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Your September Useful Community Plus
September 30, 2021
This Month: Neighborhood Basics, Big Picture Thinking, and More
Visit us at the Useful Community Development Website.
This month we recommend some basic articles from our own website. Many of you are busy working on nitty gritty issues in your own neighborhood and don't want to devote any bandwidth to the type of big public policy issues described in the next article. For you folks, we suggest these:
Seed thoughts on community development ideas
Example community improvement projects
A primer on starting a block club
A few autumn newsletter ideas
Here's some good stuff from other people's writings. One may strike a chord with you.
Annually the National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes a study about how much a household needs to earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Check out the report and graphic. Our spoiler: only in Arkansas is such an apartment be affordable on less than $15 an hour as a full-time wage.
If you are interested in worldwide progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, you should track the Gates Foundation's annual Goalkeepers report, which is both meaty and easy to digest.
Professionals, community leaders, and pundits are all starting to recognize that appraisal practices tend to accentuate the racial wealth gap. Here is a summary article. Why not challenge your local appraisers to do a hypothetical appraisal of two architecturally similar homes in about the same condition without regard to the "neighborhood" and using methods other than comparables?
If your neighborhood is thinking about a community benefits agreement for a large development project, you should read an article about the agreements that really accomplished positive community goals. (Also of course check out our introductory article about these agreements if you don't know what we're talking about.)
For those interested in sustainability issues, smart cities, energy usage, and such, you may want to be on the mailing list of Urban Elephant Media, which regularly sponsors great webinars and events.
We have regularly followed the progress of the U.S. Opportunity Zone program. Here's a wonderful resource center on Opportunity Zones.
This month we answered only one question from you folks, our much-appreciated website visitors. Many content additions are almost ready for October.
The next newsletter will be sent on a Thursday in October. Feel free to reply to this newsletter with comments. If you are asking a question you would like answered, please use the public-facing community development questions page on the website.
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