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Sandra Larson

21 Posts

Sandra Larson is a freelance writer based in Boston. She previously served as Shelterforce's health fellow.
Three men in work clothes including helmets and tool belts stand on scaffolding. It looks as though the scaffolding is standing alone but it is erected against a white building, creating that effect.
Federal Policy

How to Reform the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Housing and policy experts agree that LIHTC has successfully increased the supply of affordable housing. But they also believe there’s room for improvement.

Construction

Making Housing More Accessible for People With Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Accessibility for this challenging disability can look different from other measures—but addressing it could help improve everyone’s health. 

A sidewalk view of a front stoop where a man stands holding a bullhorn. Lined up on the sidewalk in front of him is a large group of people, many wearing CLVU's bright yellow-green T-shirts.
Community Land Trusts

Boston Organizers Protect Individual Tenants, While Trying to Change the System

City Life/Vida Urbana is known for successful tenant union organizing and anti-eviction actions, but every individual action springs from a larger vision of system and policy change.

Eviction

Tenant Protections Take a Step Forward in Maryland

Access to counsel in evictions is now funded statewide, and several other tenant protections have passed, but the Maryland effort shows that solidifying tenant protections can be a multiyear process.

Organizing

All Tenants Get Right to Counsel in Kansas City

Pandemic evictions heightened the urgency. Then the campaign succeeded by finding local champions, presenting cost and benefit data, and spotlighting tenant narratives.

Organizing

How Organizers Won a Tenants Bill of Rights in Miami-Dade County

Responding to tenants’ top concerns, organizers pivoted from affordability issues to landlord accountability and won a package of new tenant protections.

Two campaign signs stand together near the base of a monument in Portland, Maine. The sign at right reads "Say NO to Rent Control (Again)!" The sign on the left has a red arrow pointing to the other sign, and the text says: "Your (still) rising rents paid for that lawn sign!"
Organizing

How Portland, Maine, Passed Rent Control

Organizers drew broad support with a multi-pronged campaign and found ways to get signatures in a pandemic to win rent stabilization and a slate of other progressive laws.

Housing

Help! Not Police! Crisis Responses That Avert Police Calls

Cities, court systems, citizen groups, and affordable housing operators are crafting ways of responding to emergencies that reduce the risk of negative police interactions.

Housing

Helping Tenants with Mental Health Challenges Who Are at Risk of Eviction

Support at all stages of an eviction could help vulnerable tenants navigate the process, avoid being removed from their home, or if they are evicted, help them catch their footing.

Health

Getting Medicaid to Pay for Pest Control

For children who have asthma, pests like cockroaches and mice can trigger allergic reactions and lead to recurring and expensive hospital visits. Could insurers save money by investing in housing-based improvements like pest management services?

Health

How Much Time Does Trauma-Informed Community Building Take? It’s Complicated

Building trust takes time. How does that factor into project timelines, and what recommendations do housing development leaders have for others seeking to shift to more resident-centered practices.

Health

Fannie Mae’s Financing Initiative Encourages Healthier Design, Stronger Resident Services

“I am so excited that Fannie decided to do this … For the first time, there has been recognition by a capital funder that the services that are provided matter.”