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Summer 2018

Shelterforce cover for issue 191 focusing on renters rising. Articles focus on rent regulations, discrimination against voucher holders, rent control, and more.With the much-belabored and fretted-over rise in the proportion of renter households after the foreclosure and financial crisis has also come a resurgence of tenant organizing—or housing justice organizing as many groups are calling it. Rent regulation is no longer being discussed as a vestigial holdover from a previous age, but again actively debated and organized for.

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Shelterforce cover for issue 191 focusing on renters rising. Articles focus on rent regulations, discrimination against voucher holders, rent control, and more.

Renters Rise Again

Rent regulation is no longer being discussed as a vestigial holdover from a previous age, but actively debated and organized for by renters and activists.

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Kennetha Patterson of Homes for All in Nashville speaks on a megaphone during Renter’s Week of Action.
Housing

Tenant Power: Organizing for Rent Strikes and Landlord Negotiations

In the face of high rent increases and substandard housing, many tenants are realizing they are not alone in their landlord troubles and are joining together to push for building-level wins, and policy change.

A single-family home in San Jose, California.
Housing

The Dark Side of Single-Family Rental

After the foreclosure crisis, global equity firms snapped up thousands of single-family homes to rent out. This massive shift in the market has not been good for aspiring homeowners, tenants, or neighborhoods.

A San Francisco, California, building that was privatized through the RAD program.
Housing

The Promise and Peril of HUD’s RAD Program

After a public housing property in Hopewell, Virginia, was privatized through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, some families were threatened with eviction and calls to Child Protective Services when […]

The Daley Center in downtown Chicago. It’s estimated that each year, more than 15,000 people in Cook County will get a public eviction record despite having no eviction order or judgment against them.
Eviction

Eviction Filings Hurt Tenants, Even If They Win

From Monday through Friday, 52 weeks a year, thousands of tenants, landlords, and attorneys make their way to the Daley Center in downtown Chicago. Everyone has to empty their pockets […]

Alicia Spradlin and her daughter Faith live in apartments that have been set-aside for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members.
Health

Setting Aside Housing for Frequent Health Care Users

Housing specifically for those who frequently use health care services makes sense on many levels, but it also raises questions about privacy and lining up who pays and who benefits.

Mesa 5 cooperative members explain how the housing complex’s services and maintenance work.
Housing

Solutions to an Unjust Housing System

Four scalable land and housing models can provide justice, and homes, for our communities. But we need support to protect them from market pressure.

Landlords commonly refuse to rent to voucher holders, a practice known as “source of income discrimination.”
Housing

Section 8 Voucher Holder Denied Housing

Despite having a housing voucher—a legal source of income—a Buffalo, New York, woman could not find a landlord who would rent out their property to her.

“I was trying to fix my life. And this put a halt on it,” says Khristen Sellers. Khristen faced sexual harassment for housing.
Housing

A Cruel Choice—Sexual Favors for Housing

Across the U.S., sexual harassment at the hands of landlords, property managers, and others in the housing industry can drive poor women and their children into homelessness. It is a problem badly understood and virtually unstudied.

This woman says Four-County employees assaulted her. She did not want her face shown.
Community Development Field

Taking Sexual Harassment Seriously: Tips for Nonprofits

Sexual harassment is a topic that’s not often addressed in the community development field, but it should be.

The book cover for The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism By Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak.
Community Development Field

The Fate, and Power, of Cities: A Review of The New Localism

The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism by Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak. Brookings Institution Press, 2018, 304 pp., $25.99 hardcover, also available on e-book.
Purchase a copy at brook.gs/2LOjunA

Q: Can Prohibiting Source-of-Income Discrimination Help Voucher Holders?

A: Yes. Landlords in most places can discriminate against voucher holders, and many do. This often keeps voucher holders in a few segregated neighborhoods.

A hemodialysis machine in a bedroom.
Health

A Bad Mix: Utility Shut-Offs and Chronic Illnesses

In most states, a household can avoid or delay termination of its utility service due to overdue balances if the shut-off would significantly impact their health. But the process isn’t as simple as it may seem