Rick Jacobus

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Rick Jacobus, a national expert in inclusionary housing and affordable homeownership, is the principal of Street Level Urban Impact Advisors. He serves as a strategic advisor to Grounded Solutions Network, a national initiative focused on building more inclusive communities.
"Coming Soon, Very Sad" painted on border wall outside of new development.

We Are All NIMBYs…Sometimes

If we built enough housing, we would still need subsidized housing for many people, but market prices would be low enough that most people could afford them. But we’ve chosen not to. And the reason we give for that choice, more than any other, is that we are trying to preserve or improve the character of our communities.

Why Aren’t We Building Middle Income Housing?

In a previous Shelterforce blog post, I argued that we cannot give up hope that the market will build middle-income housing. Granted, over the past...

Indivisible: How We Fight This–Together

For the most part, progressive organizations have been on the offensive for the past eight years, but now it is time to switch to playing defense. And, like any sport, that means pulling some players off the field and changing tactics.

Housing Doesn’t Filter, Neighborhoods Do

There has been a renewed interest in the role that the real estate market can play in solving our...
A rendering of a San Francisco building.

The Challenges of Economic Integration

Is it more important to have mixed-income buildings, or to give more people access to mixed-income neighborhoods?

Why We Must Build

We can’t build our way out of the housing crisis . . . but we won’t get out without building.

In Defense of the ‘Poor Door’

The other day a 12 year-old schooled me in the difference between equity and equality.  ‘Equity,' he said, is...

The Gentrification Vaccine

Can a neighborhood be immune to gentrification? If so, can local governments and community organizations work together to build...

CA’s Surprisingly Strong Stand in Support of Inclusionary Housing

In the whole string of related inclusionary housing decisions, what emerges is a story of a multi-decade coordinated effort by the real estate development industry to limit its reach.

What Would It Look Like to Win?

In case you haven’t seen it, the Urban Institute has been organizing a great series of online conversations. The...

Can Calling Attention to Gentrification Make Things Worse?

In early march, when Austin was enduring the annual South-by-Southwest festival, Facebook user Briana Smith stunned the world by...

How Are Shared Equity Programs Growing With Public Investment?

In an era of dwindling affordable housing resources, communities are looking for ways to use what they have more efficiently. Advocates for shared equity homeownership programs have long argued that preserving long-term affordability helps public funding go further; in fact, new data shows that public funds invested in shared equity homes have been growing at […]

It’s Not Either/Or: Neighborhood Improvement Can Prevent Gentrification

Even where gentrification is only a distant threat (or hope, depending on your perspective) it looms large in any discussion of neighborhood change.

Data Shows Inclusionary Housing Is in Fact Inclusionary

Review of Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary?, by Heather L. Schwartz, Liisa Ecola, Kristin J. Leuschner, Aaron Kofner. Rand Corporation, 2012....

Data Says Inclusionary Housing Does Foster Economic Integration

Review of Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary?, by Heather L. Schwartz, Liisa Ecola, Kristin J. Leuschner, Aaron Kofner. Rand Corporation, 2012.Long time advocates of inclusionary...

Best of Both Worlds

Permanent affordability and asset building might seem at first blush to be contradictory goals for a low-income homeownership program, but new research says in fact they can be achieved together.

City Hall Steps In

Local governments are embracing community land trusts to promote and preserve affordable housing.