Policy

The rules of the game—and the attitudes of the players—have an enormous effect on community development work at all levels. Here we look at some of the conversations about how to shift that policy for the better.

Baltimore city

Tenant Advocates Win as Security Deposit Bill Is Vetoed in Baltimore

Baltimore's mayor vetoed a “Renter’s Choice” law after housing advocates warned of the predatory potential of selling deposit alternatives to struggling tenants.
A girl leans against the seat of a car, seemingly tired.

To Fight Family Homelessness, HUD Must Count It Correctly

What should we be doing now to address the increasing number of children who are expected to suffer pandemic-related homelessness?

Don’t Go Back to Old Economic Development Ways

Cities have led the way in enacting equity-focused pandemic policies. It’s time to build on that momentum, starting with neighborhoods.

A Movement-Based Federal Housing Agenda

What are the New Deal for Housing Justice and the BREATHE Act and how do they move beyond previous housing agendas?

From PETRA to RAD—The Path to Converting 140,000 Public Housing Units

More than $10 billion in private financing has been invested in public housing thanks to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. But housing advocates say it comes at a cost, and there still isn’t enough oversight of the program.
exterior of HUD building in Washington, D.C.

HUD Has Money for Tenant Organizing. Why Isn’t the Agency Spending It?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide $10 million to tenant organizers each year, but the funding has largely gone unspent since the early 2000s. Will that change with a new administration and newly approved HUD secretary?
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Now and Then: Rent Control, Rental Assistance, and Universal Vouchers

In the second installment of updates to Shelterforce articles of old, we check in on how well some of the recommendations, predictions, and worries about rent control, rental assistance, and universal vouchers have aged.

Fair Housing and Zoning: Toward a New Boston?

How Boston became the first city to add fair housing to its zoning regulations.

Did America Vote to Tackle Race and Health Inequities?

The ushering in of a new administration is a good time to reflect on some key 2020 ballot measures that have either advanced or hurt racial and health equity.

HUD Won’t Help With Back Rent Until Eviction Moratoriums Are Gone

Housing groups across the country are hoping HUD under the Biden administration will allow the use of Emergency Services Grants to prevent evictions.

Moving from the Inequitable Housing System We Have to the Housing System We Need

Three big, but basic, things that we could do right now to get us much closer to equity in housing.

Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Biden’s Ill-Advised Plan to Eliminate Exclusionary Zoning

A counterintuitive argument contends that from a housing justice perspective, the Biden administration's attack on exclusionary zoning is imprudent.
A protestor holds a "Rent Relief Now" sign during a North Carolina demonstration this month

In Unprecedented Times, Nothing Less Than Universal Rent Relief Will Do

If we stick with yesterday’s policy and programs in an unprecedented year of crisis, we will leave an unconscionable number of people, families, and communities behind.

How Democrats Can Fix the Affordable Housing Crisis

With Democrats taking back the Senate, can the Biden administration go beyond immediate-term rent relief to win more ambitious housing solutions?

What’s Abolitionist Housing Policy?

Abolition—as a mode of mobilization and social change directed at the criminal legal system and elsewhere—remains widely misunderstood.

‘Opportunity Areas’ Shouldn’t Just Be Places With A Lot of White People

Why do we think moving to white neighborhoods will solve our problems?

Making Eviction Diversion Meaningful in Massachusetts

Whether the governor’s rent relief and eviction diversion program will keep people in their homes depends on whether landlords can be persuaded—or compelled—to participate.
A teddy bear sits among discarded furniture on the side of the street

What You Need to Know About the Eviction Crisis

As Congress debates the details of a stimulus deal, we're giving you a roundup of the eviction crisis as well as the details of what COVID relief could be included in the package.

We Need Rental Registries Now More Than Ever

Most communities lack a way of collecting real-time data on whether landlords are complying with rules. A rental registry could change that.

The Foreclosure Crisis Waiting for Us in January

Although homeowners have so far accessed financial relief from the pandemic much more easily than renters, housing counselors are bracing for a foreclosure crisis as forbearance terms start to end.