Miriam Axel-Lute

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Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.

What Is NIMBYism and How Do Affordable Housing Developers Respond to It?

NIMBYism is often expressed as concerns about crime, congestion, schools, property values, and “quality of life.” But when developments are built these fears rarely come to pass.

Building Differently: Can It Reduce Construction Costs?

Experiments to lower construction costs, from reusing shipping containers to 3D printing walls, have been happening for years. But are any of these approaches able to provide meaningful savings at scale?
A National Guardsmen rescues three people on a boat in LaPlace, Louisiana,after Hurricane Ida brought flooding to the area.

The Harbinger of the Modern Disaster Era: An Interview with Andreanecia Morris

From Katrina to COVID to Ida, the director of Housing NOLA talks about FEMA, communications systems, racism, and resiliency.
An image with the word gentrification over and over again in different fonts and colors.

What Does “Gentrification” Really Mean?

The word "gentrification" has become a widespread and highly debated term. We’ve found that there are (at least) four broad kinds of things that people mean when they say they are concerned about “gentrification."

Keeping Community Control as Community Land Trusts Grow

When a CLT grows, the “community” it represents can sometimes be more difficult to define. But to some extent it always was.

Champlain Housing Trust: Breadth and Depth

Over 2,400 rental apartments, 600 shared-equity homes, cooperatives, and a couple of hotels for the unhoused—How the largest community land trust in the U.S. scaled up.

Scaling Up: How Some Community Land Trusts Are Getting Bigger

The community land trust model is in a time of dramatic growth and creativity. Some CLTs are aiming for larger scale than has been typical. How are they doing it?

Understanding Community Land Trusts

What are CLTs? How do they work? What are the benefits and areas of concern? An overview.
In purple chalk, it says "Housing is a Human Right."

Housing Solutions—Centering Community in Ownership, Control, and Long-Term Affordability

How is community control of housing realized? We explore different community ownership structures, how tenants form a cooperative, and how larger housing nonprofits can incorporate residents into decision-making.

Editor’s Note: How Community Ownership Is Evolving

The latest Shelterforce series takes a closer look at community land trusts and cooperatives to see how both are evolving.

How LISC, Enterprise Hope to Bring More Capital to Developers of Color

Two large community development intermediaries have announced major racial equity initiatives that emphasize how affordable housing gets built—and who builds it.

Chicago Changes How It Allocates Tax Credits to Improve Racial Equity

How did the Windy City expand the idea of advancing racial equity through low-income housing tax credits beyond where affordable housing is built?

Community-Police Partnerships After George Floyd

An interview with Mona Mangat, vice president of safety and justice initiatives at LISC. We talked with Mona Mangat, vice president of safety and justice initiatives at LISC,
North Minneapolis tenants pose together with their fists in the air during a barbecue

Looking Back: Good Outcomes for Affordable Housing on Transit Land, Tenants Facing Eviction, and...

In our next installment, we take a look at some positive outcomes—what happened with affordable housing on transit-owned land, cooperative agency work in Massachusetts that helped at-risk people, and the Minneapolis tenants who were facing eviction after court wins against their landlord.

A Movement-Based Federal Housing Agenda

What are the New Deal for Housing Justice and the BREATHE Act and how do they move beyond previous housing agendas?
Atlanta's BeltLine bike path bordered by new homes.

Affordable BeltLine Project Still in Progress in Atlanta

It was a decade ago when the Atlanta BeltLine partnership set a goal of creating almost 6,000 units of affordable housing, as well as a collaborative of land trusts. What’s happened since? Did the partnership achieve its intended goals?

Fighting for Their Hometown in The Place That Makes Us

A review of the 2020 documentary, The Place That Makes Us, directed by Karla Murthy. 70 minutes.
dilapidated home's front entrance

The Work Continues: Property Maintenance Lawsuits Move Forward, Foster Care Vouchers Pass, and More

In the third installment of Shelterforce articles of old, we look back at what’s been happening with lawsuits against banks that allegedly failed to maintain properties they own in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods, Medicaid money for housing, community developers elected to office, and vouchers for foster care youth.
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Now and Then: Rent Control, Rental Assistance, and Universal Vouchers

In the second installment of updates to Shelterforce articles of old, we check in on how well some of the recommendations, predictions, and worries about rent control, rental assistance, and universal vouchers have aged.
A city scene in Newark New Jersey.

Looking Back: Democratic Philanthropy, Newark on the Rise, the Surplus Land Campaign, and More

In this first installment of updates to Shelterforce articles of old, we find that market dynamics are different in many places we’ve written about, but many of the organizations fighting the good fight are continuing to do so, even in changed times.