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Seats on the Street: Changes to Outdoor Dining in the Time of COVID-19

June 18, 2020

With Governor Cooper’s announcement of Phase II reopening on May 22nd, restaurants are allowed to seat customers for the first time since March 17th. Many communities are breathing a sigh of relief; downtowns have suffered dramatically from the loss of business due to COVID-19, and the reopening of … Continued

Downtown Facade Improvement Programs

January 16, 2020

The national Main Street Program touts “coordinated, small-scale facade improvements” in rural downtown commercial districts as having the “power to not only preserve valuable historic resources in rural communities, but also to spur economic growth in the surrounding area.” What local government to … Continued

The Community Reinvestment Act & LIHTC: How changes in the banking sector could affect affordable housing

October 3, 2019

Over the past few decades, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) has become the nation’s most important policy to incentivize the creation of affordable housing. LIHTC, administered in North Carolina through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, allocates credits to private developers who t … Continued

Household Overcrowding in North Carolina: A Look at the Data

August 15, 2019

For community developers and housing advocates, household overcrowding has long been a key concern. Across the country, housing needs assessments often list overcrowding as an economic outcome, an indication that affordable housing supply is unavailable. That is, individuals are forced to cohabitate … Continued

Strategies for Creating Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

August 6, 2019

Durham County hired the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) in 2017 to help redevelop two county-owned parcels in downtown. Though currently serving as surface parking for county employees, the two sites are located adjacent to recent high-end residential development, government and institutional s … Continued

Kannapolis, NC: Strategic Vision, Financial Planning, Development

July 18, 2019

This blog post features a project undertaken by the UNC School of Government’s Development Finance Initiative. The Development Finance Initiative (DFI) was established in 2011 to assist North Carolina communities with achieving their community economic development goals. DFI partners with communitie … Continued

The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Here: Now What?

July 9, 2019

“[I]t is critical to learn from events such as Florence, to minimize the damages and streamline the response and recovery for the next storm…The growing economic and human costs of these events require that we not only change how we respond, but do so far more quickly than we have in the past.” This … Continued

Transit-Oriented Development? Or Development-Oriented Transit?

June 27, 2019

Mixed-use, higher density, walkable neighborhoods serviced by rapid transit are models of good city planning today. Bringing people, different building uses, and public spaces closer together and providing transit access between those activity hubs and other parts of the city improves equity, sustai … Continued

CED and Planning vs Income Inequality Part 1: When Communities Pay the Price

April 16, 2019

Income inequality is not a new issue for CED professionals. In November 2011, the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco devoted an issue of its publication, Community Investments,to how income inequality was impacting community development. A Federal Reserve Board governor is quoted in the report, … Continued

NC Commerce Kicks Off the Downtown Strong Initiative

March 21, 2019

The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that twenty-four communities  located in small and/or rural counties throughout the state (see Table, below) have been selected to participate in the new Downtown Strong Initiative of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. The in … Continued