Post-Conference Reading: Officials set regional housing targets, call for collaboration to address production and affordability challenges

Today at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia adopted three regional targets on housing, agreeing to collaboratively address the area’s production and affordability challenges. This collective action, outlined in a resolution approved by the COG Board of Directors, is the culmination of a year-long effort by local planning and housing director staff and COG to determine 1) how much housing is needed to address the area’s current shortage and whether the region could produce more, 2) the ideal location for new housing to optimize and balance its proximity to jobs, and 3) the appropriate cost of new housing to ensure it is priced for those who need it. (MWCOG)

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Malone: Katrina’s Legacy

This summer, my father died; he was 89 years old and suffered from Alzheimer's.  I loved my Father and miss him very much, but I am comforted by the fact that he lived a full life.  He received excellent medical care until the end of his life, and he died comfortably in hospice. My father was of Irish American descent. 

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MEMO: With a Dearth of Affordable Housing in Howard County, a Memo to the County Council Explains How a Proposed Housing Tax Puts Moderate Income Housing Farther Out of Reach

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Conference Reading: In Howard County, a ‘courageous’ plan to redraw school boundaries tests community’s commitment to diversity

In Howard County, people pride themselves on making everyone feel welcome. Bumper stickers say “Choose Civility.” The county’s pioneering newtown, Columbia, was founded on the premise that people of different races and economic status should live side by side. Now, those convictions are being tested by a proposal that seeks to redistribute some 7,400 of the school system’s 58,000 children to different schools — in part to address socioeconomic segregation that leaves children from poor families concentrated in certain schools. Signs like “No Forced Busing" and “Don’t Dismantle Communities” are appearing in protests in front of River Hill High School, where nearly everyone is affluent and very few are black or Hispanic. A Facebook page called “Howard County School Redistricting Opposition” has more than 1,900 members. (Balt. Sun)

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Conference Reading: D.C. region’s leaders face big challenges as they tackle affordable-housing shortage

Last year the Washington region came together to fix a 40-year-old problem by providing Metro with dedicated funding. Now elected officials and business and nonprofit leaders are preparing a push to overcome another challenge: the critical shortage of affordable housing. It’s going to be a lot more difficult. A new report issued Wednesday says the Washington region needs to add a whopping 374,000 housing units by 2030. Officials say that’s about 30 percent more than expected at present. (Wash. Post)

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Conference Reading: A Bold Agenda for School Integration

At a time when our democracy is fractured along the fault lines of race, ethnicity, and religion, and when social mobility has stalled, high-quality integrated public schools could take us on a better path forward. Racial and socioeconomic school integration has proven to be one of the most powerful strategies known to educators to improve the lives of students and reduce national division. Yet, in the face of growing school segregation, the federal government currently commits only a paltry amount of resources to support integration. To close the gap between the dire need for action and the absence of federal leadership, this report proposes a number of policy ideas for members of Congress to consider. (TCF)

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Conference Reading: Montgomery County Home Prices Reach 10-Year High

The median price of a home that sold in Maryland’s Montgomery County in July was $466,000, 2.6% more than a year earlier, and the highest July level in the past 10 years. The Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors notes a rise in sales as well, with closed sales up 8.1% from a year earlier, and pending sales or contracts signed, up 6.3%. Like most of the rest of the Washington, D.C., region, there are fewer listings in Montgomery County than there were a year ago. (Md. Matters)

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Conference Reading: The Case Against Exclusionary Zoning

In a new policy paper, Michael Stegman, a senior housing policy fellow at the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets, argues that the collective impact of decades of layering exclusionary zoning and land use controls is not just higher housing prices. These regulations, he says, are also a powerful contributor to declining rates of economic mobility and productivity growth, and widening disparities in the wealth of white and black Americans. While having local roots, exclusionary land use practices have clearly become a national problem that Stegman says requires bold national action. (NAHBNow)

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