Friday, July 23, 2010

Around The Block, GSE's or BFG's?... Edition

Livability Logic Smart growth advocates are very effective at promoting environmental sustainability as a way to build economic growth. But we shouldn’t forget the other side of the coin, that encouraging economic empowerment can lead to more sustainable lifestyles. As Kaid Benfield puts it, “If currently disadvantaged communities can become stronger, they can retain and restore population and attract investment that might otherwise go to sprawl.”

PACE-Gate, cont. In the Senate, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) are siding against Fannie and Freddie on their recent crackdown on the PACE green housing retrofitting programs. These lawmakers are no bunch of David’s, but that’s not to say their odds are looking good up against the mortgage giants.

Speaking of Goliath(s) Newsweek wonders if President Obama is getting ready to “slay the Fannie and Freddie beast,” after leaving the Government Sanctioned Entities (GSE’s) out of the Wall Street reform bill. And there’s another, even bigger fiscal giant that has its hands deep into the struggling housing market, according to the NYT: the Federal Reserve.

Prevent it First, cont. Veterans are a major focus of the administration’s plan to end homelessness. Yesterday the Departments of Housing and Veterans Affairs announced more action to halt the “downward spiral” among returning vets that too often ends in homelessness. Through the new Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Program, the two agencies will provide $15 million to select communities near military installations to provide housing assistance and supportive services to veterans.

Seniors Booming Quicker than Teens, cont. America’s seniors are power players of housing demand these days. New York is trying to make city life easier for the older generation, now TNR reports on the struggle the suburbs will have to take on.

Image: Cover of the Roald Dahl classic, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), or, Mortgage Finance for Kids.

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