July 22, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

The Housing Affordability Opportunity

(RECAP: A recent McKinsey Global Institute report identifies four of the most important levers for making housing more affordable. McKinsey’s Jonathan Woetzel summarized these levers as unlocking land, improving productivity in construction, increasing efficiency in management and reducing financing costs.)

The Manufactured Housing Institute’s Urban Design Project

(RECAP: To illustrate that today’s manufactured homes can meet the need for affordable housing and can be aesthetically compatible within existing urban neighborhoods, the Manufactured Housing Institute launched the Urban Design Project. The program was structured as a public/private initiative that would include the design, development and construction of a series of manufactured homes on urban infill sites in selected cities around the country.)

Affordable Housing, Always

(RECAP: Even neighborhoods that aren’t under threat from gentrification are creating land trusts, knowing that in a culture where cities are “in,” no one is safe from being driven out of a neighborhood.)

Improvement with a Capital “I”: Tax Credits and Rural Development

(RECAP: Some mistakenly believe nonprofits are ineligible for the New Markets Tax Credit Program — founded by Congress in 2000 and renewed annually since — due to their tax status. In fact, as part of a New Markets financing it is the investor, not the nonprofit, that receives the credit, thus incenting capital into projects that would not otherwise get done.)

Building trust to build communities

(RECAP: The National Housing Conference’s regulatory comments, convenings and resources around HUD’s forthcoming rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing emphasize the need for trust between the federal government and state and local governments while making measurable progress. Look for more on this at their Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods convening in New Orleans, November 5-6.)

Egg-shaped home powered by sunlight and wind lets you live anywhere

(RECAP: The striking design from Slovakian group Nice Architects represents a creative effort to offer housing solutions for this planet. The 'Ecocapsule' is a mini apartment with all the conventional luxuries you would expect, but generates its own clean energy and can be situated anywhere, from city to tundra.)

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.

3 Things Cities and HUD Can Do to Stop Gentrification That Segregates

(RECAP: City and federal officials must go beyond affordable housing efforts and stimulate meaningful social interactions among new and long-term residents to weave a new social fabric of integration in these vibrant, transitioning neighborhoods.)

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