Tuesday, October 29, 2013
One year ago this week, Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard, leaving at least 117 dead, thousands homeless and an estimated $65 billion in damage. President Barack Obama appointed Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to lead the federal response to Sandy. Secretary Donovan examines Sandy's impact, and discusses the state of the recovery effort one year later.
Monday, October 28, 2013
By Stephen Nessen : Reporter, WNYC News
Some homeowners in the neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy are ignoring federal guidelines to prepare for the effects of climate change when they rebuild.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Amtrak might have been able to avoid the flooding in at least one of its Hudson River tunnels during Sandy, but it is probably best that it didn't.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
By Alec Hamilton : Assistant Producer, WNYC News
"It's the most flexible money that we have in our whole toolkit, if you will, of federal efforts after disasters."
Friday, November 30, 2012
President Barack Obama’s pointman on regional Sandy rebuilding efforts said tackling immediate needs such as minimizing the number of displaced is a top priority – but long-term issues such as buyouts and climate change loom large.
Friday, November 16, 2012
By Anna Sale
A day after President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the regional planning for rebuilding after Sandy, the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Shaun Donovan, laid out his approach to the federal government's long-term effort during a visit to a disaster relief center in New Jersey on Friday.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
By Mark Simpson
Planners designing around Central Florida’s SunRail future commuter line are working to bring walkable communities around rail stops, said Shaun Donovan, secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
They are making sure zoning changes around the stations will be able to increase nearby construction, which creates jobs, but also brings housing and jobs within a walkable distance, he said in an interview with WMFE just before the Florida Housing Coalition’s annual conference.
“Frankly, families are getting more and more fed up,” Donovan said. “I don’t want to spent two hours commuting...the average family now spends fifty cents of every dollar they earn just on housing and transportation...this can lower the cost of jobs.”
SunRail is expected to cost $1.2 billion to construct. It will begin operations in 2014.
Friday, February 10, 2012
The U.S. Housing Secretary praised the federal-state settlement endorsed by the state’s Attorney General on Friday, saying help is on the way for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Monday, July 18, 2011
By Bob Hennelly
-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By Kate Hinds
(Andrea Bernstein and Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) We were swamped last week, and didn't have a chance to dig into the heroic Brookings Institution report "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metro America."
(The head of Brookings said doing the report meant looking at "literally billions of daily trips in the United States, 500 gigabytes of data, 100 metropolitan areas, 371 transit agencies, two staff hospitalized").
The top line -- some 70 percent of Americans have access to transit, but only 30 percent can reach their jobs within 90 minutes. There are several reasons for this, Brookings says, beginning with the fact that America's transit systems were primarily laid out on the spoke-and-hub model. Think about New York City. It's relatively easy to get to your job in Manhattan on the subway if you live in Park Slope in Brooklyn, Elmhurst, in Queens, or Mott Haven, in the Bronx. But what if you live in Bushwick and work in Queens, an increasingly common pattern in New York City? (This phenomenon was also documented in a recent Center for an Urban Future report.)
In the Bay Area, you can get to downtown SF more or less easily on BART or the Cal Train, but if you live in Oakland and work in Redwood City across the bay, you're not so lucky -- even where there's express bus it may be so difficult to get from your house to the bus, and then from the bus to your job, that it feels not worth it.
And those are the cities with the good transit systems. There are other problems, the report says -- more people live and work in the suburbs, which were built only with automobile transport in mind, and as poverty continues to move out to the suburbs, poor people find themselves increasingly reliant on cars, or on shrinking bus systems.
"You can have lots of transit, and still fail to reach a lot of regional jobs within a reasonable amount of time," writes Alan Berube, senior fellow and research director of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program. "Conversely, you can have modest, unsexy transit and deliver workers from their homes to a majority of regional job centers efficiently."
The report is a sobering bucket of icy water at a time when the rising price of gas is causing people to look for transit options -- at the same time many localities have cut transit entirely because of budget constraints. And as Monday's Urban Land Institute report showed, budgetary pressure mean more of these cuts are in store.
It also comes as the federal government is expressing an anti-spending mood.
One note on the Brookings methodology -- the institution famously considers metro areas, as defined by the U.S. Census. So New York includes a number of suburban counties with little transit (Rockland, Orange, parts of NJ, even eastern Pennsylvania). Ergo New York ranks 13th in connecting people to jobs via transit -- while Honolulu ranks first
The report calls for making job access a key factor in transportation decision making -- as well as integrating land use, housing, and infrastructure decisions. Coinciding with the release of the report, Brookings brought together some key stakeholders -- including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan -- to discuss these issues. (See the video, below). And you can download a pdf of the full report here.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) -- Four days before election day, Democratic Candidate for NY Governor Andrew Cuomo released a green agenda. It's slighter than some of his other agenda books -- about half the size of his urban agenda -- but it does contain both an endorsement of construction of "sustainable communities" -- a big agenda item of the Obama administration, and a call for "improved public transportation" as part of an environmental agenda. Here's what he has to say about public transportation (in its entirety.)
We must Encourage Alternative Vehicles and Public Transportation. Technology has made it possible for cleaner, greener modes have transportation. From high speed rail to other alternative forms of transportation that reduces pollutants, the State should encourage the research, development and manufacturing of alternative modes of transportation. Such investment is a positive step for the environment and economic development. Moreover, the State must continue to invest and improve public transportation in order to improve the environment.
He does not address the transit financing issue that came up at the press conference releasing his urban agenda.
There's also a section on sustainable communities, which hews closely in philosophy to the Ray LaHood-Shaun Donovan-Lisa Jackson (DOT-HUD-EPA) effort.
You can read that part, after the jump.