Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduces new workforce housing initiatives, adopts GICD recommendations

In July 2012, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Administration to identify policies and tools to meet the State’s housing needs. Last week, Governor Patrick announced an ambitious housing policy initiative that builds on those strategies.

Speaking before an audience of almost 1,000 people at a statewide housing and community development conference in Worcester, MA on November 13, 2012, Governor Patrick announced a new statewide housing production goal of 10,000 multifamily units in the Commonwealth each year, and a new policy initiative called “Compact Neighborhoods.”

“To meet the needs of our workforce we need more housing for moderate- and middle-income families,” Governor Patrick said at the event. “We need more multi-family homes, rental apartments, and starter homes and we need these homes near jobs, near transit, and near city and town centers.”

“By 2020 across the state, we should see 80,000 new multi-family units. We can do this. In fact, we have to do this.”
– Governor Deval Patrick

The goal to build 10,000 new multifamily units each year, a first-of-its-kind housing production goal, is ambitious. But Governor Patrick and his Administration are determined to achieve this goal. By producing more housing that is affordable to moderate- and middle-income households—or “workforce housing”—that is reasonably dense and located near transit stations, employment and downtown centers, the Patrick Administration’s efforts will help build and retain a young and innovative workforce within the Commonwealth and strengthen the State’s economic competitiveness.

In addition to the housing production goal, Governor Patrick announced a new policy initiative called the Compact Neighborhoods program. The program provides additional incentives that encourage municipalities to identify as-of-right zoning districts (Compact Neighborhoods) and develop affordable and reasonably dense housing for working families near transit and town centers. Municipalities with Compact Neighborhoods can receive priority consideration for other state discretionary funding, including the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. Other funding programs will be considered this year to include a similar preference. The Compact Neighborhoods program complements Chapter 40R, the Commonwealth’s Smart Growth Overlay District Statute, by promoting neighborhoods with affordable housing choices near jobs and transit.

Both the housing production goal and the Compact Neighborhood program were among recommendations made by the Governors’ Institute to the Patrick Administration in a report last month, and support Governor Patrick’s comprehensive economic development plan. The Governors’ Institute has been working with the Patrick-Murray Administration on workforce housing policy since last spring. Workforce housing is a major issue in maintaining the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness. Even though Massachusetts is the epicenter of the nation’s higher education system—350,000 students attend college or graduate school in the Boston area alone—the Commonwealth is often unable to retain this skilled young talent because of a shortage of affordable homes and lack of housing choices.

In July, the Governors’ Institute convened a high-level workshop that included Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, several cabinet members, agency directors, and key stakeholders, such as local officials, business leaders, and housing organizations, as well as the Governors’ Institute’s nationally renowned housing, transportation, and real estate experts, to discuss policy ideas on workforce housing. Subsequently, the Governors’ Institute provided a set of recommendations to guide the Administration in strengthening its housing initiatives.

The Governors’ Institute’s technical assistance is made possible and guided by the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Partnerships promotes better coordination between housing, transportation, and other infrastructure investments to create more prosperous and vibrant communities. The Patrick Administration’s new initiatives are a great example of policies and initiatives that the Partnership encourages across the country.

GICD Official Kick-off Event in the News

Governors Get on Board With Smart Growth

Streetsblog — August 2, 2012
The Governors’ Institute on Community Design isn’t a brand new undertaking — it’s been around since 2005 — but it’s just gotten some high-profile support which could catapult it to a different level. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of six governors and ex-governors celebrated the new support of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities – the collaboration of HUD, DOT, and EPA — for the Governors’ Institute. This kind of collaborative work, among federal agencies and with the states, is “common sense writ large,” said U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari at the event.

 

Perdue to next governor: you have to make tough decisions

The News & Observer (NC) — August 1, 2012
Perdue was in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday with a long list of governors and former governors to discuss the infrastructure challenges facing state leaders during tough economic times. The event was organized by the Governors’ Institute, which provides technical guidance to governors on, among other needs, housing, transportation and the environment. “If you’re going to get things done and focus on the future and continue to invest in the future, you have to make tough decisions, and you can’t stick your finger in the wind and decide which way the public is going,” said Perdue.

 

Livability Funding for Governors’ Institute on Community Design will improve transportation options across America

Fast Lane (Official U.S. DOT blog) — August 1, 2012
At DOT, we are constantly looking for innovative partnerships to help solve our transportation challenges. Through our work in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, we’ve helped communities boost economic development at the local level by thinking comprehensively about transportation, housing, and environmental needs. Good community planning requires a unified and collaborative approach. That’s why DOT is proud to join HUD and EPA in supporting the Governors’ Institute on Community Design in a new effort to help states grow their economies and make better use of taxpayer dollars.

Political will, leadership crucial to building great communities

From left: former Maryland Governor and President of the Governors' Institute, Parris Glendening; former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge at the Governors' Institute launch event.

Great neighborhoods, strong local economies and balanced budgets don’t happen by chance. It takes political leadership and resilience to achieve those goals – political leadership that is sometimes hard to come by.

“Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die to get there,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge during a conversation between past and current state leaders at the National Press Club today. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design hosted the event, which kicked off newly announced support for the Institute from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

That reluctance to stick one’s neck out can have a negative impact on states and local communities, explained former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who co-chairs the Institute with former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening. Instead of planning for long-term, sustainable economic growth that meets a wide range of goals, it’s easy for elected officials to lapse into short-term, often politically motivated decisions.

“People have come up with this mindset that it’s an either or [between jobs and smart, long-term thinking], and we have to break that,” said Whitman, noting the pressure on state and local leaders to show immediate results.

She emphasized the need for state and local leaders to think tactically and show more resolve, a point Ridge hammered home when he likened current federal and state budget deficit reduction battles to a “kabuki dance” between political parties.

Many of the decisions needed today are bound to be unpopular, because the country needs both cuts to costly services as well as new revenue creation sources to fund important infrastructure upgrades and investments, Ridge said. Drawing attention to the need for increased leadership at all levels of government is therefore vital, as are more transparent and proactive efforts to inform the public about the realities of municipal costs.

“We almost need a public education campaign,” Ridge said about the cost of updating America’s infrastructure systems and investing in the things that will lead to long-term growth. “You flip on a light, you don’t think about [the cost]. You turn the water on, you don’t think about it.”

What that means for the country’s towns and cities is significant, as leaders shy away from making investments or bold policy changes to attract voters. Politicians on both sides of the aisle might recognize the need for smarter decision-making in light of changing market trends toward walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods and evolving population demographics, but it can be difficult to roll out reforms.

Current governors Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Beverly Perdue of North Carolina addressed that point, noting that leaders must persevere through criticism while simultaneously showing how new strategies will benefit communities over the long-haul.

“To continue to have a state that is growing as quickly as our state is growing, and to continue to have the kind of economic development we want,” Perdue said, “you need revenue … not just in North Carolina, but in any state.”

“All the great things you say during the campaign … all the, ‘I can fix it all with a magic wand,’” she said, “If you want to focus on the future, you have to make tough decisions and you can’t just stick your finger in the wind and decide which way the public is going.”

The Institute, established in 2005 and currently administered by Smart Growth America, aims to shore up political leadership and lend assistance to governors looking to promote economic development and make a better use of taxpayer dollars. Glendening said the three federal agencies’ funding support will enhance the Institute’s ability to provide technical assistance and counsel across the country.

“It’s very clear that the innovation is at the local and state level, and it’s important for us to recognize this at the federal level,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari.

For leaders who want to address state concerns in a more comprehensive, strategic and financially sustainable way, the Institute is at governors’ disposal, Glendening said.

“We see our job in the Obama Administration as doing some of the downfield blocking,” Porcari added.

EPA, HUD, DOT partner to fund Governors’ Institute on Community Design, help states drive economic development, make better use of taxpayer dollars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2012

EPA, HUD, DOT partner to fund Governors’ Institute 
on Community Design, help states drive economic
development, make better use of taxpayer dollars

Former and current governors to address economic, housing and
transportation issues at National Press Club next week

CONTACT: Thomas Madrecki, 202-215-2258, tmadrecki@smartgrowthamerica.org

Former and current governors from across the country will look to address states’ most pressing economic, housing and transportation issues at a roundtable kickoff to the Governors’ Institute on Community Design next week in Washington DC.

The Institute, established in 2005 and administered by Smart Growth America, will now receive support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in a new, collaborative effort as part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Funding for the Institute enhances the Partnership’s ability to provide thought leadership and policy-development assistance in states looking to promote economic development and make a better use of taxpayer dollars.

Among those participating in the Institute’s panel discussion will be former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening; former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman; former Iowa Governor Chet Culver; former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge; current Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; current North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue; James Lee Witt, former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Greg Bialecki, current Secretary of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The session will be held at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room from 9 to 11 a.m.

“The Institute is a vital tool for our states’ leaders as they look for ways to trigger economic development and create strong, resilient communities,” says Glendening, who co-chairs the Institute alongside Whitman. “Governors and their administrations who reach out to us and receive assistance have access to the leading practitioners and academics in government, design and regional economics. Together we are able to map out the unique, state-specific strategies that will lead to long-term success.”

EPA, HUD and DOT’s role in funding the Governors’ Institute is a landmark step for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which works to provide communities with faster, more streamlined access to federal programs. The Institute is one of the first programs to receive joint support from all three participating agencies in the three years since the Partnership was established.

“We are deeply appreciative that the Partnership is investing in this program,” Glendening says. “We urge interested states to use this resource as a way to drive economic development and to create the kinds of great neighborhoods people want to live, work and play in nationwide.”

# # #

For more information about the Governors’ Institute on Community Design,
visit www.govinstitute.org

For more information about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities,
visit www.sustainablecommunities.gov

GICD workshop provides best practices to Vermont

Earlier this week, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design and our team of experts traveled to Vermont to host a workshop on disaster recovery for Governor Shumlin, his cabinet, and the community. This past August, the state suffered severe flood damage following Tropical Storm Irene. The workshop this week gave the state and the community the opportunity to hear from experts about best practices from other states as well as have a facilitated discussion for how planning should move forward in Vermont.

Local coverage can be viewed here.

Gov. Glendening in PA: Businesses and governments benefit from smart-growth principles

Governor Glendening in Reading, PA

Last Tuesday, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Governor Parris Glendening spoke at the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast in Pennsylvania about the benefits of smart growth planning and development that is responsive to current economic, cultural and demographic challenges. Read more here.

Gov. Glendening challenges Ranson, WV to plan for the future, to protect resources, and to stimulate economic growth through community design

Governor Glendening in Ranson, WV

Last night, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Governor Parris Glendening delivered the keynote address to kickoff a weeklong planning workshop in Ranson, WV (crossposted from Smart Growth America).

Together with EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, Governor Glendening provided context at the opening session. Governor Glendening addressed how the Ranson community can meet changing demographic trends, protect natural resources, and overcome current economic challenges through planning dense, walkable, livable areas connected to housing and transportation. More information on the opening session here.

In the weeklong ‘mega’ planning workshop (September 8-14), the Ranson community will discuss issues and ideas before draft plans are completed for each of four, linked and interdependent projects that are being funded by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Ranson is one of only two communities that was awarded grants by all three partner agencies for a combined total of $1.4 million in planning grants (the other community is Denver, CO). Read more about the weeklong workshop and the four projects at Ranson Renewed.

Since the Partnership for Sustainable Communities was created in 2009, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design has supported the Partnership’s efforts to improve access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities. The Governors’ Institute has served as a liaison between the Partnership and state administrations, hosting meetings to allow for a dialogue between federal and state officials. To learn more about the partnership agencies, see Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

National experts advise the Christie Administration on state strategic planning

Crossposted from Smart Growth America’s coalition partner, New Jersey Future.

The Governors' Institute hosted a workshop in Trenton, New Jersey for the state cabinet members on May 18th and 19th.

Last week, the Christie administration hosted a Governors’ Institute on Community Design workshop to explore advancing a state strategic plan that focuses on economic development and the importance of location. The event was a milestone in the administration’s state strategic planning project, which is developing recommendations for how to prioritize and support sustainable economic growth.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno along with cabinet members and other state officials attended the day-and-a-half long workshop. Visiting speakers included Doug Foy, President, Serrafix and former secretary of Commonwealth Development in Massachusetts; Mitch Silver, Director of Planning and Economic Development for Raleigh, North Carolina; and Daniel Hernandez, Managing Director of the Planning Practice at Jonathan Rose Companies. Kicking off the event were GICD Chair and former Maryland Governor Glendening and former New Jersey Governor and GICD co-chair Christine Todd Whitman.

“Governor Christie was pleased to host the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, “said Wayne Hasenbalg, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for the Christie Administration. “This Administration is taking a thoughtful approach to economic development that includes looking at the most efficient places to direct growth.”

The administration is expected to finalize recommendations to the Governor in July. For more information about these and other workshops, visit the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

A new director and new approach at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design

Jody Tableporter, Director, Governors' Institute on Community Design (Image Credit: Harvard University)

For the past six years, NEA has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to sponsor the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. The Governors’ Institute conducts state-level work on design, sustainability, and placemaking to foster connected, economically vital communities that tread lightly on the environment.

Jody Tableporter, the new Director of the Governors’ Institute, had this to say as she took up her new role:


NEA: It is a great job, but a challenging one. Are you up for the challenge?

Jody Tableporter: I love the complexity and challenge of working across policy, projects, and place. It probably helps that I’ve been in the middle of delivering complex projects like the expansion of the Tate Modern – things don’t get much messier than that!


NEA: What do you hope to accomplish while you’re at the Governors’ Institute?

JT: I’d like to blend the best of design, economic development, and city building to help states help communities. This means bringing the best experts and proven practice to the toughest problems, as well as piloting new solutions.


NEA: What do you hope to learn while you’re at the Governors’ Institute?

JT: Despite having a job that is focused, analytical, and “big picture” by nature, I love experiencing what is unique and extraordinary in communities, whether it be a locally grown arts organization or amazing architecture. I will be soaking up as much as possible on my trips to meet with governors and state administrators.


NEA: What experience from past jobs will you put to use in your new role?

JT: I worked in industry strategy and real estate development before combining that experience in city and regional placemaking. I have been on architecture design teams and I have worked with engineers on infrastructure delivery, with businesses and industry clusters, and as a public funder of major projects and programs.


NEA: What are you most proud of accomplishing during your career to date?

JT: Creating a plan for South London that supported arts organizations as part of an economic strategy. Many questioned whether the Tate, South Bank Centre, and the Young Vic Theatre, all established London arts institutions, needed more government funding. I never did. They have had a tremendous impact on the local economy, as well as London’s place in the world.


NEA: Given the types of programs and projects you’ve overseen throughout your career, how would you define “Creative Placemaking?”

JT: Using creative design to plan and coordinate physical projects, e.g., transit corridors; capitalizing on local arts organizations and clusters to anchor the economics and heart of communities. After all, creative placemaking is about creating great places that foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and attract businesses.


NEA: We’ve been talking a lot about the relationship between creative industry and the economy. What do you think is the link?

JT: Creative industry is a local economic driver; it is one of those vital economic “clusters” that is almost universal.


NEA: Tell us one of your guilty pleasures?

JT: Snuggling down with my family to watch old musicals; it is what I did with my family growing up.


NEA: Any last words?

JT: Can’t wait to get going!