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  • Reexamining the Social Benefits of Homeownership after the Housing Crisis — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    may have altered the social impacts and what additional research is needed on this important topic The paper focuses on five social impacts psychological health physical health parenting and children s academic achievement and behavior social and political participation and neighborhood social capital Researchers find the housing crisis does not appear to have had any major long term effects on Americans perceptions of homeownership and conclude that no extraordinary efforts will be needed to attract American households back into the housing market Abstract In this paper originally presented at Homeownership Built to Last Lessons from the Housing Crisis on Sustaining Homeownership for Low Income and Minority Families A National Symposium held in April 2013 at Harvard Business School UNC researchers present a conceptual model of how the housing crisis and ensuing recession might impact both interest in and the social impacts of homeownership In addition they review the limited empirical evidence on how if at all the recession and housing crisis have altered interest in homeownership or altered its actual impacts They provide an updated review of the literature of the social impacts of homeownership most of which was conducted before the recession Finally they draw preliminary conclusions on how the recession and housing crisis may have altered the social impacts and what additional research is needed on this important topic The paper focuses on five social impacts psychological health physical health parenting and children s academic achievement and behavior social and political participation and neighborhood social capital Researchers find the housing crisis does not appear to have had any major long term effects on Americans perceptions of homeownership and conclude that no extraordinary efforts will be needed to attract American households back into the housing market See more at http ccc unc edu contentitems reexamining the social benefits of

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/reexaminingsocialbenefits (2015-06-03)
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  • Better planning to reduce impact of natural disasters — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    places Berke counseled But as long as there are financial incentives for coastal communities to build along our beaches incentives like subsidized insurance and federal funds to rebuild after a disaster people will keep building there Our current federal policy de incentivizes the risk elimination land use planning approach and we need to change that to be prepared for the inevitable hazards linked to climate change In one study funded by the Department of Homeland Security Berke and Gavin Smith executive director of the UNC Coastal Hazards Center have evaluated how well the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 is being carried out at the state and local levels The results of the study now in its final year could have a major impact both on national policy and on its application by state and local officials Congress did a wonderful job of saying that we need to be anticipating and addressing future risks so we can become a more resilient nation Berke explained But in our study we found that while the law on paper is really good we need to improve the way local and state governments are implementing it Communities are using the law as more of an emergency management tool when we really need them to think more broadly in terms of how to eliminate risk Another UNC study has already led the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA to improve how it encourages communities to plan their flood plain management Under the National Flood Insurance Program s Community Rating System homeowners in communities that have adopted a floodplain management plan are eligible for reduced insurance premiums But the UNC researchers found that most communities plans did not emphasize risk reduction efforts through land use planning often investing in structural protection projects seawalls and levees and stronger

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/berkebetterplan (2015-06-03)
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  • Planning For Equity — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    are and how they are developed To better understand municipal immigrant integration practices my Master s Thesis Building Integrated Communities Innovative Bureaucratic Incorporation Strategies for North Carolina completed in May 2012 examined integration using two methods 1 analyzing strategies local jurisdictions employ across the country to integrate immigrants and 2 presenting a case study to better understand the contextual structural and institutional factors of a two year strategic planning process to develop an immigrant integration plan in three local jurisdictions in North Carolina a new immigrant destination From this analysis I gleaned practical recommendations for other local governments interested in developing similar immigrant integration initiatives that will be discussed in this article THE POLITICS OF CITY BUILDING PRO GROWTH PLANNING REGIMES AND EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF INFRASTRUCTURE Brock Tim Crick Jeff Neoliberal governance and pro growth planning regimes divide the urban form into small patches of private development This results in a fragmentation of infrastructure and an increase in sociospatial inequalities City planners and policymakers evaluate the value of urban infrastructure projects based on economic development potential including anticipated economic revenues and return on investment Because of this infrastructure and service distribution becomes clustered in commercial districts which have the greatest potential for economic growth Drawing on the concepts of exchange value and use value the authors critique the conventional economic evaluation criteria for infrastructure and services projects Exploring the role of city planners in the context of neoliberal governance this article highlights the infrastructural inequity that results from growth oriented planning The authors present transit oriented development as an example of pro growth planning and suggest new planning obligations and evaluation processes that incorporate the everyday uses of public infrastructure projects COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROGRAM Julian Elizabeth The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the latest federal low income housing production program to be challenged by civil rights advocates for perpetuation of racial segregation by failing to expand housing opportunity outside of low income distressed minority concentrated areas The LIHTC statute encourages the use of this low income housing resource in low income areas at least where the investment would contribute to community revitalization according to a concerted plan The paper presents original calculations based on existing data as applied to measures of community opportunity and distress utilized by two federal agencies which raise questions about the efficacy of LIHTC investment as a revitalizing tool in highly distressed census tracts even if approved as part of a concerted community revitalization plan The paper argues for national standards and guidance for state agencies which insure that the benefits of revitalization are indeed afforded to the residents of distressed communities who will otherwise continue to suffer the dual harms of racial segregation separate and unequal PLANNING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN CALIFORNIA SOME OBSERVATIONS Barrett Carol The American Institute of Certified Planners AICP Code of Ethics includes an aspirational responsibility for planners to seek social justice However the Code is silent on how this

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/carplanjrl13 (2015-06-03)
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  • Triangle Tenants Brace Themselves For Section 8 Cuts — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    a federal subsidy program that bridges the gap between people with low income and market rentals But this summer Chapel Hill Carrboro and Raleigh all face cuts to their Section 8 Voucher Program Host Frank Stasio talks about the potential cuts with Bebe Smith a professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Mai Nguyen a professor of city and regional planning at

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/section8cuts (2015-06-03)
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  • Misfit Borrowers Attracting Lenders as Housing Revives — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    return Subprime Lending Subprime lending accelerated in the 1990s as new companies entered the market to offer first lien mortgages and capitalize on the securitization of loans said Guy Cecala publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance As the housing market boomed originations grew from 100 billion in 2000 to a peak of 625 billion in 2005 led by Ameriquest Mortgage Co New Century Financial Corp and Countrywide Financial Corp according to the trade journal The industry collapsed in 2007 as home prices fell foreclosures increased and sources of funding evaporated Dozens of mortgage companies put themselves up for sale including Countrywide and Ameriquest closed down or in the case of New Century declared bankruptcy Weak lending standards also raised questions about the quality of assets held by financial institutions triggering runs on banks including Bear Stearns Cos and leading to a global credit freeze As the U S housing market rebounds prices rose 12 2 percent in May from a year earlier the largest increase since February 2006 according to Irvine based CoreLogic Inc lenders have started catering to a broader set of borrowers Lending Standards Mortgage lending standards loosened in June to their highest level since September 2011 driven by a small uptick in loans that offer cash out refinancing and credit to investors high loan to value buyers and jumbo loan borrowers the Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier this month Credit quality of loans originated in May measured by FICO scores loan to value and debt to income continued a slow loosening that started in January Jonathan Corr president of Ellie Mae a Pleasanton California based company that tracks about 20 percent of U S monthly home loan originations said in a June 19 report Borrowers with FICO scores below 620 who submitted applications to Tree com Inc s Lending Tree received 266 percent more matches from lenders willing to offer financing in the second quarter than a year earlier said Megan Greuling a spokeswoman for the Charlotte North Carolina based company It s not a big area for us but it could be at an inflection point she said in a telephone interview Refinancing Declines Lenders may extend credit more widely as they seek business to replace refinancing activity which has plummeted since interest rates began to increase in the last two months Greuling said The average rate for a 30 year fixed rate conventional mortgage has risen to 4 37 percent from 3 35 percent in early May according to Freddie Mac after touching a two year high last week of 4 51 percent Refinancing is expected to shrink to 36 percent of mortgage origination activity in 2014 down from 76 percent at the start of May according to a June 20 forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association JPMorgan the largest U S bank by assets may see a dramatic reduction in profits as higher mortgage rates erode demand for refinancing Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said during an earnings conference call last week John Stumpf head

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/misfitborrowers (2015-06-03)
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  • Students find future in Durham now — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    shown a preference for high density cities with thick job markets efficient public transit mixed living and job spaces nightlife cafes she said Currently Band said Durham residents carpool a bit more and ride public transit a bit less than national averages Personal vehicles are and will continue to be by far the transportation form of choice but the rate of public transit use will probably grow with rising populations of elderly creative classers and low wealth minorities Already there Band and Safi see Durham diversity reflecting that of the nation as a whole Population numbers indicate that within the next 50 years non Hispanic whites will no longer be a majority population in the U S In Durham we re already there Safi said According to the U S Census Bureau Durham County s white population dropped from 62 2 percent of the total in 1980 to 42 1 percent in 2010 In the same period the Hispanic population grew from 8 percent to 13 5 percent Throughout the report considers Durham in a context of nationwide trends particularly the Fifth Migration a term coined in 2007 by Robert Fishman a planning professor at the University of Michigan describing a movement from suburbs into city centers and inner city suburbs It reverses the fourth migration from cities into suburbs The migration concept belongs to sociologist Lewis Mumford who published the idea in 1925 that America was then in its fourth the first being westward settlement the second a move from farms to industrial centers and the third into large cities We don t really know why this is happening Safi said Perhaps there s an environmental awareness or simply a frustration with traffic We do know that high density areas are more energy efficient per capita reduce congestion and

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/futuredurham (2015-06-03)
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  • Cycling expert touts Vancouver’s innovation — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    of the geographic spreading of the interest This is why I m really excited by these new policies in the south and the southeast in the United States because they currently have the absolute lowest level of walking and cycling and of transit use in the entire United States in all of North America actually Q Speaking of those regions that have been loath to adopt cycling friendly policies how does Vancouver stack up against other cities in terms of the War on Cars A It s not as bad as it is in Texas haha This past April I had to give a series of five talks in Texas and let me tell you I was intimidated I thought Oh my God I m going into the lion s den Beforehand I was told whatever you do don t take away our pickup trucks Don t suggest an increase in the gasoline tax and don t reduce parking supply or increase parking charges Texans don t want to hear it I was told to focus on the following two things the economic benefits and the health benefits of cycling Why Because Texans are interested in money They said don t tell us anything about Vancouver Portland or Seattle we can t stand Cascadia I really focused on giving examples of successful pro bike initiatives in the southeast in Texas Oklahoma Arkansas and so on and it went well They said hey that s really neat Most people are going to have a car and there are going to be certain kinds of trips you can only make by car obviously We re not saying you can t drive your car you can t have a car we re saying there s many many trips that you could make by walking or cycling or using transit instead Q What do you say to people who are vehemently opposed to the expansion of separated bike lanes A I m going to convince you to be a supporter of bicycling here in the Vancouver area because of three reasons No 1 The more people who get on bikes the fewer people who are congesting the roads you want to drive on No 2 The more people you get on bikes the fewer people are parking their cars in parking spaces you want No 3 The more people who get on their bikes the less there is in the way of health care costs to the region as a whole Also it turns out investing in cycling is a lot cheaper than investing in new roadways So as a taxpayer you will be paying less taxes as a result of this new system of cycle tracks and bike lanes here in Vancouver Q What about the safety risks of biking to work A That s another image problem that cycling has is that somehow cycling s dangerous It turns out first of all the likelihood of getting seriously injured in any bike crash

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/puchervancouver (2015-06-03)
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  • Berke receives mentoring award — UNC Department of City & Regional Planning
    environmental analysis and land use planning and planning theory Research and professional activities Dr Berke is Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning He is Deputy Director of the Institute for the Environment IE Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Design of IE and Adjunct Professor in the Curriculum of Ecology at the University of North Carolina He is currently a Collaborative Research Scholar of the International Global Change Institute in New Zealand The central focus of his research is to develop a deeper understanding of the connections between human settlements and the natural environment His research seeks to explore the causes of land use decisions and their consequences on the environmental social and economic systems of human settlements His ultimate goal is to seek solutions to complex urban development problems that enhance the transition to sustainable communities Current research Berke s current research projects address domestic and international issues in the areas of environmental impacts of urbanization land use planning natural hazard mitigation environmental justice and sustainable development His research has been supported by the United Nations Division of Humanitarian Affairs U S National Science Foundation New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology Federal Emergency Management Agency North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy He is a co recipient of the 2001 Best Article Award and 2000 Honorable Mention Best Article Award from the American Planning Association Since 1990 Dr Berke has presented seminars at 12 universities throughout the United States and lectured in Belgium Canada China Ecuador England France Guadeloupe Jamaica Japan Mexico New Zealand Thailand Switzerland and Taiwan He is currently a member of the Science and Engineering Board for 2012 Update of Louisiana s Master Plan for Coastal Protection and Restoration Between 2003 and 2005 he was

    Original URL path: http://planning.unc.edu/berkementoring (2015-06-03)
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