Smart Growth News — July 11, 2014

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan confirmed as director of OMB
HousingWire — July 10, 2014
Donovan’s nomination was confirmed by the Senate Thursday by a 75-22 margin. When Donovan’s nomination was announced, President Obama praised his work over the last six years. Donovan has been a member of President Obama’s cabinet since Obama took office in 2008.
House Dems introduce housing finance reform measure
The Hill — July 10, 2014
Three House Democrats introduced on Thursday the latest legislative volley aimed at overhauling the housing finance system. Reps. John Delaney (Md.), John Carney (Del.), and Jim Himes (Conn.) offered a bill that preserves the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and uses private-sector pricing to reduce the risk of future bailouts for taxpayers.
Helsinki’s ambitious plan to make car ownership pointless in 10 years
The Guardian — July 10, 2014
The Finnish capital has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point “mobility on demand” system by 2025 – one that, in theory, would be so good nobody would have any reason to own a car.
No gridlock: Highway deal nears
The Hill — July 10, 2014
House and Senate committees both approved measures on Thursday to fund highway projects into next year, raising hopes that Congress could soon reach a deal to prevent sidelining construction projects this summer. The two measures rely on similar provisions to provide roughly the same amount of money — just under $10 billion — for highway projects.
Local News
J.P. Morgan Chase to unveil $5.5M program to rehab Detroit homes, help with down payments
Crain’s Detroit Business — July 10, 2014
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. will announce today that it has launched a $5.5 million program with Liberty Bank in Detroit to provide home restoration loans and down payment assistance for those buying houses in Detroit through the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s property auctions.
Cities look to improve pedestrian safety, access
Reporter Newspapers (GA) — July 10, 2014
“It’s challenging in a suburban environment because infrastructure is more car-oriented, but we’re trying to be proactive to make it better for pedestrians,” said Dunwoody public works director Michael Smith. Local officials say they’re trying a variety of ways to address pedestrian problems.
In Plano, urban core housing continues to grow
The Dallas Morning News — July 11, 2014
The decision to live downtown came easy for Hayley Marcum. Marcum represents a growing number of residents choosing to live downtown. With housing occupancy rates at around 95 percent, Deputy City Manager Frank Turner said downtown housing is in big demand.
Granted Funds Advance Transit-Oriented Development Throughout the Region
Mobilizing the Region — July 10, 2014
Tri-State and the One Region Funders’ Group assembled Transit-Centered Development Grant Program recipients last month to discuss progress made since the first round of grants to advance TOD were made in 2009.