What @sog_ced is reading online: July 2019

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:

Read this fascinating examination by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative of affordable housing in Charlotte—this piece focuses on history and current efforts in the affluent Ballantyne area. bit.ly/2XgOgzG

North Carolina ranks #3 among CNBC’s 2019 Top States for Business cnb.cx/2JqSUCI

The New Yorker reports on African-American agricultural land loss, with focus on North Carolina. Read the article here: https://t.co/tr5AcQWdtQ

Other CED items:                                   

Read this Urban Institute Blog  which examines ways that local govts have modified zoning to promote affordable housing. urbn.is/2XArnr8

This Economic Development Quarterly article by UNC colleague Bill Lester asks the question: “Does TIF pass the ‘but for’ test in Missouri?” bit.ly/32pt2yn

Interesting comparative analysis by Crystal Morphis on labor force in NC, SC, VA metros: Talent- The Big Picture in NC, SC & VA. Read the findings here: creativeedc.com/talent-the-big

DFI Online:

Lumberton Mayor describes DFI’s ongoing effort to bring affordable senior housing to the City of Lumberton as part of the State’s disaster recovery effort. http://bit.ly/2ysVjX6  (The solicitation for developers is here.)

DFI currently has three active solicitations for a development partner for DFI projects in Lumberton, Kannapolis, and Gastonia.

This Neuse News article describes the work of DFI Associate Director, Marcia Perritt, in assisting the City of Kinston to establish a mural program downtown. https://t.co/2EtpN1KXRF

After Hurricane Matthew, DFI conducted market and financial analyses for new commercial space in flood-ravaged Fair Bluff, NC. The town manager said he’d use that information in discussions with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and this story gives an update. bit.ly/2YodjfX

Read about DFI’s work in Kannapolis, NC. bit.ly/2XThYv1

The School of Government’s Sarah Mye shares data about DFI’s projects across North Carolina in her blog post, DFI: Of the Public, For the Public.

On July 11, two stories appeared on the News & Observer home page involving the School’s Development Finance Initiative (DFI):

  • One showcased a complex DFI project that will result in hundreds of affordable housing units for low income families in downtown Durham along with commercial space, market rate housing units, and parking for Durham County employees. DFI has led the process for over a year as described on this Durham County website for the project. The story explains the County’s milestone of selecting a developer from among nine proposals received. As County Board Chair Jacobs stated at a meeting in November, “For the first time in Durham County’s history, Durham County Government is taking direct action to create affordable housing. We are all proud. The Development Finance [Initiative] out of UNC School of Government has been intent in making sure the interests of the public are put first every step of the way as we pursue this new type of model.”
  • The other story focused on DFI’s previous director, Michael Lemanski, who left the university over two years ago. The story describes at least seven private companies or projects that occurred before Lemanski was employed by the university or after he had left. More relevant to DFI is the reporter’s description of a university audit conducted at the end of Lemanski’s tenure at DFI and the auditor’s report completed in May 2017 that found there was no misuse of funds. The reporter had previously covered that information in a March 2019 story that was summarized on this blog here. The story also repeats information about a private development project that Lemanski started in 2015 in Fayetteville, which was the subject of DFI research in 2014. The story suggests the School did not have enough conflict of interest controls in place when Lemanski started the project. However, a letter provided by the City of Fayetteville and this May 2019 blog post indicate that the Fayetteville project was properly disclosed in advance to the University, to the City of Fayetteville, and to the private investors in the private development project. There was no conflict of interest because DFI’s research contract with the City had ended months earlier, and the Fayetteville City Manager had requested the assistance and then approved the private project in writing. In addition, the Fayetteville project was within the scope of the university’s May 2017 audit report and no issues were found. For additional context, see this blog’s summary of the earlier story here.

 Last month’s edition of “What @sog_ced is reading….”


Compiled by Francine Stefan                                                       

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