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California cities have the least affordable housing and the most congested traffic in the nation. California's housing crisis results directly from several little-known state institutions, including local agency formation commissions (LAFCos), which regulate annexations and the formation of new cities and service districts; the California Environmental Quality Act, which imposes high costs on new developments; and a 1971 state planning law that effectively entitles any resident in the state to a say in how property owners in the state use their land. Cities such as San Jose have manipulated these institutions and laws with the goal of maximizing their tax revenues.
Meanwhile, California's transportation planning has allowed transit agencies, such as San Jose's Valley Transportation Authority and Los Angeles' Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to hijack tax revenues that were originally dedicated to highways so they can build rail empires that will do little or nothing to relieve congestion. New highway construction in the 1990s cut San Jose congestion in half, but congestion is again worsening as funds once spent on highways are now diverted to expensive and little-used rail transit projects.
California should change its planning laws to forbid cities and counties from conspiring to drive up housing prices in order to maximize tax revenues. California and its urban areas should also fund transportation out of user fees instead of taxes, thus making transportation more responsive to the needs of users instead of politically powerful special interest groups. Other states should avoid passing laws that create similar conditions. These recommendations and eight others in this report will greatly improve the livability of San Jose and other California urban areas.
National Coalition for the Homeless;
This report is the National Coalition for the Homeless' (NCH) fourth report on the criminalization of homelessness and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's (NLCHP) eighth report on the topic. The report documents the top 20 worst offenders of 2005, as well as initiatives in some cities that are more constructive approaches to the issue of people living in public spaces. The report includes the results of a survey of laws and practices in 224 cities around the country, as well as a survey of lawsuits from various jurisdictions in which those measures have been challenged.
F.B. Heron Foundation;
Contains president's letter, mission statement, program information, grant guidelines, grants list, highlights from Heron's mission-related investment portfolios, financial statements, and lists of board members and staff.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Outlines the issues low-income residents face when displaced by redevelopment projects, and suggests alternative approaches and practices to ensure better outcomes. Provides guidelines for planning, securing technical assistance, and referring services.
National Coalition for the Homeless;
The lack of available shelter space leaves many homeless persons with no choice but to struggle to survive on the streets of our cities. Unfortunately, the response has been for the cities to turn to the criminal justice system to respond to people living in public spaces. This trend includes measures that target homeless people by making it illegal to perform life-sustaining activities in public, usually including criminal penalties for violation of these laws. This document covers which cities are the meanest towards its homeless occupants, and what exactly the laws are that makes homelessness appear to be a criminal activity.
Project HOME's growth over the past 25 years has allowed us to leverage $106 million in capital expenditure and annual operating expenditures into $609 million in economic activity ? a factor of nearly $2.25 for every dollar spent ? and is statistically correlated with increasing property values over time, according to an independent analysis. In their 2011 report, Econsult Corporation found that Project HOME programs demonstrated a positive impact of $24,000 per homeowner and $10.6 million to the City's tax base.
In addition, the report quantifies the economic impact of Project HOME's capital and operating expenditures over time, leveraged from local, state, and federal government sources; generated from program revenues; and generously contributed by private donors. These figures support the idea that Project HOME developments and operations create jobs and business for local companies and contribute to the tax base, all while improving the quality of life for all Philadelphians.
What Works Collaborative;
Presents criteria for evaluating proposals for reforming the two government-sponsored enterprises. Outlines the key arguments for their structural strengths and weaknesses, a framework and goals for reform, and features of specific proposals to date.
National Housing Institute;
This report summarizes how McCormack Baron Salazar, a development firm, and its nonprofit subsidiary, Urban Strategies, involved residents in an 18-month redevelopment of New Orleans' C.J. Peete public housing complex after Hurricane Katrina. The National Housing Institute report takes an up-close look at how those charged with redeveloping the public housing development worked with residents throughout the process -- and what they learned along the way.
Rebuild by Design (RBD) was formally launched on June 20, 2013, to ensure that the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy incorporated designs that built in resilience. RBD was launched with strong public leadership, philanthropic support and professional interest within the design community. The early enthusiasm for RBD came as much from curiosity about RBD's vision and ambition as from the substantial size of the implementation awards from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Phase I of RBD held true to the vision of iteratively responding to science-based evidence and to local citizens and community groups through open-ended design techniques. These activities unfolded in various ways and to different ends throughout Phase I's three stages – Stage 1: team selection, Stage 2: research, and Stage 3: community engagement. RBD managers also kept an eye on the feasibility of design proposals from technical, financial and political perspectives – parameters that have all been heavily shaped by RBD's post-Sandy New York context. As part of its ongoing commitment to learn from the work it supports, the Rockefeller Foundation provided funding for the Urban Institute to evaluate the design competition component of Phase 1 of RBD, including its innovative aspects, partnerships and community engagement. The highly positive findings of the evaluation indicate that even though RBD itself is limited in scope to the Sandy recovery area, it has the potential to be transformational in the way disaster recovery efforts are designed, funded and implemented at a broader scale in the US. With the caveat that the evaluation looked only at the design competition phase, RBD brings hope and inspiration that collectively communities and decision makers can 'build back better' by responding in innovative and creative ways and working as a region to become more resilient. In sum, RBD has moved the mark on resilience action in the U.S.
The Community Reinvestment Act has created jobs, supported responsible homeownership, and expanded opportunities for saving by investing trillions of dollars in low- and moderate-income communities. Nonetheless, the rapidly-changing and complex financial landscape of today bears little resemblance to the world of 1977, when the original CRA was passed. The American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 will make sure this crucial tool continues to be effective at creating opportunity by updating it to reflect today's financial system.
Geoff Smith, Woodstock Institute project director, discusses Woodstock Institute's research documenting the relationship between concentrated subprime lending and neighborhood foreclosures.
Greater Ohio Policy Center;
Like many cities in the Midwest, Akron, Ohio has weathered a long-term decline in its traditional economic base and has had to reimagine its role in the twenty-first century economy. The city was long believed to have navigated this transition more successfully than many of its peers, but recent data analysis shows many troubling economic and demographic trends that could negatively affect the city's long-term trajectory.
Based on analysis of city-level data and interviews with local stakeholders, the "62.4 Report", titled to refer to the city's square mileage, details the city of Akron's current condition in terms of economic strength, individual and family economic health, neighborhood stability, and demographic trends. The Report focuses on Akron's assets and challenges to make recommendations for how the city can regain a competitive edge.