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Housing policy and poverty in Springfield
This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts ? a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal ...
Receivership : a coordinated strategy to stabilize troubled properties
With the impact of municipal debt burdens, coupled with the effects of declining real estate prices and the US financial crisis, municipalities are looking for novel and cost-effective approaches to address abandoned, blighted and/or foreclosed properties that threaten the quality of life of their communities. Receivership, the use of statutory power to seize buildings and place properties under control of a judicially supervised 'receiver', can be an effective tool to tackle the problem of troubled properties which repeatedly violate safety and sanitary codes. Despite its potential, ...
Incentives for urban pioneers: in housing policy, one policy does not fit all
In housing policy, one size does not fit all. State programs designed to retain affordable housing stock in high-cost areas may inadvertently keep secondary cities from revitalizing.
An overview of Chapters 40R and 40S: Massachusetts’ newest housing policies
In creating Chapters 40R and 40S, policymakers recognized that respecting local concerns in the pursuit of statewide goals was a more effective strategy than mandating or regulating behavior. While the jury is still out on how effective 40R and 40S will be, moving from regulation to incentives is a commendable step for housing policy in the Commonwealth.