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Thread: Need advice from current planners

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MDGARD01's avatar
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    Need advice from current planners

    Hello

    I graduated from a Big East College in 2003..Since then Ive been working at a non profit that focuses on affordable housing and community development.. I dont make a lot of money but my job has allowed me to learn learn learm everything about the development process..And I have developed an understanding of grant writing and financing projects..etc....

    All the while, Ive always thought that to be remain competitive in today's job market you need expertise and a masters degree....That said..Ive got 3 years of community development experience, and ive been accepted into a MUP program....

    Im not entirely sure what entry level planners do....BUt I believe that I can bring a lot to the table once i obtain my masters degree and be an asset..

    My thing is....if my interest and background is in housing development....How can I remain in this area without being some GIS specialist or zoning administator....?

    I dont want all of this built knowledge to rot because i became a planner....


    COMMENTS PLEASE
    :)

    The present is a gift

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    The city where I used to work had two planners who focused soley on affordable housing development and rehabilitation. Neither of them were GIS specialists or spent all day on zoning.

    It's true that you'll need to be aware of zoning regulations, but you could work as a housing planner and help non-profit developers add new housing to a city, connect with people who need housing, study a community's needs, do community outreach, and communicate all of this to legislators, lenders, etc.

    There should be plenty of opportunities, especially in larger communities and regional planning agencies.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Focus on the Community Development side of Planning. We have an office of Community Development which does not have its own planner but as 1 of 2 planners in the office I get to work most closely with that Dept. I'm finding I enjoy it much more than the land use side of things.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian MDGARD01's avatar
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    so what is community development planning mostly entail from your perspective?
    I want to tailor my MUP tracks in housing & community development along with LAND use planning....
    By I know quite a bit right now of affordable housing developments (what I do now)

    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Focus on the Community Development side of Planning. We have an office of Community Development which does not have its own planner but as 1 of 2 planners in the office I get to work most closely with that Dept. I'm finding I enjoy it much more than the land use side of things.
    so what is the community development experience like as a planner? in your opinion
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 09 Aug 2007 at 10:21 AM. Reason: double reply
    :)

    The present is a gift

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MDGARD01 View post
    so what is community development planning mostly entail from your perspective?
    I want to tailor my MUP tracks in housing & community development along with LAND use planning....
    By I know quite a bit right now of affordable housing developments (what I do now)
    mostly we've been working on affordable housing issues. before i got here, the Other Planner worked on creating an Inclusionary Bylaw for the town, which has since been adopted. since i've been here we've created an Affordable Housing Trust and i support that committee. we've working on a Local Subsidy program to try and bring some local control to the State's affordable housing program.

    i've also been a little involved with the decision making process for some physical improvements to the downtown.

    looking back on my grad program i wish i would've taken a few more community development classes.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    I know that a vast number of municipal governments in central and south Texas have planning divisions in the community development departments because of the incredible growth rates, and I'm sure there are several places across the world in similar situations. Where I work (outer-ring Austin metro) is one of them, and I'm an entry-level planner. We do a lot of development meetings and subdivision reviews that concentrate on the kind of housing that is coming in. While our department director is more into the form and design element of housing and development, I'm sure there are several places which have at least a partial focus on affordable or other housing needs, especially closer to the central cities of rapidly growing areas.

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