Archive for May, 2010

Atlanta Regional Housing Forum to Focus on the Role of Single Family Mortgage Finance in Stabilizing Metro Neighborhoods

May 25, 2010

Successful recovery in Metro neighborhoods struggling with foreclosures and vacant homes is widely dependent on the availability of single-family mortgage financing. But the current credit market – tightening credit standards, higher mortgage insurance cost, and limited purchase/rehab loan products – is leaving many prospective buyers on the sidelines. 

Many neighborhoods in return are seeing increased investor activity. And while all investors are not irresponsible, some investor activity is being dominated by cash-purchases and investor owners who are renting these properties in poor conditions, or keeping them unoccupied and boarded up with intentions of flipping them later when values return.

Financing products and policies are needed to ensure that these struggling neighborhoods are not overrun by absentee landlords and vacant blighted homes. (more…)

18th Congress for New Urbanism comes to Atlanta

May 21, 2010

The 18th Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) conference is being held at the Hilton hotel in downtown Atlanta this week (May 19 – 22). This national conference occurs in a different city annually, and is known as a leading venue for new urbanist education, collaboration, and networking. CNU members come from around the world to attend the conference and discuss development practices and public policies, learn from recent innovative work, and advance new initiatives and community changing strategies.

This conference was brought together by numerous Atlanta partners, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, AARP, the Atlanta Regional Commission, Central Atlanta Progress, The Coca-Cola Company and Sustainable Cities Institute of The Home Depot Foundation in a collaborative effort to deal with how we can make our communities more economically healthy, sustainable, diverse and livable for people of all ages.

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An Age of Aging Infrastructure

May 11, 2010

While planners, developers and policy makers understand how important the nation’s infrastructure is to our stability and sustainability, it is probably not a common discussion topic in many circles.   However, some argue that our nation is becoming characterized as one plagued by an aging infrastructure. This issue is a highly challenging and costly one to address. The result of decades of underinvestment, it is slowly creeping to a head at a time when governmental bodies everywhere are tightening their budgets.

A recent report published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), titled “Infrastructure 2010: Investment Imperative,” addresses this issue on a national scale.  The report – which can be downloaded here – indicates that the nation is in a bind when it comes to infrastructure needs and capacity. The Unites States falls behind global competitors in this arena, and struggles to gain traction in planning and building the critical infrastructure investments that support a rapidly expanding population, while also ensuring future economic growth.  A large-scale solution is needed.

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