Alan Mallach

Alan Mallach
67 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and the National Housing Institute, is the author of many works on housing and planning, including Bringing Buildings Back, A Decent Home, and Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective. He served as director of housing and economic development for Trenton, New Jersey, from 1990 to 1999, and teaches in the City and Regional Planning program at Pratt Institute.
The book cover for The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism By Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak.

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

Lots of Maps, Little Insight in Richard Florida’s Latest

The New Urban Crisis treats a complicated and demanding subject with depressing inadequacy, offering little or nothing in the way of constructive, creative insights or strategies for advocates or practitioners seeking to combat these trends.

Housing and The “Flyover” Mentality

Right around the New Year, an article by Wired’s Emily Dreyfuss popped up on one of my newsfeeds titled,...

Myths and Realities About Cycles: Avoiding the Inevitability Trap

About a year ago I wrote a post about Paul Krugman and whether building luxury housing could mitigate the...

Malign Neglect? Urban Policy in the Trump Era

To paraphrase physicist Niels Bohr, (or maybe it was Yogi Berra), “predicting is difficult, especially when it’s about the...

How Not To Do Economic Development

Camden is one of the most distressed cities in the United States, and if any city needs state help...

Does Place Matter Anymore? Cities and the 2016 Election

I’m not the only one, I suspect, who’s been struck by how little, if at all, cities have figured into...

Millennials, Revisited

As both Joe Cortright of the City Observatory and I have written, Millennials—people who have reached adulthood since the beginning of the millennium—and...
A white three-level building.

Don’t Build Mixed-Income Communities, Buy Them

Building when you could buy is inefficient—and contributes to economic segregation.

Canada Is Looking Better and Better (The Regent Park Story)

High-density public housing may seem like an idea whose time has come and gone, buried along with the ruins of notorious projects like St....

Using the Wrong Tools to Build Affordable Housing

Along with most Rooflines readers, I believe that having some portion of a community’s housing as long term or permanently affordable is a desirable...

The REAL Rental Housing Issue

We know a few things about the majority of very low-income renters: They live in private market housing, not...
A fenced lot on a city street.

Even Homer Nods: Paul Krugman Gets It Wrong on Housing

As the saying goes, even Homer nods. Paul Krugman must have been having an off day at the end of November 2015, when he...

Do Urban Neighborhoods Need Homeowners?

At a conference I attended last week, one of the speakers, a colleague whose judgment and knowledge I respect, offered his take on the future of urban single family neighborhoods. The lower income families who have the credit and can get together the down payment to become homeowners are buying in the suburbs. People working […]

What’s The Matter With Atlantic City?

Over the past few months, there’s been a drumbeat of bad news coming out of Atlantic City. Since the beginning of 2014, four casinos have closed, including Revel, which the state of New Jersey granted $261 million in tax breaks to back in 2011 so they could finish construction and open their doors. A fifth […]

Now You See the Money, Now You Don’t

Since November of last year, the United States Justice Department has announced multi-billion dollar settlements with the nation’s three largest banks – Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America (BoA) – over what Justice calls the “packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities.” Collectively, these three banks have agreed to pay a total […]

Japan’s Unintentional Social Experiment

Having just come back from two weeks in Japan, my brain is still overflowing with sensations and images from that fascinating, exciting, and intermittently...

Is It Time to Think About Post-Post-Katrina New Orleans?

Nine years on, New Orleans is a very different place from what it was like in the wake of...

NYC Proposes Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, The “Times” Doesn’t Get It

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released Housing New York, a ten-year plan to create...

A Tale of Two Infrastructure Projects

Living in Central New Jersey, I’ve had a ringside seat for the last few years to one of the...

Can Youngstown Make It On Its Own?

Youngstown is a small city in the hills of northeast Ohio, once famous for steelmaking; and sadly, if famous for...

The Millenials Are Marching…But is Anyone Else?

Last month I wrote about how well-educated members of the millennial generation are moving in large numbers to the...

The March of the Millennial Generation to the Cities is Real

This past fall, the Washington Post ran a series called “The March of the Millennials“ about how this generation...

The Housing Recovery: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

The housing market is coming back. Finally, after listening to false hopes and promises for the last few years,...

Can We Demolish Our Way to Revitalization?

While the answer to that question in the title of this piece is obvious, there’s a strong case to...

The Feds Bow Out: We’re On Our Own

Yes, the federal government is back in business.After 16 days and untold billions in lost earnings and wasted dollars,...

Manufacturing May Be Coming Back, But It Won’t Bring Jobs

I finally got to see Detropia last week, the acclaimed documentary filmed in Detroit that’s been making the rounds...

Property Tax Madness: Another Part of the Detroit Puzzle

There are many reasons that Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, and some have already been explored by others on...

Hung Up on Gentrification? Don’t Be

In my last Rooflines post I described an approach—centering on a tax credit for families to buy substandard houses in targeted neighborhoods, fix them...

Forget NSP, Tax Credits Will Save Neighborhoods

In my last two posts, I tried first to explain why NSP hasn’t revitalized many neighborhoods and why Project Rebuild...

What Creating a ‘Stable Neighborhood’ Really Means

Last month I wrote about why Project Rebuild is basically a bad idea, and why the Obama administration is making...

Project Rebuild in the 2014 Budget: Beating An All-But-Dead Horse

I must admit I was surprised to see Project Rebuild resurface in the Obama administration’s 2014 budget proposal. If there...

5 Things Cities and CDCs Don’t Get About Code Enforcement

In most circles, all you have to do is say “code enforcement” and people start mumbling about previous engagements.As I’ve been increasingly immersed in...

The Heavy Hand of Demographic Change

Washington Ave St. Louis (credit: Google Earth)As I continue to wrestle with the future of cities and urban neighborhoods,...

Getting the Mortgage Market Back on Track

Of all the things government can and should do about housing, creating a strong, responsive mortgage market may be more...

Thinking About a Second Term Federal Housing and Urban Agenda: Part I

President Obama has been re-elected, and hope springs eternal. I’ve started to think about a second term housing and urban...

Is Las Vegas Coming Back?

I recently spent a few days in Las Vegas meeting with housing and real estate people of various stripes....

Can These Neighborhoods Be Saved? More Thoughts from Detroit

In my last post, I described the picture in what I call Detroit’s ‘middle-ground’ neighborhoods. In recent decades, those neighborhoods, mainly single family homes,...

What Matters to a City? Thoughts from Detroit

In the last few months, Neil Peirce's Citiwire.net has hosted several pieces highlighting positive things happening in Detroit along...

Housing Policy Should Be About People, Not Product

Most low-income households in the United States live in private-market housing. American housing policies, though, rather than focusing on the needs of that majority,...

Where Do We Fit In? CDCs and the Emerging Shrinking City Movement

As some cities begin to admit they are shrinking, CDCs in high-abandonment neighborhoods are rethinking their traditional roles, and even their missions.

The Great American Fire Sale

Investors have played, and will continue to play, an important role in foreclosure-ravaged communities. What can towns do to ensure investors are responsible, and what role can CDCs play?

Bringing Buildings Back (Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition)

Bringing Buildings Back addresses all sides of the abandoned and vacant property problem, from how abandonment can be prevented to how best to bring these properties back into productive reuse.

Starrett City Stays Affordable

Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized housing complex in the country, will remain affordable for another 30 years, easing the minds of residents worrying...
The cover of Managing Neighborhood Change by Alan Mallach.

Managing Neighborhood Change

This report presents a strategic framework that can help practitioners and policymakers foster sustainable and equitable neighborhood revitalization, building on solid market demand while ensuring that the neighborhood’s lower-income households will benefit from the changes that have taken place.

Building A Better Urban Future

Building A Better Urban Future is a policy paper for practitioners and policymakers investing housing resources in weak market cities.

The Heart of the Story

CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer’s now-famous summertime tirade about the collapse of the subprime markets captivated media pundits and bloggers, as well as...

2006 Housing & Community Development Victories

In 2006, housing advocates across the country scored numerous legislative victories in their states. From new funding sources for housing trust funds to improving local tax credit regulations, policies are now in place to promote the production of affordable housing, protect residents from displacement and help low-income workers afford their housing. Here are some of the highlights.

S.F. Boosts Affordability

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law an inclusionary housing policy aimed at creating more affordable homes in the city. Fifteen percent...

Storied Groups Close

The Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, a Chicago fair housing advocacy group with a small geographic range but a national impact, ended operations...

The Big Bond

Los Angeles is putting the largest municipal housing bond ever on its ballot this November. The $1 billion bond would pay for an estimated...

Miami Scandal

After the Miami Herald reported that the city-county housing authority had squandered millions of dollars intended for homes for low-income residents, community activists declared...

Preservation in Mind

As more property owners seek to get rid of their federally assisted housing, advocates hope they’ll sell to someone interested in preserving affordability. U.S....

Immigrant Backlash

A city that barred landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants now faces a lawsuit. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and several...

Alabama Tenant Victory

It took 13 years, but Alabama Arise’s efforts to win minimal protection for tenants finally bore fruit this year. The governor signed a bill...

Brokering Network

Several CDCs in the Memphis area have partnered with Seedco, the national economic development intermediary, to form a mortgage loan network. Members can either...

NIMBYites Lose One

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in June that affordable housing development can’t be stopped on the grounds it might hurt neighbors’ property values....

Double Bottom Line

A Tacoma, Washington CDC is putting at least $250,000 into developing a “double bottom line” real estate fund that will invest in struggling neighborhoods...

A Little Too Blunt?

Alphonso Jackson, HUD’s tough-talking chief, might have spoken a little too bluntly in Dallas in April. Speaking before a gathering of business leaders, Jackson...

Former Prisoners Get A Break

Boston took a big step this spring to help reintegrate ex-felons into their communities, by easing background checks on potential city employees. The city...

OTS Strikes Again

Last year the federal Office of Thrift Supervision weakened the responsibilities of many mid-sized banks under the Community Reinvestment Act by redefining them as...

All Out for Affordability

Irvine, a city of 180,000 in conservative Orange County, California, plans to make 10 percent of its housing stock permanently affordable. The city set...

GSE Not Doing Enough?

A Texas nonprofit says Fannie Mae doesn’t serve enough people who are low-income and of color in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. After four years...

Meanest Cities

Sarasota, Florida, tops a list of the meanest cities in America compiled by the National Coalition for the Homeless and National Law Center on...

More Budget Follies

President Bush issued another round of proposed cuts to housing and social service programs in February as he sent his latest budget to Congress....

Settlement Not Enough?

In the second largest settlement ever involving an alleged predatory lender, Ameriquest agreed to a $325 million settlement in January after a two-year investigation...

Designing Affordable Housing

Good design and affordability are not mutually exclusive, but finding help to bring these two together can be tough.