February 13, 2013

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

General Housing

New report finds no evidence to discredit CRA in subprime housing boom—again

(RECAP: A new report from the UNC Center for Community Capital shows an overwhelming body of research demonstrating that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) encourages safe, affordable lending. The UNC report notes that the CRA has come under attack before and the claims against it debunked by researchers and industry experts time and time again.)

Housing with Services

Cost Savings Seen in NCR Housing Model

(RECAP: A National Church Residences (NCR) model combining assisted living with services for low-income seniors saves the state of Ohio $73.08 per person per day in Medicaid costs over living in a nursing facility, reveals a new study. A leading affordable housing developer, NCR has been piloting a new model in the state by using multiple funding sources to create an “assisted-living level of housing that also includes on-site health-care services.”)                             http://www.housingfinance.com/senior-housing/cost-savings-seen-in-ncr-housing-model.aspx

Neighborhood Transformation

 Why 3D Modeling Will Play a Huge Role in Tackling Rapid Urbanization

(RECAP: 3D simulations of cities have the potential to help engineers and planners anticipate natural disasters and population growth, and to better plan for them in a way that goes far beyond rendering cityscapes as if they were in a video game.)

Community Investment

Serving Rural America

(RECAP: Rural housing projects are often smaller than developments built in other markets. Although it may seem like a small deal would be easier to put together and finance, it's usually the opposite. They're harder to do. Still, even though small towns present challenges, developers are overcoming them to provide housing.)

Strengthening Capacity

Putting Solar Energy Use on the Local Policy Agenda

(RECAP: One of the core purposes of local planning is facilitating the development or protection of community resources. However, relatively few communities acknowledge solar energy as a resource comparable to other local resources such as water or historical buildings. As a consequence, some cities and counties across the country have been caught flat-footed by proposals for new solar farms or by a sharp uptick in permit applications for new rooftop solar installations.)

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