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...
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.

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.

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,...

Tainted Loans: Fighting Toxic Mortgages in the Courts

It's not too late to treat toxic loans as the defective product they are.
Policy and appropriations: a vew of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Congress: Breaking Down the Walls

Washington is a really confusing town in good times and an almost indecipherable town in surreal times like these. In order to make sense...

Where Do Houses Go When They Die? (Apparently, Pennsylvania)

The late George Carlin once quipped that “Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets...

It�s Time To Adjust To The Metropolitan Reality

One of the recurring themes of my writing (for example, here) has been that, to achieve sustainability in our cities,...

“Political Lift”: An Interview with Rep. Keith Ellison

As we head into the election home stretch, pieces of Rep. Keith Ellison's interview with Shelterforce in our latest issue keep coming to mind. Ellison...

Watch These Panelists Explain What’s Missing in the GSE Reform Debate

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition last week brought together a panel of experts to discuss the future of housing...

On Clinton, Obama, Trump, and the Failures of Liberal Urban Policy

In the closing days of the seemingly endless 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, it became increasingly clear to political observers...
Snow-covered Downtown Chinatown in Philadelphia.

In Spite of HUD, Fair Housing Process Can Help Communities

Last year, Philadelphia was one of the first cohorts to go through the AFFH process, a fair housing assessment mandated by HUD to discover...
person holding Amazon delivery box

The Amazon Opportunity to Revitalize Urban Communities

It's not too late for cities competing to be the next home to Amazon to raise the issue of employer-assisted workforce housing.
voters in booths

Dear Presidential Hopefuls: The People Want to Talk to You About Housing

Before we celebrate its resurgence as a national political issue, and certainly before we set out to solve for housing injustice, we should understand why America has overlooked housing.
fair housing wrecking ball

Affirmatively Dismantling Fair Housing

HUD has proposed a new rule that would make it more difficult to combat racial segregation in housing. The rule doesn't even mention segregation.