Generations of Hope October 2017 Newsletter
Beaverton Bridge Meadows Grand Opening
Congratulations to Derenda Schubert, her hard working staff and the vision of the Board of Directors! On November 7th the newest Generations of Hope inspired community held its grand opening. The stunning new community located in downtown Beaverton, Oregon will consist of 41 residential units and a community center surrounding a courtyard. As with the Portland site, it will have three generations living in the community.
Take a look at US News and World Report (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-10-11/addressing-portlands-housing-crisis-a-priority-for-citys-age-friendly-initiatives). Bridge Meadows’ efforts in terms of perfect affordable housing gets a strong mention.
This is the second Generations of Hope-inspired community to open this year, and we expect more new communities next year!
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Update
Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) remains the most commonly used form of funding for Affordable Housing in the United States. This includes funding for most Generations of Hope Communities. With various options for Federal Tax Reform under discussion, changes in the Treasury Department’s LIHTC efforts could impact our future growth. In the Administration’s Tax Reform proposal as issued in late September, Low Income Housing Tax Credits are one of only two corporate tax expenditures preserved in the initial framework. As reported in ACTION (Affordable Rental Housing- an â€œeâ€ magazine) the report noted â€œit is a tax incentive that has proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy. Its inclusion in the plan is a testament to the proven track record of the program, the need for resources to address our nationâ€™s vast and growing shortage of affordable housing.â€
If there is Tax Reform and if LIHTC remains untouched, the call by the Wall Street Journal to kill the program will not be heard. All the better for options for Generations of Hope fans.
Improving Government Oversight for Foster Children in the Child Care System
Speaking of Oregon, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released a new report following a two year investigation of foster care privatization. As a result of the finding, Hatch and Wyden proposed new accountability legislation to address the issues in the study. The legislation is intended to fix the flaws in the current system specifically where vulnerable foster children experience neglect and abuse within the foster care system. As a bi-partisan bill, the chances of success for The Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act of 2017 are excellent.Letters should be sent to both Senators stressing the long term stability in a Generations of Hope Community provides a potential solution to many of the findings of the report.
Home and Community Based Waivers â€“ 38 states have plans approved by CMS
In the spring of 2014, Health and Human Services announced new regulations applying to the implementation of Home and Community Based Waivers used to fund many programs for persons with behavioral and developmental disabilities. While each state decides on its own approach, all must now have an approved plan transitioning its current programs. The new regulations include requirements related to person-centered planning, conflict-free case management, quality, and the nature and characteristics of settings that may be considered â€œhome and community-basedâ€ for the purpose of funding and service delivery. Only those settings meeting this criteria established in the new regulations and guidance will be eligible for federal financial participation (FFP) under the various Medicaid titles. The new regulations require that living arrangements as part of the community be integrated inâ€”and support full access toâ€”the greater community, including opportunities to seek employment, engage in community life, control personal resources and receive services. Settings must ensure individuals rights of privacy, dignity and respect, freedom from coercion and restraint, and must optimize individual autonomy and choice.
Our concept of the three generation neighboring community provides thousands of families using the Home and Care Based Waivers the opportunity to find a new long range solution to the issues of community and disabilities.
While the Home and Community Based Waiver program is one of many planned for major cuts by the Administration, hopefully Congress will reverse the reductions for what has been a major source of funding for deinstitulization and for providing a quality life for millions of persons with developmental disabilities. (Note: If you have questions regarding a specific state, its HCBS plans and how they will fit into your community let me know.)
Many Lights Foundation
Washington state government has passed legislation to create a state agency for Children, Youth and Families which will focus on the multiple needs of foster children and transition foster youth. This will make a stronger case for Generations of Hope inspired communities. In addition, Many Lights’ development partner is committed to securing the funds necessary to develop the Hope Lights Community. This is important for the project as it will avoid the need for a capital campaign.
One of our newest efforts could be located in South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia or North Carolina. Dr. Debra King is gathering land and property commitments and advancing the concept of intergenerational neighboring communities for seniors and vulnerable populations. Having experience in developing a Federally Qualified Community Health clinic (not an easy experience) she has a vision of planned new communities serving multiple segments of our vulnerable populations.
Sweetgrass, the Nashville based new community for three generations will be the first â€œfarm basedâ€ community inspired by the Generations of Hope model. If you visit the website (sweetgrasscommunity.com), one of the founders, Dave Walton reports on their progress. He reports that Sweetgrass has hired Housing Enterprises (http://www.housingenterprises.com) as its full service consultant. The founders group was greatly energized by a two day workshop in late September. Also of importance was the group’s decision to reach out to greater Nashville communities to make them aware of the project and roles they might play in its development.
Osprey Village moves forward! Osprey, located in the Hilton Head area of South Carolina, now operates two resale thrift shops as employment sites and revenue for its future community. In this last year the organization received a donation of 26 acres of land in Bluffton, S.C.which will be used for the new community. Osprey now has three staff including two Ohio transplants. New executive director Jerome Manuel was the Ohio director of the office of Developmental Disabilities. Previously Jerome he had been giving governmental advice to Autism Living in Columbus.
Autism Living, the Columbus, Ohio organization with a mission to build an intentional neighboring community for three generations including a significant number of persons on the autism spectrum, kicked off a new initiative with an event at the Columbus Shadow Box theater. A large crowd learned about the intentional intergenerational community concept and intentional neighboring. The group has strong roots in the Greater Columbus community and is planning a new village with housing, childcare and other retail businesses.
A Double Social Utility Note
Former Surgeon General Vivek Muthy reports in the Harvard Business Review “The world is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. If we cannot rebuild strong, authentic social connections, we will continue to splinter apart â€” in the workplace and in society. Instead of coming together to take on the great challenges before us, we will retreat to our corners, angry, sick, and alone. We must take action now to build the connections that are the foundation of strong companies and strong communities â€” and that ensure greater health and well-being for all of us.â€œ
Intergenerational neighboring communities are designed to prevent loneliness among seniors and vulnerable populations. Our unique communities are a model for others to follow. A note is going to Dr. Muthy making him aware of your efforts.
Generations of Hope Represented at Obama Foundation Kick Off Confab
Even though retired and busy writing a book, founder Brenda Eheart is still telling important parts of the world about the concepts of Generations of Hope. In late October she spoke at the Obama Foundation Summit about the Generations of Hope communities and our experiences. Along with Prince Harry and a host of others, the two day event examined what is working in meeting the worlds challenges.
I made a quick visit to Yellow Springs, Ohio on Halloween to visit a town rated by Budget Travel as “coolest small town!” A village surrounded by active land trusts and forest preserves it has maintained its cultural diversity, openness and friendliness. One travel guide noted “Yellow Springs is a community so small and unified, everyoneâ€™s a neighbor.” (Does this sound familiar?) While visiting, a street parade of grade schoolers dressed in Halloween costume filled the afternoon with smile and cheers. The best costume? A young man dressed as Affordable Housing! I kid you not!
A bit of a giggle from some lone coyotes!