The Community of Caring Development Foundation hosted the first of six open house events on December 21 to assist residents in learning more about The 614 for Linden investment opportunities announced by Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther in November. The New Salem Church Fellowship Hall was full of residents, business owners, collaborative partners, agency representatives, partners of The 614 for Linden and more.
The next open house will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at St. Stephen’s Community House, 1500 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43219.
The 614 for Linden represents a $25 million investment into Linden. The 614 stands for the six nonprofits, one neighborhood, and four community development financial institutions (CDFIs) who are collaborating to have a transformational impact to stabilize the neighborhood.
The 614 for Linden is a collaborative of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and nonprofits that seek to implement four of the Big Ideas identified in the City of Columbus’ One Linden Plan. The goal of the initiative is to build upon the work of the One Linden Plan to create an equitable, opportunity-rich neighborhood for existing residents of Linden. To achieve this goal, the initiative seeks to comprehensively invest in Linden as a means to catalyze additional investment to preserve and increase affordable housing and commercial development, provide access to technical assistance and capital for local small businesses, increase healthy food access and offer health services to area residents.
In 2019, The 614 for Linden was awarded a $5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase’s Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) program. PRO Neighborhoods specifically works with collaborating CDFIs and awards these collaboratives capital grants of up to $5 million over three years to invest in meeting the needs of communities through targeted financing initiatives. Columbus is one of only seven winning submissions in the 2019 national PRO Neighborhoods competition. A summary of the goals and metrics outlined in the application follows.
BIG IDEAS FOR LINDEN IMPLEMENTATION
1 Stabilize and Expand Housing Options
Stable housing is foundational to community success; The 614 places a substantial focus on affordable housing and rapid rehousing programming.
- Develop a Linden housing loan pool of approximately $20 Million to finance the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or construction of affordable housing units
- Target loan funds to preserve or create approximately 500 affordable housing units for individuals and families who earn less than 80% of the area’s median income
- Provide rapid rehousing services for up to 200 individuals experiencing or near homelessness
2 Develop Business and Support Entrepreneurs
Living-wage employment opportunities and locally-accessible services and amenities are critical ingredients to a thriving neighborhood.
- Offer consulting, technical assistance, and other resources to 80 small businesses, including providing 45 microloans to local entrepreneurs starting or expanding an operation
- Create around 100 full-time jobs, as a result of neighborhood investment and new businesses
3 Build Community Investment
Concerted investment efforts are integral for creating an opportunity-rich neighborhood for existing Linden residents.
- Develop two commercial facilities and one community facility that spurs additional neighborhood investment
4 Support Resident Health
Healthy food access and improvements to health outcomes are high priorities for Linden.
- Focus on “wraparound” health services, particularly prenatal and maternal programs
- Provide funds to create or attract one or more businesses to provide healthy food access