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PD&R Edge, an online magazine, provides you with a snapshot view of our newly released research, periodicals, publications, news, and commentaries on housing and urban development issues. Stay informed on current topics and check back frequently, as our content is routinely updated.
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Making Transit and Affordable Housing Work Together

Robust public transit is an important complement to affordable housing. By facilitating dense, well-connected development, low-income residents can live in opportunity-rich areas without incurring the costs of car ownership. One of the sessions at the American Planning Association’s 2023 national conference discussed how the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) created a toolkit of transit-oriented strategies to increase affordability in Oregon communities. ODOT developed the toolkit from best practices gleaned from case studies of communities nationally and in Oregon. The toolkit helps state and local agencies, community organizations, and developers understand the available resources and strategies that can help connect housing development and transit.

New on PD&R Edge

In Practice:
Vista Nueva Shows a New View to Youth and Families in North Natomas, California
North Natomas’ Staybridge Suites was one of many hotels across California to undergo conversion into permanent supportive housing using funds from California’s Homekey program. Partners Jamboree Housing Corporation and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency undertook an extensive $41 million renovation and retrofit of the former hotel. It reopened as Vista Nueva, a permanent supportive housing development for low-income families and youth transitioning out of the foster care system. In addition to the 117 residential units, Vista Nueva has several communal areas, including a community room and kitchen, space for the development’s afterschool program, and offices for the six full-time service staffers.

Uncovering the Origins of Federal Housing Data
The landscape of modern federal housing data can trace its origins to efforts in the 1920s to centralize and disseminate national housing data. Policymakers at the time, led by commerce secretary Herbert Hoover, believed that housing could play a unique role in the American economy, counterbalancing the business cycle while reliably producing new housing in quantities needed by the growing nation. While these ambitions were not fully realized, the new quantitative impulse helped reshape the understanding of housing as an economic activity and helped lead to standardization in the construction industry, among other achievements.

PD&R at 50:
Fifty Years of Geospatial Data Analysis and Technology
Many aspects of HUD’s work include a locational component. Location data is central to HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all. Early location-based programs at HUD, stretching back to the 1970s, focused on helping tenants relocate to higher-opportunity neighborhoods with low poverty rates. By the 1990s, HUD began appending geographic information, or “geocodes,” to HUD tenant data, allowing researchers to detect social and economic spatial patterns more easily. Today, HUD is working to democratize geospatial data and services by making HUD’s locational data available to communities and stakeholders.

Evaluating the Expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program
HUD’s Office of Policy Development & Research recently published the first of several evaluation reports documenting the expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program. MTW, authorized in 1996, is a demonstration program that allows public housing agencies (PHAs) to design and test innovative strategies that use federal dollars more efficiently, help residents become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices. Following the 2016 expansion of MTW, researchers are now examining how MTW regulatory flexibility impacts smaller PHAs. The report explores PHAs’ motivations for participating in MTW and the objectives these agencies hope to pursue.

PD&R Leadership:
Bringing International Urban Policy Ideas to the United States through the OECD
In the Leadership Message, Kurt Usowski, deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs at PD&R, discusses the most recent meeting of the Regional Development Policy Committee, part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Delegates discussed the effects of inflation, decarbonization policy, building climate resistance in cities, data governance for “smart city” initiatives, and the challenges of regions in industrial transition, among other topics. HUD representatives at the meetings also discussed cooperative projects for which HUD contributes data and met with individual delegates from countries to discuss cooperative efforts, including alternative approaches to development policies.

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