Chris Krehmeyer | St. Louis Public Radio

Chris Krehmeyer

Mary Harris poses outside her new townhouse in Pine Lawn. Nonprofit group Beyond Housing built dozens of affordable homes in the area using a low-income housing tax credit. Oct. 7, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s low-income housing tax credit is a complicated program that often gets debated in terms of dollars and cents, but for Mary Harris, the incentive that creates housing for the poor, elderly and disabled isn’t some philosophical concept.

Harris lives in a townhouse in Pine Lawn. Thanks to a tax credit to developers, she pays significantly less money in rent than for other places she’s lived throughout the St. Louis area. It’s an arrangement that’s had a profound impact on her life.

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio

Families are nearly settled into 41 new three-bedroom homes recently completed in Pine Lawn.

The $10.5 million Pine Lawn Manor, developed by Beyond Housing, is bringing more affordable housing to the north St. Louis County municipality. The community development corporation also built a $7 million development that includes 31 single-family three-bedroom homes in 2017. 

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens upset a bipartisan contingent of legislators when his interim appointees made major public policy decisions.

That includes how the Republican governor and his appointees in December 2017 helped halt state low-income housing tax credits, an incentive that encourages developers to produce affordable housing for the working poor and elderly.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Beyond Housing President and CEO Chris Krehmeyer and Normandy Mayor Patrick Green joined host Don Marsh in discussing Senate Bill 5, which deals with municipal court overhaul. Recently, a Cole County judge rejected major parts of the law. More background on that here.

Beyond Housing

Pagedale, one of St. Louis County’s many municipalities, sits just north of University City. Recently, a new movie theatre opened there, called 24:1 Cinema. It is named for the 24 municipalities that feed one school district: Normandy.

Michel Martin led a two-hour discussion March 23, 2015, about changes in the St. Louis region seven months after Michael Brown's death. This was the second Ferguson and Beyond forum that Martin has moderated, both at Wellspring Church in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Since Michael Brown was shot and killed last year, people within the St. Louis region have been immersed in social and public policy introspection.

Michel Martin at microphone
August Jennewein / University of Missouri–St. Louis / St. Louis Public Radio

Seven months after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson drew national attention to racial disparities, St. Louis Public Radio is hosting a second community forum, Ferguson and Beyond: Continuing the Community Conversation.

Beyond Housing CEO Chris Krehmeyer, left, Normandy Mayor Patrick Green and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy pose for a photo after talking about municipality government with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 5, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

If coalitions can get into schoolyard fights, then they did Thursday afternoon.

For nearly a year, the Better Together coalition has explored whether St. Louis and St. Louis County should consider merging services. Within St. Louis County, some believe there also is a need for consolidation: Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, has introduced a bill that would eliminate some of St. Louis County's smaller municipalities.

Beyond Housing CEO Chris Krehmeyer, left, Normandy Mayor Patrick Green and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy pose for a photo after talking about municipality government with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 5, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis and its municipalities have come under fire after the August shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. While some are calling for consolidation, local leaders say there’s a reason the municipalities exist.


To have a conversation, someone must listen. NPR journalist Michel Martin says that will be her role Thursday as she moderates a public discussion in Ferguson.

“People know their own stories best,” Martin said. “I think my job is to listen to hear those stories and to make sure that everybody gets a chance to be heard who wishes to be heard, and hopefully heard in a manner that will be constructive to other people listening.

“Basically, this is neighbors talking to neighbors.”

Thursday’s community conversation at Wellspring Church in Ferguson will include:

KWMU Staff

With a veto of the school transfer bill all but certain, Missouri lawmakers who worked on the wide-ranging legislation say they hoped a compromise could still be reached on the question of using public money to pay tuition at nonsectarian private schools.

But they acknowledged that it won’t be easy coming up with terms that will please Republicans and Democrats, urban, suburban and rural lawmakers — and Gov. Jay Nixon.

Over the years, Beyond Housing’s Chris Krehmeyer has appeared on St. Louis on the Air to discuss issues ranging from poverty to home ownership to health and the economy. Most recently, he came to the studio to discuss Beyond Housing’s work with the Normandy School District, a project called the 24:1 Initiative.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Carl Miles' apartment at Rosie Shields Manor has everything he could want in a home – and then some. 

Miles’ spacious room has sleek wood-like floors and a modern-looking kitchen. He’s within walking distance of a bank and grocery store. And he can even throw parties in the Pagedale facility’s community room or common area – with management’s permission, of course.

“It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful place to live,” said Miles, who is 70 and retired. “It’s got a lot of security. The people are generally pretty friendly. We socialize a lot. And we have a pretty good time.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2012 - The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a Boston-based nonprofit, plans to bring its “American Dream Tour” to St. Louis in August to counsel homeowners facing foreclosure. A local housing advocate says a similar event that drew 40,000 people to Chaifetz Arena in the summer of 2009 left hundreds seeking assistance from his agency in the aftermath.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 6, 2010 - As she held and examined leafy green vegetables at the new Save-A-Lot grocery store in Pagedale the other day, Coreen Davis didn't need to be reminded that she hasn't been able to walk into a new supermarket in that part of St. Louis County for 40 years.


This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 28, 2010 - One year after the NACA "Save the Dream Tour'' stopped in Cleveland, a local nonprofit advocacy group that offers foreclosure counseling in Ohio has posted a note on the front page of its website "reaching out to homeowners who've had difficulty with Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America."

"Did NACA drop the ball on your case and leave you twisting in the wind?'' reads the message on the website of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP). "Did they make promises they didn't fulfill? Did they lose your paperwork or were impossible to reach?"

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 22, 2009 - Sherre Waggoner of Maplewood no longer knows what to think about her experience eight weeks ago at a highly touted event for financially troubled homeowners called the "Save the Dream Tour," held by NACA, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

But as the days have passed, she has become increasingly worried.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 29, 2009 - It may have been a coincidence that as NewsHour correspondent Gwen Ifill faced the panel at Tuesday night's town hall meeting at the studio of KETC, former Sen. John C. Danforth was on the right and Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., was toward the left. But their answers conformed to their position on the stage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 18, 2009 - Here's the big question regarding President Barack Obama's massive $75 billion government effort to stem the foreclosure crisis: Will it work?

"There's no telling, but I think this is a better blueprint than anything we've had so far,'' said Karen Wallensak, executive director of the Catholic Charities Housing Resource Center in St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 25, 2008 - The real effect of Tuesday's announcement that the Federal Reserve would buy up to $600 billion in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities is not yet clear for troubled homeowners facing foreclosure, say two local nonprofit housing counselors.

"It could be a breakthrough for homeowners. Right now, loans residing in investor-owned securities are very difficult to modify; servicers are hamstrung by the regulations governing each bundle. If the Fed buys entire trunks of loans, it would have the power to change these stipulations, and that would finally allow for individual modifications," said Karen Wallensak of Catholic Charities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 19, 2008 - They didn't pass the hat after Tuesday night's screening of the documentary "I.O.U.S.A.'' at the Missouri History Museum, but audience members did learn what their individual share of the country's nearly $60 trillion fiscal hole will be, come January: $184,000.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 27, 2008 - Late on a Wednesday morning, Andrew Long wakes to a quiet home.

Everyone's gone. Tammy Long, his wife, left for work hours ago, driving his daughter, Nikki, 16, and her son, Tim, 15, to school on the way. Lucky, the three legged dog, and Ellie Mae, the pregnant Doberman, wait for his attention. The cats skulk about.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Three alarming facts about failing home loans are worrying Karen Wallensak of Catholic Charities who works with troubled homeowners on the front lines of the foreclosure crisis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 8, 2008 - A $300 billion homeowner rescue plan proposed by Sen. John McCain during Tuesday's presidential debate could be a "nonstarter'' because of the complexity of pooled mortgages, says Chris Krehmeyer, executive director of Beyond Housing, one of five nonprofit agencies that make up the St. Louis Alliance for Homeownership Preservation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site

Jaimie of somewhere in Northeastern Indiana asked that we limit her identification – not because she is embarrassed to share her financial woes but because she wants to feel secure on the Internet. More than 1,500 people visit her site daily to read about her attempts to pay off the credit card debt and college student loans she and her husband accumulated after graduation.

Foreclosures: The problem is growing; seek help early

Jun 19, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Over the coming weeks, the Beacon, in partnership with KETC Channel 9, will be reporting on the sticky web of issues surrounding foreclosure - a crisis for nearly 2 million Americans, including thousands in the St. Louis region who have lost their stake in the American Dream.