The Community and Economic Development program at the School of Government provides public officials with training, research, and assistance that support local efforts to create jobs and wealth, expand the tax base, and maintain vibrant communities. We deploy the resources of the University to support the development goals of communities in North Carolina.

Community Ownership as a Tool for Preservation and Wealth Creation

See: <a href="https://www.borderstan.com/2016/04/01/dog-friendly-beer-garden-to-open-near-u-street-this-summer/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dog-Friendly Beer Garden to Open Near U Street This Summer | Borderstan</a>Real estate ownership is one of the primary vehicles for wealth creation in the United States, and consequently one of the core drivers of the racial wealth gap after generations of disinvestment in and displacement of BIPOC communities. Andre Perry, senior fellow at Brookings Institution and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, has conducted research showing that homes in majority-Black communities are, on average, valued at 23% less than the same home would be in a white community, even when controlled for crime levels, school districts, walkability, and the like. This represents a gap of $156 billion in lost equity within Black communities that could serve to send 8.1 million students to a four-year college, launch 4.4 minority-owned businesses, or resolve the Flint water crisis 3,000 times over.

As the nation prepares for greater investment in infrastructure and real estate development, it is critical to prioritize innovative models that enable more inclusive, local ownership opportunities that promote residential and business preservation as a wealth creation strategy. One of the ways communities can address this is through implementing Community Ownership models. This post will discuss what Community Ownership is, how it works, and a variety of existing case studies. Read More…

Addressing Construction Labor Shortages Post-Pandemic

Labor shortages are not new to the construction industry, but the pandemic has added fuel to an already urgent issue. With an aging workforce vulnerable to economic shocks, the construction industry has seen sharp rises and falls in the last 20 years, increasing safety and quality concerns. Since 2000, North Carolina has seen a decline in total construction employees, despite steady increases in average weekly wages (shown in the table below). The pandemic stalled employment growth and demand temporarily, but recently demand has been rising again, especially in new residential development and rehabilitation, with many North Carolina construction businesses looking to hire multiple new employees. Read More…

The Impacts of Upzoning on Property Values in NC

Aerial view of neighborhood

The Brookings Institute recently published an article detailing some of the benefits and drawbacks of the planning practice known as upzoning: the rezoning of a parcel of land from a lower allowable density to a higher one. One of the primary purposes of upzoning is increasing density, both of residential and commercial property. This post deals primarily with the practice of residential upzoning. Read More…

What @sog_ced is reading online: August 2021

The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates.

 

Items of interest related to CED in North Carolina:

Story in Business North Carolina about burgeoning business activity in downtown Selma, NC https://bit.ly/38t2HE8

News & Observer‘s interactive map shows population growth reported by the Census Bureau across NC https://bit.ly/3gNJKR2

Downtown Raleigh Alliance report shows growth in retail, office, and residential during Read More…

Creating a Public Mural Program: Lessons from Kinston, NC (Part 3)

“Sugar Hill by Timothy Robert Smith

This three-part blog post series chronicles the process, joys, and challenges of implementing a large-scale creative placemaking initiative, in this case the Downtown Kinston Mural Program in eastern North Carolina. The Part 1 post of this series reviewed the program design, citizen committee, and wall selection for the program. Part 2 described the process of advertising the artist opportunity, selecting artists, pairing artists with walls, and developing the artist’s concepts for the program. This third and final post in this series will review the logistics involved during mural installation, community engagement during a pandemic, and the budget management process.

Installation Logistics 

The Kinston Mural Program included seven murals done by eight artists (one mural was completed by a two-person team). Each project had several logistical needs:

Insurance. General liability insurance was necessary to cover the artists in case of injury or damage to other property. The City worked with its own insurance provider to find Read More…

Building up the “S”: How Municipalities and Real Estate Developers Can Find Common Ground for Social Equity

The Renaissance (Laurel Street)

Sprawled on roughly 40 acres in Charlotte, N.C., The Renaissance is the first Purpose Built Community in the Queen City. Its purpose: be more than a housing option. Developed by Laurel Street Residential in 2016 on behalf of the Charlotte Housing Authority (Now InLivian), The Renaissance offers cradle-to-college-to-career educational curriculum and wellness programs with the aim of enhancing social equity, eradicating generational poverty and improving physical and mental health.

The advancement of these goals rests with the Renaissance West Community Initiative (RWCI), which was formed to serve as the so-called community quarterback for The Renaissance, which has more than 300 rental units. “What RWCI focuses on revolves around the social determinants of health,” said Jackie Tynan, chief impact officer at RWCI. “There’s a social equity and a racial equity component to that. Overall, we focus on all things related to individual and family well-being.” Read More…

What @sog_ced is reading online: July 2021

The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates.

 

 

Items of interest related to CED in North Carolina:

NC Department of Commerce, Labor & Economics Analysis Division releases employment projections through 2028, predicts 300,000+ new jobs. https://bit.ly/3iedxU1

Other CED items:

SBA still has funding available to aid small businesses and continues to work through PPP loan forgiveness. Local governments should support technical assistance to their business community to aid in accessing those funds. https://bit.ly/2THDm5k

Urban Institute survey: With eviction moratorium expiring at the end of July, more than half of renters and 40% of landlords are still unaware of federal rental assistance. https://urbn.is/3C8vtrc

Read More…

The Story of Job Growth in North Carolina: Feast or Famine?

It is often hard to make sense of monthly statistics on job growth. Year-over-year changes are dramatically impacted by COVID-19.  With COVID cases rising again, the impact of COVID on tracking job growth or loss, industries affected, and predictions for the future is likely to continue. Fortunately, a newly updated resource allows us to understand our current circumstances in the context of a 40-year trend. The main take-away is that while the causes are different (pandemic-induced downturn versus the sub-prime mortgage-induced economic downturn), the pattern is the same. North Carolina’s experience with job growth or loss is feast or famine. Read More…

Creating a Public Mural Program – Lessons from Kinston, NC (Part 2)

Okra” by Seraphim Smith, a local artist in the program

This three-part blog post series chronicles the process, joys, and challenges of implementing a large-scale creative placemaking initiative, in this case the Downtown Kinston Mural Program in eastern North Carolina. The Part 1 post of this series reviewed the program design, citizen committee, and wall selection for the program. This blog post, Part 2, will review advertising the artist opportunity, selecting artists, pairing artists with walls, and developing the artist’s concepts for the program.

Advertising the Opportunity to Artists

The City of Kinston used a two-step process to select artists—a general Call for Artists through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), and a Second Round Application focused on budget and program requirements. Kinston chose an (RFQ) to allow artists to present their prior work and community engagement practices instead of a potential mural concept. The artist consultant engaged by the City advised staff that concept development is a significant part of the artist’s work and should vary highly after the artist gets to know the community and the wall. An RFQ allowed the Mural Committee, the citizen-led group that oversaw the Downtown Mural program, to react to the artist and their existing portfolio, compensate the artist for their concept development during the program, and avoid boiler-plate concept submissions by artists who are (quite reasonably) unwilling to create a unique concept for a program without being paid. Read More…

What @sog_ced is reading online: June 2021

The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates.

 

 

Items of interest related to CED in North Carolina:

NY Times report on adaptive reuse of historic mills in NC, including Rocky Mount, High Point and Winston-Salem. https://nyti.ms/3dugjSo

City of Durham follows Asheville’s lead and commits to public infrastructure investments in historically Black neighborhoods as a form of reparations. https://bit.ly/3qBOZH6

“Revitalizing NC Towns” story features the work of UNC DFI on public-private partnerships to reuse the historic Broughton Hospital campus in Morganton. https://unc.live/3hoSkoz

Other CED items:

Community colleges engaging affordable housing activities to address housing insecurity among their students https://bit.ly/3whvvJf

Lack of funds for security deposits can lock renters into their current housing. Article explores for-profit and nonprofit approaches to this issue and pros and cons of each. https://bit.ly/3duXpe3

DFI Online

Dare County asks UNC DFI to focus on two sites for affordable housing development; tax credit financing mechanisms explained. https://bit.ly/3dvd2lz

Read More…