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Thursday, July 6, 2017 
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How to make L.A. housing affordable

Affordable housing is a big problem in Los Angeles, where the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,600 and where, when housing costs are taken into consideration, a quarter of residents live below the California poverty level, according to the California Housing Partnership Corporation. Mayor Eric Garcetti has set a goal of creating 100,000 new homes in Los Angeles by 2021. And, to help meet that goal, L.A.’s Innovation Team is uncovering new ways to encourage homeowners to build rentable secondary units on their property. (Read more).
Title: Deputy Performance Officer and Senior Performance Management Analyst
City: Kansas City, Mo.
Project: KCStat
 

Kansas City had a treasure trove of data but needed help prioritizing what should be presented to the public and how. After Joining What Works Cities and partnering with GovEx and the Sunlight Foundation, the city learned how to better manage city data internally, as well as share relevant information with residents. One way that Kansas City is putting what they’ve learned to work is KCStat, a web portal for residents to get information on housing, public safety, and transportation services, among others, but without any complicated jargon. As officials worked through the design for the project, they noticed opportunities for internal changes, launching what they called an Improvement Academy, which uses internal data to give certain procedures more structure and purpose as well as to improve performance management. So far, two city departments have undergone Academy training and a third is slated for the fall.
 
Pro tip: “Building collaborative relationships is the most important thing you can do. Data, evidence, and continuous improvement can only take you so far if you don’t have positive relationships with staff, stakeholders, and elected officials.”

BOLD LEADERSHIP: The mayors of Baltimore, Boston, and Denver participated in a thought experiment last month at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Miami, talking about the biggest issues they face and then imagining what their cities will look like in 10 to 20 years. (Route Fifty); Politico lists America’s 11 most interesting mayors, based on a survey of dozens of national and local political junkies. (Politico)    

CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT: Six Japanese cities participated in a three-year pilot to gauge the effectiveness of gamification in encouraging residents to walk more. Not only did participants increase their daily steps taken, but their average BMI and medical costs both dropped. (Japan for Sustainability)

TEST, LEARN, ADAPT: Fifteen years after one of the world’s oldest surviving government innovation labs, MindLab, got its start in Denmark, new labs are opening at a rate of one per month and are, increasingly, changing the culture of public service. (Apolitical)

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Bloomberg Philanthropies

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