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.

Q: Who Enforces CRA?

Why are there three different agencies enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA? Who does each agency enforce it on?

A Movement-Based Federal Housing Agenda

What are the New Deal for Housing Justice and the BREATHE Act and how do they move beyond previous housing agendas?

Memos on How To Make Change From the Grass Roots to the Oval Office

From the grass roots to the Oval Office: Shelterforce contributors offer policy suggestions for the next president on how to make change.

Shelterforce Interview: Mercedes Márquez

HUD Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development Mercedes Márquez spoke with Shelterforce about NSP, technical assistance, and the importance of leveraging resources.

Putting ‘Silent Pickpockets’ on Notice

Discriminatory lending practices are a “silent pickpocket” skulking among unsuspecting borrowers, said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at the National...
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,...

How to Make Housing Affordable for All the Working Poor

The headlines tell the story: “Half of all renters can’t afford the rent.” “Renters, get ready to take it...
View of a worker's hard hat as they climb on a ladder in a tunnel.

Administration’s Assault on Workers Continues in Congress

A proposed 20 percent reduction to the Department of Labor's overall budget would make working people less safe, and will discourage them from speaking up when abuses happen.
dilapidated Detroit building 2009

The Important Deadline Coming Up for All Governors

States have a deadline to submit their Opportunity Zones nominations. What factors will be weighed in the decision process, and what will federal designation mean to distressed neighborhoods?
A lightbulb is on in a dark room. The utility company has kept the lights on.

When Domestic Violence and Utility Bill Debt Intersect

In Pennsylvania, domestic violence survivors are often not afforded the protections they are entitled to because many people are often unaware of the Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act and its provisions. A three-year pilot program aimed to change that.
graduation

Small Investments Can Yield Big Returns. Review of A Few Thousand Dollars

Over a dozen stories of how Americans from all different backgrounds have managed to leverage a few thousand dollars to lead lives that have helped thousands of other people, and strategies to reinvigorate a movement to influence asset building policy nationally.
A multicolored tent in house's front yard. A sign on the fence says "Moratorium on foreclosures and evictions" and a sign on the house reads "Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign"

The Many Fronts of COVID-19 Related Housing Needs and Measures

Stable housing is crucial during a pandemic. Front-line providers and local governments are moving to address the impacts, but they need more federal funds
Person at a protest wears a shirt that says, "Acknowledge your privilege"

In Trump’s Lame Duck Period, Nonprofits Still Face “Chaotic” Effect of His Orders

Nonprofits struggle to understand how to respond to the ban on “divisive concepts” in their training and protect their federal funding.
Open door to a new home with key and home shaped keychain.

Universal Housing Vouchers: A Promise or a Pipe Dream?

President Biden promised to expand the Housing Choice Voucher program so that everyone who qualifies for a voucher gets one. What exactly would that change entail, and how long could it be before we see it happen?

Homes That Last

Counter-cyclical stewardship is the only way to ensure that lower-income families are neither nudged out by rising costs nor forced out by foreclosure.

Interview with Shelley Poticha, Director of Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities

Shelterforce speaks with Shelley Poticha, director of HUD's Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, about implementing sustainable policy at the federal level while encouraging local innovation, keeping down the cost of green housing, and effecting change while dealing with federal government bureaucracy.

Senator Kennedy’s Awful Diagnosis

Oof—Bad sucker punch from the cosmos on Tuesday. We all saw the worrisome weekend news about Senator Edward Kennedy’s seizure, but it was followed by...