Ford Foundation Awards $2 Million Grant to Center for Community Capital for Homeownership Study

February 24, 2015

The Ford Foundation has awarded the UNC Center for Community Capital (CCC) $2 million to continue its long-term study of lower-income homeownership before, during and after one of the worst economic crises in the nation’s history.

B_RegainingtheDreamThe center has presented findings and policy recommendations from this study widely to policymakers, regulators, industry groups, academics and others interested in expanding homeownership opportunities. One book (Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families, Brookings Institution Press, 2011) and scores of research papers have been published based on this research.

Read more about the Ford Foundation grant award and CCC’s homeownership research.

The Center for Community Capital is an affiliate of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

New Handbook on Transportation-Efficient Growth in Small Communities and Rural Areas

NCHRP_W211-coverCURS Senior Research Associate Brian J. Morton is the principal author of a recently released handbook Close to Home: A Handbook for Transportation-Efficient Growth in Small Communities and Rural Areas. The handbook, co-authored by Joseph Huegy of North Carolina State University and John Poros of Mississippi State University, was prepared for the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP).

The authors write that while hundreds of studies have investigated how land use affects daily driving in urban and suburban areas, “[v]ery few of those studies have looked at small communities and rural areas. This handbook is intended to help fill that gap by providing insights into the relationship between a small/rural area’s existing development patterns and changes in daily driving after hypothetical new growth. The handbook offers a vocabulary of land use characteristics that are significant in small communities and rural areas. It also estimates the change in daily driving per person after hypothetical growth occurs according to different development visions or scenarios.”


Researcher Finds Communities Suffer When Local Law Enforcement Officers Become Immigration Agents

handcuffs imageCURS Faculty Fellow Mai Thi Nguyen‘s new research examines the expansion of powers of local law enforcement to enforce immigration policies in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the impact of those changes on immigrant communities.

In an article posted on USAPP, the London School of Economics’ blog about American politics and policy, Nguyen writes “when local law enforcers become de facto immigration agents and start to enforce immigration laws, this can have far-reaching consequences for local law enforcement practices and marginalising immigrant families.”

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Winter 2015 Newsletter

Winter 2015 NewsletterA new CURS report examines Moving to Work, a program that allows participating public housing authorities to bypass certain HUD regulations and simplify their accounting, granting them the latitude to test new ideas to provide decent, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households. Click here to read about the innovations explored in this demonstration program! Also, are the sustainable agriculture and community food security movements one and the same? Read our Winter 2015 Newsletter to find out more.

CURS Director Bill Rohe in Atlanta Journal-Constitution

February 9, 2015

Bill Rohe, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, was quoted today in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article “Charlotte’s strength lies at its core,” which is part of a series comparing metro Atlanta’s recovery to that of other Southern cities.

In the article by Michael Kanell, Rohe recalled a city planners’ conference in Charlotte almost 25 years ago during which “’there was nothing but griping about what a soul-less place it was. It was horrible.’” Now, Rohe went on to say, the reaction would be different.

Read more about Charlotte’s emergence as a regional economic and cultural powerhouse in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.

CURS Researchers Meet with Rep. David Price on Public Housing

Dr. Michael Webb and Kirstin Frescoln with Rep. David Price

Dr. Michael Webb (right) and Kirstin Frescoln with Rep. David Price

Dr. Michael Webb and Kirstin Frescoln met with Congressman David Price and his staffers on Wednesday, February 4th to discuss CURS’ recent report Innovation In Public Housing: The Moving to Work Demonstration. Rep. Price has recently become the ranking Democrat on the House’s Transportation-HUD subcommittee, which oversees HUD and the Moving to Work program.

CURS Director Bill Rohe on WUNC’s The State of Things

February 3, 2015

CURS Director Bill Rohe was a guest on WUNC’s The State of Things today to discuss why North Carolinians struggle to find affordable housing. Click to listen!

Bill Rohe with host Frank Stasio on WUNC's The State of Things

Bill Rohe talks with Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The State of Things (photo credit: Hady Mawajdeh)

In his conversation with host Frank Stasio, Rohe discussed the results of two ongoing studies conducted by UNC’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies that inform the debate over how to help resolve North Carolina’s low- and moderate-income housing shortage.

The first examines the Charlotte Housing Authority’s HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which it used to redevelop Charlotte’s Boulevard Homes site. The study looks at people who were relocated to other public housing units or to private housing using housing choice vouchers (HCVs) during the redevelopment. Rohe noted Charlotte was able to move money around to provide assistance to help tenants move and provide access to counselors. Continue reading

Michael Webb Gives Urban Revitalization Talk at UNC Greensboro

Michael Webb discusses urban revitalization

Michael Webb discusses urban revitalization at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (photo credit: Sydney Stanley)

CURS Research Associate Michael Webb took on the topic of urban revitalization in a talk at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in early February. Read an article in the UNCG student newspaper about Webb’s talk focusing on the King-Lincoln neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is home to The Ohio State University, where Webb received his Ph.D. in Geography. Continue reading