Several critical events in the field of housing have recently converged to make the development of this Catalog both timely and necessary. These include:
- The high cost of new construction has forced a re-evaluation of the existing housing stock. Realizing that the existing inventory can provide housing for a large number of families, local governments have turned to active methods of preservation of residential areas.
- local government officials have become aware that large capitol expenditures in heavily deteriorated areas have yielded little payoff. They have also become aware that the neighborhood decline process is a lengthy one and that early, appropriate intervention can stabilize an area. Moreover, the cost per unit is low for preservation eFforts and the payoff --a sustained supply of viable units --is high.
- The shift from categorical programs ta community development block grants permits localities to develop programs or approaches tailored to their own needs.
- The reordering of program priorities resulting from the change to block grant funding, has created a_demand for information. local officials across the nation are seeking guidelines, points of reference, and successful examples of locally initiated programs. They are aware that much has been done by many diverse groups, and they are seeking information on the processes employed and their results. However, the information available on local efforts is limited and scattered.