November 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.

Coming Soon: Policy Strategy Guide Around Housing and Schools 

(RECAP: Since 2014, Housing Virginia has been the leader in the conversation surrounding the connection between housing and schools in Virginia. As a new phase of our policy research and work around this topic begins, we will soon release a strategy guide for localities that want to start a dialogue about the connection between housing and school policies in their own community.)

Why (and how) localities should say yes to housing

(RECAP: One reason affordable housing is scarce is that, in a typical market, an apartment complex with rents affordable to middle-income workers costs more to build than the developers can recoup through rents. Creating affordable housing for people with below-median income is even harder. Why is this so, and how can it be changed? A substantial part of the problem and solution is in local control.)

Blight-Fighting Tactic Found to Double Nearby Real Estate Values

(RECAP: The controversial “broken window theory” of policing dictates that you go after the small crimes, and the big ones will fall. Applied to blight, that school of thought means restoring abandoned houses on otherwise intact blocks as affordable units so the surrounding neighborhood gets better — and for less money than the more common approach of building or renovating homes on a larger scale.)

The 5 Must-Haves Of A Successful Mixed-Use Development Project

(RECAP: While the benefits of a successful mixed-use development project are obvious to the business owners and homeowners that occupy them, the recipe for success is not so clear-cut. In most cases, the outcome of a mixed-use development is determined on a combination of factors like the location and quality of tenants, and how each use — whether residential, commercial or industrial — compliments the others.)

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