NanMcKay-logo


All Topics     |     Industry News     |     Knowledge Base     |     Company News     |     Product Updates

Partnership for Sustainable Communities issues report

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 7, 2014 12:29:55 PM

As you may recall, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in June 2009 that they were forming the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In a news release today, HUD announced that the partnership has issued a report entitled “Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments.”

"It's days like today when I'm especially proud to be part of the federal government."

The report leads off with an introduction to the partnership and a summary of its accomplishments since 2009. It then spotlights several community members explaining "what the partnership means to us":

  • Kalima Rose, Senior Director, PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity
  • Megan McConville, Brett Schwartz, and Sara James, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation
  • Kathy Nothstine, Program Director, National Association of Counties
  • Dexter Muller, Senior Vice President, Community Development, Greater Memphis Chamber
  • Nick Tilsen, Executive Director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

The report concludes with a brief description of the partnership’s plans for next year and a map pinpointing all of the communities that have received funding through the partnership since 2009. You’ll find a link to the report on the home page of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

In related blog post today on “The HUDdle,” the director of HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience (OER), Harriet Tregoning, provides a more personal perspective on the new report, writing: "It's days like today when I'm especially proud to be part of the federal government."

If you missed NMA consultant Nate Paufve's recent series of articles about sustainable communities, read Part I and Part II online. Do you need help with PNA planning and energy audits? NMA can assist your agency with those and more. For details, contact sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: sustainable communities

Working to build sustainable communities: Part II

Posted by BEMuser on May 8, 2014 9:55:44 AM

GreenIf you're reading this blog, you've probably heard the terms "going green," "green building," "sustainable development," and "sustainable communities."

If you're like me, you probably have a positive association with the terms and may even be able to take an educated guess at what each one means. But, chances are, you probably don't know exactly what they mean. Even if you do, you may not know how they're different, why they're important, or how they're related to the work of a housing authority.

In this blog series, we'll unpack those terms and take a look at some examples of successful sustainable communities' initiatives, as well as provide some resources for where you can get more information and how you can get started planning towards sustainability in your community.

Why is planning a sustainable community important, and how does it relate to the work of a housing authority?

In times of reduced resources, it's important for civic organizations and public housing agencies to plan for the future together in order to find solutions for our community problems and achieve the greatest results. Green building and sustainable development initiatives are commendable, but the health of our communities and country are dependent on developing sustainable communities — that is, communities that focus their resources on preserving the environment, providing clean and adequate transportation options, advancing economic development, and creating affordable housing. Let's look at some examples:

Valley Visions (San Joaquin Valley, California)

The eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley are coordinating on some aspects of these planning efforts to maximize resources; however, each metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is developing a separate plan. Their sustainable communities strategy (SCS) process is referred to as "Valley Visions." These SCS regional plans consider long-term housing, transportation, and land-use needs, taking a big-picture look at how the Central Valley can grow over time in a way that uses resources efficiently, protects existing communities, conserves farmland and open space, and supports the Central Valley economy.

Planning in advance for growth can result in better neighborhoods, more housing and transportation choices, and a higher quality of life for residents. Each SCS regional plan must address the following items:

  1. Identify areas to house the region's population growth for at least the next 25 years, including households at all income levels
  2. Develop a regional transportation plan (RTP) that meets the needs of the region
  3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks

Piedmont Together (Piedmont Triad Region, North Carolina)

The population within the Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina is expected to grow by 15 percent within the next 10 years, bringing a new set of transportation challenges. With funding through the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program, the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation will develop a plan for sustainable development in the region that helps it move from its agricultural and manufacturing history to a strong position in the new knowledge-based economy.

The integrated regional plan will encourage investment in and near urban areas and towns to reduce sprawl, investigate expanding access to non-automobile transportation, define a structure for taking advantage of existing assets in institutions of higher education, and assess the need for and optimal placement of affordable housing.

Oyate Omniciye Plan (Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota)

With funding through the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program, a consortium of community organizations, nonprofits, and Oglala Lakota tribes led by the Thunder Valley Community Development Organization will implement an unprecedented two-year sustainable development plan. To encourage grassroots development and community empowerment, the grant was awarded to a diverse alliance of stakeholders in addition to local government, thereby involving all facets of the local Lakota community.

The Oyate Omniciye Plan seeks to integrate housing, land use, economic development, transportation, and infrastructure across a wide southeastern swath of South Dakota in order to tackle the interlinked challenges of sustainability. In one part of the plan, Thunder Valley will work with renowned green architecture and design firm Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell (BNIM) to sustainably develop 85 acres of land in the reservation's Porcupine District near Sharp's Corner, SD. Not only will the development be environmentally sustainable, it will be based on the spiritual and cultural values of local residents. The development will also include a shelter and community center for at-risk youth.

Resources

Last month HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities changed its name to the Office of Economic Resilience (OER). With the new name came a new home page and a new director, Harriet Tregoning. As described on its website, the OER “helps communities and regions build diverse, prosperous, resilient economies by enhancing quality of place; advancing effective job creation strategies; reducing housing, transportation, and energy consumption costs; promoting clean energy solutions; and creating economic opportunities for all.”

Other important resources include:

American Planning Association's Sustaining Places Initiative

Department of Transportation's Office of Transportation Policy

Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

With over a decade of experience working in the affordable housing industry, NMA consultant Nate Paufve has done everything from supervising a team of housing specialists to developing OIG responses, overseeing a document management team, serving as an internal auditor for PBCA operations in multiple states nationwide, and strategic planning related to Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab), project-based voucher, and housing choice voucher programs. He holds a B.A. in urban studies and an M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago and has also worked extensively with nonprofit organizations and provided policy research on affordable housing programs.

NMA can assist your agency with PNA planning and energy audits. For more information, contact sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: green building, PNA, sustainable communities

Working to build sustainable communities: Part I

Posted by BEMuser on May 1, 2014 1:47:54 PM

GreenIf you're reading this blog, you've probably heard the terms "going green," "green building," "sustainable development," and "sustainable communities."

If you're like me, you probably have a positive association with the terms and may even be able to take an educated guess at what each one means. But, chances are, you probably don't know exactly what they mean. Even if you do, you may not know how they're different, why they're important, or how they're related to the work of a housing authority.

In this blog series, we'll unpack those terms and take a look at some examples of successful sustainable communities' initiatives, as well as provide some resources for where you can get more information and how you can get started planning towards sustainability in your community.

Going green? Sustainable communities? What does it all mean?

Going green is a blanket term used to describe a philosophy or lifestyle of environmentalism focused on reducing the amount of pollution and waste one generates. At home, this may mean many things, including reusing and repurposing various household items, buying from local food sources, replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, buying household products with natural or less harmful chemicals, and recycling cans, paper, glass, and plastic.

In the workplace, examples of going green might be the workplace recycling program, the cafeteria using recycled materials, or the office deciding to set the thermostat a few degrees cooler in winter and a few degrees warmer in summer.

Green building is used to describe a building process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Stemming from a need and desire for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly construction practices, green building uses a variety of techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. Green building emphasizes the use of renewal resources — for instance, the use of sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic equipment, or the use of plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and reduction of rainwater runoff.

Other examples of techniques used in green building include using low-impact building materials, or choosing packed gravel or permeable concrete, instead of conventional concrete or asphalt, to enhance replenishment of ground water. Modern sustainability initiatives have expanded green building to include integrating the building lifecycle with each green practice employed to create a synergy among the practices used.

Sustainable development seeks to incorporate the principles of green building with protecting and enhancing the overall health, natural environment, and quality of life. Sustainable development accomplishes these goals by promoting the location and design of developments that reduce amount of vehicle miles traveled, creating developments where jobs and services are accessible by foot or public transit, and promoting energy-efficient and water-efficient buildings and infrastructure.

Sustainable communities are generally a larger concept that tends to emanate from the city or municipality structure — an all-encompassing master plan that includes transportation, affordable housing, economic, environmental, and land-use components. Sustainable communities may coordinate their efforts with other communities in the region to share costs and increase impact. Incorporating the principles of sustainable development, smart growth, and green building, sustainable communities focus on addressing population growth, housing affordability, transportation needs, economic development, and the environment.

Next: Part II: Why is planning a sustainable community important, and how does it relate to the work of a housing authority?

With over a decade of experience working in the affordable housing industry, NMA consultant Nate Paufve has done everything from supervising a team of housing specialists to developing OIG responses, overseeing a document management team, serving as an internal auditor for PBCA operations in multiple states nationwide, and strategic planning related to Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab), project-based voucher, and housing choice voucher programs. He holds a B.A. in urban studies and an M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago and has also worked extensively with nonprofit organizations and provided policy research on affordable housing programs.

NMA can assist your agency with PNA planning and energy audits. For more information, contact sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: energy efficiency, green building, PNA, sustainable communities

Friday news roundup 12/13/13

Posted by BEMuser on Dec 13, 2013 2:51:04 PM

Center for American Progress (via NLIHC): Addressing poverty and homelessness in the United States

The HUDdle: Four years later: Sustainable communities, job creation, and shared knowledge

Huffington Post (via National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty): Using human rights to advance local policy

NeighborWorks: Missouri group revitalizes neighborhoods with mixed-income housing and urban orchards

New York Times: The vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York

New Yorker: Will fair housing go the way of voting rights?

Next City: More than half of American renters spend at least 30 percent of their income on rent

NHC: Imperfect budget deal opens door for partial sequestration fix

Off the Charts: Housing squeeze tightens further under sequestration

Urban Institute: A housing demonstration to improve school outcomes

Topics: fair housing, sequestration, sustainable communities

Meet me in San Diego

Posted by NMA on Aug 14, 2013 11:45:58 AM

John McKayI think we can all agree that the past year has been one of the most challenging in recent memory. Up until the last moment, many of us didn't really think that sequestration would go through. But it did, and our nation's housing authorities rose to the test.

For the upcoming NMA Housing Conference and GoSection8 User Conference, we've brought together a diverse group of speakers and industry experts to provide insight on a broad range of topics relevant to those of us facing budget cutbacks under sequestration, including:

2013 NMA Housing Conference

I hope you'll be able to attend the inaugural NMA Housing Conference, now only a few weeks away — and when you do, come on up and say hi! I look forward to sharing strategies for success.

John McKay has been with NMA since 1998, and has served as chief executive officer of the company since 2007. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was vice president of operations, spearheading the creation of the new consulting and technology services departments. This initiative introduced the first fully functional NMA Performance Portal to the affordable housing market.

Mr. McKay brings his knowledge of housing regulations and industry best practices into his role as project executive on many of NMA’s contracts with large housing authority clients and HUD. He has assessed, analyzed, and provided feedback to some of the country’s most well-run private and public organizations.

Topics: EIV, IMS/PIC, NMA Performance Portal, rent reasonableness, sequestration, sustainable communities, The Housing Conference, VMS

Subscribe to our blog via email!    

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all