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A (Much) Older Example of Social Housing Than Vienna

History often feels like a depressing account of the worst things people can do to each other. But a recent book contains reminders that nothing is inevitable, and sometimes people have done better than we’re doing now—even in terms of housing and social equity.

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A young family of three seen from the back as they look at a house. From right: A light brown-skinned man with shaved head and chin whiskers in a blue chambray shirt and khakis points to the house, at something out of frame. His other arm is around a black-haired woman in a narrow-striped button-up white shirt over blue jeans. One of her arms is around the man's waist; with the other she holds a small dark-haired child in a pale blue top and black leggings and no shoes. The house is white with brown window trim, and a sold sign in one window.
Homeownership

Targeting First-Generation Homebuyers Is a Great Way to Direct Downpayment Assistance—And It Could Be Better

The proposed program could shrink the racial homeownership gap while serving a wide cross-section of people. But it only addresses some of the results of past discrimination.

Close up view of rock, scissors, and a sheet of white paper on a red table or desk. The rock is oval gray rock with a band of white quartz through it, the scissors have purple plastic grips and metal blades. The scissors are positioned such that they appear to have just cut the paper, and the rock is resting on the paper, half concealed by a portion of it.
Housing

Legitimate Debate or Short-Sighted Complaints? 5 Reasons Affordable Housing Is Expensive to Build

There’s no denying that affordable housing can be expensive to build. But we need to look at the long-term benefits of those investments to see the bigger picture.

A large graffiti'd mural, painted in a cartoonish style, showing an apparently homeless family of three standing near a traffic light. The mother is handing a box or carton of stuff to the child, whose other hand is reaching to the father figure. He is holding up a sign that says "Help us." Facial features were not drawn on these figures, giving them a universal quality.
Affordability

What’s Driving Homelessness? It’s Not Immigration and It’s Not Opioids.

Homelessness rose by 12 percent between 2022 and 2023. Blaming drug use and immigration for the increase distracts us from the real causes.

Concept bold thinking—individual red paper plane flies in different direction in contrast to crowd of ordinary white planes
LIHTC

How to Really Reform the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Adding more credits and making tweaks do not actually address some of the major weaknesses of the program. We should be bolder.

Close-up of a 2012 copper US penny, cut into six pieces of unequal size.
Affordability

You Might Have to Accept Cuts—But Don’t Accept Devaluing of Your Work

As municipalities face post-pandemic fiscal shortages, there’s a longer-term danger lurking behind budget fights.

A row of 26 people of varying ages and skin tones stand in front of a pink building with a large archway leading to a plaza or park with trees. Many of the people are wearing ID tags on lanyards and all are smiling.
Affordability

How We Can Bring Vienna’s Housing Model to the U.S.

Legislators visited Vienna to learn about the city’s social housing program. Here’s how they say their states’ housing crises would benefit from similar policies.

A mural on a rough whitewashed wall. Painted in dripping capitals is "Follow your dreams," and over it is a red stenciled "Cancelled" banner. To the right is an image of a man holding a pail and paintbrush. He's wearing a cloth cap and has two rolls of paper under his arm.
Policy

Keeping Wealth in the Family

The role of ‘heirs property’ in eroding Black families’ wealth

A small homemade ramp made of a white board with "RAMP" painted on it in black covers the gap in a street-level doorway of a brick building. The door is of vertical black boards and is dirty with dust and splashed mud.
Affordability

All New Homes Should Be Accessible

Because so many old buildings are hard to fully retrofit, new homes need to fill in the gap.

multifamily buildings
Affordability

The FSS Program Was Expanded Beyond Public Housing Authorities—Here’s How It’s Going

In 2018, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program was expanded to privately owned properties receiving project-based rental assistance. Here’s a look at how early adopters have used the program to support residents, and the lessons they learned along the way.

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Housing

Let’s Act Now to Stop Racism in Real Estate Appraisals

In 2022, a government task force released an action plan about combating bias in the appraisal industry. How can CDFIs fight back against the damage caused by under-appraisals?

Eleven people, seven standing in back, four crouching in front, pose with clipboards. Several are wearing red T-shirts that say Louisville Tenants Union with an image of two hands fist-bumping. Several of the people are wearing masks; the ones who aren't are smiling.
Organizing

Tenants Unions Are How We Win in the South

Tenant organizing has the power to transcend culture wars and break down the artificial barriers that have been placed between us.

A woman in a motorized wheelchair travels along a rural road with no sidewalks, as a bus approaches close to her from the opposite direction. Standing on the coarse gravel shoulder of the road is a man with a dog.
Disability

The Road to Transportation Equity: Listening to Non-Drivers

Laying the groundwork for transportation equity can start with listening to disabled people’s experiences of infrastructure for non-drivers.