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.

An Inconvenient Greed (AIG)

It was hard to pick a winner in The Chicago Sun-Times’ March 20, 2009 Acronym Test, “What Should AIG Really Stand For?” I’m casting my vote for the title of this blog posting. The...

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.

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 reporting on the causes of the mortgage crisis and Wall...

Let’s Consider “Anticipatory Design”

Despite constant pressure to define and showcase our cities to celebrate their history and to showcase the “new,” cities remain constrained by the functional—and often political— reality of the...
Massachusetts housing choice legislation

Massachusetts Strikes a Blow Against Exclusionary Zoning

Proposed state bill in Massachusetts boosts housing production, helps end exclusionary zoning.

News in the Future Tense

What a great attention-grabber. Dated July 4, 2009, the lead story in the edition of The New York Times handed out to commuters in New York City yesterday morning trumpeted in giant type “IRAQ...
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 of the work that I do as an advocate for...

HMDA at 35

The improved Home Mortgage Disclosure Act can be a tool for fighting predatory lending, but it could and should go further.

Missing Priorities In HUD/DOT Sustainable Communities Initiative

At a US House of Representatives hearing last week on “Livable Communities, Transit Oriented Development, and Incorporating Green Building Practices into Federal Housing and Transportation,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Department of Transportation Secretary...
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.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, who stands at a podium in front of an American flag, has proposed legislation that would cancel rents and individual mortgage payments nationwide to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Ilhan Omar Proposes Bill to Cancel Rent, Mortgage Payments During Pandemic

A bill announced today by Rep. Ilhan Omar would release tenants and homeowners from housing payments until the national emergency is lifted, and would make up the losses to landlords and lenders through a federal fund.

A Victory for American Democracy

Americans all over the nation, political pundits, Wall Street workers, and, I venture to guess, even the president, were stunned Monday afternoon to hear that the bailout bill had been defeated in the U.S....

Proposed CRA Rule Receives Mixed Reviews from Housers

Public comment is open through Aug. 5 on proposed Community Reinvestment Act rule changes. They are worlds better than the Trump-era proposal. Why are some advocates still disappointed?

Proposed Changes to the Mortgage Interest Deduction: Some Simple Facts

The discourse around proposed changes to the federal tax system, especially between talk show pundits and economists and politicians—each with their own allegiances—is devoid of some simple, transparent facts. A first step toward public...

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