An organization that works to prevent housing discrimination in Montgomery County is facing drastic organizational changes. This is after the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center lost federal funding that comprised a significant portion of its budget.
Miami Valley Fair Housing Center President and CEO Jim McCarthy says the loss of funding is a major blow to the organization. He says they were denied more than $400,000 in grants this year because of its ties to the Central Ohio Fair Housing Association in Columbus.
“In the 2017 notice of funding availability, HUD added language that restricts organizations that share common staff from receiving funding under that component," he said. "That was what really took us out of the running.”
The Dayton and Columbus groups share at least four employees according to their websites. McCarthy says they took concerns over the funding language to HUD before filing for the grants for both Dayton and Columbus. But, he says they but were encouraged to finish and send the applications by the federal agency. When the grants were decided, Central Ohio Fair Housing received funds but the local agency was denied.
“It represents over fifty percent of our funding, so it is going to dramatically change the shape of the organization, the look of the organization and the services that we’re able to provide."
McCarthy says the center was counting on the HUD funding this year for its operations and housing advocacy work with more than 700 residents annually.
They are now working with HUD to regain funding eligibility. In the meantime, they’ve set up a gofundme account to try and lessen the impact of the funding shortage.