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 Reality of Poverty Deconcentration

A “moral panic” over crime in central cities, combined with a demand for reform of the most troubled public housing developments, led to a profound shift in the late 1980s in how this country housed poor people.
Headshot of Thomas Menino, former Mayor of Boston

The Housing Policy We Need: An Interview with Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston

Thomas M. Menino, now serving his third term as mayor of Boston, became president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in May and quickly elevated the issue of affordable housing to the top of...

Strengthening the CRA

In 1995, the last time federal banking agencies revised the rules of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), they promised to conduct a follow-up review in 2002. Now that 2002 is upon us, portions of...

Shifting Fortunes: Trends in Housing Policy and Programs

In exchange for the abandonment of meaningful levels of housing assistance—whether project- or tenant-based—we are paying a high price in homelessness and severe cost burdens.

1,000,000 Homes at Risk

Sweeping changes in national housing policy have put hundreds of thousands of public and federally assisted (Section 8) housing units at risk. These drastic policy changes – driven by congressional budget cutting mandates and...

The Outlook for Rural Housing in 1998

In 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rural housing programs financed 62,700 subsidized single-family housing units and 33,600 subsidized apartments. By 1996, these numbers had dropped to 15,900 single-family and 1,900 multifamily units....

A Million Families at Risk

The Department of Housing and Urban Development proposes to rewrite the rules affecting the affordability of housing for over 1 million low-income families. Will HUD’s controversial proposal preserve affordable housing or cause significant displacement?

One Million Families At Risk

The dangers of Mark to Market and the needs for preserving expiring subsidized housing.

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.

Jerry E. Abramson, Louisville Kentucky’s Progressive Mayor on Housing and Community Development

Housing is a serious issue in Louisville, Kentucky. Last October was Affordable Housing Month, a month sponsored by the Metropolitan Housing Coalition (MHC) that brought together scores of neighborhood activists, nonprofit and for-profit housing...

Start Your Engines: The Housing Movement and the Motor Voter Law

The Motor Voter law, which associates voter registration with drivers licenses, can improve voter turnout and could have important ramifications for the housing movement.

Is It Time for a Populist Coalition of Low- and Middle-Income Americans for Affordable...

To build a powerful coalition of the poor and middle class, affordable housing advocates must reject a moderate neoliberal approach and choose a progressive populist approach.

It’s Time for a “Justice” Movement for Affordable Housing, Led by Low-Income People, People...

Neoliberalism is not the answer to our problems; but neither is a poorly thought out populism.

Rational Decision-Making To Balance Ideological Extremes

Housing activists must be prepared to confront the kinds of political issues that Atlas has raised – and to give content to the kind of "populist" approach he has recommended.

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