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.

Habitat Gets Into Marin

Just three years ago, Marin county residents were busy raising money for a legal fight to stop Habitat for Humanity from building four homes...

It’s Bankers Versus Realtors in Arizona: What About Communities?

In Arizona, the ever-shifting attempt to assign or avoid the pain of the foreclosure crisis has gone to court. Arizona’s laws had previously said that...

What Makes People Love a City?

The Knight Foundation, sponsor of Soul of the Community, a three-year study that asks people in 26 communities about their perceptions of their city...

Bring Back Rent Control?

Yesterday NY1 tried to set up New York City’s mayoral race as an affordable housing vs. education spat, based on the candidates’ negative soundbites...

Community Developer Wins Contentious Primary for NYC Council Seat

Brad Lander, a not-for-profit director, affordable housing builder, city planner, and community organizer told the Brownstoner about why he chose to run for New...

Don’t Like 40B? Plan for Affordable Housing

It seems that opponents of Massachusetts’s “40B” affordable housing law, which lets developers build higher density housing in unaffordable communities if they set aside...

Subprime and the Myth of Increasing Homeownership

Alyssa Katz notes that a couple analyses show that the increase in foreclosures caused by subprime mortgages more than outweighed the new first-time homeowners...

Prove You Own My Loan

When I first heard of the case of Mamie Ruth Palmer, which hit the news about a year ago, it sounded like quintessential poetic...

Because we needed more fraud and foreclosure…

This may be small in the grand scheme of the economic collapse, but I think it’s worth highlighting anyway: While there are dozens of...

Renting From the Bank?

Alyssa Katz, author of Our Lot: How Our Real Estate Came to Own Us, is skeptical of the proposal to have foreclosed homeowners stay...

Journey to Work: What About Bikes?

In a fascinating post over at Next American City, Dave Steele observes a big divide among bike commuters: the affluent, geared-up, environmentalist, health-conscious cyclists...

Keeping Houses Occupied

Most of the problems foreclosed properties cause come because they tend to become vacant and stay vacant for a while. Often a homeowner flees...

Buffaloonly Problems

I was a little premature in celebrating New York’s modest land bank bill, it seems, as it has not yet been signed by the...

Small Cities: Stepchildren No Longer

What do you know about New Bedford, Altoona, or Terre Haute? Should we figure that big-city revitalization work will just trickle down to these...

“No Pain,” But Lots of Spin

Columbia Deal Avoids Eminent Domain Pain trumpeted yesterday’s New York Post headline. After all the struggle over Columbia University’s plan for a new campus...

Memphis’s Unwelcome News

Hanna Rosin has caused quite a stir with her dramatically titled Atlantic Monthly article American Murder Mystery. (For the record, we writers rarely get...

Good News—New York State Style

New York state has been described as having the most dysfunctional legislature in the country. Gerrymandering that keeps the houses continually in the hands...

Injury to Injury

I don’t have any links to post on this, because I haven’t found it being covered anywhere, but in some conversations I’ve been having...

The Limits of Federalism

Responding to Andrew Macurak’s post on Pennsylvania interfering with its counties’ right to pass strict smoking bans and but allowing them opt out of...

Massachusetts is watching

Given the interesting but not widely known fact that foreclosure rates in the current crisis are lower in neighborhoods with a larger percentage of...

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