Thursday, August 12, 2010

Around the Block, Helping Hand Edition

What is Smart Growth? Wider sidewalks for biking, running or Sunday strolls? Or does it involve more trees, a robust transit system, mixed housing options or simply a friendly-place where everybody knows your name within walking distance? Kaid Benfield breaks down what Smart Growth really is by drawing upon Empire State Future definition. Some highlights: good jobs within walking distance and new construction that maximizes existing public investments. Today, NHC hosts a forum in Austin identifying the challenges of workforce housing and various solutions including Smart Growth.

The “Hardest Hit” Get Some Help The Administration is making $3 billion in aid available to jobless homeowners in order to avoid foreclosure, the WSJ reports. $2 billion was allocated to its “Hardest Hit Fund,” which provides federal grants to state housing agencies. $1 billion will be spent on a program under which the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will help provide loans to unemployed homeowners who are have fallen behind on their mortgages.

Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due The data is in, the federal tax credits offered to homebuyers before June did help stabilize home prices during the first-half of the year, even in the hard-hit regions, according to the WSJ. But economists are hesitant to view this as a panacea, especially if signs start to point towards a drop in the market and a rise in foreclosures.


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