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.

The Biggest Winners

Obama’s election. For those under 30, it was a landslide. Despite the news that Obama is considering the neoliberal Larry Summers for Treasury Secretary and...

Want to Help Homeowners? Replace the Mansion Subsidy

I don’t think for a second that The New York Times is in bed with the real estate industry. It has done some excellent...

Project Rebuild in the 2014 Budget: Beating An All-But-Dead Horse

I must admit I was surprised to see Project Rebuild resurface in the Obama administration’s 2014 budget proposal. If there...

Neighborhood Choice: A Way Out for Some

The same factors that created ghettos of race and poverty operated to maintain them, even when subsidy might have provided a way out.

Amidst Congressional Missteps, Housing Opportunities Remain

Here in Washington, Congress has finally done its primary job: that of funding the government. The process of last-minute scrambling and late-night bargaining is clearly no way to run a government—as members of Congress and their staff become harried, priorities don’t get properly vetted. This style of governance also offers an opportunity for special interests […]
sign defining "gentrification"

Say It Loud: Renters’ Rights are Civil Rights!

Private developers and public agencies are finally investing in neighborhoods near transit and jobs—where many low-income communities of color have lived for generations—and as a result, are being pushed out just as resources in their neighborhoods are increasing.
peeling paint windowsill

Is a Home with Lead Hazards Really “Affordable”?

The cost of housing is not simply the mortgage, rent, and utilities, but the individual and community health, education, and social costs associated with low-quality, unstable, and unhealthy housing.
A liquor store in Baltimore.

Closing Liquor Stores, Hoping to Gain Public Health

A new code in Baltimore will reduce the number of liquor stores in the city. Will the change result in a drop in violence? What will happen to store owners?

Housing Bill: Look Past the “Bailout” Blather

Invisible amid all of the media talk of a congressional “bailout” for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a triumph for affordable housing advocates...

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.

Shelterforce Interview: Ron Sims

HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims doesn't just want the 8,500 employees he oversees at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to do their jobs: he wants them to challenge themselves, even if there's a risk of failure.

N.Y. Legislators: Don’t Sleep on Foreclosure Prevention

It seems surreal, or like a nasty joke. How can Americans be so far into the foreclosure crisis and still not see any significant...

Stop the Foreclosures. Save the Economy

It is true that the economic well-being of our nation is in jeopardy and that consumer confidence and liquidity is badly needed in order...