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View from the parking lot of two two-story motel-like apartment buildings, painted a sage green with black exterior stairway leading to the second floor apartments. Shrubs in the yard between the buildings include crape myrtle. A dark green minivan is parked in the lot and beyond it, a red sedan. The sky is blue with large cumulus clouds.

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Financial System

Entrenched Poverty, Juxtaposed Against Occasional Pockets of Progress

Recently, more than 150 people from across the nation rolled along the backroads of the iconic Mississippi Delta, peering through bus windows at scene after scene of entrenched poverty juxtaposed against occasional pockets of progress that had been achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds. While there were signs of advancement, they were set against the backdrop of conditions that disproportionately plague these places—substandard housing, underperforming schools, inadequate access to quality health care, and limited private and philanthropic investment. 

Housing Advocacy

Failing The Equitable Development Test

I wondered whether the Americans who suffered the injustice of our most recent Great Recession haven’t already been not only forgotten but abandoned by the White House and Congress, despite their votes. 

A woman who attended the 2016 National Housing Conference's event in New York City speak at the microphone.
Housing

How to Build a Case for Community Development and Affordable Housing

In the new administration, housing programs will feel the pressure of budgetary cuts and tax reform. Advocates should be careful not to put down other programs in the process of defending their own, or everyone will lose.

Editor’s Note

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.

CRA
Housing Advocacy

CRA Should be Becoming Less Partisan. Instead, It’s More.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a law that requires banks to serve the credit needs, consistent with safety and soundness, of all communities, including low- and moderate-income communities. With […]

Housing Advocacy

10 Ways to Speak Truth to Powerful Lies

How to engage, inform, and fight back against falsehoods.     In an era of fake news, alternative facts, and downright lies, it’s a daily struggle to promote the continued […]

Community Development Field

Indigenous Approaches to Succession and Mentoring

The American approach to work often values productivity in terms of outputs and deliverables, and generally, this prevails even in our social justice work. Many of us give of ourselves and sacrifice our time, energy, and other facets of our lives for the cause or to advance the movement; but without some sort of balance and planning on our end, we could face a harsh reality as we meet our advanced years in life.

Housing Advocacy

Where Do We Go From Here? Toward a New Freedom Budget

If, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, a “budget is a moral document,” then this budget is a reflection of the moralities of the boardroom, the eviction notice, the emergency ward, and the pink slip.

Housing Advocacy

Homeownership Equity Depends on Racially Equitable Policy

Once again, we hear rumblings that housing finance reform, the wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the retooling of the mortgage marketplace are coming. A new administration—with allies […]

Homelessness

Who Counts as a “Homeless” Child? It Matters

Are children in foster care homeless? It might sound like semantics, but it really makes a big difference. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary federal legislation designed to […]

Organizing

Disclosure Remains Our Right

I was interviewed last month for a book on redlining that took me back to the ‘70s. Going through my file of the national newsletter DISCLOSURE, which I edited for Gale […]

Housing Advocacy

How Data Disclosure Will Help Prevent the Next Financial Crisis

It seems like an overstatement, but data disclosure can help prevent the next financial crisis.   In the run-up to the Great Recession, subprime and other abusive lenders made loans […]