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  • A doctor at the Daughters of Charity Health Center in New Orleans chats with a patient. Since 2015, the center and Southeastern Louisiana Legal Services have participated in a partnership to address the health and legal needs of patients.

    Making the Right Connections

    A health center in New Orleans has partnered with a legal services agency to better help patients by addressing the social determinants of health. This “medical-legal partnership” is part of a growing trend that’s taking place across the nation.

  • A Shelterforce Roundtable on Regulation and Housing Supply: Where the Left and Right Agree (Sort Of)

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    Last year, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—a right-leaning libertarian think-tank—issued a report on how to encourage more development of affordable housing. One of the paper’s authors is a longtime Shelterforce reader, and he forwarded the report to us with a note that started: “While you probably are not a fan of the American Enterprise Institute, I expect you’ll find this paper interesting.” He was right on both counts.

    The question of regulation and permitting of development is one that crosses usual political lines. In the current political climate, we should be very clear that regulation is not inherently bad, and many regulations have been responsible for our country having breathable air, drinkable water (in some places), and basic levels of safety and equal opportunity. But regulation is also not inherently good—Shelterforce readers are well aware of the effects of redlining and exclusionary zoning, for example.

    We gathered some people who have done a lot of thinking and studying of these issues (including Charles Wilkins, the co-author of the aforementioned report) to discuss what it might look like to actually remove obstacles that get in the way of developing less expensive housing options responsibly. What’s possible? What are the trade-offs?

    Joining us were Ingrid Gould Ellen of the Furman Center at New York University; Jamaal Green of Portland State University; Rosanne Haggerty of Community Solutions; Rick Jacobus of Street Level Advisors; Greg Maher of the Leviticus Alternative Fund; Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress and a National Housing Institute senior fellow; and Charles Wilkins, a consultant and co-author of the AEI paper.


  • Community Organizing: Integrating a Woman’s Approach

    “In closed or structured societies, it is the marginal or ‘inferior’ person . . . who often comes to symbolize . . . ‘communitas.’” —Victor Turner

  • Interview, Rinku Sen, president and executive director of Race Forward & publisher of Colorlines.com

    In those exhausting and frightening days right after the election in November, I had the good fortune to catch Rinku Sen for a few minutes at the end of a long day of her organization’s biannual Facing Race conference. Though she must have been running on next to no sleep by that point, Sen was insightful, earnest, and eager to talk about the road ahead.

  • Looking at Places Through Artists’ Eyes

    How an Alaskan housing authority plans to focus on creative placemaking as a development strategy to better reflect the communities it serves.

  • An Appetite for Art in Small Town Minnesota

    In rapidly diversifying rural Minnesota, an ArtPlace grant is seen as a resource for celebrating cultures and creating bridges between them.

  • Think Scattered Site Rehab Is Too Expensive? Think Again.

    Vacant properties are so persistent in part because it’s too expensive to do anything with them. At least that’s the assumption. It’s much simpler, goes this reasoning, and more cost-effective, to construct and manage a new multifamily building than to try to rehab and manage single-family homes spread over a wide area. But what if that’s just not true?

  • Calvin Russell

    Housing Authority Eliminates Ban of Ex-Offenders

    With the approval of new background check procedures, a criminal conviction won’t automatically disqualify a person from receiving public housing or voucher assistance in New Orleans.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discusses plans for Thunder Valley with Nick Tilsen, executive director of the TVCDC in 2015.

    An Artist’s Way of Seeing: Community Engagement in Creative Placemaking

    How are artists converting the power and creativity of art into community-led change?

  • Exclusive: Interview, Chester Hartman, Poverty & Race Research Action Council

    Chester Hartman was the first executive director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and has been a leader in housing equity work for decades. His keen intellect and deep convictions, coupled with his writing, advocacy, scholarship, and leadership, have had a major effect on the field. Shelterforce is honored to have worked with him for many years as a member of our editorial board. His contributions to fair housing are extensive, and we’re sure those contributions will continue into his retirement. Right after his retirement from PRRAC as its director of research, Shelterforce had the opportunity to chat with him about his life, work, retirement, and hopes for the future.

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