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 the Financialization of Housing?

It's a wonky term with real-life consequences. At its most basic level, the "financialization of housing" means treating a home like a financial asset first, and a place to live second. But there are many more perspectives.

Making Money Over Making Homes

Housing has become less about shelter and more about extracting profit. How has that way of thinking changed the market and what are housing advocates trying to do about it? In our new series—Homes or Cash Cows—Shelterforce explores the financialization of housing.

What Does It Take to Get ADUs Built?

In our new series—ADUs Explained—we’ll look at some of the major policy considerations in legalizing accessory dwelling units, how they get built and financed, and the role they can play in our affordable housing landscape.

Making Homeownership Work Better

Programs that help households of color buy homes haven't made much of a dent in the racial wealth gap. But some strategies could generate better outcomes for buyers.
aerial view of suburban development

Increased Homeownership Won’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Despite the hopes pinned on it, homeownership is currently too affected by racism at every turn to be an equalizer.

Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap With Anne Price

A lot of conversations about the racial wealth gap focuses too much on homeownership as the only solution. It's much more complex. Shelterforce's Miriam Axel-Lute talks with Anne Price, president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Moving Beyond the Holy Trinity of Racial Wealth Gap Answers

We’ve been carrying out asset-building strategies for decades now, but the wealth gap has not shrunk. What needs to be done about it?

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.

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,

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