October 11, 2018

Enterprise’s President Highlights Efforts to Turn Market Failures into Opportunities 

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Community Developments

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  • In the fall 2018 issue of Cascade, a newsletter on community development issues published four times a year by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Community Development and Regional Outreach Department, Enterprise Community Partners’ President Laurel Blatchford discusses strategies for leveraging new resources by acknowledging market failures. Blatchford points out that financial markets have failed communities of color by allowing and often encouraging practices that limit opportunity based on race, such as redlining, predatory lending and the absence of adequate banking in distressed communities. Blatchford cites the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, the Community Reinvestment Act and the Opportunity Zone tax incentive as tools developed to address these failures, explaining that market failures can become opportunities when entrepreneurial and mission-oriented organizations develop solutions to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people.
  • The National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, with support from Enterprise Community Partners, has released a paper that investigates how equity and opportunity maps have been integrated into planning processes in five regions across the country. Equity, Opportunity and the Regional Planning Process: Data and Mapping in Five U.S. Metropolitan Areas, explores how regional equity and opportunity maps have been useful in in catalyzing engagement on equity issues, making the case for local and regional policy changes, and adopting meaningful equity-oriented planning and policy changes. To advance this process, Enterprise has developed Opportunity360, a platform that identifies pathways to greater opportunities by using cross-sector data, community engagement and measurement, in areas such as affordable housing, education, access to jobs, transportation and healthcare. 
  • The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates have launched LocalHousingSolutions.org, an online, interactive resource to help communities create and implement comprehensive local housing strategies that promote housing affordability. This effort aims to offer a single source for local leaders to understand the breadth of available options and identify those that are most appropriate in their communities. The new resource provides strategies for creating and preserving dedicated affordable housing, removing barriers to the creation of additional market-rate housing, helping households afford and access market-rate homes, protecting renters against displacement, and improving housing conditions. 
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced the creation of a new position, the director of housing delivery, charged with helping the city produce more housing in a timely manner. The position’s creation comes as Mayor Breed has set a goal of cutting the permitting process time in half after Planning Commission approval for large and mid-size housing projects. The director of housing delivery will also take steps to streamline the entitlement process and implement a plan to digitize project applications so that city departments involved in the permitting process can view them simultaneously. (CBS SF Bay Area, October 10) 

In Case You Missed It

  • Enterprise has released a new paper that looks at the issues around defining and measuring gentrification and their implications for policymaking. Gentrification: Framing Our Perceptions, summarizes several approaches used in recent studies of gentrification and details the complications these create for identifying where it occurs. It describes how different definitions can lead to different findings about the consequences of gentrification, and how these inconsistencies affect policymaking. This paper includes a letter from Enterprise Community Partners’ President Laurel Blatchford, which notes that “this work is a first step in a larger effort by Enterprise’s Policy Development and Research team to better understand gentrification and its implications for policy…Future reports will also review the intersections of gentrification and education policy – specifically, how each impact the other, and with what results.” Through this work, Enterprise seeks to ensure that neighborhood change positively impacts lower-income households.
  • The ACTION Campaign has updated its state fact sheets with the most recent data to show the impact of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state. New to the state fact sheets this year is data demonstrating the impact that a 50 percent increase in Housing Credit allocation authority would have in each state. The Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), bipartisan legislation to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit, includes a 50 percent increase in allocation authority. Enterprise urges all Housing Credit stakeholders to join the ACTION Campaign and share these state fact sheets with your elected officials. 

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