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.

participatory budgeting fliers

Participatory Budgeting: Why Not Fix Everyone’s Sink?

Participatory budgeting offers a glimpse of how a more civically engaged society might work, but it’s also a distraction.
neon home loan sign

After Redlining: Part 2

Headrights and redlining were parts of a systemic structure designed to aid some and debilitate others. Their repercussions are still felt.
housing march

How Rent Control Promotes Racial Equity

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our long-standing housing affordability crisis called for universal rent control as a baseline protection. 

‘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 Inclusionary Housing Programs a Force for Racial Equity

Three city administrators go beyond the press releases to talk about what it really takes to make an inclusionary housing requirement serve households of color.

Taking the Bull by the Horns

As they rebuild from the financial meltdown of 2008, policymakers can finally craft measures to guarantee healthy communities and secure homes for all Americans.

Ron Sims: Retiring from HUD, Not from Public Service

Shelterforce caught up with the HUD deputy secretary on the precipice of retirement, nearly two-and-a-half years after joining the agency. Sims brought to HUD not only his political savvy, but also an unshakable commitment to equity and sustainability. In this exit interview, we talk about his accomplishments at HUD, plans for the future, and what he thinks needs to be done in order to stabilize the housing market.

One Year Later

Numerous groups, from grassroots organizations to national researchers have been following the progress, or lack thereof, in rebuilding the Gulf Coast region post-Katrina. Here...
bumper sticker for candidate Barack Obama 2008

President-Elect Obama on Smart Growth, Transportation, Cities, and Regions

Here’s a little about what this week’s historic election may mean for smart growth, sustainable development, and metropolitan America, based on Barack Obama’s statements...

California Off a Cliff

Hey everybody, have you heard? The California legislature finally passed a budget plan on July 21 (the constitutional deadline is June 15). The state...

Homeownership: Dream or Nightmare?

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

The Feds Bow Out: We’re On Our Own

Yes, the federal government is back in business.After 16 days and untold billions in lost earnings and wasted dollars,...

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...

Government Works Badly–If We Refuse to Invest in It

At the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Summit earlier this week, Shelterforce got to interview former HUD secretaries Mel Martinez and Henry Cisneros (we'll publish that interview here next week). One of the questions we asked was how to handle the fact that the American electorate often seems to have a bias, not so much against […]
A graphic showing the demographic clusters of Georgia.

Reshaping Housing Policy with a Health Lens

In Georgia, public health practitioners used a Health Impact Assessment to suggest changes to the allocation plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. This is how they made it happen.
vote sign on boarded window

Bold Political Leadership on Housing Policy? In 2018? You Heard Right

Local elected officials are having to re-examine the risks and rewards of making housing and housing affordability a political priority. Could one mayor's bold steps on housing policy be a national bellwether?
a manufactured home

How to Temper the Influence of Private Equity in Manufactured Housing

The risk of onerous lot rent increases and the fear of eviction are more threatening than ever as private equity enters the manufactured housing market.

States Use CARES Act Funds to Keep Renters Afloat, But It Won’t Be Enough

More than a dozen states are using Community Development Block Grant funding from the CARES Act to fund emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs.
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?

What if Vouchers Aren’t the (Only) Answer?

Rather than continue to find ways to make Section 8 work better, some affordable housing and tenant advocates argue the federal government should instead invest heavily in addressing the affordable housing shortage at its root.

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