Smart growth news – December 30, 2011

Backtracking U.S. Lawmakers Expand Federal Role in Mortgages
Bloomberg News via BusinessWeek, December 30, 2011
Washington lawmakers, who began 2011 with sweeping plans to shrink the U.S. government’s role in mortgage finance, are heading into 2012 after enacting policies that expand it.

Smart growth funds running out
Commonwealth Magazine (Mass.), December 29, 2011
The account that funds the state’s smart growth law is running out of cash, raising the prospect that the state’s first major effort at using incentives to promote housing construction could grind to a halt before it really gets rolling.

Darker Nights as Some Cities Turn Off the Lights
New York Times, December 29, 2011
Cities around the nation, grappling with what is expected to be a fifth consecutive year of declining revenues and having exhausted the predictable budget trims, are increasingly considering something that would once have been untouchable: the lights.