Help protect America’s threatened community development and affordable housing programs


On Thursday, November 2nd, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady released the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a draft tax proposal which, if passed, would have a negative impact on community development and affordable housing.

LOCUS

As House unveils new tax plan, LOCUS launches Rebuild America’s Neighborhoods campaign

Today, we officially launch the Rebuild America’s Neighborhoods campaign to organize developers and investors to advocate for a federal tax and budget plan that increases private capital investment in public infrastructure, affordable housing and economic development.

LOCUS

Webinar recording: Three toolkits for smart growth in rural places

In late April Smart Growth America released three new toolkits for smart growth in rural places. Our Community Facilities Location toolkit helps communities make the most of new facilities like hospitals or post offices. Our Well-Placed Affordable Housing toolkit looks at creating centrally located housing infrastructure. And our Fiscal Impact Analysis toolkit looks at how local government can better understand the long-term financial implications of decisions about new development.

Rural Development

White House urges policy changes to create more affordable housing

The White House made a bold statement earlier this week, taking on the outdated zoning codes and laws, housing and parking regulations, and tax structures that all play a part in discouraging cities — and developers — from building more affordable housing and meeting the demand for more walkable, connected neighborhoods. Because of the way … Continued

LOCUS

California governor signs bill to ease parking requirements and create more affordable housing

brown-parking
On Friday California Governor Jerry Brown signed into a law a bill that will help create more affordable housing by easing parking requirements for developers.

The legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 744, Planning and Zoning: Density Bonus, will allow developers to request reduced minimum parking requirements within affordable housing projects. It also amends the parking ratio for affordable housing and senior housing to require no more the 0.5 parking spaces per unit, and amends the ratio for special needs housing to require no more than 0.3 parking spaces per unit.

Developers seeking to use these ratios must meet established guidelines regarding percentage of affordable units in the project, distance and access to a transit stop, availability of paratransit services, and access to fixed bus route services. The emphasis on transit access will bolster other efforts to make public transportation and active transportation options safer, more convenient, and more accessible for low-income families.

LOCUS

New green building resources for HUD grantees

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a new initiative to offer green building training to their grantees and other affordable housing organizations. The free courses include Introduction to Green Building for Affordable Housing, Executive Decision Making, Best Practices for Green Building Operations and Maintenance, Financing Green Building, and Energy Performance Contracting for Small PHAs.

Uncategorized

Smart growth news – January 19, 2012

National News

U.S. mayors call for infrastructure spending and protection of grant programs
Orlando Sentinel – January 18, 2012

“The economic recovery is too slow, and it is a direct result of the inaction of this Congress in 2011,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “If we gave the 112th Congress a mid-term report card, the grade would be clear. Congress would get an ‘F.’”

Federal-State Meeting Planned to Rally for Foreclosure Accord
Bloomberg Business Week – January 19, 2012

State attorneys general are being invited to meet with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and a Justice Department official to rally support for a proposed settlement with banks over foreclosure practices, said the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Local News

Planning workshop brings circus atmosphere to Marin
Marin Independent Journal – January 19, 2012

The video’s narrator concluded with a call to action: “Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and work together to plan how the Bay Area might grow over the next 25 years?” “No,” a chorus of audience members shouted as private security guards and sheriff’s deputies stood by.

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Smart growth news – December 20

Maryland governor signs land-use order
Washington Post, December 19, 2011
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Monday signed an executive order that is intended to curb sprawl and that could affect every facet of growth, from where schools are placed to which roads are built to whether rural landowners are permitted to develop their property.

The Lure of the City
Inside Higher Ed, December 20, 2011
Cornell, one of the only top private research universities in the country not located in an urban area, saw expansion into New York as a necessary component of its future ambitions…It also reinforces a growing notion that research universities are going to need access to the resources provided by urban areas to continue to serve as such engines. “We believe the city had the right idea at the right time,” Cornell President David Skorton said at the announcement. “The tech sector of universities is shifting from simply the pursuit of knowledge to service of business and industry.”

Smart Can Be Affordable
Shelterforce, Fall 2011
Despite fears that rising prices follow smart growth projects, smart growth and affordable housing advocates need each other to realize the promise of each.

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