Shelterforce Staff

Shelterforce Staff
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No Cover for Making Home Affordable

We’ve long known that the administration’s collection of foreclosure prevention programs, known together as Making Home Affordable, has been underperforming, with government data indicating...

Communities Investing in Their Values

In November, Illinois People’s Action, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and 15 other community organizations from across the country filed an official protest against...

Affordable Housing Has Mass. Appeal

While many people had their eyes on the Congressional midterm and gubernatorial elections last Election Day, we were looking at the big win in...

A Partial Win for Post-Katrina Mississippi

The Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state of...

6 × 6: Call for Nominations!

Shelterforce will turn 36 next year and we’d like you to help us celebrate!Community Developers 36 and Under: Call for NomineesAre you, or someone...

Just Google “Affordable+Housing”

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) have gotten hard to come by lately. But perhaps the ubiquitous Google can help: it has entered the affordable...

Heartache for HAMP

It’s no secret that the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, has produced lackluster results, with fewer than 450,000 permanent modifications realized...

NSP at Halftime

The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a welcome source of funds in struggling communities, and it has had a massive effect on the nature of the response to the problem of vacant foreclosed property. As NSP3 gets underway and the NSP1 obligation period comes to a close, Shelterforce looks back at NSP so far.

Preserving Hip-Hop’s Birthplace

The deteriorating building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx is sometimes credited as being the birthplace of hip-hop, due to community room parties...

Community Development: A Love Story

Film director Michael Moore will use a $1 million dollar film tax credit he received for his film Capitalism: A Love Story to launch...

Holding Banks Responsible

The Chicago City Council is becoming one in a line of local governments to consider legislation to hold lenders more responsible for properties they...

Speed ‘Em Up or Slow ‘Em Down?

As all 50 U.S. attorneys general launched a joint investigation into massive foreclosure fraud — robosigning, which was covering up the underlying problem that...

Sowing Seeds of Change: Q&A with John Atlas

Editors of sat down recently with John Atlas, NHI board president and author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group, to discuss the organization itself, as well as organizing on a national level, tensions between organizing and development, and lessons learned from the downfall of the once-powerful antipoverty organization.

Private Money, Public Housing: Will PETRA Work?

Before White House press secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out at the “professional left” in frustration over what the White House views as an insatiable...

CHA Back in Charge

After 23 years, the Chicago housing authority is no longer in receivership. The court-ordered receivership had placed administrative duties in the hands of a...

The End of Public Housing

In written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Financial Services in May, excerpted here, a group of urban affairs academics argue that PETRA is nothing less than a formal divestment from public housing, worse than anything previous administrations have proposed.

Another Post-War, Middle-Class Enclave in Default

First it was New York City’s Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, and now, another enclave built by Metropolitan Life in the 1940s for veterans...

Countrywide Sued Again

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, alleging it steered African-American and Latino borrowers into subprime mortgages and charged them...

Attention Underwriters

According to Deutsche Bank, 20 million homeowners might be underwater by 2012. Turns out of those 20 million, those with the most expensive homes...

Little Living Goes a Long Way

As Seattle continues its efforts to expand its affordable housing stock (and housing options), tiny so-called cottages are popping up in its backyards. The...

Why Was ShoreBank Allowed to Fail?

In August, when the FDIC seized ShoreBank of Chicago, it represented the demise of the oldest community development bank in the United States. The...

Columbia Gets Green Light for Expansion

A controversial, 17-acre expansion of Columbia University’s Harlem campus received a nod from the New York Court of Appeals, which overturned a lower court...

Adolfo Carrion: A Brief History

First it was the Office of Urban Policy. Then, at the time of its launch in 2009, it quietly turned into the Office of...

Best Practices for Volunteerism

While this article focuses on volunteerism within community development organizations, there are some basic practices that any volunteer effort should utilize. These include:Clarify your...

Punitive Measures for Walk-Aways

A few years ago, we warned that lenders, particularly GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would take punitive measures on people who made...

Foreclosure-Free (Almost) Homeownership

Homeowners in community land trusts (CLTs) across the nation continue to have substantially lower delinquency and foreclosure rates than owners of market-rate homes, according...

Filling the Talent Pool in Newark

Talk about an educated community. Newark, New Jersey, has given the green light to a “teachers village” that will comprise three charter schools, 1,000...

NHI’s John Atlas to Discuss New ACORN Book

John Atlas, a founder of the National Housing Institute and Shelterforce, will appear today in the 1 p.m. hour (eastern) on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate...

Housing Advocacy Group Gets $5M Anonymous Donation

From the National Low Income Housing CoalitionThe National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) announced today that it had received an anonymous $5 million donation...

Bostic: HUD’s PD&R Was “Stagnant” In Recent Years

We sat down with Raphael Bostic, HUD’s assistant secretary for Policy Development & Research in a substantive interview slated for publication in the Summer...

Reporting From The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2010 Annual Housing Policy Conference

Rooflines, the blog of the National Housing Institute will be reporting live from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2010 Annual Housing Policy Conference....

Live Blogging From NCRC 2010 Conference

Rooflines will be live blogging from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2010 National Conference beginning Wednesday, March 10. Join us here at Rooflines as...

Join Shelterforce, NHI, and Rooflines on Facebook!

Do you dabble around on Facebook? Of course you do! So why not become a fan of the National Housing Institute for a streamlined,...

Cooper Village & Stuyvesant Town: Can’t Quite Walk Away

When Tishman Speyer Properities and Blackrock announced a few weeks back that they would default on their $3 billion mortgage loan, it looked as...

A Roadblock in Manhattanville

Columbia University’s plan to expand its Harlem campus north into a 17-acre parcel currently occupied by warehouses and auto repair shops was put to...

Acorn’s Down… and Up Again?

ACORN, the 40-year-old, nationwide community organizing group has suffered more political fallout in 2009 than any number of shamed political officials embattling a public...

Permanent Mortgage Modifications Fall Short of Expectations

Only a very small fraction of mortgage modifications made under the $75 billion Making Home Affordable program have been made permanent, triggering some tough...

A New Approach to Youth Violence

Heightened awareness, new school programs, and increased police presence, are only some of the methods used to curb youth violence, but a new study...

HUD’s New Team

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration is equipped with an impressive list of housing experts at the top....

The Nitpicker’s Guide to Foreclosure Mitigation

First, it was judges like Justice Arthur M. Schack of the New York Supreme Court, who made waves by tossing foreclosure motions because he...

What Does the Future Hold For Fannie & Freddie?

The functions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- liquidity, stability, and access -- remain important for the housing economy. Indeed, the two companies today are providing more than 70 percent of all the financing for housing even while under conservatorship. But their collapse into the federal government's arms is causing a wholesale reevaluation of how best to provide those functions in the future.

Ruling A Step Toward A “Fully Integrated Society”

In August, New York State’s Westchester County entered an agreement that could result in dozens of towns and villages within its borders to aggressively...

Tough Love for TARP

The Congressional Oversight Panel assembled a year ago when TARP was enacted in order to review the regulatory system and financial markets offered some...

Livin’ Tiny in Texas

At this point, it’s a good thing that we’re getting used to the greening trend in development, as well as in land-use planning, that...

High Stakes Deal Turns Precarious

In 2006, Shelterforce reported on the $5.4 billion sale of two colossal apartment complexes — Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village — on Manhattan’s...

White House Hosting ARRA Web Forums

The White House Office of Management and Budget has announced a series of forums geared to help recipients of funding appropriated through the American...

The Obama Administration’s Remarkable Week on Sustainable Cities, Smart Growth & Revitalization

Wow. Last Monday, before heading out to toss the first pitch at Tuesday’s baseball All Star Game, the president kicked off a White...

Neighborhood Schools that Work for Kids, Communities, & the Environment

Smart Growth Schools expert Nathan Norris lists eleven key principles for measuring how well schools and school policies fit in with their communities. ...

Joint Center’s Housing Report Points to Challenges Ahead

Describing the problems facing the housing market today as “hard to overstate,” representatives from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies last week announced the...

NHI/Shelterforce Is On Facebook

We’ve been here a while, but this is a great venue for one-stop shopping for national and industry news from...

The Green House?

We couldn’t resist the pun when news broke in March that Van Jones will serve as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation...

Just a Regular Maverick (Realtor)

Jim Klinge, the Realtor-cum-blogger who, first expressing pre-burst housing bubble incredulity, has since lit up the Web with an honesty rarely seen from a...

Oprah Donates to Newark Nonprofits and Schools

A handful of Newark, New Jersey, nonprofits received some much-needed relief in a time of reduced donations from a surprising benefactor — Oprah Winfrey....

Crossing Silos: HUD, DOT, and Sustainable Communities

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation have unveiled a new partnership to help families gain better access to...

TARP At Six Months: Report Delivers “Mixed” Emotions

Six months after Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, allowing for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) allocation, a...

Foreclosure Holiday at Fan & Fred Comes to an End

There weren’t any splashy headlines like there were when, just before the holidays, GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a foreclosure moratorium, but...

Job Quality & The Stimulus Package

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the Stimulus Package — passed by Congress in a painful process in February, proposes to create or...

HUD & DOT Team Up To Promote Sustainable Communities

This is awesome. Here is an excerpt from yesterday’s joint press release from HUD and DOT:“WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban...

MacArthur Foundation Announces Multi-State Affordable Housing Preservation Effort

The following was released Thursday by the MacArthur Foundation.Seizing the opportunity to make needed long-term investments in the face of a weak economy, 12...

Worse Than a Tornado: Neighborhood Stabilization Amid the Foreclosure Crisis

NHI’s David Sailer appeared in the February 2009 issue of Planning magazine to address “the insidious destruction of entire neighborhoods now goes largely unnoticed.”...

Two Americas On Display: DC & Las Vegas

I was struck by two hugely contrasting stories in Sunday’s Real Estate section of The Washington Post. If you want evidence that John...

Gardening? It’s Gone to the Goats

Anything to save a buck these days, but in Los Angeles, a cost-savings measure employed by a local redevelopment agency appears to have all...

Location, Location, Location

In an effort to promote inner-ring Philadelphia suburbs and unsung city neighborhoods, a regional planning commission has launched a high-profile informational campaign. The initiative,...

Housing a Rising Homeless Population: Female Veterans

The number of homeless female veterans far outstrips the affordable housing available for this increasing demographic, but a new housing complex in Dayton, Ohio,...

Chicago Public Housing Museum in the Works

On Chicago’s Near West Side sits a 70-year-old Depression-era building, the sole remaining structure of the Jane Addams Homes, the first federal government housing...

Building Hope and Homes

Taller San Jose, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based job-training program, broke ground in September on an affordable-housing project for first-time homebuyers. The planned development —...

Getting a Fix on a Shape-Shifting Bailout

While President-elect Barack Obama’s politics of hope helped sweep him to victory, he’ll have his hands full getting the public to trust that the...

Memos on How To Make Change From the Grass Roots to the Oval Office

$4 a Gallon Gas Changed (Nearly) Everything!This contribution arrived via time capsule from Aug. 28, 2020: Looking back, the signs should have been obvious:...

‘A Fighter of Uncommon Grace’

The death of U.S. Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio (photo above) came as a shock not only because of its suddenness, but also...

Poverty Measurements Fall Short

After more than four decades using a formula considered by critics as substandard and outdated, the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Income...

A Housing Renaissance?

A group of former FEMA trailer residents has formed an organization to raise money to house Louisianans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The nonprofit —...

$3.9 Billion in Federal Aid. Now What?

When the Senate passed and President Bush signed the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 in July, media focus fell mainly...

Fan & Fred Bill: The Catalyst For a Better Housing Market?

The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008: approved by the Senate on Saturday should appropriately be called the “Fannie Mae and...

Blocking the ‘Bayonne Box’

Newark, N.J., is one of a handful of Garden State cities that is enjoying something of a housing renaissance, but city government and some...

HUD Sec’y Resigns, Questions Linger

Although Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson cited personal reasons for resigning in April, his departure failed to dispel concerns about his conduct...

School’s Out (of Money)

The number of home foreclosures nationwide is up 60 percent from one year ago, and it’s not just affecting the homeowner, but children of...

Housing Perpetuates Racial Segregation, Group Says

A Dallas-based civil-rights group is charging the largest affordable-housing rental program in Texas with perpetuating racial segregation and asking the courts to require an...

No, Not That Kind of Green

While one of New York City’s newest housing developments will bring in the green in ratables, the project shows that it can be easy...

A House Divided?

Couples seeking divorce are finding that breaking up is, indeed, hard to do — particularly during the recent slump in the housing market....

Walkin’ Blues

They say leaving home ain’t easy, but some homeowners in Florida find they have no other options.More and more homeowners are finding ways to...

Tune into NHI & PDI Web cast—How To Get Out of the Mortgage...

For those of you unable to tune into our June 3 Learning Lab Web cast held in collaboration with The Professional Development Institute, ...

California: Fear & Loathing at the Ballot Box

Everybody likes to go all schadenfreude on California, jealous of the wonderful weather, fabled coastline, and our claim to Yorba Linda, birthplace of Richard...

News From Shelterforce

Over the past 30 years, you’ve come to expect vital information and in-depth analysis of important issues affecting the affordable housing and community revitalization...

News From Shelterforce

Over the past 30 years, you’ve come to expect vital information and in-depth analysis of important issues affecting the affordable housing and community revitalization...

About Oakland

Total Population: 399,477Population of Color: 77%Poverty Rate: 19%Unemployment Rate: 8.4%Median Household Income: $40,055Homeownership Rate: 41%Single-parent households with children under 18: 12%Homeless population, 2004: 3,056Subsidized...

Local Rebuilding Efforts

Drawing on the NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers model, Enterprise, ECD/HOPE and NeighborWorks America started a pilot program of “Home Again” housing resource centers, which are...

The Organizers Active on the Gulf Coast

ACORN, (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) founded in 1970, has over 175,000 member families. They are organized in 850 neighborhood chapters...

Paying for Planning

So where does the money come from for all these grandiose plans and their implementation?In a number of major U.S. cities, such as Seattle,...

Participatory Budgeting: The International and NCBG Approaches

International Approach…Uses “geographical and complementary political boundaries to facilitate decision-making and service delivery” Uses public meetings to initiate and carry out the budget process Relies upon...

One Year Later

Numerous groups, from grassroots organizations to national researchers have been following the progress, or lack thereof, in rebuilding the Gulf Coast region post-Katrina. These...

Domes for Sale

A community of 14 domes that housed about 30 homeless people in the shadow of the Staples Center in Los Angeles was for sale...

OTS Reverses Course

Thanks in good part to a change in leadership, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision announced in September that it is reversing its regressive...

No Smoking Gun

It seems that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson has been heard urging his staff to steer contracts toward people who like President Bush. But since...

Home Alone, Chinese-Style

Chinese bloggers called it a “nail house”-a private home in the Chinese city of Chongqing that became a thorn in the side of local...

Foreclosure Fuzziness Media Watch

Pity the poor media consumer. It’s nigh-on impossible to understand the burgeoning mortgage crisis rippling through communities around the country if you’re relying on...

MacArthur Foundation Earmarks $25 Million for Housing Research

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to invest $25 million over the next five years in research into the causes, effects...

On a Positive Note

House Committee on Financial Services chair Barney Frank’s plan to include provisions for an Affordable Housing Fund in the House version of regulatory reform...

School House Rocks

One Missouri school district has given new meaning to “no child left behind.” Discouraged by the number of homeless students in its district, and...

Passing the Buck

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the effects that predatory lending and exotic mortgages have on the rising rate of home foreclosures,...

An A for Effort

When it comes to covering affordable housing and homelessness crises that plague our country, the press has given it the good-old college try. Small-town...