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2016 Work Plan

Ideas that guide RHINO for 2016
2016 Priorities
Advocacy Priorities
Thirty six RHINO members have recommended the following projects/activities get priority attention in 2016.

Priorities Rank Votes
Affordability/rent burden: expand rent assistance, preserve affordable units, make new affordable units, promote energy savings, 1 24
New legal protections for tenants: just cause, rent increase notices, early termination, source of income protections, security deposits, tenants in foreclosure 2a 17
Tenant consumer rights: banning, surveillance, rental scams, deposit to hold a unit, credit reporting, blacklisting, harassment/senior abuse 2b 17
Healthy homes-combating lead, asthma, pesticides, mold 4 15
Eviction legal reform: just cause, pay to stay, expanded mediation. 5 14
Minimum wage increases: local, state, national 6a 13
Ohio Fair housing act-protect and expand: LGBT, Source of income 6b 13
Re entry housing policies and programs 8 12
Federal funding issues 9 8
HUD changes: future of contract administration, dealing with troubled properties, impact of transformation, congressional proposals (eg. Ryan plan) 10 7

Issues that are not priorities but will be folded into priority areas as appropriate (column 4)

Issues of interest Rank Votes Status 
Code enforcement best practices 11 6 Watching
Consolidated plans, AFFH and AI-encourage compliance and local participation 12 5 Watching
Inclusion development of local policies 12 5 Affordablility
Alternatives to rental: co ops, shared equity, others 14 4 Affordability
Utility reselling-state protections 14 4  Tenant Consumer Rights
Nuisance ordinances-protections for tenants 16 2  Ohio FH Act
Smoke free multifamily housing-policies and protections 16 2  Healthy Homes
USDA preserve rental assistance 16 2 Affordability

What does it mean? RCM takes priorities into consideration in preparing stories to be included in weekly updates and rhino!UP. As issues emerge during the year, the RCM may ask members to vote in additional priority issues.

Activities for 2016
Thirty-six members voted to support new/expanded activities in 2016
High consensus activities rank votes
Rental rights education, “how to” for tenants (some funding or in kind may be required) 1 23
Advocacy training for individuals and groups to have an impact on issues at City Hall, Columbus and DC 2 22
Organize webinars/conference calls around rental rights topics (some funding or in kind may be required) 3 11
Recruit college/university faculty/staff to promote RHINO and engage young people (members need to do the work) 4 7
Mainstream media engagement (member help required) 5 6
Place based tenant organizing support (some funding may be required) 6 4
Organizing tools for Manufactured Home Park residents 6 4

Implementing new/expanded activities
1.  RCM will conduct a survey of members to identify more precisely what kinds of materials and topics would be most useful to members, then develop more specific plans.
2. RCM will contact self-identified "contributors" to find out what activity areas they want to take responsibility for.

Ongoing activities
1.  Weekly updates, rhino!UP continue as usual. "News" strategy will continue the format developed in 2015 and encourage more local stories provided by members.
2. Find ways to increase interaction by members in their on line communities. Members have told RHINO that they like to get  news of what's happening in other programs.  One activity to increase interaction will be a greater use of contributors to write and promote content through the on line networks.
3. Move Gas Counties Stories further from the core of RHINO by creating a new website (Gas Counties Project) and a Facebook site.  GCS subscribers will be encouraged to "like" the Facebook group in order to receive updates when new content is posted. Gas Counties Project web site will have archived materials from previous FB posts.
RCM will expand posting on the Facebook pages of related organizations to expand the RHINO message.
4. Outreach activities will continue as in 2015, subject to financial constraints and opportunities.  
  • Suspend on the ground outreach in Ohio's Gas Counties because of a lack of return on investment.
  • Reach out to main stream media to pick up Ohio rental housing stories.  (Member voted activity)
  • Use Nonprofit Quarterly to expand RHINO's reach into other communities within Ohio...and beyond, subject to NPQ policies that may evolve during 2016.
Constitutional Change.  Though none need to be addressed this year, two emerging opportunities for RHINO are:
  • As some RHINO members age, there's been some interest in finding ways to capture the experience of housing advocacy veterans. RHINO may play a role in that process.  
  • Another "issue" that will need to be addressed in the coming years will be leadership succession as the RCM approaches age 70 (not too long). Will RHINO continue under new leadership? 
On a lighter note, members tie-voted for three quotes of the year for 2016
and the winners are.... Tour of duty
“Focus on our goals, not on our enemies.” Jan-April
“Expect resistance—whatever you do, you are going to piss somebody off.” May-Aug
We share what we learn Sept-Dec

Notes & Links

Summary of RHINO Priorities surveys appended at the bottom of this page.
Spencer Wells,
Jan 1, 2016, 8:25 AM