleaning Coordinator was hired for the Hancock County (Pop. 54,418)Gleaning Initiative to address food insecurity in an area of Maine with high unemployment (8.1%) and frightening levels of obesity (22%) and diet-related disease . These factors, combined with the increased poverty in Hancock County (13.25% of residents, 19.3% of children), were attributable to inadequate access to healthy food. At the same time, the demand for food from local food pantries and soup kitchens increased with more demand for additional capacity and increased food supply. This disturbing data was the catalyst that started the Gleaning Initiative pilot program of 2010, where the University of Maine Extension and Healthy Acadia successfully organized the gleaning and distribution of 8,500 pounds of apples, winter squash, and carrots to be shared among food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the County.

In year one (Summer/Fall Harvest 2013), the Coordinator's time and expertise enabled an eight-fold increase in the volume, variety and distribution of food through our gleaning efforts - from 4,500 to over 30,000 pounds. In addition to fresh, local vegetables, this includes apples from a local orchard and USDA surplus chicken. We also realized significant successes in establishing sustainable, replicable systems and relationships that will ensure a steady, increased supply of fresh produce to food security organizations (FSOs) in our region for the long-term. We now have at least 30 Hancock & Washington County farms and numerous restaurants, retail stores, and food distribution businesses that are ready and willing to host gleaners and support waste reduction and food security goals. From May 2013 to May 2014 our provider network comprised of 12 food pantries and 6 community meal sites have served on average 3,210 LMI individuals per month.
     COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award - Housing

Utah - Community-Driven Housing Program (CDHP)

Utah - Community-Driven Housing Program (CDHP)

Sterling Achievement Award for Housing: John Greiner presents to Shelly Glines, OWHLF Director, Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division

In 2010, the Community-Driven Housing Program was established by the Utah Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as a special set-aside within the state housing trust fund (the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund).

The program facilitates collaboration between the state, individual communities, and developers, all working toward a common goal of affordable housing for moderate and low income residents, as well as the elderly, disabled, and homeless populations. The program seeks to create new housing units that are community-driven rather than developer-driven. Over the course of 4 years, the Community-Driven Housing Program has provided funding to 7 separate housing projects throughout the state, totaling 394 housing units. In its initial year (2010), 180 housing units were funded in 3 different communities, including 72 units of senior housing and 108 units of workforce housing. Two additional projects including 82 units were funded in 2012, with 72 units of workforce housing and 10 units for those with mental illness. In the last fiscal year (2014), 2 additional projects were funded with a total of 132 units, all workforce housing.

All of these projects were initiated by the local governments and welcomed by the communities because they address needs that the community identified as most vital to them. For all 7 projects, HCD worked closely with the communities and their developer partners to leverage $52,824,680 (a little over 10:1) in funding for affordable housing throughout the state.

COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award - Homelessness

Delaware - State Rental Assistant Program

Delaware - State Rental Assistant Program

Pictured: Chris Whaley, DSHA Director of Housing Management,
reviews the enrollment paperwork with Nicole, a new SRAP client.

Sterling Achievement Award for Homelessness: John Greiner presents to Matthew Heckles, Director of Policy and Planning, Delaware State Housing Authority

The Delaware State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) is a program that uses state funding to provide rental assistance to particularly vulnerable populations - people exiting or at risk of admission to state long-term care institutions, youth exiting foster care, and reunify families. The purpose of the SRAP is to assist low-income individuals who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community. One of the most pressing housing issues facing Delaware is chronic homelessness - those individuals who need long-term stable housing with intensive supportive services as a precondition to living independently in the community. On August 1, 2011, DSHA launched the SRAP program and is administering the program in cooperation with our partners: DHSS and DSCYF. The SRAP serves families/individuals with household income of 40% State Median Income or less, which is an extremely hard population to house because their incomes are so low. It gives them access to necessary supportive services through an approved provider, and allows them to live in the community of their choice with dignity. It also offers them the opportunity to transition to financial self-sufficiency or to other affordable housing resources.