Shelterforce Staff

Shelterforce Staff
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fast food signs

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Oct. 12

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: fast food swamps, Seattle has too many apartments, criminal justice, basic income pilot, more.
An informational page that answers: Can nonprofits get out the vote among their residents, clients, and staffs? Yes, and here's how.

Q: Can Nonprofits Get Out the Vote?

A. Yes! Nonprofits are often uncertain about what they can legally do, but they can get out the vote among their residents, clients, and staff.
philadelphia love sign

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Oct. 5

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: a new kind of library lending, Amazon's wage raise, life for Philadelphia's poor, bipartisan work on the opioid epidemic, and more.
Row of trailer homes with mountains in the background.

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Sept. 28

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: custom job searches for veterans, success in the land trust movement, middle neighborhoods, manufactured housing, senior cost burden at all-time high, more.
physician takes blood pressure

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Sept. 21

News from—and affecting—the community development world.
rent-to-own

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Sept. 14

Whole Foods Employees Seek to Unionize, Your Job Won't Save You From Homelessness, Rent-to-own May Equal Jail Time
public toilet

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Sept. 7

What driverless trucks will mean for drivers, public toilets as a human right, disappointing Democratic leadership, and more.

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 31

HUD hosts listening tour for landlords, inmates protest exploitation of labor with prison strike, a payday loan alternative, and more
westlake mural

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 24

Philly's Fight for Affordable Housing | HUD Targets Facebook In Complaint| An Eviction App | A "Massive" Multifamily Housing Fraud
police talking to homeless

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 17

HUD's Latest Assault on Fair Housing | Decriminalizing Homelessness | "Buying the Block" | FEMA's Roadblocks In Puerto Rico | Public Transport And Health
Jeremy Nowak

In Memoriam: Jeremy Nowak

Jeremy Nowak, a founder of Reinvestment Fund and founding board member of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), passed away on July 28. Nowak was,...
union sign

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 10

Union Power | A Clinic Moves To Serve Displaced Clients | On The Horizon-Sweeping Change To Financing Industry Regulation
uber and lyft

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 3

Addressing Hunger on Campus | Redesigning the Homeless Shelter | Holding Landlords Accountable | NYC Says No To Uber & Lyft | Protecting Voucher Holders | More...
In the second Health and Community Development supplement, we focus on utility service termination and setting aside housing for frequent health-care users.

Summer 2018 – Health and Community Development Supplement

In our second supplement, we focus on setting aside housing for frequent health-care users and the dangers of utility termination for those with medical needs. Click on the photo to download a copy.

Q: Can Prohibiting Source-of-Income Discrimination Help Voucher Holders?

A: Yes. Currently landlords in most places can discriminate against voucher holders, and many do. For example:An African-American female tester using a voucher was denied...
mobile home park

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—July 27

Facebook Takes Our Advice | Work Requirements for Foster Youth? | Public Housing Smoking Ban Takes Effect | Amazon, Still a Bully? |
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—July 23

Serial Eviction Filings in Atlanta | Rent Control for Seniors | HUD Wants Examples of Housing Discrimination | Worker-Owned Cooperative Triples Workforce
fruits and vegetables

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—July 13

A "Good" Payday Lender | Urban Sprawl Is Bad for Your Health | More Nutritious Food for Low-Income Families | This Bank is *Opening* Branches
nighttime bike riding.

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—July 6

Carson’s HUD Is So Out of Touch | Seattle’s Luxury Housing Surplus | Expand Housing Subsidies, Reduce Childhood Poverty | Michigan Lets Its Students Down | More...
mothers of police shooting victims

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 29

Are You Part of The "Majority Coalition"? | Will New Tax Code Affect Your Nonprofit? | Ocasio-Cortez Brings NYC Primary Upset | A Home Is More Than a Roof | More...
man at border fence

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 22

U.S. Increases Numbers of Families in Crisis | Hooray-Lots of People Have (Low Wage) Jobs! | Arts + Public Health | Seattle Caves to Corporate Interests | Converting Motels Into Supportive Housing
tenants rights protesters and sign

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 15

History In San Francisco | Confusing, But Good News From Carson’s HUD | An Eviction Program Disguised As Public Safety | A National Health + Housing Model Is Completed | More...
home with for sale sign in foreground

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 8

Development Without Displacement in Buffalo | A Slow Death for the CFPB? | The Simplicity of White Flight | An "Opportunity" Zone For Who? | Automating Wage Theft | More...
city lot wildflowers

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 1

An International Housing Crisis | Adaptive Reuse in Orange | The Best Places For Bees | First TOD, Now TOG | An Incentive To Desegregate Schools | More...
barbed wire

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—May 25

First Steps Act Looks Like Wrong Direction | Dodd-Frank Rollback | Money For Social Determinants | Chicago Housing Segregation | More...
mural art

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—May 18

Work Requirements | Source of Income As a Protected Class | Amazon's Bully Behavior | Chipping Away at CRA | The Arts and Displacement | More...
storefront

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—May 11

Democrat’s Housing Proposal | Tracking SNAP Recipients Is a Bad Idea | Including Antiracism Practices Into The Housing First Model | An Asylum-Seeker Game? | Mick, Can We Rate You?
In our first Health and Community Development supplement, which ran in the Spring 2018 edition of Shelterforce magazine, we focus on community development board members who are from the health field, and census traits and health.

Spring 2018 – Health and Community Development Supplement

In our first supplement, we focus on board members from the health field, and how census tracts relate to the health and wellbeing of a community. Click on the photo to download a copy.
We ask: What don't people who are getting rental assistance get a job? The Answer: More than half are elderly or disabled. Of the rest, most of them do have a job!

Q: Why Don’t People Who Get Rental Assistance Get a Job?

A: More than half are elderly or disabled. Of the rest, most of them do have a job! Ninety-four percent of rental assistance receipts are ...
homeless camp under bridge

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, May 4

A Trauma-Centered Approach to Youth Violence in Cleveland | We May Know Who Benefits From Port Covington | What Housing Crisis? | Clearing Homeless Encampments in Philadelphia | Restaurant Tax for Affordable Housing
migrant farm workers

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 27

Climate Gentrification | A Marijuana Tax for Housing? | Homeownership Alone Can't Close the Wealth Gap | Illegal ICE Raids on Farms | Keeping An Eye on Opportunity Zones | More...
Barcelona apartment buildings

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 20

NIMBYs, YIMBYs, PHIMBYs-Oh My! | Can Algorithms Make Equitable Cities? | Retail Segregation Takes a Toll | E.R. Visits and "Tough" Neighborhoods | Enough Innovation Already | More...
young men playing horn instruments

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 13

Really, YIMBYs? | TOD Without Displacement | Tracking 80 Million Evictions | MLK's Campaign, Revitalized | Airbnb Hastening Demise of NOLA Culture? | Bike "Borrowing" for Equity | More
tents and tarps on a lot

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 6

Gentrification Is Bad For One's Health | Housing Teachers-At School | Protecting Space for Local Business | TOD Doesn't Have to Displace | Community Artists Win in Court | More . . .
medical marijuana business

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 30

Helping Cannabis Entrepreneurs of Color | The "Business" of Homelessness | Housing Is a Mental Health Issue | Justice for Wage Theft Victims | 2020 Census Already Off to a Bad Start?
barbershop storefront

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 23

Omnibus Bill is Good for HUD | Barbershops are Good for Black Health | Kushner Tries to Make Rent-Reg Units Disappear | The U.S. is Quicksand for Black Boys | Not a Gap, a Chasm | More...
housing construction near train station

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 16

A Cautionary Housing Tale from London | Hospitals Peddling Loans for Healthcare Costs? | Public Housing Resident Lawsuit | Kentucky Rezones for More Housing | Florida Sides with Payday Lenders | More...
car with private property sign

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 9

LGBT Lawsuit Against HUD | Saving the Bees, and Detroit | Affordable Housing, Trade War Victim | Thinking About What's Possible in Housing for All | A Dual Housing Crisis for Native People
traffic

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 2

Are Black Incarceration Rates Really Falling? | Clinics in Schools Remedy Absenteeism | Hispanic Homeownership Rate Increases | Uber is Causing Traffic Jams | "Adjustable" Houses | More
vampire squid illustration

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Feb. 23

Unreformed Vampire Squid | Facebook to Investigate Inequality | When Algorithms Fail the Poor | A Mortgage Fraud Scheme that Targeted Minorities | Puerto Rico's Brewing Housing Crisis
Mission Street, San Francisco

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development-Feb. 16

Gentrification's Off the Hook | Double Housing Discrimination | Medical Care for the Homeless | It's Still Expensive to be Poor | A Robust Economy Lifts "Some" Boats
Q: Can Support Community Development Improve Outcomes for the Health Sector? Yes! Over 50 percent of premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to preventable non-medical factors, specifically behavioral, environmental, and social conditions. Graphic of a home and all the areas that community development helps with health outcomes. Image links to PDF version of The Answer.

Q: Can Supporting Community Development Improve Outcomes for the Health Sector?

Yes! Over 50 percent of premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to preventable non-medical factors, specifically behavioral, environmental, and social conditions.
M-Pesa

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Feb. 9

Carson's been warned | Chicago's Section 3 accomplishment | Airbnb's influence on rent prices | PayDay lenders are fans of Trump | A win for community benefits
A sign that reads "the rent is too damn high."

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Feb. 2

Quote of the Week: “Even as the core problem in cities shifted from disinvestment to displacement, the policy paradigm has remained the same: Spur growth...
Bustop and wall mural

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Jan. 26

Bus Routes Out of Poverty | Amazon—Earn Your Subsidy | The Numbers Behind 'Urban Renewal' | Overdue Rent is Sickening | Med. Students As City Planners? | Trump's Medicaid Work Requirement
construction site

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development, Jan. 19

A Health Care Conundrum | L.A. Takes Steps to House its Homeless | Post-Disaster Lessons for Nonprofits | An Eviction Crisis is Here | Discrimination in Auto Lending

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development, Jan. 12

Activists at the Golden Globes | Carson’s HUD Takes Some Heat | We Make an Exception on Workforce Housing | Companies Must "Do Better" in Nashville | California Makes Policy Using Opportunity Maps
An African-American man in blue T-shirt and shorts, carry full shopping bags approaches the top of a ramp, where he is greeting by a white woman in a multicolored blouse. Two other people with belongings follow him up the ramp.

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development, Jan. 5

2018 Housing predictions | Gentrification News | Local Resistance | Unlikely inspiration for planners
Canadian flag

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 22

Canada says housing a human right | Protecting local business | Homelessness prevention saves money | CLT milestone in Colorado
"For Rent" sign

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 15

Walmart and Ben Carson looking out for your financial health?! | Homelessness numbers up, but lowering them saves money | Rental market finally slowing down.
Three tiny homes.

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 8

“Attainable” housing | Defeating land contracts | Harassed tenants get legal win | Preaching against gentrification | Housing on Bill Gates’ mind
protesters with signs

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 1

Demolitions conducted using Hardest Hit Funds have exposed already suffering communities to asbestos; Vancover gets accessory dwelling units right; Obama dismisses the idea of a community benefits agreement in Chicago; and more in this week's Shelter Shorts, a look back at the week in community development news.
A graphic for Shelterforce's, "The Answer." This time, we ask: Do rent regulations make the housing crisis worse?

Q: Do Rent Regulations Make the Housing Crisis Worse?

A: No! Despite common fears, decades of evidence shows that rent regulation doesn't restrict housing supply and quality.Feel free to print and distribute! Click...
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Renter Week of Action in Pictures

This past week, renter advocacy groups staged coordinated demonstrations in over 45 states to disrupt business as usual, including stand-ins at the personal residences of corporate landlords, banner drops, neighborhood tours of the housing crisis, and creative actions at city halls. With the help of #RenterWeekofAction convener Right to the City, Shelterforce has compiled photos from several such demonstrations throughout the country to highlight their scope.
People line up next to donation items after Hurricane Katrina.

Civil Rights Organizations on Hurricane Relief Efforts

Throughout what we know will be a long recovery over the coming weeks, months, and years, Shelterforce hopes to share the stories of the...
An illustration of a headshot that has racially loaded terms enscribed on it. Surrounding the tombstone are reasons why these terms should not be used.

Q: Is It Time to Bury Racially Loaded Planning and Development Terms?

Shelterforce has gathered some racially loaded terms that are common in our field. We suggest you use these sparingly and carefully, if at all.
A group of activists and community-based partners in Philadelphia discuss how to deal with a Mantua neighborhood hotspot and possibly solve the problem through a process called “crime prevention through environmental design.”

Roundtable: Policing and Community Development

Many people in the community development field are conflicted about the police presence where they work. We invited a group of practitioners to share their experiences and talk through this tension.

In Memoriam: Pete Garcia

The community development world lost a leader on May 3. Pete Garcia, who was the director of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) from 1984 to 2008, passed away at the age of 71.

Q: What Do All These Housing Affordability Terms Mean?

While we use terms like "affordable housing," "moderate income," "housing poverty," and "area median income" often, we thought it'd be helpful to explain what all these housing affordability terms mean. Make sure you're using these 19 terms correctly.

Q: Is scattered-site rehab always more expensive than new construction?

A: No! A long-running program in Philadelphia is showing that scattered site rehab can be cheaper and have a larger revitalizing effect at the same time.

Interview with Michael Rubinger, former CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Rubinger was at LISC's founding and from 1999 to June 2016, he headed the organization, steering it most recently on a path toward comprehensive community development rather than just housing work.

Q: Do economic development incentives support small businesses?

A. Not very much. Despite the claims of many states, when you look at the numbers, the vast majority of taxpayer dollars directed to economic development go to big corporations.

Q: Why don’t low-income families save?

A. Actually they do! However, they tend to be saving for the short term, rather than the long term.

Q: What’s the difference between community economic development and traditional economic development ?

A: A lot! In fact, they are so different that the Democracy Collaborative, which made the chart below, has coined the term “community wealth building” to set apart the truly community-oriented practitioners of economic development.

Voices From the Field: Mixed Income

Do we need more mixed-income housing? Why or why not? The following data and observations were collected via a survey we conducted from late January through mid-February, distributed via Shelterforce Weekly and social media.

In Memoriam: Marva Smith Battle-Bey

Marva Smith Battle-Bey, director of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation in Los Angeles, which she founded in 1979,...
Four charts and graphs illustrate how foreclosure rates are still higher than they were pre-crisis, and how recovery is slower in some neighborhoods. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Isn’t the foreclosure crisis over?

A: Not for everyone. Even after significant recovery, most of the country still has record high levels of . . .
HUD Secretary Julian Castro poses in a formal headshot in front of an American flag.

Interview with HUD Secretary Julián Castro

Shelterforce got a chance to speak with Secretary Castro about some of the current ways in which he’s working to make HUD a force for good in people’s lives, and what steps there are left to be taken.

Dr. King and The Poor People’s Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968 while in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. Up until that time, he'd spoken about the dignity...

Remembering Debby Visser

On December 4, we lost a good friend, thoughtful colleague, and champion for social justice in Debby Visser.Debby's career...

Remembering Rick Cohen

Rick Cohen, a Shelterforce contributor, passed away suddenly on November 17. Known for his prolific writing focused on nonprofits and...
A simple drawing of a balanced scale has a blue house labeled "before inclusionary requirements" on one side and a red house labeled "after inclusionary requirements" on the other side. Text above reads Do inclusionary housing requirements make housing prices go up for everyone else? No! followed by discussion. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Do inclusionary housing requirements make housing prices go up for everyone else?

A: No, they do not. Market-rate developers are business people. They charge as much as the market will bear. When housing prices go up . . .

Interview with Richard Baron, CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar

It still surprises many people that Richard Baron, the CEO of one of the largest for-profit affordable housing developers, got his start in the field supporting public housing tenants in a rent strike.

Interview with John Henneberger of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service–Part 2

John Henneberger talks about expansive definitions of fair housing, exciting organizing work in Texas that the rest of the country should keep an eye on, the role of a state-level advocacy organization, and more.
One pager begins with Q: Do Immigrants “Take Our Jobs”? A: No! This is a common fear, especially for people who are already struggling to get by. But it’s not true. Then it provides references to studies showing economic benefits to immigration. Image links to a pdf version.

Q: Do Immigrants “Take Our Jobs”?

A: No! This is a common fear, especially for people who are already struggling to get by. But it’s not true. Here are the facts:

Public Housing Residents as Activists

More Than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing, by Amy L. Howard. University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 320 pp. $33.95 (paper). Purchase here.
One-pager starts with Do inclusionary zoning requirements halt development? No! After a paragraph citing the research, there is an image of people back-lit on construction scaffolding, surrounded by quotes from public officials about how inclusionary measures have been good for their housing market. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Do inclusionary zoning requirements halt development?

A: No! Research shows that hasn't been the case. And here's what local officials in places that have implemented it had to say . . .

Interview with John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service–Part 1

It’s not every year (or even every decade) that community developers and housers see themselves represented in the ranks of the coveted MacArthur Fellows (or “genius grant” recipients). That in and of itself would be sufficiently exciting, but when Shelterforce staff sat down to talk to John Henneberger of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, one of the 2014 MacArthur geniuses, we certainly found ourselves impressed and excited. Driven by a sense of justice since college, he has been on the frontlines of the fight for equality and equity since those years. Henneberger has extensive knowledge of the field, an ability to clearly relate many of our most basic concerns to each other, and a clear-eyed focus on end goals above interim measures. In this two part interview, he talks about expansive definitions of “fair housing,” exciting organizing work in Texas that the rest of the country should keep an eye on, the role of a state-level advocacy organization, and much more.

Interview with Mayor Ivy Taylor, San Antonio, Texas

When Julian Castro, then-mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was picked to be the new Secretary of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development last year, the city council voted in Ivy Taylor from among their ranks to replace him. The first African-American mayor of the largely Latino and Anglo city, and strongly identified as an urban planner, Taylor casts herself as someone interested more in getting work done than leaving a political legacy. However, she has not shied away from controversial positions, and her initial position that she would not be running for re-election fell by the wayside as she announced her candidacy on February 16, less than two weeks after this interview. We spoke with Mayor Taylor, who has a background in affordable housing, about what it’s like to move between the community development sphere and city government, some of her difficult decisions, and her vision for stable, mixed-income neighborhoods in the city she is serving.

Shelterforce Poll Results: Community Developers Feel Conflicted About Police

When the conversations surrounding the Michael Brown and and Eric Garner cases were at their strongest late last year, Shelterforce conducted a survey, asking our readers how they felt about the relationship between law enforcement and the communities in which they work and live. The answers we received ran the spectrum, from “Police presence is […]
One-pager reads Do Section 8 voucher holders increase crime in a neighborhood? No! Shows two graphs illustrating the point. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Do Section 8 voucher holders increase crime in a neighborhood?

A: No! This is a perennial fear, but research shows that additional voucher holders don't change the crime rate at all. However it does show that . . .

Veterans By the Numbers

Some statistics about the state of veterans in America.

Working in Partnership

[Editorial note: In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Rooflines has chosen to share an essay from the Shelterforce archives. Co-written by Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and John Taylor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the decade-old essay shows us that the reality for millions of Americans in poverty has not changed very […]

Happy Holidays From All of Us to All of You

                    As we wind down 2014 and prepare for the new year, the folks at Shelterforce would like to express our thanks to you—our readers and supporters. We’ve enjoyed connecting with you through Shelterforce in print and on the web, Rooflines, and our Shelterforce Weekly newsletter, […]

Policing in Communities of Color: We Want to Hear Your Voice

On Rooflines, bloggers have written directly about events in Ferguson, MO, and indirectly analyzed the social ramifications of racial and economic discrimination going unchecked in communities. From “Three-Strikes” Law enforcement, to sentencing disparity among races in crack/powder cocaine offenses, to aggressive policing strategies in communities of color, the relationship between law enforcement and people of […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

To All Shelterforce Rooflines readers and contributors: The Shelterforce staff is thankful for you and your words that inspire, challenge, and inform. We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. We'll return to our regular blog publishing on Monday. (Photo credit: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P., CC BY-NC 2.0)
One-pager showing differences between municipal land banks and community land trusts. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Is a land bank the same thing as a land trust?

A: Nope. They are totally different, though complementary tools. This chart will walk you through the differences.

Let’s Talk About Jobs—And Ownership

In theory, the recession has been over since 2009. But that theory means little for most workers in this country, who have only seen...

Put the “Choice” in “Housing Choice Vouchers”

In June, Alexander Polikoff, lead counsel in the decades-long Gautreaux Chicago Public Housing desegregation litigation, spoke to HUD staff on the FHEO Speaker Series. ...

Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation

Phillip Henderson was only 38 when he took the helm at the Surdna Foundation seven years ago, becoming Surdna’s second director in what he calls its “modern era.” Henderson came to the family foundation from a career that had been focused on international philanthropy, but he applied many of the lessons he learned fostering civic engagement in post-Communist Europe to Surdna’s domestic grantmaking. Henderson sat down with Shelterforce to talk about aligning program with mission, cross-pollination between programs, and Surdna’s recent launch into the impact investing world.

Homeowners Empowered To Fight Eviction With This New Tool

The following is a story from Occupy Our Homes, a partner with Homes for All in fighting displacement. The campaign...

San Antonio Mayor Plucked For HUD

President Obama on Friday announced his new pick for HUD Secretary: San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.Current...

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

We first met Darren Walker about 15 years ago while planning an issue on faith-based development. Darren was the chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, the storied community development arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. We asked Darren to write an article that was not simply a cheerleader’s promotion of church-based CDCs, but a realistic assessment of the benefits and challenges to an institution embarking on that path.

Darren was optimistic and enthusiastic about the work he was doing at Abyssinian creating hundreds of units of affordable housing in Harlem. But he was pragmatic and realistic also. His article encouraged organizations to temper the enthusiasm necessary to even consider this work with a realistic analysis of an organization’s capacities and a clear-eyed examination of their assumptions about the rewards of creating a CDC.

Darren approached his work enthusiastically, I think, because he had visceral understanding of the challenges low-income folks had and the opportunities that were available to them with the right help. The kind of help that the stability of an affordable home could provide. His understanding came from personal experience that would inform his work wherever it took him, from law school to international finance, from a storefront afterschool program and Abyssinian to the Rockefeller and Ford foundations.

When we sat down with Darren on March 18 to conduct this interview, we were glad to see that enthusiasm, optimism, and pragmatism were as strong as ever as he starts his leadership of one of the world’s largest foundations.

Impact Investing Resources

If you want to explore impact investing further, here are some places to start.

Here’s How HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Could Be Better

We know that where families live can seriously effect their quality of life. Many predictors of health, education, and financial...
One-pager shows a repeating image of a manufactured home down the center, with myths on the left about why they are bad, and facts on the right. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Are manufactured homes a bad form of affordable housing?

A: Not any more! There are many myths out there about manufactured (or "mobile") homes, but in fact they can be a very important source of quality affordable housing...

Thank you!

We want to thank the many people who helped us put together this issue. We’re always grateful to our authors who share their insights and expertise. The people listed below guided us through the complexities of trying to understand a relatively new field so that we could frame the right questions. Most of the people listed below participated in a large advisory meeting we held on the topic hosted by our good friends at the Ford Foundation, others spoke with us in the weeks and months that followed. Everyone’s help was invaluable to us, but we’d like to note a few people for special thanks. We also compiled a resource guide with some additional impact investing-related organizations and reports that deserve your attention.

What Is Philanthropic Equity? A Roundtable Discussion

As we prepared this issue, the term "philanthropic equity" kept surfacing. What is this new concept in philanthropy, and how is it different from both traditional grantmaking and program-related investments? In December we gathered a group of people from foundations and nonprofit intermediaries to explore the concept, its promises and pitfalls.

“Money Must Serve, not Rule!”

In November 2013, Morgan Stanley launched its Institute for Sustainable Investing and announced that within five years it was aiming to manage $10 billion...