John Emmeus Davis

John Emmeus Davis
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John Emmeus Davis is a partner and co-founder of Burlington Associates in Community Development, a national consulting cooperative specializing in the development of policies and programs promoting permanently affordable, owner-occupied housing. He was the housing director for Burlington, Vermont, in the mayoral administrations of Bernie Sanders and Peter Clavelle. Davis has taught housing policy and neighborhood planning at Tufts University, New Hampshire College, the University of Vermont, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Photo by charlene mcbride via flickr, CC BY 2.0

Industry versus Movement – Redux

Three years ago, I posted a blog in which I wrestled with the question of whether community development is an “industry” or a “movement.”...

Plugging the Leaky Bucket: It’s About Time

“A society grows great when old people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” If that Greek proverb is true, what does it say about a society where most of our policies for affordable housing and community development look more like the mono-cropping of field corn than the patient cultivation of […]

Covered Bridge: A Program That Keeps the Elderly in Their Homes

Nonprofit housers need to think gray in a new way. It has long been predicted that a demographic wave of retirement-age Americans would soon be breaking upon the shores of our communities. It has now arrived. Despite being forewarned, most communities are poorly prepared to meet the housing needs of this cohort. That is especially […]

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Organizers Grow Up To Be Developers

When a community-based developer of affordable housing incorporates community organizing into its programmatic repertoire, there is almost always added value—for...

You Must Remember This: Uses of the Past in Community Development

“History is bunk,” declared Henry Ford to a newspaper reporter in 1916.  “The only history that is worth a tinker’s...

The Impossible Takes a Little Longer

Housers catch flak from every side. Public funders wonder when nonprofit organizations that build housing for families too poor...

Ground Leasing Without Tears

Editor’s note: There are two major legal mechanisms out there for making a privately owned housing unit permanently affordable: (1) a stewarding organization can...

Is Community Development an Industry–or a Movement?

Anyone like me who’s spent more than a few years doing community development is likely to have been force-fed...

Mobility Still Matters

Security is the holy grail of housing policy. Wherever people are perched on the housing tenure ladder, be they...

A New Kind of Redlining: Punishing Success

During the worst years of the Great American Mortgage Meltdown, shared equity homes represented an island of stability in a...

Braided Lives: Habitat–Land Trust Partnerships Bring Each Back to Their Roots

Though they started at the same place around the same time, community land trusts and Habitat for Humanity soon went...

Precarious Values and Permeable Edges in Community Development

It has been said there are only two lasting bequests we can leave our children. One is roots. The...

The Threat (and Promise) of a Good Example

It’s embarrassing to admit, but those who vehemently oppose shared equity homeownership may have a deeper understanding of the sector’s...

The Untapped Potential of Land Bank/Land Trust Partnerships

Land banks and land trusts are frequently portrayed as competing strategies for securing control over abandoned...

No Time for Timidity

Advocates for shared equity homeownership have been talking for years about “going to scale.” Many people have been working diligently...

Nine Rules of Engagement for Recruiting and Retaining Community Volunteers

In community development's formative years, it would have been unthinkable for a nonprofit housing organization not to have a grassroots...

Yes They Can. And They Bloody Well Did

As you watch the games of the XXX Olympiad, you should know that something extraordinary has been happening in...

Homes That Last

Counter-cyclical stewardship is the only way to ensure that lower-income families are neither nudged out by rising costs nor forced out by foreclosure.

Taxation of Shared-Equity Homes

In 2004, the National Housing Institute launched an ongoing research project on shared-equity homeownership, focusing on three models of resale-restricted, owner-occupied housing: limited-equity cooperatives;...

Shared Equity Homeownership

As the housing crisis worsens, putting the American Dream out of reach for millions, communities around the country are turning to shared equity homeownership—limited...

Toward a Common Agenda

Growing shared-equity housing

Introduction

With the publication last fall of Shared Equity Homeownership: the Changing Landscape of Resale-restricted, Owner-occupied Housing, the National Housing Institute completed the first phase...

Shared-Equity Homeownership

Beginning with this issue, NHI will be reporting on our current research interests. In the Fall of 2004, we began a two-phased, multi-year study...