Uncategorized

The Mistakes Project

This article is one of a series of papers written as part of the “Mistakes, Learning, and Adaptation” Project. In November of 2007, a group of authors and practitioners met at the Annie E....

Paying for Planning

So where does the money come from for all these grandiose plans and their implementation? In a number of major U.S. cities, such as Seattle, Minneapolis and Rochester, New York, the local government has led...

Participatory Budgeting: The International and NCBG Approaches

International Approach… Uses “geographical and complementary political boundaries to facilitate decision-making and service delivery” Uses public meetings to initiate and carry out the budget process Relies upon annual budgeting cycles to provide a framework for planning, implementation...

Vision 20/20

Springfield, Missouri www.ci.springfield.mo.us/vision2020/index.html Springfield’s Vision 20/20 program was a community-based planning process that involved residents in decision-making processes and encouraged citizens to view referenda as a logical outgrowth of the planning process. Over the course of...

Small-Scale Healthy Food Options

There are many options for improving healthy food access, each with a unique set of advantages to residents and community health. Farmers’ markets (www.localharvest.org) provide a public space that supports social interaction and can...

Overturned

In 2001 California imposed a strict prevailing wage requirement on affordable housing developers. But that was before two studies showed the effect of prevailing wages on the pace of housing development. A 2003 study by...

CLU’s Mission Statement

CLU’s mission is to move strategic campaigns combining the joint power of community-based organizations and labor unions in order to protect and promote the interests of low- and middle-income working families in the greater...

Democracy at Work

Thanks to the collaborative work of many nonprofits led by the Alliance for Justice, last year’s efforts to limit funding to community-based organizations who engage in nonpartisan electoral work like voter registration failed at...

Educating Consumers Against Predatory Lending

In October 2001, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition established the National Anti-Predatory Lending Consumer Rescue Fund (CRF) to help victims of predatory lenders. CRF also assists homeowners at risk of foreclosure who have made...

Promoting Consumer Education Policy

Several institutions across the country are working to promote policies that will expand consumer education and financial literacy opportunities for low-income people. Predatory lending and mortgage loan assistance are often at the forefront of...

OTS Reverses Course

Thanks in good part to a change in leadership, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision announced in September that it is reversing its regressive 2005 decision to cut CRA enforcement. Under previous director James...

No Smoking Gun

It seems that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson has been heard urging his staff to steer contracts toward people who like President Bush. But since an investigation by HUD’s inspector general into the matter could...

The Seven Basic Principles of Universal Design

Equitable. Useful to people with all sorts of abilities. Provides the same means of use for all; does not segregate any user; makes the design safe and appealing to all. Flexible. Accommodates a wide range...

Why Merge?

Since its inception in the late 1960s, the community development corporation (CDC) industry has grown dramatically, totalling 4,600 CDCs in 2005, according to a census conducted by the National Congress for Community Economic Development...

A Surprising Payoff in California

Inclusionary housing (also called inclusionary zoning) is gaining popularity in California. It requires for-profit developers to build a percentage of affordable housing in all new developments. Yet some housing activists are skeptical of inclusionary...

Foreclosure Fuzziness Media Watch

Pity the poor media consumer. It’s nigh-on impossible to understand the burgeoning mortgage crisis rippling through communities around the country if you’re relying on the mainstream press to give you insight into “the story.”...

MacArthur Foundation Earmarks $25 Million for Housing Research

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to invest $25 million over the next five years in research into the causes, effects and solutions to the nation’s affordable-housing crisis. The foundation’s initiative...

On a Positive Note

House Committee on Financial Services chair Barney Frank’s plan to include provisions for an Affordable Housing Fund in the House version of regulatory reform legislation governing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home...

School House Rocks

One Missouri school district has given new meaning to “no child left behind.” Discouraged by the number of homeless students in its district, and by the limited shelter options available to male teens especially,...

Passing the Buck

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the effects that predatory lending and exotic mortgages have on the rising rate of home foreclosures, Douglas G. Duncan, senior vice president of the Mortgage Bankers...