December 24, 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.

Shaping the City | Affordable housing design doesn’t have to be boring

(RECAP: Earlier this year the American Institute of Architects and HUD selected four projects to receive national awards for excellence in affordable housing design. Curiously, all four projects receiving awards are in California.)

When Grandma's House Is Home: The Rise Of Grandfamilies

(RECAP: Grandfamilies are so common that you'll see public housing complexes designed with this in mind: wide walkways, everything on one floor, guardrails — and then outside the window there's a playground.)

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Community Development Organizations 

(RECAP: An action guide for community organizations from NeighborWorks America that can help organizations and residents rebuild and recover when disaster strikes.) 

Part 2: The Emergence of Form-Based Codes

(RECAP: Form-based codes are written with the creation (or preservation) of a specific urban form in mind — to regulate private development so that it consciously shapes the public realm.)’s Guide to Assistive Technology

(RECAP: Assistive Technology is any piece of equipment or system that can help people with disabilities live independently and participate in the classroom, the workplace and in their communities.)

New research connects investments in low-income communities to direct gains in employment and income

(RECAP: A new study of dozens of poor communities across the country found that families fared better economically in places where a far-reaching revitalization effort addressed multiple community needs at one time—affordable housing, safety, education, employment and other basic services.)

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Walkability Is Good for You

(RECAP: The evidence from a growing body of research shows that walkable neighborhoods not only raise housing prices but reduce crime, improve health, spur creativity and encourage more civic engagement in our communities.)

How Much Cleaning Up Brownfields Is Really Worth

(RECAP: There are more than 450,000 U.S. brownfield sites—properties once used for industrial purposes now contaminated by hazardous substances at low levels. According to a new study, neighborhoods near brownfield cleanup sites enjoy a rise in housing values that can be dramatic.)

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