New Updates on The Edge
PD&R’s online magazine,The Edge, provides you with a snapshot view of our newly released research, periodicals, publications, news, and commentaries on housing and urban development issues. Stay informed on current topics and check back frequently, as our content is routinely updated.
Message from PD&R Leadership: Operation Breakthrough
In the leadership message, acting general deputy assistant secretary for PD&R Todd M. Richardson discusses Operation BREAKTHROUGH, a PD&R demonstration launched in 1969 that tested industrialized methods of housing production. Between 1971 and 1973, designated developers constructed 2,794 housing units on 9 prototype sites as part of Operation BREAKTHROUGH, some of which still exist today. Richardson examines the lessons of the demonstration and quotes a 2008 review performed by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Planning Department of Montgomery County, Maryland held the second event in its winter speaker series, The Economic Future of the Suburbs, in January 2018. The two speakers, Heather Arnold of Streetsense and Peter McLaughlin of ProMark Real Estate Services, spoke on the trend of adapting obsolete office and retail space into housing. The speakers discussed topics including the changing preferences of commercial and residential renters, characteristics of properties suitable for adaptive reuse, and successful residential reuse projects such as ProMark’s Octave 1320 condominium building in Silver Spring, Maryland.
A recently released report analyzes the experience of 12 state housing agencies in implementing a new housing assistance model for HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. “HUD Section 811 PRA Program: Process Evaluation” is the second report in a multi-phase evaluation designed to assess the implementation and effectiveness of this new model of housing assistance for extremely low-income, nonelderly adults with disabilities. The research article summarizes the evaluation’s findings and describes the second phase, expected to be published in spring 2019.
Stargell Commons, a 32-unit affordable housing development on the island of Alameda in California’s San Francisco Bay, was completed in May 2017. The $17.4 million project is part of Alameda Landing, a brownfield redevelopment project constructed on a site that was once a U.S. naval base. Stargell Commons features many amenities including a community room with a full kitchen, a children’s play area, and onsite tenant services provided by the nonprofit Operation Dignity. The developers of Alameda Landing benefited from a recent shift in policies, spurred by local advocacy, to reduce regulatory barriers to new development in Alameda.
In the trending article, PD&R research engineer Michael Blanford answers questions about HUD’s Innovative Building Technology Guide. The guide, published in October 2017, is intended to assist public housing agencies, building professionals, and consumers in their decisionmaking about building technologies. Blanford discusses important considerations for selecting new technologies, how new technologies can impact costs for builders, and more.