Miriam Axel-Lute

Miriam Axel-Lute
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Miriam Axel-Lute is editor of Shelterforce and associate director of the National Housing Institute. She lives in Albany, New York, where she serves on the Community Development Alliance board.
Members of Boston Liberation Health hold a banner that reads, "Capitalism, racism, and heteropatriachy are making us sick. Join Liberation Health."

How Organizing for Justice Helps Your Mental Health

How do social justice, organizing, and mental health interact? Shelterforce chats with clinical social worker Dawn Belkin Martinez to find out.
tiny homes

Tiny Homes for the Homeless—Would You Host a Village?

Imagine if hosting a transitional tiny home village became the norm for all suitable vacant land—dare I say even an expectation?
NYC skyline painted on brick wall.

New York City Becomes a Hotbed of Community Land Trust Innovation

New York seems poised to move the concept of community land trusts in new and exciting directions.
Upside-down image of a faucet dripping.

Trickle Up Housing: Filtering Does Go Both Ways

Here's something we don't talk about enough: developing affordable housing in a tight, high-cost market also increases overall affordability through filtering! Just in the other direction—it trickles up.
Smoke over California hills.

Not If But When: A Disaster Preparedness Conversation

Against the back drop of 2017's California wildfires, a quickly organized session took place to discuss disaster response and recovery from the perspective of being a housing organization.
Boarded window with "Resist Immigration Raids" sprayed.

What to Do When ICE Comes to Your Buildings

If you own and/or manage affordable housing, do you know what to do if ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) shows up on your doorstep looking for someone? If you haven’t thought it through yet, now’s the time.
Black and white photo of a row of police cars.

The Problem with “We Have to Do Something”

This summer, Eve Ewing, a sociologist of race and education at the University of Chicago, wrote an article called “The Chicago Negro and the...
A dark-skinned woman in the foreground and two light-skinned men are wearing neon yellow T-shirts reading "City Life Vida Urbana, No Nos Moveran, We Shall Not Be Moved" and marching with a black banner with "City Life Vida Urbana" in red letters.

Housing Justice Organizers March Against White Supremacy

Housing is on the radar of racial justice activists.
The cover of the Summer 2017 edition of Shelterforce magazine, which focuses on racial justice. Topics include character loans, policing, gentrification ...

Editor’s Note: Racial Justice — Beyond Good Intentions

Race affects everything in American society. Working to fight racial injustice is a large part of what the community development field does. And yet, that doesn’t get us off the hook.

Who Will Lead Community Development Corporations?

Community development corporations are surprisingly short on executives of color. Why? And how can the field do better?
A street is covered with flowers and photos of Heather Heyer, as people look on the background

Terrorism in Charlottesville — And Possibly Your Town Next

The Trump-era increase widespread racial terror, as was on display in Charlottesville, is going to affect community developers' work at least as much as as his legislative and funding agenda.
Public art in Pittsfield, Massachusetts: A utility box on a sidewalk is covered with interlocking hands in all the colors of the rainbow.

Could Public Art on Utility Boxes Displace Communication?

What's not to like about colorful art on utility boxes? Well, in some places that drab infrastructure might be performing informal community functions...
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, speaking and holding a microphone.

Facebook Dips Its Toe Into Funding Housing

There was much speculation last year about whether and how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would enter the affordable housing space. We got our first peek today . . .
Dr. Kelly Kelleher and the Rev. John Edgar walk down a street in Columbus, Ohio.

How a Risk-Averse Hospital and a Risk-Taking CDC Built a Functional Partnership

Shelterforce recently spoke with Angela Mingo of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Rev. John Edgar of Community Development for All People to learn more about their health/housing partnership and how it came to be.
Close-up image of links in a chain.

Look Outside the Box with Health and Housing Partnerships

Though it seems the connection between health and community development is on everyone’s lips these days, the two sectors are really still at the beginning stages of learning how to work together.

4 Reasons to Retire the Phrase “Inner City”

On a recent trip to Seattle, I picked up a copy of the weekly paper The Stranger. As I was browsing the news briefs,...

High Cost of Affordable Housing Is Not CDCs’ Fault

You know what doesn’t help lower the cost of affordable housing? Spuriously blaming some of the organizations that are working hardest to create it in the most difficult situations.
A calculator and black pen lie upon a double ruled notebook.

After Paying for Housing, How Much is Enough for Basic Necessities?

We need some standards to explain what “enough” means. Here's a breakdown of the Family Budget Calculator, the Self-Sufficiency Standard, and the Housing Poverty Measure.

Doctors Join the Fight Against Speculators

Around the country, health care institutions have started to employ lawyers onsite to help patients fight landlords for better housing conditions or qualify for housing subsidies (plus a range of other legal supports that will generally have direct effect on their health).
A white hand puts a silver colored key into a door lock.

How Should We Measure Housing Affordability?

The simplicity of the 30 percent standard is also its downfall. We don’t expect people of differing incomes or family sizes to pay the same percentage of their income in taxes—why would the same percentage work for housing costs?