Leslie Strauss

12 Posts

Leslie Strauss is senior policy analyst at the Housing Assistance Council.

How the Major Party Platforms Approach Housing

The major political party platforms take different approaches to federal housing assistance and related topics. The Republican and Democratic platforms adopted at the parties’ conventions in July are couched in […]


From Cargo Shipping to Home Sweet Home?

Livable buildings can be created from shipping containers, the big rectangular corrugated metal things stacked at docks by giant cranes. There are large and impressive shipping container homes in numerous […]


Rural Rental Assistance Needs USDA’s Support to Survive

The cost of USDA’s Section 521 Rental Assistance program is growing every year. After a funding crisis hit the program in September, Congress increased its funding for fiscal year 2014, […]


When a Housing Advocate’s Work Hits Home

It’s been a very long time since I saw the movie “Dr. Zhivago,” but I can remember clearly the noisy crowd the doctor finds in his family mansion when he […]

Housing Advocacy

Rural Housing Budget Disappointing, But Not Surprising

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the Obama administration’s rural housing budget continues trends that were evident in the last several budget requests. The guiding principle seems to be, as it is […]


What Does the Push for Transit Oriented Development Mean For Rural Areas?

The affordable housing world is paying attention to the connection between housing costs and transportation costs, and that’s a good thing. The federal government and many state and local governments […]


10 Things That Did Not Happen in Rural Housing in 2012

Year-end reviews generally cover events, but in 2012 the things that did not happen may have been more notable. That certainly seems to be the case regarding affordable housing for the […]


Loan Guarantees Are Not Enough

It’s less expensive for the government to guarantee a loan made by a bank than to be the lender itself. FHA and VA loan guarantees are well known and well […]


Why Keep Rural Housing Programs at USDA?

Rural housing professionals complain about USDA’s Rural Development/Rural Housing Service all the time. We also tout the advantages of using HUD programs, such as HOME, in rural areas. But we […]


Defining “Rural” for USDA’s Housing Programs

This part is simple: a property must be in a rural place to be eligible for USDA rural housing funding. Beyond that simple statement, things get complicated. What places are […]


What Does an Affordable Rural Rental Housing Strategy Look Like?

Affordable housing advocates were happy recently to see the Senate Appropriations Committee tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get its act together on rental housing. USDA’s FY12 budget proposed […]


Time to Address the Rural Housing Crisis

The next administration will face significant housing issues well beyond those related to foreclosures and mortgage markets. The housing needs of low-income people in both urban and rural places predated […]