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.
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?

Vision, Not Just Critique

In the Spring 2017 issue of Shelterforce, we talk about something that comes up daily for many people working in the community development field—what does housing affordability mean? Crafting practical policies to back up our vision requires that we be thoughtful about all of the pieces.

Lawn Sign Liberalism

If you live anywhere with a substantial resistance to the current administration's attacks on immigrants, you may have seen these lawn/window signs–they say, in...

Local Contracting–Cost Cutting, Economic Development, Or Both?

We recently published both an article and an Answer column that shows how one group in Philadelphia, WPRE/NR, is challenging the conventional wisdom that...
From top left, Ingrid Gould Ellen of the Furman Center at New York University; Jamaal Green of Portland State University; Rosanne Haggerty of Community Solutions; and Rick Jacobus of Street Level Advisors. From bottom left, Greg Maher of the Leviticus Alternative Fund; Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress and a National Housing Institute senior fellow; and Charlie Wilkins, a consultant and co-author of the AEI paper.

Regulation and Housing Supply: Where the Left & Right Agree (Sort Of)

We gathered some people who have done a lot of thinking and studying on regulation to discuss what it might look like to actually remove obstacles that get in the way of developing less expensive housing options responsibly. What's possible? What are the trade-offs?

Preliminary HUD Budget Shows Carson Lied in His Confirmation Hearing Too

The Washington Post reported today that a preliminary HUD budget cuts $6 billion—eliminating Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the HOME program, and cutting...

Carson Confirmed. So About Those Other HUD Jobs…

Ben Carson has been confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the weak congratulations of housing organizations that...

Nonprofits–Yes You Can Advocate. And Now’s The Time

Amidst the chaos of the past couple weeks there has been at least one positive change—a lot more people are starting to stand up...

Interview with Rinku Sen, president and executive director of Race Forward & publisher of...

In those exhausting and frightening days right after the election in November, I had the good fortune to catch Rinku Sen for a few minutes at the end of a long day of her organization’s biannual Facing Race conference. Though she must have been running on next to no sleep by that point, Sen was insightful, earnest, and eager to talk about the road ahead.