Banding together with NACo

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NAHB Opinion: We didn’t hire a marching band this spring when the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Counties agreed to work more closely to create sustainable local communities, but it was nevertheless a landmark eve...

June 30, 2001
NAHB President Bruce Smith

 

We didn’t hire a marching band this spring when the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Counties agreed to work more closely to create sustainable local communities, but it was nevertheless a landmark event.

NACo and the NAHB have embraced Smart Growth and are working to educate and inform their members, policy-makers and the public about the importance of reforms that encourage innovative land use and comprehensive planning. Both organizations agree that the best way to address problems such as traffic congestion, crowded schools and loss of open space is to build a strong public-private partnership at the local level.

Because they understand the difficult decisions that have to be made at the local level, the people who lead the nation’s counties will be key partners in the effort to solve growth-related challenges. Local officials see firsthand the relationship between job growth and housing demand, and they know that growth can occur in ways that create thriving communities while preserving meaningful open space and environmentally sensitive areas. The partnership agreement acknowledges that our groups share an interest in these issues and pledges cooperation in addressing them.

In the agreement, NACo and NAHB resolved to support:

 

  • Locally based planning initiatives that ensure that the economic, environmental, social and housing needs of community residents are met and preserved.
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  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration and dialogue on growth and development issues.
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  • Fair and efficient regional transportation plans.
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  • Local authority and autonomy on growth and development issues.
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  • Availability and attainability of housing that is affordable for citizens of all income levels and backgrounds.
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  • Investments in community development and sustainability that improve the quality of life, including homeownership initiatives, redevelopment initiatives and infrastructure programs.
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  • Legislation to reform brownfields cleanup and redevelopment efforts.
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  • Reform of the Endangered Species Act.

    County governments play a pivotal role in determining land-use patterns. Counties increasingly are required to make tough choices about how to accommodate growth in a way that promotes fiscal prosperity, social equity and environmental quality.

    The agreement with NACo provides us with a tremendous opportunity to work collaboratively to shape growth and the quality of our communities in very positive ways. It also sets an important precedent, and we’re looking forward to establishing similar alliances with other participants in the ongoing dialogue about how, when and where America grows to meet the needs of its expanding population.

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