June 1, 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.

June is National Homeownership Month

America first celebrated homeownership on a national level in 1995 during the Clinton administration. In the beginning, it was a weeklong celebration. Then, in 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed June National Homeownership Month, with the goal of encouraging more families to explore homeownership opportunities in their communities. Here is an excerpt from his proclamation:

“Homeownership encourages personal responsibility and the values necessary for strong families. Where homeownership flourishes, neighborhoods are more stable, residents are more civic-minded, schools are better, and crime rates decline.”

First ABLE Accounts Expected This Summer

(RECAP: A year and a half after legislation paved the way for people with disabilities to save without jeopardizing their government benefits, the first accounts are poised to become available. Before the public could open the new accounts, states had to pass legislation and establish regulations for the new savings vehicle. Virginia is expected to launch its ABLE program this year.)

Making Mixed-Income Developments Work

(RECAP: A single development with an intentional income mix involves very specific challenges — both in its design and its management.)

Recession-scarred Millennials fuel growing interest in tiny homes

(RECAP: There are apartments, condos, mansions and now, increasingly — tiny houses. There are now an estimated 10,000 tiny houses — up from just a couple hundred less than five years ago — as people look to take on less financial risk. This has become especially popular for millenials who are looking for cheaper options as they deal with an inconsistent job market and student lone debt.)

Resilience Building Coalition Releases Progress Report

(RECAP: In conjunction with the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes, the Resilience Building Coalition released a report on the progress made across the design and building industries on enhancing resiliency. The report, “Preparing to Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resilience,” is an actionable framework that identifies five areas of commitment to be proactive in resilience.)

What Senior Living Gets Wrong about Sustainable Design

(RECAP: Often, when senior living providers think about sustainable design, they consider a design’s environmental value — such as its carbon footprint — and a design’s economic value. Many senior living providers are failing to consider the social dimension of sustainable design. That’s where the idea of Biophilic Design can play an important role.)

The Art of Revitalization

(RECAP: Everyone yearns for a safe place to live, learn, work and play; and the arts are widely regarded as a cure for a variety of related issues. A creative community can revitalize a neighborhood and improve quality of life outcomes for its community members, explains a Princeton University working paper on the impact of arts on community.)

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