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.

Conrad Egan

What do Saul Alinsky, Students for a Democratic Society, HUD, and the Housing and Community Development Department of Fairfax County, Virginia, have in common? Conrad...

You Don’t Have to Go Home — You Just Can’t Stay Here

The wags at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — a.k.a the U.S. immigration agency — launched a pilot program last week that would allow...

HAMP Is Not Enough

The federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program has a lot of mass appeal. But banks have been slow to act and HAMP was never intended to be the sole solution to the foreclosure crisis. HAMP needs backup.
HUD Secretary Julian Castro poses in a formal headshot in front of an American flag.

Interview with HUD Secretary Julian Castro

Shelterforce got a chance to speak with Secretary Julian 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.

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. After years of neglect, the Obama administration wants to save public housing for future generations. Let's let them.

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...

What’s in Store for PETRA?

At the time it was unveiled last year, the Obama administration’s Preservation, Enhancement and Transformation of Rental Assistance Act, or PETRA (see SF, Summer...

Why the Presidential Race Ignores Urban America

Despite overwhelming media coverage, the 2016 presidential race has ignored the housing and economic crises impacting urban America. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Hillary Clinton has...

Think Globally, Act Regionally

Several other Rooflines bloggers have speculated about the impact of a new emphasis on metropolitan areas coming from the federal level. This past Friday,...

Interview: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña

The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is dealing with an evolving set of discrimination challenges facing families, changes in the very definition of "family," and the political realities of the 112th Congress. Trasviña is no stranger to this balancing act.

Leadership Afraid to Cling to Immigration

While lots of us fired up the grill over the Memorial Day weekend, a story came out Saturday in The New York Times about...

Shiller’s “Continuous-Workout Mortgages” Won’t Address the Crux of the Problem

Robert Shiller in an article in The New York Times proposed a more flexible home mortgage that he argues would help prevent crises...

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...

Homeownership: Dream or Nightmare?

Politicians have told us for decades that homeownership is the American Dream. They do this because they get lots of...

Can We Demolish Our Way to Revitalization?

While the answer to that question in the title of this piece is obvious, there’s a strong case to...

As Affordability Worsens, State and Local Governments Act on their Own

While local and state resources are increasingly stepping up as federal funding continues to be strained, it remains a question as to whether these actions and resources will be enough to meet affordable housing needs.
Atlanta's BeltLine bike path bordered by new homes.

Sustainable for Whom? Large-Scale Sustainable Urban Development Projects and “Environmental Gentrification”

Absent a fundamentally new approach to redevelopment planning that places housing affordability at the center of the process, large-scale sustainable development projects are likely to become engines of what has been termed “environmental gentrification.”
Men in topcoats and hats with rent increase protest signs.

Ask Yourself: Who Do Anti-Rent Control Policies Serve?

Whenever you hear (or read) anti-rent control arguments, ask the question: who benefits from banning rent control? And who is hurt?

How to Fund Land Banks

The number of land banks grew dramatically in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. So has our understanding of how to successfully fund them.
View of a Chicago neighborhood and the city skyline

Under Fire, Aldermanic Prerogative Is Turned to Democratic Ends

Long used to maintain segregationist and discriminatory policy, aldermanic prerogative is now being wielded in a more inclusive way.