Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Livable Communities Act

The Senate Banking Committee heard from several local stakeholders about the importance of Sen. Chris Dodd’s proposed Livable Communities Act. Dodd, the committee chairman, opened the June 9 hearing by describing the significant demographic changes coming  by 2050.  He noted that these trends demand a new way of developing communities. Major shifts include:

  • Only one-quarter of all households will have children younger than 18, compared to today’s one-third.
  • The proportion of people 65 and older is likely to double to 20 percent of the population.
  • The U.S. population is expected to grow by  another 100 million.

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HUD, FTA Announce New Efforts to Promote Sustainability

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced last week that the department will begin using the LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) rating system in its grant scoring criteria for about $3.25 billion in grants.

"For the first time in the history of federal grant competitions, I want to announce today that HUD will be using location-efficiency to score our grant applications," Donovan  said, speaking at a recent Congress for the New Urbanism conference. He said “it’s time that federal dollars stopped encouraging sprawl and started lowering the barriers to the kind of sustainable development our country needs and our communities want."

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HUD Planning Small Area FMR Demonstration Project

HUD held a briefing this week on its proposed Small Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Project, reviewing its methodology for developing these zip code-based FMRs. They also presented maps comparing the preliminary small-area FMRs to current FMRs in several areas, statistics about anticipated impacts, and the projected implementation time line.

HUD wants to determine the feasibility of using Fair Market Rent values for the HCV program by zip code, replacing the current practice of setting a single FMR for an entire metropolitan region.

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Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) Releases Industry Report

The CSH State of the Supportive Housing Industry in 2010 report is based on 350 survey responses from the field. It finds that the “supportive housing industry is facing a moment of both great promise and great challenges.” State and local budget cuts are being made at the same time the industry is “being embraced and adopted by communities across the country as the central solution to chronic homelessness.”

The report recommendations center on coordinating and increasing funding for services at the state, local and federal level and carving out a more prominent role for the industry in 10-year plans to end homelessness.

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CLPHA Joins PHA Sustainability Network

CLPHA has joined with the U.S. Green Building Council and Enterprise Community Partners in the PHA Sustainability Network. The Network, which began in January this year, is a forum for discussing the successes and challenges in greening public housing. Monthly calls provide the opportunity to share ideas and resources and connect with peers. The calls also feature case studies and updates on related federal programs.

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Mayor Recognizes Miami-Dade Housing Authority

Miami Mayor Carlos Alvarez has recognized the Miami Dade Public Housing Agency (MDPHA) staff for significantly reducing vacancies in public housing in 2010.   In 2009, an average of 16 more families were moving out than moving into public housing each month. This year, from January through May, an average of 58 more families moved in to public housing than moved out.   Over 700 families have moved into new public housing during the first five months of this year, almost equaling the total of families moving in all of last year.

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