April 6, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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

Why Reston, Virginia Still Inspires Planners 50 Years Later

(RECAP: A new documentary traces how the D.C. suburb’s pedestrian-centric, mixed-use approach came to dominate urban design.)http://www.citylab.com/design/2016/03/reston-virginia-urban-planning-suburbs-robert-simon/474729/

Tax Credit Proposed For Disability Caregivers

(RECAP: Parents and others who provide care for people with disabilities could be eligible for a tax credit under a new proposal. “This is more than just another tax credit,” said U.S. Rep. S├ínchez, D-Calif., “This is about how we can help older adults and people with disabilities live independently in their own homes and communities.”)

Cookbooks and Community Development: Made with Love, Recipes for Community Change

(RECAP: This book is chock full of strategies for bringing communities together around small placemaking projects  – from gatherings that celebrate community members’ individual and collective strengths, to art installations that reclaim vacant urban space.)

Is evaluation valuable for every nonprofit?

(RECAP: Nonprofits are increasingly expected to use data and evidence to demonstrate that they are producing positive results for the clients they serve. How can nonprofits — and their funders — navigate the maze of resources and recommendations about what research tools to use to drive results?)

Housing Agency Waiting Lists and the Demand for Rental Assistance 

(RECAP: This Housing Agency Resource Kit was created to provide a more accurate count of families that would be waiting for housing assistance if lack of resources didn’t force housing agencies to close waiting lists. It also tries to better understand the socio-economic context of where and why families might wait longer for assistance. The kit can be tailored by housing agencies for use in media outreach, advocacy efforts, social media postings and planning activities.) 

Workforce Shortages and Creative Partnerships

(RECAP: HomeAid Northern Virginia brings together construction trades and homelessness service providers. The hope is to create a virtuous cycle: build capacity in the local skilled labor workforce and change the lives of vulnerable individuals by providing them job skills and a path to employment with our partner companies.)

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