Good Design Practices Improve Affordable Housing

This piece was originally written by Lara Seltzer for Planning Methods (PLAN 720) in November 2018. In today’s current economic climate, the lack of affordable housing in the United States is cause for concern. In 2017, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released a report highlighting that 38.9 million households in America are cost-burdened, meaning the household pays more than 30% of their income … Continue reading Good Design Practices Improve Affordable Housing

Impacts of the Government Shutdown on HUD Programs

On January 4th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum intended to explain how payments will proceed to Assisted Property Owners who provide affordable housing units to families across the United States. They assured owners that, while the Department’s spending authority expired on December 21st, interim activities would continue for the first thirty business days. This would include payments for … Continue reading Impacts of the Government Shutdown on HUD Programs

Utility Ratemaking and Energy Efficiency

Introduction The utility ratemaking formula is used to set the rates for electricity. Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) account for things like capital expenditures and operating expenses to determine what to charge customers in order to stay financially healthy. The Public Utilities Commission of each of each state is in charge of ensuring that these rates are just and reasonable. However, there are underlying motivations in … Continue reading Utility Ratemaking and Energy Efficiency

Racial Inequality, Gentrification, and Poverty: The History and Context of Durham’s Affordability Crisis

On any given night in Durham, young people mill about on Rigsbee Avenue, ducking into the bars and restaurants that have cropped up there. Liberty Warehouse, an upscale condominium complex that once was a tobacco auction warehouse, looms farther up the street. The transformation of this street is emblematic of Durham’s transition from a working-class tobacco town to a hip city known for its food … Continue reading Racial Inequality, Gentrification, and Poverty: The History and Context of Durham’s Affordability Crisis

Hazard Mitigation and Hurricane Harvey: Reflections on a Conversation with Dr. Galen Newman

The following is derived from an interview about the 2017 disaster with Dr. Galen Newman, a Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Communities and a member of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. His research focuses primarily on urban regeneration and flood resilience. Harvey was different. While many hurricanes pose serious flooding risks to coastal areas, the danger often lies in … Continue reading Hazard Mitigation and Hurricane Harvey: Reflections on a Conversation with Dr. Galen Newman

REPOST: Rural Studio & the 20K House

As a mission-driven, educational initiative, the Rural Studio has been able to commit almost a decade of rigorous analysis to the careful development of these affordable housing prototypes, illustrating the important potential of community design to explore ideas and provide services that the private market is unable to support. In 1968, civil rights leader Whitney M, Young Jr. addressed the National Convention of the American … Continue reading REPOST: Rural Studio & the 20K House

How to Engage your Community Online

It’s no secret that community engagement is a necessary part of planning that includes citizens in the ways that their communities are shaped. What is a secret is the best way to run community engagement processes. Planners have had varying success with engagement plans when balancing how to include as many voices as possible with getting feedback that is valuable to planning projects. Continue reading How to Engage your Community Online

Owning a Home as an Undocumented Immigrant

For many immigrants, owning a home is a sign of having achieved the American dream. With the economic recession and housing market downturn, there has been some concern about the decline in overall homeownership rates; however, immigrants remain enthusiastic about homeownership. The homeownership rate among the foreign-born population in 2015 was fifty percent, only ten percent lower than the rate among the U.S.-born population, but … Continue reading Owning a Home as an Undocumented Immigrant

Affordable Housing Toolkit Snapshot: Inclusionary Zoning

This blog is part of a series spotlighting the writings of first-year DCRP Master’s students in fulfillment of PLAN720: Planning Methods in Fall 2017.  The dearth of affordable housing options available to residents of our nation is slowly seeping into the national discourse, where previously it had largely been confined to the purview of urban planners, lawyers, and policy advocates. Matthew Desmond’s groundbreaking 2016 book, … Continue reading Affordable Housing Toolkit Snapshot: Inclusionary Zoning

Now Available Online – Volume 42 of the Carolina Planning Journal

Volume 42 of the Carolina Planning Journal is now available for free on the Carolina Planning Journal webpage. Just scroll to the bottom and click on the link! “The prefix ‘re-‘ holds two contradictory connotations. It can mean ‘again,’ or multiple repetitions, or it can mean a withdrawal or reversal. While one meaning implies forward motion, the other suggests retreat. And what a provoking approach to take to … Continue reading Now Available Online – Volume 42 of the Carolina Planning Journal