Earlier this month, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan traveled to Chile to meet with leading housing and urban development officials overseeing disaster reconstruction efforts following that country’s 2010 earthquake and tsunami. His trip came at the invitation of Minister Rodrigo Pérez Mackenna, his counterpart at Chile’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINVU).
The primary purpose of the visit was to identify lessons from Chile’s long-term reconstruction efforts that may apply to Hurricane Sandy-impacted regions in the U.S.
Secretary Donovan toured reconstruction sites near Concepción, a major city located in one of the regions most devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake, recorded as one of the world’s largest urban earthquakes, affected more than 80% of Chile’s urban population and destroyed or severely damaged over 300,000 homes. Since then, MINVU has worked with cross-sector partners to successfully construct or repair 90% of the damaged homes. Continue reading
Passion White found herself in a women’s shelter while her children were living with other family members. She was working full-time but she still couldn’t make ends meet. White found affordable housing at Compton Apartments. The affordable rent allowed White to bring her children under one roof where the family was safe. Now she is building a better life.
“I see a bigger and brighter future where I can support my children,” said White. “With the assistance of the program, and with stability in my life, I will succeed.”
White’s story is one of the reasons the Delaware Community Investment Corporation (DCIC) revitalizes communities by investing in housing and related activities designed to address the needs of people, like Passion White, who live in Delaware. Compton Apartments is owned and managed by Leon Weiner & Associates and financed by DCIC.
DCIC was established by Delaware financial institutions in the early 1990’s, and since its founding, those banks have invested over $350 million in communities through DCIC. With similar successes, Great Lakes Capital Fund (GLCF), headquartered in Lansing, MI, has worked on community development projects since it began more than 20 years ago. DCIC announced a merger with GLCF on October 30, 2013 to expand its organizational depth, regional footprint, the ability to reinvest and help more people like Passion White.
“We could not be happier about the partnership we have now with Great Lakes Capital Fund,” said Jim Peffley, President of DCIC. “With a 20 year strong track record of investing and creating affordable housing and commercial developments all around the US, there was no doubt that we had found the right merger partner-one that will enable us to bring greater value to Delaware and expand our shared business model to support communities in surrounding states.”
Maria Bynum is the Field Officer Director for HUD’s Wilmington, Delaware field office.
Did you know that since 1964, the number of adults who smoke in the U.S. has dropped by half? However, there is still work to be done to eradicate smoking and stop the effects it has on the health of many Americans – people who smoke and people who breathe the smoke that other people release. Fifty years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, remarkable progress has been made. Unfortunately, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.” The report highlights major accomplishments in tobacco prevention and control over the past 50 years, presents new data on the health consequences of smoking, and discusses approaches that can potentially end the tobacco epidemic.
Reflecting on 50 Years of Progress
The landmark report that the Surgeon General in 1964 released laid the foundation for modern tobacco control efforts. Through the efforts of tobacco control professionals, advocates, and researchers, the work has continued to move forward. Learn about the progress of tobacco control in the 50th Anniversary on Smoking and Health Video and Podcast series, featuring interviews from key leaders in the fight against tobacco, and through CDC Tobacco Free on Twitter. Continue reading
Last week, as we reflected on the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, President Obama reminded us of the need to build Ladders of Opportunity for those that are working to get into the middle class. In a country as great as this one, a child’s zip code should never be what determines his or her opportunity. The government can’t fix this on its own, but it can be a much better partner in helping local leaders develop policies that improve education, protect the most vulnerable, and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.
As part of this effort, the Administration is supporting a number of initiatives to help promote good work by local governments and create economic opportunity for those who need it most.
For example, last week, President Obama announced the first five Promise Zones; these five areas have put forward comprehensive strategies to improve economic and educational opportunities in their communities, and the federal government is helping them access resources and working as a partner to support them in achieving those goals. Continue reading
Welcome to another edition of our blog series, A Day in the Life, which will introduce you to HUD employees and the highlight the important work they do.
Today, we meet Robyn Bowen who serves as an Economist in the Economic and Market Analysis Division, Atlanta regional office.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day consists of research, analysis, or writing. On some days, I am immersed in intense research activities which entail gathering economic and housing data for a housing market report or an application review for HUD’s multifamily mortgage insurance programs. Assembling the data necessary to perform our market analyses takes a great deal of effort and time, so I could spend many days doing research. After the research process is done, I analyze the data. Like the research phase, analyzing data is intense, and I spend several days studying and reconciling the data to assess current market conditions and estimate future housing demand. Other days are spent writing a report or memorandum that ultimately details my findings.
What is the overarching task of your position?
The overarching task of my position is to produce market analyses and reports that help the Department in its efforts to maintain stable housing markets, promote affordable housing, and avoid adverse impact on existing supplies. As a Field Economist, I collect and maintain data on demographic, economic and housing market conditions, conduct comprehensive housing market analyses for publication, prepare regional summaries of housing market conditions and local housing market profiles for publication in U.S. Housing Market Conditions reports, contribute to the Regional Scorecard, conduct special studies, fulfill data requests, and review new construction and substantial rehabilitation applications submitted under HUD’s multifamily mortgage insurance programs. Continue reading