Senators introduce bi-partisan legislation that would improve the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

American Brewing Building, Baltimore, MD
The American Brewery Building in Baltimore, MD, was redeveloped with the help of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Photo via the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In June Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 1141 The Creating American Prosperity Through Preservation (CAPP) Act, a bill that would encourage developers to invest in and restore historic buildings by updating the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.

Since its inception in 1976, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program has leveraged more than $106 billion of private-sector investment to preserve and rehabilitate more than 38,000 historic properties. The credit program has rehabilitated more than 75,000 low- and moderate-income housing units. In fact, nearly 75 percent of Historic Tax Credit projects are in low-income areas.


Smart Growth News – August 28, 2012

Top stories

Mitt’s Metropolis
Next American City – August 27, 2012
“Romney supported smart growth when he was governor for economic reasons,” said Alex Dodds, online communications manager for Smart Growth America. “If he was going to run the presidency from a fiscal, economic basis of making decisions on return on investment and helping communities, smart growth would be a good option for him.”

Complete Streets policies spreading quickly
Better! Towns & Cities – August 27, 2012
Complete Streets policies continue to be popular across the US, despite a provision on the issue being rescinded from the recent federal transportation bill. More than 350 US states, counties, and communities have adopted Complete Streets policies, including 146 policies in 2011 alone, according to the Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2011 by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, released August 15.

Home Prices Rise, Survey Shows
New York Times – August 28, 2012
Single-family home prices in the United States gained in June, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday, in what could be a sign of improvement in the housing market.

Complete Streets

Smart growth news – January 25, 2012

SGA in the News:

Anderson: Address the Housing Crisis’s Underlying Issues
Roll Call – January 25, 2012

In rebuilding our economy, lawmakers and the administration must take a concerted look at where America is going, with market demand and community support as the key indicators. Comprehensive housing and real estate finance policy change is the only solution that will promote economic recovery and enable the creation of great neighborhoods nationwide.


Using historic preservation tax credits to revitalize urban communities in Rhode Island

The Alice Building in downtown Providence, RI, was built in 1898 and recently renovated to become apartments in the heart of town. Photo by Flickr user Mr. Ducke.

Advocates in Rhode Island seek to reinstitute the state’s Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit. The redevelopment success of the previous credit, and Rhode Island’s need for affordable housing and economic stimulation, means that restoring the credit will be key to help the State successfully recharge its real estate sector. Restoring the credit will also help to implement Rhode Island’s land use plan aimed to “achieve excellence in community design” by supporting redevelopment in traditional neighborhoods and focusing growth in town centers.


Smart growth news – June 22, 2011

Are There Too Many Homes in America?
The Atlantic blog, June 21, 2011
Estimates of the number of vacant houses are hard to get a handle on. The census bureau tracks that number. However, its month-by-month estimate was well out of whack with the preliminary data coming in from the formal 10-year Census. Still a credible guess is that there might be in the range of 1.5 million “excess” vacant homes. That number includes empty rentals as well as homes for sale. Even in the best of times some homes are vacant, but there are roughly 1.5 million more than there were in 1990, adjusted for population changes.

Green literacy new graduation requirement in MD
Baltimore Sun (Md.), June 21, 2011
Maryland public school students will need to know their green to graduate under a new policy adopted today by the state board of education. State officials and environmental activists called the vote “historic” and said Maryland has become the first state in the nation to require environmental literacy to graduate from high school. Under the rule, public schools will be required to work lessons about conservation, smart growth and the health of our natural world into their core subjects like science and social studies.

U.S. DOT awards $175 million in ‘livability’ transit grants
Smart Planet, June 21, 2011
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the availability of $175 million in what it calls “livability grants” intended to help urban, suburban and rural communities develop transit options to better connect their residents. Local transit agencies are eligible for the funds; the program will begin accepting applications this week.

Panel proposes changes to planning laws to improve downtown Mays Landing
Press of Atlantic City, June 21, 2011
The Smart Growth Committee made several suggestions for the township to adopt that could significantly change areas like downtown Mays Landing and improve the condition of rental homes.


Smart growth news – June 10, 2011

‘Smart growth,’ water savings are linked
El Paso Times (Texas), June 6, 2011
Higher-density “smart growth” neighborhoods located in the right places could delay by decades an expensive plan to pump water to El Paso from other parts of Texas, the city’s top water official said Wednesday. “It’s not a matter of water supply; it’s a matter of infrastructure,” Ed Archuleta, El Paso Water Utilities president and chief executive officer, told members of the Public Service Board at their Wednesday meeting.

Chelmsford hosting Smart Growth seminar
Wicked Local Chelmsford (Mass.), June 9, 2011
It’s easy to be confused by the economic terms bandied about, particularly “growth” and “development” – but wonder no more. These words and others will be explained at an event starting Thursday, June 16 at the Chelmsford Senior Center. The economic development consultant Smart Growth America will hold a presentation on sustainable growth practices, especially as suggested in the Chelmsford Master Plan, from 7 to 9 p.m. A full-day workshop will take place the following Friday.

Trumka speaks to Chamber board directors
The Hill, June 8, 2011
On Wednesday morning, Trumka told a closed meeting of the Chamber’s board that the country needs to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure. The push for more spending on roads, bridges and highways has become a common cause this year for the labor federation and the business group. Trumka and Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and CEO, have made several joint appearances together, including testifying together before Congress.

Community uniting to reverse sprawl trend in Winston-Salem
Yes! Weekly (NC), June 8, 2011
On June 2, around 75 people attended Smart Growth vs. Urban Sprawl, an event at Temple Emanuel designed to highlight both the negative aspects of sprawl and a number of alternatives through video, guest speakers and song. Joines and Bennett were two of the guest speakers, along with Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn of the temple, Russ Dubois of the Creative Corridors Coalition and Judy Hunt, one of the city’s principal planners.


Guest post: Dick Moe's legacy for history, community, and sustainability

This post by SGA board member Kaid Benfield, originally appeared on his blog at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). We thank him for allowing us to reprint his post in full here, encourage you to read his blog daily, and join him in recognizing and thanking Richard Moe for his years of service preserving, building and advocating for American communities at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As Kaid said to me, Smart Growth America might not exist without him. – Stephen Davis, SGA Communications Associate.