Smart growth news – September 14

American Jobs Act’s Project Rebuild Aims to Revitalize Vacant Homes
Huffington Post, September 14, 2011
The American Jobs Act would help restore thousands of these abandoned properties and put construction workers back to work in the process with Project Rebuild. The $15 billion project would create thousands of jobs to tear down abandoned properties, renovate foreclosed homes and maintain abandoned properties until they can be sold once again.

Minnesota considers partnerships to pay for infrastructure work
Finance & Commerce (Minn.), September 14, 2011
The Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense estimates that Minnesota would need to spend $672 million a year for the next 20 years to deal with the backlog of “poor” roads and “maintain all state-owned roads in good condition.”

Obama Program Calls for $15B for Foreclosure Rehab
Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011
The president’s job-creation bill actually includes some aid for housing: It would create a $15 billion fund to get construction workers to rehab vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Construction hiring has been weak, of course, because competition from foreclosures has held new home building at abysmally low levels.

Cuyahoga land bank clearing big section of East Cleveland
WKSU (Ohio), September 13, 2011
A large swath of vacant properties in economically depressed East Cleveland will be demolished and hopefully replaced with new development. Tomorrow  the Cuyahoga County Land Bank will begin tearing down a cluster of 24 apartment buildings and 31 houses.  Land bank president, Gus Frangos, says this is the organizations’ largest single redevelopment project so far.

CDBG cuts could impact social programs, city services
Portland Daily Sun (Maine), September 14, 2011
The St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen at the base of Munjoy Hill had long been a recipient of Community Development Block Grant funding from the city. Although the grants weren’t huge — they ranged from about $10,000 to $20,000 — they helped the all-volunteer agency provide hot lunches to more than 150 homeless and working poor each day.

City works to bring shared car service to Downtown
FOX 19 (Ohio), September 12, 2011
Cincinnatians will soon have a new transportation option available in the Queen City. A shared car service has finalized an agreement with the University of Cincinnati and is in talks with city officials about expanding their international Zipcar business.

Hurricane Irene highlighted need for NJ Transit investment
Star-Ledger (N.J.), September 13, 2011
Coming on the heels of a summer of NJ Transit derailments and disruptions, the public transportation outages caused by Hurricane Irene should serve as a wake-up call for Gov. Chris Christie that investing more in public transportation — and housing, retail and office development around it — is necessary for the state.

Opinion: Should the federal gas tax be extended? Yes
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 12, 2011
Even as our infrastructure continues to crumble and unemployment remains above nine percent, stubborn obstructionism on the part of congressional Republicans has prevented us from addressing our infrastructure and jobs crises.