Tag: New Reports

New report calls for examination of federal real estate spending

Federal financing of and spending on real estate impacts millions of Americans on every street, in every neighborhood, town and rural community in the country. From loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs help those most in need pay their rent, help families purchase their first home, and provide financing for commercial development. The federal government impacts where and how homes and even whole neighborhoods are built in the United States.

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A call for examination surveys this spending, which encompasses approximately $450 billion each year. Through a combination of direct spending and commitments, this funding supports loans and loan guarantees, grants, and tax credits.

This spending has an enormous impact on the U.S. real estate market. Though usually viewed as a “free” market, the U.S. real estate sector is heavily influenced by direct and indirect government intervention. Taken as a whole, these expenditures and investments impact where real estate is developed and what kind of product is built.

Even a cursory analysis reveals this impact is uneven. For example, small multifamily buildings are less likely to receive financing, despite the fact that most renters in the United States live in these smaller buildings. Viewed as whole, federal funds are not targeted to those most in need, are not targeted to strengthen existing communities and are not targeted to places where people have economic opportunities.

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New Resource: USDA Releases Guide to Federal Programs for Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities; a guide to programs available to help rural areas promote economic development and enhance quality of life.

The publication, a joint effort of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities,

Compiles all of the federal resources that can support rural communities in their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, modernize infrastructure, and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.


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New report highlights smart growth’s return on investment and cost savings

A new report out today from the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) discusses the myriad economic benefits that smart growth brings to households, communities and municipal governments. The study, titled Growing Wealthier: Smart Growth, Climate Change and Prosperity shows that smart growth development strategies enhance community prosperity and generate economic benefits for local businesses, households and governments.

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New Report Offers Lessons and Insights for Vacant Property Revitalization

Restoring Properties, Rebuilding CommunitiesIn the wake of a major housing crisis and rising foreclosure rates, American cities and towns are experiencing a glut of vacant properties. Once a sign of urban blight, empty lots and abandoned buildings now mark the landscape of neighborhoods in rural and suburban areas as well, negatively impacting housing values, tax revenues, crime rates, and more. The sheer scale of the issue has helped bring national attention to the challenges these properties present, and the need for new solutions to blight and disinvestment.

On Friday, the Center for Community Progress released Restoring Properties, Rebuilding Communities: Transforming Vacant Properties in Today’s America. The report, completed with writing and research help from Smart Growth America, offers a systemic look at the legacy of vacant properties in many of our older towns and cities, as well as new vacancy trends, and some of the innovative initiatives that have been implemented to address these trends.


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Chicago’s 30 year plan looks at day-to-day life and regional prosperity

From CMAP's GO TO 2040 report
A page from the introduction to CMAP’s GO TO 2040 report.

Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning announced today a visionary plan how the city and its surrounding counties should grow and develop over the next 30 years. The GO TO 2040 project is “a comprehensive regional plan seeks to maintain and strengthen our region’s position as one of the nation’s few global economic centers.” After three years of research, the Agency lays out four main themes in its comprehensive new report: livable communities (including housing, water, energy, parks and local food), human capital (including education and the workforce), efficient governance (including tax reforms) and regional mobility (including strategic investment in transportation).

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A healthier life? Try public transportation – Transit Score helps get you there

CNT tours Cleveland’s HealthLine, a Bus Rapid Transit route along Euclid Corridor, originally uploaded by Center for Neighborhood Technology. It may be time to evolve from “an apple a day” to “a train ride a day” to keep the doctor …

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New Report: What We Learned from the Stimulus

In the first ten months of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), investments in public transportation have created twice as many jobs per dollar as investments in highways. A new analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Smart Growth America, and U.S. PIRG shows that by mimicking funding levels for transportation set out in ARRA, the Jobs for Main Street Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December missed an opportunity to create additional jobs where they are needed most. Read more on the report, “What we learned from the Stimulus, and how to use what we learned to speed job creation in the 2010 jobs bill.”

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Jobs data shows stimulus spending on public transportation produces more jobs, faster

An analysis of congressional data by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups and Smart Growth America shows that stimulus funds spent on public transportation were a more effective job creator than stimulus funds spent on highways. In the 10 months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed, investing in public transportation produced twice as many jobs as investing in roads.

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Doctors prescribe smarter growth

Pediatricians should help work against conventional suburban development (top) and for traditional neighborhoods (lower). Why? For starters, so kids can walk to school again. AAP’s Policy Statement includes this drawing by Duany, Plater-Zyberk. A version of the drawing is available …

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New report identifies proven and ready-to-go ways to create more jobs quickly & responsibly

Click to learn more about the report Governors and state departments of transportation around the country are burning the midnight oil to prepare lists of transportation projects that could be funded under President Obama’s economic stimulus package, The American Recovery …

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