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Creating a Public Mural Program – Lessons from Kinston, NC (Part 1)

May 3, 2021

In the Fall of 2019, the City of Kinston established the Downtown Kinston Mural Program, a public art initiative that uses creative placemaking to build Kinston’s reputation as a destination for unique, thought-provoking art and community-oriented artists. This three-part blog post series outlines K … Continued

Revisiting the Case for Affordable Housing Four Years Later: Reminder of Value of BLS Salary Data When Understanding Affordable Housing

April 21, 2021

In 2017, a CED blog post asked if wages in different parts of the state were sufficient to sustain a person who wants to live and work there. For example, in 2016, nursing assistants in Goldsboro earned $11.83 an hour (median wage) for a mean annual salary of $24,610. Things have improved in terms o … Continued

How should we measure North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis?

April 12, 2021

How much should North Carolina families pay for housing? Affordable housing experts generally agree that housing costs should not exceed 30% of a household’s annual income. This payment standard is applied to nearly every major housing program, including public housing, housing choice vouchers, and … Continued

Spillover Benefits of Park Proximity

March 9, 2021

Investing in green space and park creation has enormous benefits, from bolstering community wellness, to reversing historic disinvestment, and in raising surrounding property values. While care should be taken to avoid the park-driven gentrification that has accompanied many of the recent high-profi … Continued

How buy-to-rent investors are changing North Carolina neighborhoods

November 12, 2020

In 2018, nearly one in five “starter homes” – or houses priced at the bottom third of the local market – were bought by investors rather than prospective homeowners. While investors take many forms such as “flippers” or owners that turn properties into Airbnbs, a growing cohort of companies are resh … Continued

Can an HOA revitalize a neighborhood?

September 24, 2020

Common interest communities and homeowners associations (HOAs) – love them or leave them, they have become quite common. The Foundation for Community Association Research, which supports the Community Associations Institute, found that 61 percent of new housing built for sale is located within a com … Continued

Local government support for small business recovery and reopening

August 24, 2020

It is never too soon to start thinking about recovery, even in the midst of the pandemic. As communities look toward recovery, leaders are wrestling with how to establish a legally permissible aid program to assist small businesses with reopening. Many local governments established small business lo … Continued

Land Revitalization and Brownfield Grants

July 23, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program has the power to transform communities. Since 1995, the federal program has assessed over 30,000 properties and designated 92,000 acres for anticipated reuse. North Carolina has been working in tandem under state statute since 1997, and has i … Continued

Regulating Short-term rentals in the Staycation Future?

July 17, 2020

While COVID-19 is changing many facets of our world, one thing that seems unlikely to change is the proliferation of short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb, VRBO, etc). With current interest in local travel outstripping 2019, pre-existing questions around if and how to regulate these businesses are only go … Continued

Evicted in a Pandemic

July 9, 2020

Even in the best of times, evictions are all too common and generate excessive public costs – but COVID-19 has brought the crisis to a boiling point. In recent months, housing security has not received the same degree of public attention as employment and health, though these issues are inextricably … Continued