May 21, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

Do we need affordable housing or affordable living?

(RECAP: The single-family home and the conventional apartment are both nice ways to live. But we need to broaden our thinking to allow a wide range of Americans with diverse needs (which vary throughout their lives) to have a big menu of housing options that offer the benefits of affordable living.)

Historic Tax Credit Toolbox: National Register Listing

(RECAP: Historic tax credits (HTCs) can provide a critical incentive for owners seeking to redevelop historic buildings, and the path to obtaining HTCs begins with National Register listing. In many cases, National Register listing can be a straightforward process, but challenges sometimes arise that can jeopardize project approval.)

Defeating NIMBY With Incentive Housing Zones

(RECAP: While it is still too early to know the final outcome of this experiment, there is good reason to pay close attention. It just might be that Connecticut is crafting an effective strategy for turning NIMBY into YIMBY in communities where you would least expect it.)

Gorgeous Housing That People Can Actually Afford

(RECAP: Four projects recognized by the 2014 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards “are shining examples of how the latest innovations in design, materials and building techniques are not just for high-end housing but can also offer lower-income families exceptional homes they can actually afford.”)

Planning on a Budget: There is an App for That

(RECAP: Tight on time, staff and budget, and looking for technology to help your planning effort? These planning tools can be used in any community and offer low cost solutions to common types of information that planners collect.)

HUD Rental Assistance on an Unsustainable Path—What Can Be Done to Save It?

(RECAP: How can HUD leverage its money more efficiently without completely abandoning the residents of high-cost, high-mobility metros like Washington D.C.? One idea would be to adopt a Race to the Top-style program to encourage cities to adopt more growth-friendly policies.)

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