It’s Time: Endorsing a Bold New Regional Housing Idea for the San Francisco Bay Area

Cross-positing a blog written for the Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Initiative spotlighting work happening in California to address a growing affordable housing crisis at the regional level. The CASA Compact includes a comprehensive set of recommendations targeting production, preservation, tenant protections and institutional challenges to meeting the state’s housing needs. Lessons here for other regions as well, both in the value of regional approaches to housing but also the perils of only focusing on job growth and not also ensuring enough housing for workers.

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Reflecting Back on an Impactful 2018

Another year ends, and it is with deep gratitude that I look back over 2018 to reflect on all the amazing accomplishments achieved by the array of incredible local and national community leaders, thought partners, and funders that I have had the privilege to work with to make America’s communities thrive. As someone who cut her teeth working at the federal level, it has been beyond depressing to see the vitriol, decay and lack of leadership by Congress and this administration. Yet against this backdrop, innovation and a commitment to greater racial and economic equity is exploding at the local level. Read the MZ Strategies post to see some of the highlights!

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Infrastructure and Housing: Local Dreams and Federal Illusions

In our excitement over what may possibly happen with a new infrastructure proposal, let’s not lose sight of what is happening right now in the world of housing infrastructure. Actions by this administration to cut funding for affordable housing, suspend Fair Housing requirements, and reduce the impact of public sector investment in housing needs to be part of our forthcoming infrastructure debate.

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Addressing Affordable Housing at the Structural Level: Calling out the Elephant in the Region

This week Enterprise Community Partners released a new report calling for the creation of a new regional housing entity to address the Bay Area's alarming housing crisis. MZ Strategies co-authored the report with Enterprise staff, and while the report details specific recommendations and a set of actions for Bay Area partners, many of the ideas presented have resonance in other communities. The report includes case studies of innovative tools, structures and partnerships being deployed in New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington. The Elephant in the Region: Charting a Course for Bay Area Metro to Lead a Bold Regional Housing Agenda challenges the many partners and public agencies involved in housing to think differently and seize this moment in time to write a new chapter for the region.

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Lighting a SPARCC to fight Displacement

Sharing musings on a new initiative MZ Strategies, LLC is proud to be a part of working with an amazing group of partners to launch the Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). SPARCC is designed to support local cross-sector collaboratives working in six regions to develop policies and projects that advance racial equity, climate and public health goals. These six regions – Memphis, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area – each have created their own visions for how community-led investment can create stronger neighborhoods that intentionally work to stem displacement and create shared prosperity for existing and future residents and entrepreneurs. Additional thoughts on gentrification, including reading recommendations.

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New Publication by MZ Strategies, LLC: Advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development through Community Partnerships and Public Sector Leadership

Over the past four years, MZ Strategies has worked with numerous communities to advance equitable development strategies ranging from specific policy initiatives and funding programs, to strengthening multi-sector coalitions, and updating regulatory approaches. Today, we are excited to release a new publication, "Advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development through Community Partnerships and Public Sector Leadership." The new report spotlights strategies being used in four regions to create more inclusive communities near transit, and discusses federal tools available to support development of transit real estate assets for affordable housing.

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For USDOT it's Transportation for Communities

Two recent announcements by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) may have long-term impact on community development practitioners. In August, the Federal Transit Administration issued final guidance for its Capital Investment Program which funds New Starts and Small Starts transit projects (think subways, streetcars, light rail and bus rapid transit). And last week Secretary Foxx announced the latest round of TIGER grant recipients in 37 states (think big money for big transportation projects). With both of these announcements, USDOT signaled its recognition that these kind of large infrastructure investments can profoundly influence the way communities develop and markets respond.  

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