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Mortgage Discrimination
Housing Center Report: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Ohio Mortgage Lending.
African Americans and Hispanics in Ohio were denied mortgage loans more often than whites regardless of income and those who received loans were more likely to obtain loans with high interest rates.
How to Avoid Predatory Lenders
- The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers insight about financing your home purchase, with information about predatory lenders and how to avoid them, how to recognize dishonest lending scams, how to find an honest lender, and what you should do before and after agreeing to a loan.
Protect Yourself from Predatory Lending
- Learn about how the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends you can be a smart, informed consumer rather than a victim of predatory lending. HUD includes eleven steps on how you can be a smart consumer, what predatory lending is, and how to recognize the schemes employed by lenders.
Seven Signs of Predatory Lending
- The Center for Responsible Lending gives seven signs of predatory lending to identify indicators of harmful home equity lending practices and what to watch for when seeking a loan.
The Basics of Payday Lending
- Payday lending, also called cash advance, is a practice that traps desperate borrowers in debt at extraordinarily high interest rates. The Center for Responsible Lending includes information about what payday loans are and how they seek to take advantage of unknowing persons.
Nine Signs of Predatory Payday Loans
- Become an educated consumer by learning how to recognize a predatory payday lending schemes. The Center for Responsible Lending gives you nine obvious signs to look for being committing to a payday loan.
Payday Lending: The Debt Trap
- Payday lending, also called cash advance, is a practice that traps desperate borrowers in debt at extraordinarily high interest rates. The Center for Responsible Lending includes information about what payday loans are and how they seek to take advantage of unknowing persons.
Payday Loans Can Be Costly
- Those “cash until payday” services sound helpful, but they could push you farther into debt than you already are. Check cashers, finance companies, and others are making small, short-term, high-rate loans that go by a variety of names: payday loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans or deferred deposit check loans. The Better Business Bureau provides a warning about such services.
Payday Loans Do Not Pay
- AARP provides insight into how payday lenders operate, and offers many reasons why these types of cash advances are not at all advantageous to consumers, include extremely high APRs and the threat of loan "rollover."
"Rent to Own" Rental Centers
- "Sixty payments of $9.99 a week" for a new flat screen tv from a rent to own store sounds too good to be true. Well, it is! Interest rates are outrageous, and are equivalent to over 200% APR. Consumers purchasing from rent to own stores pay anywhere from 2 to 5 times the cost of the same item at a department or discount store. Read more from the US Public Interest Research Group.
Before You Enter a Check Cashing Store...
- For every two week payday advance, customers are required to pay $15 for every $100 borrowed. According to the Center, these loans are equal to 400% APR (annual percentage rate). The problem lies in "rolling," or renewing, loans for an additional two weeks. An extra 15% interest fee will be imposed on the your previous debt. Read more from AARP on the subject of payday advance.
Ohio Financial Education Directory
- The goal of the Ohio Financial Education Directory is to help you find financial education programs throughout northern and central Ohio. This website also provides general information about financial literacy including a glossary of terms and links to resources.
Job Losses and Unemployment
Policy Matters Ohio: Unemployment Figures 2008
- Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit research organization founded to broaden the debate about economic policy in Ohio, shares a series of statistics portraying the rise in unemployment across the state in 2003.
Job Watch
- Job Watch, a component of the Economic Policy Institute, is a nonpartisan organization that tracks current trends in the US labor market and offers up-to-date readings on national trends in employment and wages.
Housing Policy
Out of Reach 2004
- Out of Reach, an annual report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), measures the affordability of housing in the US. Out of Reach 2004 finds that modest housing remains unattainable for millions of Americans, as housing costs have increased far more significantly than wages.
Cleveland Area Housing Wage
- What did the Out of Reach 2004 report find about the housing wage in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County? In its evaluation, the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that a low-income person must make a minimum wage of $13.52 to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in the Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Community Safety
Neighborhood Watch Manual
- The neighborhood watch program of Webster Township provides general overview about Neighborhood Watch programs, including what they are, how these groups operate, the benefits of having a neighborhood watch program, and how to begin a group in your community.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Program
- Convinced that a neighborhood watch program will definitely benefit your neighborhood? The township of Webster, Michigan provides information about the steps that you and your neighborhoods can take to better protect your community and organize a neighborhood watch group in your area.
Neighborhood Watch Checklist
- So what do you need to make your neighborhood watch group effective in preventing crime and promoting community safety? The National Crime Prevention Council lists various considerations for your neighborhood watch program, including what you will need, information about necessary materials at meetings, and other tips about how to make your group effective in fighting crime.
Joining a Neighborhood Watch
- Forming a neighborhood watch is one of the least costly ways to make your community safe and reduce fear. But these types of groups are also beneficial in that they forge stronger relationships between neighborhood residents as well as citizens and the local police department. Read much more about why your community should start a neighborhood watch program or why you should participate in the group if one already exists.
How to Prevent Crime in Your Neighborhood
- Webster Township of Michigan offers insights into simple precautions that you and your neighbors can take to prevent robbery and burglary, secure your neighborhood, suspicious signs to be alert for, and other pertinent information for you to protect your property from theft.
Apartment Safety Checklist
- How can you prevent your apartment from being broken into? The National Crime Prevention Council gives simple safety tips to make your apartment and apartment building more secure, such as making your apartment seem occupied when away, getting to know your neighbors, and ensuring that public areas are always well-lighted and well maintained.
Environment
Regionalism in Cleveland
- Can it happen? The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com have examined the issue of regionalism in Cleveland in a year-long feature. Can we consolidate schools, fire and police departments, and other institutions to save money, attract new residents and businesses, and become a more competitive city? The PD considers there and several other questions.
Urban Sprawl
Fact Sheet of Urban Sprawl
- The Sierra Club of Ohio provides a general fact sheet about urban sprawl, including the defintion of urban sprawl, its social, economic, and environmental impacts, problems associated with it, and smart growth methods communities can utilize to address sprawl.
Local Smart Growth Resources
- EcoCity Cleveland, a nonprofit environmental planning agency, provides thorough information about principles of smart growth, a comparison of urban sprawl and smart growth, community organizing efforts to increase awareness about smart development practices, regionalism, and approaches to conservation-based development.
Choosing Urban Life Over Sprawl
- The Sierra Club illustrates the vast benefits of living in urban communities as opposed to sprawl areas. The organizations asserts that in urban and smart growth communities, a greater sense of community exists, everything is generally conveniently located within walking distance, and land and resources are conserved.
Health and Urban Sprawl
- According to several studies, sprawl has negative impacts on health. For example, because trips must be made by car in sprawl communities, routine exercise and physical activity, which ultimately reduce the risk of obesity, are less likely to occur. To read more about the effects of sprawl on health, visit EcoCity Cleveland.
Neighborhood Planning
What is Neighborhood Planning?
Comprehensive overview of neighborhood planning, including the definition of a neighborhood plan and its components, who develops the plan, and how you can get started in your neighborhood. Note: Focus is on a non-Ohio city, but site can be used as a model.
Overview of Neighborhood Planning
Article defining neighborhood planning, issues that these plans address, benefits of such plans, and exactly who should be involved in the process.
Data Resources
Acquire statistics and figures about your neighborhood.
Why Protect Urban Green Space?
List of social, ecological, environmental, and other benefits of having green space in your community.
Benefits of Open Space
Article discussing the impacts of urban open space on community health, resource consumption, crime, cohesiveness and sense of community, the local economy, and property values.
Human - Environment Research
Research findings about how plants, vegetation, greenery, and parks all positively impact friendliness amongst neighbors, concentration of students in school, and reduce violence, crime, and poverty.
Transit-Oriented Design
Explanation of transit-oriented design and how it can improve the vitality of local neighborhoods.
Why Transit-Oriented Design?
Locally written article emphasizing the many benefits of conscious transportation planning.
Traffic Calming in Practice
Read about what Kent, OH, is doing to alleviate traffic in neighborhoods and restore a sense of safety and community.
Utilities
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Research rates of utilities in Ohio, including electric, telephone, and natural gas.
Ohio Consumers Counsel
Select from topics in the top menu to compare local utilities providers.
Energy Prices and Trends
Explanation of utilities pricing and forecast of what rates are predicted to be in the near future.
Energy Saving Tips
Comprehensive list of suggestions on ways to save money on your utility bills.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Pollution Prevention
Healthy House
Read about suggestions and solutions to address common pollution problems in your home
Tools for Detecting Hazards
Comprehensive guide to assessing health and environmental hazards in your home and community.
Urban Sustainability
An Introduction to Sustainability
Overview of sustainability, including what it is and the issues that it addresses.
Principles of Sustainability
Brief listing of the components of urban sustainability.
Europe's Sustainable Cities
Efforts of cities in Europe to become more livable, economically successful, and environmentally responsible.
Historic Preservation
Citizen's Toolkit for Historic Preservation
Information about local preservation ordinances, including their general purpose, criteria for declaring a place historic, procedures for formally designating a historic landmark or district, and creative innovations ensuring the preservation of the historic character of places across America.
Cleveland's Designated Districts and Landmarks
List of locally designated historic places located in the Cleveland.
Green Building/Energy Efficiency
EcoCity Cleveland
Comprehensive overview of green building, including what it is, principles and strategies, and local examples of projects.
Youth Development
Connecting Youth Development Organizations Back to School
Statistics displaying why youth development organizations in schools are necessary.
Benefits of Youth Programs
Research findings that emphasize that youth programs significantly reduce the likelihood of adolescents to use tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
Forty Areas of Youth Development
List of forty developmental building blocks to consider for the healthy development of young persons.
Collaborative Leadership
Collaboration: Concepts to Consider
Article providing an overview of collaborative leadership, with emphasis on what it means to collaborate and why it is advantageous.
Organizing Process Rubric
Chart measuring collaborative leadership and community building to other forms of less effective management.
Pew Partnership
Comprehensive article discussing leadership and how neighborhood residents can fully utilize leadership skills together to create visions and solve problems.
Community Organizing
The Citizen's Handbook: Community Organizing
The most comprehensive grassroots organizing guide on the Web, with a wealth of information about strategies of community organizing and community building activities.
Information on Community Organizing
Comprehensive reference guide with information about how to organize in your neighborhood.
Tools for Change
Various community organizing and advocacy methods that have been used consistently and effectively in creating social and systemic change.
Organizing for Effective Advocacy
Contains information about principles of advocacy and organizing, as well as related matters - Part I.
Fundraising
Writing a Winning Proposal
Article providing a brief overview of proposal writing, including the function of a proposal, its components, and helpful hints about how to be funded.
Foundation Center's Virtual Classroom
Read a detailed online tutorial about how to utilize the Foundation Center and its resources during the grantwriting process, prepare a full proposal and budget, or find a grant for which to apply.
Tutorial of Grantwriting
Another instructive piece explaining how to write an effective proposal.
Fundraising Ideas
Website with various ideas for community fundraisers.

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