October 8, 2018

New Report on Global Warming, Call for “Just” Post-Disaster Recovery

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Community Developments

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  • A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, warns that global warming could reach an irreversible tipping point as early as 2040. The report finds that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels by 2040, flooding coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty. The report suggests that preventing 2.7 degrees of warming would require reducing greenhouse pollution by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 as well as minimizing the use of coal as an electricity source from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. (The New York Times, October 7) 
  • In an op-ed in The Hill, Connie Leeper, the organizing director at NC WARN, and Jodi Lasseter, the founder of the NC Climate Justice Collective, emphasize the importance of facilitating a just recovery in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. The authors explain that “just recovery,” a term coined by grassroots organizations shortly after Hurricane Harvey, is a commitment to use recovery funds to directly support and prioritize grassroots groups working at the intersection of racial, economic and environmental justice. They argue that a just recovery approach would help communities address the most pressing concerns of under-resourced areas while strengthening grassroots organizations’ capacity for disaster response. (The Hill, October 6)
  • Applications are now open for host organizations to join the fall 2019-2020 class of Rose Fellows. The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship partners emerging architectural designers with local community development organizations to facilitate an inclusive approach to development that results in green, sustainable, and affordable communities. Enterprise partners with the host organization to select the fellow and provides mentorship and training to the fellow over the two-year period. The fellowship requires participating hosts to support their fellows by providing a comprehensive workplan, day-to-day supervision, a stimulating work environment, and fringe benefits. Applications are due on Friday, November 9, 2018. 
  • The Philadelphia City Council has passed a package of bills that aim to boost funding for affordable housing. This package includes a bill that appropriates $19 million from the city’s general fund to the Housing Trust Fund in the next fiscal year, with plans to allocate additional funds over the next four years. It also includes an inclusionary zoning bill, which will provide height, density and area bonuses to developers who include affordable housing units in their developments, offering them the option to pay a fee to the Housing Trust Fund in lieu of building affordable units. Those fees would help fund affordable or workforce housing. (Curbed Philly, October 4) 

Upcoming Hearing 

  • On Thursday, October 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on “Oversight of Pilot Programs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” This hearing, which will be held at 10 a.m. ET in Room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, will feature the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Deputy Director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals Sandra Thompson, Fannie Mae’s CEO Timothy J. Mayopoulos, and Freddie Mac’s CEO Donald H. Layton. 

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