All Print Issues

Spring 2010

Issue #161

Organizing Post ACORN

Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, says that a real solution to the housing crisis will only come when organizations “join together and advocate for the resources” needed. He encourages advocates to “promote cutting the military budget and raising taxes on rich people,” as the only real solution — a solution that requires mobilization, he says. But where will that mobilization come from? In this issue we feature a group of articles that look at the challenges to effective organizing and profile two successful organizing groups. And we talk with Frank, about consumer protection, the future of Fannie and Freddie, the role of FHA, and more.

Shelter Shorts

Filling the Talent Pool in Newark

Talk about an educated community. Newark, New Jersey, has given the green light to a “teachers village” that will comprise three charter schools, 1,000 students, and 221 units of workforce […]

Shelter Shorts

Foreclosure-Free (Almost) Homeownership

Homeowners in community land trusts (CLTs) across the nation continue to have substantially lower delinquency and foreclosure rates than owners of market-rate homes, according to survey results released recently by […]

Shelter Shorts

Punitive Measures for Walk-Aways

A few years ago, we warned that lenders, particularly GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would take punitive measures on people who made strategic defaults on their homes, and […]


ESOP Rises Again

The success of a Cleveland-based community organizing group in the face of massive foreclosures suggests that the city (and the nation) should have held on to a more diverse set of community organizations.

Shelter Shorts

Adolfo Carrion: A Brief History

First it was the Office of Urban Policy. Then, at the time of its launch in 2009, it quietly turned into the Office of Urban Affairs: a small, but interesting […]


The (Not So) Sudden Push Against New Jersey’s Fair Share Affordable Housing Policy

Pressure has been building for a long time against the red tape and inflexibility of the agency that implements New Jersey’s landmark fair share housing policy. Can the spirit of Mount Laurel survive the backlash against the details?


PETRA, and What It Means for the ‘Public’ in ‘Public Housing’

 As housing advocates, policy analysts, and tenant organizers have examined PETRA, they have found concerns that need to be aired.


How Did the Media Fail ACORN and Organizing?

Organizing has been under attack for years, but this time around, the media has been directly complicit in severely damaging one of most influential advocates for low- and moderate-income families in the country. How did the media miss the real story behind the assault on ACORN?


Disappearing Act

Facing financial difficulties as new technology takes customers away, the United States Postal Service reviewed 3,300 branches to find those that could be deemed disposable. In low-income communities, just how disposable are the final 162?


What Kind of Community Organizations and for What Purpose?

We expect the “solutions” to social problems to be found within the community, and yet community groups, more often than not, work beyond their communities’ boundaries. Why? Because they see the reality that if social and economic justice are to be realized in a community, then changes that are larger than the community must take place.

Shelter Shorts

Columbia Gets Green Light for Expansion

A controversial, 17-acre expansion of Columbia University’s Harlem campus received a nod from the New York Court of Appeals, which overturned a lower court decision, tentatively allowing the university to […]


The Barney Frank Challenge

Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the house Financial Services Committee, sits down with Shelterforce to discuss consumer protection, the future of Fannie and Freddie, the role of FHA, and rental housing and offers a challenge to advocates looking to effect change on the federal level.


Has the Fight Gone Out of Organizing?

After a brief, shining moment following the 2008 Republican National Convention, when it seemed community organizers would rule the country, they are now back on the defensive.


Changing the Game

London CITIZENS fights for permanently affordable housing in the shadow of the Olympics.

In Land We Trust

The Community Land Trust Reader, edited by John Emmeus Davis. Lincoln Institute, 2010, 616 pp. $35 (paper).

Who Knew? Oh Yeah, We Did

In the November 1999 issue of Shelterforce, Ralph Nader wrote: A study released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) last month found that consolidation in the banking industry just […]