May 27, 2015

Beyond Bricks & Sticks

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

Celebrating Community: NeighborWorks Week 2015 June 6-14

(RECAP: Each June, NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.)

Get more, spend less: How to support sustainable homeownership

(RECAP: A better approach to encouraging ownership that is affordable and relatively cost-efficient over time is shared equity homeownership—which is different from a shared appreciation mortgage. Despite its promise, shared equity homeownership has remained a niche market segment.)

How to Design a Pedestrian Mall That Works

(RECAP: Once inaccessible and crime-ridden, Charlottesville, Va.’s now-popular pedestrian mall offers a blueprint for other cities. The recipe for success is basic: All these malls should integrate with -- rather than isolate from -- their surroundings.)

Planning ABCs

(RECAP: These 26 short articles provide -- in alphabetical order starting with “A is for Automobile” -- a terrific introduction to planning in America. They were prepared for the Planning Commissioners Journal by planning historian Laurence C. Gerckens, FAICP.)

Making a difference for the homeless through public-private partnerships

(RECAP: There are more than 5,000 reported homeless individuals in Northern Virginia but only 1,065 shelter beds available. As part of efforts to change this harsh reality, members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association founded HomeAid Northern Virginia in 2001 so that their members could renovate and build housing for the homeless.)

Getting Started with the Housing Trust Fund (Part Two of Two)

(RECAP: Part one addressed many different aspects of the National Housing Trust Fund. This installment focuses on a few specific topics. State housing finance agencies will begin planning this year for how to use funding scheduled to be available in 2016. One of the most important of the numerous factors to consider is who will live in HTF-funded units.)

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.

The Costs of Smart Growth Revisited: A 40-Year Perspective

(RECAP: "Soaring" land and house prices "certainly represent the biggest single failure" of smart growth, which has contributed to an increase in prices that is unprecedented in history. This observation was made by one of the world's leading urbanologists, Sir Peter Hall, in a classic work 40 years ago.)

The Case for Giving Homes to the Homeless

(RECAP: It might seem obvious, but in lots of cities it's also proved quite effective. As far back as 2001, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania declared that providing housing to the homeless is a “solution that can pay for itself.”)

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