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CURA Receives Grants from The Community Foundation and Virginia Association of Realtors

Richmond city block from airplane
Richmond city block from airplane

The Wilder School’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) has received grants from The Community Foundation and the Virginia Association of Realtors to study the balance of jobs and housing in the Richmond metropolitan area.

The study will examine the pattern and trend of where jobs are located and homes are built across Metro Richmond. The report should be finished by March.

“People may choose to commute long distances to work or shopping, but they should not beforced to do so.  A well-designed community is a community of short distances, in which people can get from home to work to shopping without traveling long distances, if they wish,” said John Accordino, Ph.D., director of CURA.

“A community of short distances is also a more efficient community, where people can spend less time and money on transportation, and government can spend less money on roads, than in a less efficient community.  For those who earn moderate wages and don’t own a reliable automobile, the inefficiencies of long commutes become very expensive, and this ultimately exacts a toll on the entire community.”

The study will explore how well Metro Richmond is doing on this factor, Accordino explained.

“What parts of our region have jobs-housing balance, which ones do not?  What are residents' and business owner views of jobs-housing balance in areas with lower balance?“

Also, the study will look at what has happened in neighborhoods where some lower cost housing was introduced some years ago.

“Does new affordable housing have a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood? Does it lead to lower property values and higher crime?” said Tom Jacobson, AICP, project director and an adjunct professor at the Wilder School.

“This is a concern that many communities have, when they consider introducing diversity in housing types and values. We will study several neighborhoods where such mixing occurred several years ago to learn what the effects have been.”