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In Focus

April 2010 - Housing Solutions Week Recap

Orchard Village

In the Toolbox

This is pleased to announce the release of two new policy toolkits as part of Housing Solutions Week 2010. This marks the expansion of the existing online Toolbox, which focuses on policies to Increase the Availability of Affordable Homes.

Meet the Housing Needs of Older Adults
This new toolkit provides information on tools that enable older adults to access affordable homes and services. The information is organized into three sections:

- Provide accessible, safe, and affordable homes, which covers subsidized housing, universal design and visitability, and home weatherization.

- Improve access to social services and transportation options, which highlights strategies that link homes with services and affordable transportation options.

- Support housing models geared to older adults: The third section explores various housing alternatives available to older adults who do not wish to live in a nursing home. Supportive housing and cohousing are among the options discussed.

Make Homes More Resistant to Natural Disasters
This toolkit describes proactive measures that states and localities can take to reduce the loss of human life and protect homes vulnerable to natural disasters from property damage. The sections of this toolkit include:

- Promote "Smarter and Safer" Building and Rehabilitation Practices highlights ways to provide support to encourage disaster-resistant construction and home improvement.

- Improve Community Regulations and Planning Strategies: describes how states and localities can develop and enforce residential building codes and land use planning practices that lead to safer, stronger homes.

- Finance Efforts to Make Homes More Resistant to Natural Disasters provides an overview of federal, state and local resources to finance and incent the construction and upgrading of disaster-resistant homes.

- Link Efforts to Improve the Disaster Resistance and Energy Efficiency of Homes features approaches that enable communities to build safer and greener homes.

Visit the Toolbox!

"Out Loud" Podcast

This month's Out Loud podcast features an audio recording from's March 26 Live at the Forum event, "Linking Housing, Transportation and Workforce Policies." The guest speakers presented findings from two new policy briefs from the Center for Housing Policy and the Metropolitan Planning Council on the coordination of transportation, housing, and land-use policy, including on-the-ground examples from Atlanta and the Twin Cities.

The audio portion of this Live at the Forum event features Emily Salomon from the Center for Housing Policy and Robin Snyderman from the Metropolitan Planning Council. Susan Adams from the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. and Caren Dewar from ULI Minnesota also participated in the call to link their experiences to the themes outlined in the new policy briefs.

Listen to the Live at the Forum Event!

Solutions in Action

Data related to foreclosures can help communities prevent foreclosures more effectively. In the Washington, DC region, data collection and analysis helps to improve foreclosure prevention counseling through a partnership between the Urban Institute and Housing Counseling Services, Inc. Knowledge of the landscape of delinquent and high-risk mortgages in the region enables Housing Counseling Services to conduct outreach to borrowers at risk of foreclosure and tenants in affected buildings. Data analysis also helps Housing Counseling Services to anticipate the likely demand for foreclosure prevention counseling and allocate resources effectively to meet this demand.

Learn more about this Solution in Action

New "Paycheck to Paycheck" Released

A new edition of the annual study, Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America, is now available online. The study provides detailed homeownership and rental affordability findings for more than 200 U.S. metropolitan markets nationwide and for over 60 key community occupations, including new "green economy" jobs, between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009. The study also includes related affordability rankings and comparisons for all the metro markets and occupations studied. By comparing the salaries of key community occupations to the costs of owning and renting a home in metro areas nationwide, this study helps to identify those communities with pressing affordability concerns.

Click here to view Paycheck to Paycheck

Share Your Story

Are falling home values – and the resulting loss of housing equity – impeding the ability of older adults to respond to changing life circumstances in your community? What evidence of this can you point to? Join the newest discussion group, Housing for Older Adults, on the Forum to add your own questions and share your experiences with fellow housing practitioners across the country.

Visit the Forum to Share Your Story!


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Featured Gallery Entry:
Mountain View Senior Apartments, Mountain View, CA

Photo courtesy of City of Austin/Neighborhood Housing and Community Development


December 2009 - In Focus: Coordinated Housing and Transportation Policies
September 2009 -
In Focus: Shared Equity Homeownership and Asset Building
July 2009 -
In Focus: Post-Conference Edition
April 2009 - In Focus: Learning Conference
March 2009- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
December 2008- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
November 2008-- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
October 2008-- In Focus: Transit-Oriented Development
September 2008-- In Focus: Inclusionary Zoning
August 2008 -- In Focus: Rental Housing Preservation
July 2008-- In Focus: Shared Equity Homeownership
June 2008 -- In Focus: Green Affordable Housing -- This issue of In Focus kicked off a series of Six Housing Policies for a World of High Energy Costs
May 2008 -- In Focus: Foreclosure Prevention
April 2008 -- In Focus: Employer-Assisted Housing
February 2008
-- was launched in January 2008 as part of Housing Solutions Week. Click here to view materials from the week.