Winter 2019

The cover of the Winter 2019 edition of Shelterforce magazine, which focuses on housing markets.

After the housing crash of 2008, one of the pieces of wisdom many people said we had learned from it was that there wasn’t “a national housing market,” but rather a whole bunch of very different regional markets and neighborhood submarkets. Like many lessons, it may have only been partially absorbed, however. In this issue we look at many different kinds of housing markets and their implication for our work.

Scroll down to read more, plus other features and columns from this issue, or purchase a copy to hold in your hands.

The cover of the Winter 2019 edition of Shelterforce magazine, which focuses on housing markets.

Housing Markets Vary—So Must Our Tactics

There is widespread understanding about the vast differences in life outcomes that statistically come with different neighborhoods.

Whose Affordable Housing Crisis?

Being priced out of appreciating neighborhoods is not the housing affordability problem most Americans face. But they are facing one.
Laura Foote (in yellow shirt at center) at a counter-protest to a rally opposing statewide upzoning bill SB 827. She's surrounded by fellow protestors who are holding signs that read "We Need More HOmes" and "More Homes for All."

YIMBYs: Friend, Foe, or Chaos Agent?

The relationship between pro-building “Yes in My Back Yard” activists, longtime housing advocates, and anti-displacement organizers varies across the country, but has often been fraught with difficulties. Is there a way forward?
YIMBY Action members chant over activists of color during an counter protest in California.

YIMBY, White Privilege, and the Soul of Our Cities

A common narrative being promoted about why there is a housing crisis ignores history and serves to assuage new residents’ guilty feelings. But we can craft a new narrative together.

Why Voters Haven’t Been Buying the Case for Building

It’s not because they’re stupid. If we want to convince people, we need to stop yelling and start listening.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar.

Medicaid Dollars for Housing?

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary says his department is exploring ideas to pay for non-health services like housing and nutrition with Medicaid, but it’s unclear whether that would, or could, actually happen.

Preserving Affordable Housing by Buying, Not Building

Two organizations are quietly furthering income integration in higher-income Chicago neighborhoods without new development.
Home by Hand Inc. builds homes on vacant lots for moderate-income homebuyers, who contribute sweat equity and are often joined by volunteers.

Single-Family Subsidies Are Needed Outside Hot Markets

There isn’t a tax credit program available to spur investment in single-family residential neighborhoods, but an alliance of national real estate, housing, community development, lending, and construction organizations is working to change that.
St. Louis mayoral candidates gather for a forum led by the Social Policy & Electoral Accountability Collaborative.

Injecting Racial Equity into an Election Cycle in St. Louis

A group of 10 St. Louis organizations joined together to encourage mayoral candidates to address racial equity and make it a focal point in an election.
The cover of Generation Priced Out by Randy Shaw.

Millennials and the Affordability Crisis: A Review of Generation Priced Out

As tenant struggles become a bigger focus of activist recruitment, Randy Shaw’s new book, Generation Priced Out, is an essential organizing guide.
Does Airbnb Cause Rents to Increase? Yes it does. This graphic explains how.

Q: Does Airbnb Cause Rents to Increase?

A: Yes! Since hosts can make 50 to 200 percent more on short-term rentals than on long-term rentals, Airbnb affects purchase prices as well.
A Daly City-bound BART train west of Dublin/Pleasanton station.

Is Local Control Good or Bad?

And how do we get more of the good and less of the bad?
The F Market line is one of several light rail lines in San Francisco that uses historic equipment.

Who Most Needs Access to Core Neighborhoods?

We have a limited number of dense core neighborhoods where getting around without a car and without a lengthy daily commute are possible.
Boston residents participants marched to a nearby national gathering of YIMBYs with a sign that reads "Displacement is the Crisis ... We Are The Answer."

What We Don’t Know About Development and Displacement

The data on the relationship between new development, affordability, and displacement is not nearly as clear-cut as advocates (of all persuasions) often imply.
cover of "City of Segregation" by Andrea Gibbons

The Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles: A Review of City of Segregation

Andrea Gibbons’ City of Segregation shows why empowering capitalist processes and actors is the last thing we should do to fight gentrification.
Seniors at a workshop on creating winter bird feeders

Vermont’s SASH Program Keeps Seniors in their Homes

The statewide program connects elderly residents with community-based services and saves money in urban areas by reducing emergency room and specialist visits.
Kids dance at a neighborhood street festival

What Happens When a CDC Pivots to a Health-First Focus?

Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation in Cleveland finds that being an early adopter of a community health focus has its advantages.
farm stand in lot.

(The Urgent Case for) Middle Neighborhoods, One of the Most Overlooked Assets in America

Middle neighborhoods are places where home prices are generally affordable to the average household. But, these neighborhoods are often on the edge between growth and decline.
Image name: Lucy Corr Caption: Oral health practitioners at the Lucy Corr Dental Clinic in Virginia specialize in serving older adults. Credit: Photo courtesy of the Lucy Corr Dental Clinic

Seniors Cannot Age in Place Without Access to Oral Health Services

Maintaining good health—including good oral health—as long as possible is a critical component of aging in place.