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Greater Ohio Policy Center
July 2013 Newsletter  

GOPC Helps Shape Recently Introduced Legislation

After over a year of research and meetings with legislators, GOPC—in partnership with Ohio CDC Association, Heritage Ohio, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing and Habitat for Humanity-Ohio—recently saw the introduction of an innovative tax credit program that could greatly assist communities with physical and economic revitalization

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Rep. Jim Butler (R-Dayton), the companion bills of SB 149 and HB 219 would create a program that will provide tax credits to for-profit corporations that invest in place-based catalytic neighborhood projects.

The Neighborhood Infrastructure Assistance Program (NIAP) is intended to help leverage private dollars for community projects critical for the attractiveness and economic competitiveness of the state.

If passed, the NIAP tax credits could be used for corporate and business donations to projects such as:
  • Renovating an historic theater
  • Streetscaping a central business district
  • Developing affordable housing for families
  • Building a community center
For more information about this program, please visit this link or contact Alison D. Goebel, Associate Director. If you support the creation of this program, you can add your name to the growing list of private, public and nonprofit supporters.  As the bills move through the legislature, GOPC will be posting regular blog posts on its progress.  Stay tuned!
The NIAP could be used to help Downtown Mansfield, Inc. build a permanent performance space to host the monthly “Final Friday” concert series along with a number of other events that bring people into Mansfield’s historic downtown.

GOPC Executive Director Co-authors Influential Policy Brief

Two weeks ago Lavea Brachman, executive director of GOPC, and Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, released Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities a policy brief that has caught the attention of newspapers and organizations around the country. 

Published by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities analyzes 18 cities facing manufacturing decline and population loss, and advocates for step-by-step “strategic incrementalism” to promote economic development.  Brachman and Mallach’s analysis suggests that these legacy cities can build new economic engines and draw new populations by leveraging longstanding assets such as downtown employment bases, stable neighborhoods, multimodal transportation networks, colleges and universities, local businesses, medical centers, historic buildings and areas, and arts, cultural, and entertainment facilities.

Brachman and Mallach considered eighteen cities, including six in Ohio: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Youngstown and identify the key elements of revitalization as: 
  • Rebuilding the central core
  • Sustaining viable neighborhoods
  • Repurposing vacant land for new activities
  • Re-establishing the central economic role of the city
  • Using economic growth to increase community and resident well-being
  • Building stronger local governance and partnerships
  • Building stronger ties between legacy cities and their regions

In addition to urging a rethinking of state and federal policy as it relates to legacy cities, the authors recommend that cities seeking to rebuild and reinvent themselves should not think in terms of one large, high-impact solution but rather foster change through smaller steps in a variety of areas.

To read the report or for more information, please visit the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.
Register now for fall conference
This year’s fall conference, co-hosted with Thriving Communities Institute, will feature keynotes Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Urban Institute’s Director of Urban Policy Initiatives Erika Poethig.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the breakout sessions that will take place during GOPC’s fall conference:

Capitalizing on Population Shifts to Revitalize Our Communities
This session explores how communities can capitalize on the preferences of generation Y and baby boomers, which lean toward walkable communities, easy accessibility to work and recreation, and common areas where they can congregate with peers.  Ohio developers, nonprofit leaders and city officials will discuss the successes and challenges that are emerging from their efforts to create walkable neighborhoods in Ohio’s urban cores.

Funding Strategies in a Post-Recession Era
Now, more than ever, local governments and community organizations must utilize multiple funding streams to finance strategic redevelopment. We must think creatively about how to find the resources to make investments that will catalyze neighborhoods back to functioning at market-rate. This session explores tools that local governments and nonprofits can use, such as layering tax incentives, sharing services and resources across counties and jurisdictions, and looking across all sectors to assemble a portfolio of investment.

Stay tuned for a full agenda!

Full conference registration: $150
One-day registration: $80

Register online to pay with PayPal or download the pdf to mail in a check.

Contact for volunteer opportunities, sponsorship inquiries, or additional details.

Interested in a national conference addressing similar topics? Check out the Center for Community Progress’ Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference in Philadelphia. 


Greater Ohio Policy Center
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Columbus, OH 43215

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