September 8, 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.

Rural Housing Initiative

(RECAP: Housing Virginia has almost completed its series of meetings with rural housing and service providers around the state to conduct a deeper analysis of each area’s needs and the trends they’re seeing. Here’s where you can find the regional data and summaries from meetings conducted in Abingdon, Blackstone and Martinsville.)

APA Virginia Chapter Recognizes Teaching Excellence

(RECAP: This year, APA's Virginia Chapter added a new award category to its roster of chapter awards presented annually during its conference. The APA Virginia Chapter Teaching Award was created to recognize faculty members from the three Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) universities located within the commonwealth. The award also focuses on how superb teaching can serve as the bridge between students and the planning profession.)

Vibrant murals transform this Virginia city into a giant art gallery

(RECAP: Crystal City is known for being very safe and clean, but because so many of its buildings are constructed with so much concrete, the area can also come across as a little stale. In a roughly 10-year effort to visually revitalize the area, this concrete canyon has been transformed through the visual arts to become a vibrant and colorful area.)

America’s newest communities are designed to look like old-fashioned, small towns

(RECAP: With quaint shops, wraparound porches and pedestrian-friendly streets, these new communities appeal to homebuyers’ desires for a strong sense of place.)

States Urged To Strengthen Community-Based Options

(RECAP: Federal Medicaid officials are pushing states to do more to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the care they need in order to remain in the community. In a new bulletin, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is outlining a number of steps states and disability service providers can take to ensure a strong home care workforce is in place.)

New Capital for Housing Preservation

(RECAP: A report from the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing sheds light on an encouraging development in affordable and workforce housing: the growth of innovative financing approaches bringing new sources and structures of capital to preserve the affordability of existing subsidized and “naturally occurring” affordable properties. ULI’s report analyzes three principal types of financing approaches: below market debt funds, private equity vehicles and real estate investment trusts.) 

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