Housing News Roundup: February 25, 2015
A Dearth of Families in the City Creates Challenges for the Suburbs
One of the side effects of large cities promoting development that appeals to young professionals is that areas can become less appealing for families with kids — and cities don’t necessarily have a problem with this, but perhaps their regions should. “If your families don’t have kids, then your demand for local services is going to be really low. That makes it easy to balance your budget,” said Jacob Vigdor, a public affairs professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Childless cities, however, can exacerbate regional commuting woes and economic disparities. “For us, just having families live here and commute up to Seattle has its negative aspects,” says Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “On the one hand, we welcome young families and they build good communities. On the other hand, we need the economic development that keeps a community thriving.”
NYC Residents Echo a Common Refrain: No Supportive Housing or Shelters in My Backyard
Some residents across New York City are pushing back against the additions of supportive housing and homeless shelters, arguing — sometimes viscerally — that they negatively impact their communities. However, data show that supportive housing could actually increase property values.
Source: City Limits
Houston’s Richest and Poorest ZIP Codes Are Close, Yet Worlds Apart
Houstonians are severely segregated by income and wealth, but that doesn’t translate into much physical distance between the city’s wealthiest and poorest, according to a new report. “Americans have become increasingly sorted over the past couple of decades by income, education, and class,” the report by the Martin Prosperity Institute said. “Increasingly, Americans are sorting not just between cities and metro areas, but within them as well.” San Antonio and Dallas also ranked among the Top Ten most economically segregated places in the country.
Source: Houston Chronicle
Despite Calls for Walkable Communities, Many Developers Continue to Focus on Suburban Sprawl
People are increasingly looking to live in walkable communities with compact units, yet many developers are still focused on feeding the suburban sprawl that was the hallmark of the housing boom. Urban planners and advocates say builders should turn their attention to walkable communities with access to public transit, which is both what growing numbers of people want and good for the environment.
Source: City Lab
Economic Competitiveness Approaches for the Modern Economy
Traditional economic development approaches may no longer fit the modern economy and the changing workforce, so many areas are having to rethink their approaches. The new model may be less about attracting businesses and developing housing and more about creating and adapting opportunities where people already live. The Brookings Institution framed these issues to kick off a new blog series, “Metropolitan Innovations,” which will explore evidence about emerging economic development models and provide a platform for leaders across the country to discuss their approach to economic development and how it impacts their communities.
Source: The Avenue