H E A D L I N E S
* Great Lakes Legacy Act
* >From Brownfields to Housing
* Securitizing Community Development Loans
* Promoting Manufacturing
GREAT LAKES LEGACY ACT
The House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces are circulating a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to urge full funding in the president’s fiscal 2005 budget for the Great Lakes Legacy program. The Great Lakes Legacy Act was passed in 2002 to clean up contaminated sediments at Areas of Concern. The deadline for signing onto this letter is October 28.
Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).
FROM BROWNFIELDS TO HOUSING
The Northeast-Midwest Institute has released a new report on converting brownfields to housing. Brownfield redevelopment -- the cleanup and reuse of abandoned properties with real or suspected contamination -- offers communities a range of housing opportunities. In many areas, residential brownfield redevelopment mitigates environmental health risks while creating much needed affordable housing. To successfully develop housing on brownfield sites, however, project managers must address concerns about remediation costs, social justice, and stigma. At the federal level, more flexibility in awarding Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance for residential brownfield redevelopment would remove a significant barrier to housing construction on remediated brownfield sites.
Click here to go to the report, written by Danielle Schopp.
SECURITIZING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT LOANS
At the request of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) last week released a study on how the federal government might help facilitate the creation of a secondary market for economic development loans. Community development lenders serve the credit needs of non-conventional borrowers and economically distressed areas across the nation. However, GAO found that little is known about this industry’s ability to tap private sources of capital. In particular, little is known about loan performance and volume.
Click here to go to a copy of the GAO report, numbered GAO-04-21.
Members of the Manufacturing Task Force last week met with Commerce Secretary Donald Evans to discuss manufacturing concerns. "We’ve been assured the administration takes the preservation of our manufacturing and technology sector seriously,” said Task Force co-chair Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY). “The Task Force believes the administration must fully fund the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to promote technology deployment and innovation, empower the new manufacturing czar to implement appropriate new policies, and apply new scrutiny to the trade practices of China and other countries." According to co-chair Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA), "Secretary Evans promised to release a manufacturing plan this fall – with related actions and budget requests to follow in 2004. As we continue to shed manufacturing jobs at epidemic proportions, we need immediate federal action to keep plants open and Americans employed.”
Contact: Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).