Out of the Limelight, But Still Hanging in the Balance

Housing and community development have been glaringly absent from both of the presidential campaigns and all of the debates this election season, as many Rooflines bloggers have pointed out.

But as HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan lays out in his Shelterforce article “Housing and Communities Built to Last?“ that doesn't mean that the Obama administration, and especially Obama's HUD, have not been hard at work for the last almost four years, quietly adjusting, supporting, improving and thinking about how to transform many of the key programs community developers, affordable housing providers, and local governments rely upon.

Though these things don't have the meme-like qualities of soundbites about Big Bird, binders, and bayonets, a loss of support for HUD in general, the inter-agency Sustainable Communities Initiative, Choice Neighborhoods, housing counselors, foreclosure response, and so much more, would each be serious losses for communities in need.  

And that's one of the reasons why the rest of the cover package of our latest issue explores voter registration, voter rights, funding for civic engagement, and how to get the issues of our our field onto politicians' agendas. These things are going to continue to matter to our work no matter which way the election goes.

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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