FY 1998 SuperNOFA Guidebook

Coordination of Competitive Grant Programs
Example 2: University Involvement in Housing Counseling

A university located in a Midwestern city was determining how it could become more involved in its surrounding community, which, in its heyday, had been one of the strongest and liveliest in the city. It had provided a variety of housing, cultural, and commercial opportunities to a racially and economically diverse group of residents. However, over time the community began to deteriorate. Although it was still a relatively stable community, it was in serious jeopardy of becoming racially and economically isolated from the rest of the metropolitan area. The university wanted to contribute to the stabilization and revitalization of the area, but its resources were limited. It decided that participation in the Community Outreach Partnership Centers (COPC) program was part of the solution.

A group of university personnel, students, and local residents designed a comprehensive COPC program to address community planning, economic development, and housing. Each component of its program was multi-faceted. Its housing strategy was of particular interest, calling for a combination of housing rehabilitation, homeownership programs, and counseling services. The community had expressed a concern that some homeowners and landlords in the area were engaging in discriminatory practices. Since many of the professors and students in the university´┐Żs community planning program had developed expertise in fair housing law, the university developed a housing counseling program. To help fund the effort, the university applied for a Fair Housing Initiatives Program Education and Outreach Initiative grant. It planned to use the funds to develop educational materials on fair housing, provide fair housing counseling services, and convene areawide meetings of housing industry and fair housing groups on the university campus. A local community organization agreed to help staff the counseling service, but to boost staff resources and enhance the education of its community planning graduate students, the university also applied for funding from the Community Development Work Study program. The work study funding was used to provide tuition and stipend support to full-time community development graduate students who would work for the housing counseling service.

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Content Archived: July 19, 2012