Author Archive

Molly Bolan

Molly Bolan
Molly Bolan is the assistant editor at Route Fifty. She previously covered education for The Keene Sentinel in her home state of New Hampshire.
Workforce

A $10K incentive opens the door to homeownership for city employees

In a bid to attract and retain workers, Baltimore will double its financial incentive for city employees who purchase a home in one of its “middle neighborhoods.”

Management

Devil in the details: How outdated zoning code stymies development

With an analysis of its antiquated zoning laws and a newly restructured planning department, Boston is laying the groundwork to address housing shortages and meet its sustainability goals.

Workforce

What does it mean when the homeless workforce can’t afford housing?

It means there’s fewer people to help the unhoused, exacerbating the homelessness crisis, a new report says. It estimates that $4.8 billion is needed to adequately pay current workers.

Management

How cutting red tape can encourage housing conversions

By streamlining zoning and broadening eligibility for adaptive reuse programs, Los Angeles and Kissimmee, Florida, encourage developers to convert business properties to desperately needed housing.

Management

Geospatial tech can help cities get ahead of real estate speculators

With insights from property analytics, cities can craft better policies to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing for local residents.

Management

More public sector workers needed. Lots more.

Without more staff, state and local governments may not be able to compete for federal funding programs—or deliver on grants they win.

Management

To solve the affordable housing crisis, some communities are turning to hotels

The pandemic presented communities with a unique opportunity to convert hotels into residential spaces, creating everything from temporary transitional housing to long-term supportive homes. But is the model sustainable today?

Management

Prevention pays off: How one city may soon end family homelessness

Milwaukee’s community leaders and social services organizations are setting common goals and directing resources toward keeping families from becoming homeless in the first place.

Finance

What if we had fully funded safety net programs?

With 100% participation rates in fully funded social services, poverty nationwide would decrease by nearly a third and 4.8 million kids would be lifted out of poverty, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

Management

Governments have faith that church property can help solve the housing crisis

Cities and states are addressing zoning and funding challenges to help faith-based organizations transition underutilized property into affordable housing.

Finance

What happens when high-earners leave cities, taking their spending power with them?

Urban-to-rural migration can shrink a municipality’s tax base, reduce property values and slow new business development, a new report says. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Management

Housing-first interventions, not policing, key to ending homelessness

New data shows that government assistance during the pandemic dramatically reduced homelessness. So why are cities and states increasingly turning to criminalization to address the issue?

Management

Emergency rental assistance programs do more than provide cash assistance

Beyond covering rent, the federal funding laid the groundwork for improved partnerships with courts and data integration that will help communities continue providing support.

Infrastructure

HUD offers $85M to communities actively eliminating housing barriers

Through the competitive grant program, state and local governments can address some of the obstacles to expanding affordable housing.

Finance

State child tax credits can reduce poverty, but only if families apply

Since the federal child tax credit expired at the end of 2021, 11 states have enacted their own fully refundable versions. But for them to be as successful as the federal credit, states have to get the word out.

Management

What it’s like to be a homeless woman

A recent survey of unhoused women sheds light on an oft-overlooked and little understood problem. As the number of homeless women grows, so do their concerns about safety and privacy.

Digital Government

Watch out Zillow: States launch affordable-housing search sites

Rhode Island is the one of the latest states to announce a targeted housing database designed to connect families to low- and moderate-income units.

Management

States target ‘junk fees’ that burden rental households

The White House gets behind innovative state and local programs committed to increasing transparency in housing fees.

Management

‘Thready or not,’ the public sector is jumping onto the latest social media platform

One expert shares tips for navigating the still-evolving world of Threads. Plus, a roundup of our favorite state and local government introductory posts.

Management

Investors are buying mobile home parks. Residents and governments are pushing back.

Amid an affordable housing crisis, some states are looking to help low-income residents stay in their homes by helping them purchase the land their manufactured housing sits on.