Tag: Housing

Building Affordable Housing is Risky Business

Please note: This post is a collaboration between James Brooks and Michael Wallace at NLC.  For the past two days, The Washington Post has lambasted the Department of Housing and Urban Development and local housing authorities and community development corporations for failing to adequately manage programs that build or rehabilitate affordable housing. There is a

Continue reading

Which Comes First: the Neighbors or the Neighborhood?

The stretch of land has all the attributes to warm the cockles of a city planner’s heart. Bordering the west side is a major sports venue and the nescient development that often accompanies such a facility. At the eastern edge is a moderate density mixed-use federal government property having a significant historical presence and value.

Continue reading

Former Mayor Helping Cities on a Global Level

Joan Clos has held many titles in his life – doctor, mayor, minister and ambassador. Late in 2010 he added a new title to his resume: Executive Director of United Nations Habitat. In this new role he will have the opportunity to bring his considerable talents in urban planning, housing, job creation and diplomacy to

Continue reading

We All Might Want to Walk to Breakfast

I’m supposed to want a rambling four bedroom colonial with a two-car garage on a cul-de-sac, given my demographics of age, marital status and educational achievement. Big surprise: that’s not what I want. Seriously, who actually wants to get in the car every time there is a need for a loaf of bread, a light

Continue reading

An Essential Role for Fannie and Freddie

For all the talk about reform of the mortgage finance system, the anticipated changes to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are likely to be rather modest. In the run-up to Secretary Geithner’s end-of-January deadline to offer a proposal to Congress, only two options are under serious consideration to support the goal of ensuring long-term liquidity

Continue reading

Housing Needs for the Next Decade

For local policy makers anticipating the economic landscape in the post-recession and post-foreclosure period, there are three factors that will influence decisions about new housing development – the number of homeless families; the slowdown in household formation; and the severe cost burden that so many face for housing. The combination of these factors means that

Continue reading

Ode to Judges

Judges hold a special place in the American legal system. One might argue that they are in fact iconic, even if they don’t wear the traditional wigs of our British forbearers. Although more people have probably heard of Judge Wapner and Judge Judy than have heard of Judge Isaac C. Parker – the real “hanging

Continue reading

Foreclosure Moratorium is Still Not the Answer

The vision of one lone clerk at Ally Financial hastily signing off on thousands of eviction documents has galvanized the national imagination. It’s a vivid picture. One can anticipate a future episode of The Office taking shameless advantage of this embarrassing corporate negligence. Coming as it does after several years of a foreclosure crisis, this

Continue reading

Vacant Properties Compound the Forclosure Disaster

You don’t have to be a policy researcher to know intuitively that mortgage foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties are a serious threat to the well-being of a neighborhood.  An increase in foreclosed properties in any neighborhood, especially a high concentration of properties in one neighborhood, creates an oversupply of housing stock (including low value

Continue reading

The Lives of the Next 100 Million

It’s regrettable that Joel Kotkin’s vision of America in 2050 is not more imaginative.  His rejection of the entire new urbanism agenda as a tool to accommodate the next hundred million U.S. residents ties his “cities of aspiration” to the automobile, to fossil fuels, to the large single family dwelling and to an expectation that

Continue reading