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Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—May 25

First Steps Act Looks Like Wrong Direction | Dodd-Frank Rollback | Money For Social Determinants | Chicago Housing Segregation | More...

Photo credit: Omer Unlu via flickr, CC BY 2.0.

barbed wire

Photo by Omer Unlu via flickr, CC BY 2.0

Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council recently released a report on the city’s racial housing segregation, actionable steps to remedy its effects, and a warning that failure to enact them will only perpetuate disparities.

Kaiser Permanente keeps walking the walk when it comes to addressing the social determinants of health. The company this week announced that it would invest up to $200 million to prevent displacement, reduce homelessness, and make affordable homes healthier.

The New York Times launched a new series, “Unsheltered,” which examines New York’s affordable housing crisis, tenant protection laws, and evictions. Those working in the community development field hear these stories regularly, but it’s encouraging to see them being told to wider audiences—especially the issue of eviction.

Well it happened­—some Dodd-Frank banking regulations have officially been rolled back this week. It comes as no surprise; the writing has been on the wall for a while now. Barney Frank, author of the original bill, said the new measures wouldn’t help Wall Street’s largest banks, nor would they increase the risk of another financial crisis. We might have found that comforting if we didn’t learn that Frank sits on the board of a New York-based “financial firm in position to benefit from the new legislation,” according to The Washington Post. Sigh.

Before any of us immediately oppose anything Trump proposes, it would be good to know details.That would be the case with the First Step Act, the prison reform bill proposed by Congress that is short for the Formerly Incarcerated Re-enter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act. But, it turns out that you can go ahead and keep that streak alive because people on the side of criminal justice reform don’t like it anyway. Too many Senate Democrats are opposed to it because it only addresses inmates in the federal (not state) prison system, and is a rehabilitation plan—rather than a plan to deal with over-arrests and harsh sentencing.

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