Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NNIP Testifies at Congressional Hearings

News from the NNIP Listserve:

MAY 2008 - Tom Kingsley, the director of National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), and two local NNIP partners from Memphis and New York City will testify in Congressional hearings over the next two days (May 21 and 22) on the effects of subprime lending on neighborhoods. Both sessions will be shown live via the web (see links below).

The first hearing, entitled “Neighborhoods: The Blameless Victims of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” will be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. (webcast at http://oversight.house.gov/schedule.asp). This session will focus attention on the consequences to neighborhoods when foreclosed properties fail to sell and lead to concentrations of vacant and abandoned houses. Panelists will examine local strategies to mitigate the effects of and prevent vacancies; differences between strong housing markets and weaker ones; and new federal legislation (HR 5818) aimed at addressing the problem. More information about the bill is available at http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h5818/show

During Wednesday’s hearing, Phyllis Betts of the Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action at the University of Memphis will demonstrate how foreclosures drive vacancies and blight in high-foreclosure neighborhoods in Memphis. Vicky Been of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University will describe their research in two areas: 1) the impacts of foreclosure notices on the sales prices of nearby properties in New York and 2) the possible effects of foreclosures on New York City’s tenants based on the characteristics of 15,000 buildings that entered foreclosure in 2007.

On Thursday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m., the second hearing on “Targeting Federal Aid to Neighborhoods Distressed by the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” will explore the potential for federal assistance to localities most affected by foreclosures (simulcast at http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/hr0522083.shtml). Tom Kingsley, Director of NNIP, will comment on the principles and potential indicators to include in the creation of the funding formula. Other panelists will include Chris Walker of LISC and Todd Richardson of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The testimony of the NNIP representatives can be found at http://www2.urban.org/nnip/subprime.html. NNIP partners are at the forefront of measuring the neighborhood-level effects of subprime lending and foreclosures in their cities and contributing to evidence-based local policy and program responses. The partnership will be collecting stories and citations of this work over the coming months to offer examples for other communities dealing with this issue.

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