Putting the "Urban Development" back in HUD
William Tuyn is the Vice President/Director of Town Planning for engineering and construction firm, GPI/Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., and an integral member of the team behind CNU 22 in Buffalo. The following is a guest post relating Tuyn's thoughts on CNU's FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Reform initiative.
The FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac initiative being led by CNU and its partners is not only a necessary step for market recovery, but a move in the right direction for HUD to stay true to its purpose. It’s ironic that HUD considers the mixed-use form a risk factor that undermines the agency’s mission to promote housing. They defend this policy position on the basis that they are a federal Housing agency – but the complete name of their agency is the department of Housing and Urban Development. Since the mixed-use form is the essential element that distinguishes urban development from segregate-use sprawl, above all other agencies, this is the arm of the federal government that should be promoting mixed-use.
Increasing the allowable percentage of commercial uses that complement residential uses within buildings to 45% as sanctioned by a broad coalition of industry associations lead by CNU, NAHB, NAR and the NATB, is the only way the agency can truly live up to its name as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should follow in kind to promote diversity in housing - after all, people are diverse and so too are their housing needs. Sprawl should not be the only housing choice offered to Americans.
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