May 11, 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.

Sourcebook Update Complete: Now Data up Through 2015 Q4

(RECAP:  Virginia has released the most recent Sourcebook update, which brings quarterly data sets up to 2015 Q4 and annually updated data to its most recently available year. One of the data points that received its annual update is the Housing Cost Burden, or the number of households paying more than 30% of their annual income on housing cost alone.)

Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places

(RECAP: Through the Sustaining Places Initiative, the American Planning Association defined a set of principles to guide comprehensive plans for sustaining places, and developed these guiding principles into a set of recommended planning practices to serve as a resource for the preparation of local comprehensive plans.)

Google Awards Millions For Disability Initiative

(RECAP: The company’s charitable arm,, has selected 30 organizations to receive grants through its “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities” initiative. The largest grant of $1.4 million will go to The Arc to create an online tool to help people with cognitive disabilities find the right apps and other assistive technologies to meet goals based on their profile.)

Energy Efficiency: Vital to the Budgets of Low-Income Households

(RECAP: Electricity and water are indispensable for day to day living, and low-income households pay a disproportionate share of their income for these necessary utilities—up to 25 percent of their discretionary income—compared to five percent for the rest of us. This disproportionality is a function of not only of lack of sufficient income, but the fact that the poorest often reside in the least efficient housing.)

Why Universities are Getting into Senior Housing

(RECAP: Across the country, there are several examples of universities that have partnerships with senior housing communities. The partnerships function in different ways and have different goals, but increasingly, universities are becoming more interested in senior living, and vice versa, for the mutual benefits that they can realize.)

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