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.

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.

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 people with outstanding deportation orders to deport themselves. ICE calls the...

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 uttered the phrase “housing crisis” during their debates, and no...

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, civic leaders from Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pa....

Brave New World for Nonprofits

The current "bathtub recession" poses a drowning hazard for community development and housing groups, as philanthropic giving shrinks and foundations look beyond nonprofits for solutions to social problems.

Nicolas P. Retsinas

Nicolas P. Retsinas, a senior lecturer in real estate at the Harvard Business School and director emeritus of Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, talks with Shelterforce about his long service in the housing field.

Making The Stimulus Work For You

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted at lightning speed under intense political pressure. Substantively, it was a hodgepodge of programs and initiatives with no pretence to consistency or cohesion. Procedurally, it was...

Halting the Oil Slick’s Spread

It was bound to happen: Oil goes up to $140-plus a barrel and the president calls for offshore drilling and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, aka ANWR. Technology will prevent another Exxon...
bumper sticker for candidate Obama

Obama’s Chicago: A New Start

It was as if all of Chicago had one big ear-splitting grin Tuesday night. Even hours before polls had closed, people went about their business — including voting in record numbers — as if...

Labor Day, Chris Christie, and the Employee Free Choice Act

It’s labor-day weekend so let’s think about unions, Republicans, and politics. Unions are a potent reality check as well as a counterforce to the power of big business. Most union members don’t fall for free...

Romney’s Tax Plan Could Spell Doom for the Nonprofit Housing Sector

This presidential race continues to be a disaster when it comes to issues we care about.  No mention of affordable housing, no real debate on how to solve the ongoing...

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 be made that a lot of the buildings that make...

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, here’s a link to the archived version. John Taylor, president and...

2014 Elections: The Takeaway for Housing and Community Development Policy

Enterprise Community Partners created this quick yet comprehensive analysis of the implications of the election on housing and community development programs that we here at Shelterforce and Rooflines have found helpful. (Photo credit, Flickr user Carl CC BY-SA 2.0)
Row of trailer homes with mountains in the background.

Duty to Serve: A Boon for Shared Equity Homeownership

Shared equity homeownership programs just had a big win.
segregation

Fair Housing at 50: At the Root, It’s Still Race Over Place

We should have known better. The Kerner Commission taught us that race matters most, not place. But it also embedded in our psyches the equation of Black = central city and the similarly absolute equation of white = suburbs.
group photo

HUD Approves Vouchers for Housing After Foster Care

A group of former foster youths and advocates recently convinced top federal housing officials about how best to legislate new federal support for housing for youth after they exit foster care.

Fair Housing Is Still the Law, Even if Trump Refuses to Enforce It

Repudiating the requirement to affirmatively further fair housing is another example of this administration’s race baiting and disregard for both the spirit and the letter of the law.