August 28, 2013

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

Lessons from Arlington, VA

(RECAP: The transformation of a suburban community into a model of effective urban planning and a model for maintaining a high quality of life in the face of tremendous growth and change.)

Revitalization Outlook: What Strategies Can Help Make Urban Cores More Vibrant?

(RECAP: Members of ULI’s Urban Revitalization Council discuss ways to catalyze investment and development in the urban core, the demographic factors influencing the popularity of urban living and how different sectors of the real estate market are faring in the urban core.)

Five Fantastic Ideas for Public Furniture in Cities

(RECAP: The ability of great public furniture to inspire innovation and pride can uplift a community and revitalize public spaces.)

Growing a Stronger Nonprofit Housing Sector

(RECAP: High-capacity nonprofit housing enterprises that can achieve efficiencies of scale have an important role to play in addressing the affordable housing crisis and policy makers should help them do so.)

How One Group of Seniors Bucked Convention and Avoided the Retirement Home

(RECAP: A non-profit membership organization that provides free or low-cost services to seniors who have chosen to live in their own homes may be the answer for millions of baby-boomers.)

August 22, 2013

Developing for small spaces; innovative design with space in mind

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If you have all of the land and money needed to develop homes or apartments, you may not be thinking less is more. However, urban development and affordable housing often call for maximizing every inch of a home. Renters and homeowners would prefer not to do without necessities, so how do you fit it all in a small space? Check out this article by Megan Durisin over at Business Insider. It features minimalist millionaire Graham Hill’s “LifeEdited” apartment in SoHo Manhattan. Hill has gotten a lot of publicity for this living space and philosophy of late, having abandoned the typical mansion-full-of-stuff lifestyle that he tried on after selling a tech startup for great big wheelbarrows of cash (estimated).

August 21, 2013

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

Ft. Belvoir: Pioneering the U.S. Military’s Brand of Smart Growth

(RECAP: As the U.S. military infuses smart growth principles into theplanning for its bases, leaders can learn from one facility that's been able to accommodate dramatic growth with smart planning and innovative initiatives.)

Moving Poor People Into a Neighborhood Doesn't Cause Crime

(RECAP: Here’s hard proof that there's no relationship between housing vouchers and higher crime at the city level or in the suburbs.)

Getting Back in Shape: Guidelines for Improving the Fitness of Established Nonprofit Organizations

(RECAP: Even if your organization has "been around for a while" there’s still room for building capacity to achieve greater impact and ensure sustainability.)

200 years of LEED (or 20 historic buildings you probably didn’t know were green)

(RECAP: Incredible examples of how historic preservation and environmental sustainability can work hand in hand, and how saving the past can enrich the future.)’t-know-were-green?utm_source=NationalTrust&utm_medium=crosspost&utm_campaign=LEED_200yrs

Hoarders: How Cities Intervene

(RECAP: Task force teams that combine mental health experts, police, building and health department inspectors, and experts on aging can bring understanding and compassion, while benefiting the community at large.)

August 19, 2013

Virginia Downtown Development Association - Fostering Vibrant Economic Development in Historic Downtowns

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The Virginia Downtown Development Association (VDDA) was established more than 30 years ago as an independent organization with the mission to “bring attention to the significance of historic downtowns to Virginia's economic vitality and to enhance the effectiveness of organizations, individuals and communities to foster vibrant economic development.”

VDDA provides valuable training and networking opportunities for developers who use VHDA financing for affordable housing and mixed-use development in downtown districts. Virginia’s downtowns play an important role in the economic health of their communities, and downtown redevelopment efforts offer new opportunities to add high-quality, affordable housing in those areas. VHDA is proud to be a long-term supporter of VDDA’s efforts.

August 14, 2013

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

Redesigning American Cities for Less Driving

(RECAP: How to redesign cities to make them less auto-dependent and match the cultural shift away from cars, particularly with Millennials.)

Scale, Schmale. What About Impact?

(RECAP: If you think what’s wrong with CDCs today is their failure to “go to scale,” you are looking in the fundamentally wrong direction, asking the wrong questions.)

What's Next for the Sharing Movement?

(RECAP: Millions of people are waking up to the potential of sharing. Cities are waking up to it too – the mayors of 15 major cities recently signed a Shareable Cities Resolution promising to advance the sharing economy in their cities.)

Eight Imaginative Projects Reusing Infrastructure in Cities

(RECAP: Finding more and better ways to repurpose telephone booths, billboard signs, construction scaffolding, bus shelters and even parking meters to better serve citizens in the 21st century.)

August 7, 2013

Beyond Bricks & Sticks

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

Three Strategies for Refueling Abandoned Gas Stations

(RECAP: In terms of the sustainable city’s built environment and local land use decisions, gas stations couldn’t play a more central role.)

Postwar neighborhoods are key to suburban revitalization

(RECAP: The nation has a huge quantity of “Leave it to Beaver” neighborhoods from the postwar housing boom that are ripe for changes that will make them more walkable and appealing to new generations of residents.)

Nonprofit Advocacy is EASY

(RECAP: How easy is it? Well, the highly paid professionals don’t want this to get out, but it is so easy that even a first grader can do it!)

The Rise of Virtual Retirement Villages

(RECAP: The notion of virtual retirement communities, known as “villages,” started with one group of seniors in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston in 2001. Today, there are more than 100 villages in nearly 40 states.)

August 6, 2013

Three Questions with Mary Kay Horoszewski

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Today's blog post is a Q&A with Mary Kay Horoszewski, Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation.

How did you get involved in the affordable housing industry?
Mary Kay Horoszewski, Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation

I have been in the affordable housing field since 1977, when I started with a county redevelopment authority as a “housing rehabilitation specialist.” One of my first jobs was to estimate damages to residential properties that were damaged in a severe flood that hit in July of that year. Seventy-eight people were killed, and many hundreds had their homes destroyed or severely damaged. I liked the work and I liked the people I dealt with, so I continued on that path until this very day.