Tag: Real estate

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.

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Rethink Real Estate: Reform the Federal Housing Administration’s Single Family Home Program

HUD Headquarters in Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters in Washington DC. Photo by Ryan Orr via Flickr.

This is the second in a series of posts discussing recommendations from our new platform Federal Investment in Real Estate: A Call for Action. The series highlights what is lacking in current federal real estate policy and how our recommended improvements could generate better returns for families, communities and taxpayers.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has helped millions of families purchase their homes, and ensures mortgages are widely available during times of economic distress when banks and other financial institutions tighten lending standards. As the housing market rebounds, however, it’s time to refocus this program on its original mission.

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Reigniting America’s real estate and housing markets through reform

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill.

Today, the real estate industry finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are leading the charge for tax and housing reform. On the other, we in real estate are wary of policy changes and the potential impacts on the recovering real estate market. But there may be a way forward. In January 2013, Smart Growth America (the parent organization of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors) released a study that surveyed 50 federal programs and found that between tax breaks, grants, loan guarantees and other programs the federal government spends or commits approximately $450 billion each year directly to the real estate market. The study found that much of that spending is uncoordinated and out of step with today’s market realities and demographic shifts.

As leaders in the real estate development community, we understand the positive impact federal involvement can have on the real estate market, and support a continued federal role in the sector. However, we also recognize the economy and real estate market have structurally changed, and policies and programs that spurred prosperity in previous generations can actually impede it today. We must ensure that every dollar invested in real estate is going to help the economic recovery – and that is why, we, LOCUS, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors in partnership with Smart Growth America developed a series of recommendations in a recent report, Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action, proposing common sense reforms to existing programs.

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No matter where you live, this affects you

No matter if you live in a single-family home, an apartment, a townhouse or a condo, federal real estate programs affect you.

From individual tax deductions to loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs impact nearly every neighborhood in the United States. How could this spending better support economic growth? How could it better benefit individuals and families? And how could federal taxpayers get more for their money?

Join Smart Growth America and LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, on Thursday as we answer these questions and discuss new ideas for federal involvement in real estate.

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action
Online teleconference and Twitter discussion
Thursday, July 25, 2013 – 11:00 AM EDT



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Join us for a live event on federal involvement in real estate

Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, communities and taxpayers alike. Later this month we’ll unveil new policy recommendations for how Congress can make that happen.

Smart Growth America and LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, have developed a set of policy recommendations for federal real estate programs. Join us for an online event about this new platform.

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Taking a close look at the federal government’s spending on real estate

The following post was crossposted on the U.S. Green Building Council’s blog.

The biggest real estate investor in the United States isn’t Donald Trump, and it’s not a private equity firm.

Spending or committing roughly $450 billion a year, the federal government is by far and away the largest investor in real estate in the country. This spending spans 50 federal programs at half a dozen agencies, and includes everything from loans and loan guarantees to tax credits to low-income housing grants. If you include the quasi-governmental enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the amount of money the government spends each year on real estate is even larger.

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Walkability increasingly drives developers and real estate market

What makes a town or city desirable? What makes a neighborhood a great place to raise a family or start a new job? And what characteristics drive local economic growth and drive the real estate market? It all starts with …

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Diverse development helps neighborhoods in greater DC and beyond


Washington, DC’s Yards Park in the Capital Riverfront neighborhood. Photo via Flickr.

Office renters, apartment seekers and shoppers are all vital parts of creating a great, economically resilient neighborhood. What development strategies attract these people? As Christopher B. Leinberger’s new research explains, walkable streets and transit choices are increasingly important in Washington DC and across the country.

Leinberger, President of LOCUS and Research Professor at The George Washington University School of Business, sat down with the Washington Post recently to discuss his most recent research, “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call,” and the future of development in the Washington DC region.

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New research highlights rising demand for homes and businesses in walkable neighborhoods

A new report from The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, in partnership with LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors and ULI Washington, reveals how walkable urban places and projects will drive tomorrow’s real estate industry and the U.S. economy, and outlines what actions are needed to take advantage of these market trends.

The report was released at an event yesterday in Washington, DC. Governor Parris Glendening, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, gave the kickoff keynote of the day-long event. Glendening discussed the megatrends shaping the real estate market today, including changing demographics, new demand among consumers and emerging economic factors. These trends are all influencing the real estate market, Glendening explained, and are shaping how developers think about the built environment and economic development.

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Walkable neighborhoods now the most coveted in real estate


Washington, DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood was one of those included in a new study from the Brookings Institution. Photo by Flickr user Dewita Soeharjono.

The most valuable real estate today is in walkable urban locations – and that’s a stark change from only a decade ago.

That is one of the principal findings of a new report from the Brookings Institution. Walk this Way:The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. is an economic analysis of the neighborhoods in and surrounding our nation’s capital.

“Emerging evidence points to a preference for mixed-use, compact, amenity-rich, transit-accessible neighborhoods or walkable places,” the report explains, noting that consumer preferences have shifted and that demand for walkable housing is outpacing supply, thus contributing to higher property values.

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