All Print Issues

Fall 2010

Issue #163

The Road to Neighborhood Stabilization

Policy can have a hard time drawing the attention of action-oriented practitioners. Those of us who care about building healthy communities want to get those buildings rehabbed, the predatory mortgages modified, the deals closed, the tenants organized, the park cleaned up, the new library opened. Whether we are swinging the hammers or doing the people work behind the scenes, those concrete projects with tangible effects are what make our hearts sing. But of course, everything we do happens in context, and the ways in which our laws, funding streams, and program models are constructed have a huge amount to do with how successful our individual projects are, as well as how well they move us toward our larger goals. Many of the articles in this issue remind us of this.


Speed ‘Em Up or Slow ‘Em Down?

the Florida State Legislature was launching a $9.6 million effort intended to unclog the court system by establishing foreclosures-only courts across the state


Holding Banks Responsible

The Chicago City Council is considering legislation to hold lenders more responsible for properties they have foreclosed upon.


Community Development: A Love Story

Film director Michael Moore is launching the State Theatre/Michigan Downtowns Project, which aims to promote nonprofit movie theaters as vehicles for revitalizing Michigan towns.


The Great American Fire Sale

Investors have played, and will continue to play, an important role in foreclosure-ravaged communities. What can towns do to ensure investors are responsible, and what role can CDCs play?


Stewardship Works

Community land trusts succeed in curing delinquencies and preventing foreclosures, and the numbers show it.


Preserving Hip-Hop’s Birthplace

Things may be changing for 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx, a deteriorating building that’s sometimes credited as being the birthplace of hip-hop.


Making NSP Work

Despite critiques, NSP is a powerful program that, with a few years under its belt and the help of “first look” programs, can move beyond its slow start and make a major difference.


HMDA at 35

The improved Home Mortgage Disclosure Act can be a tool for fighting predatory lending, but it could and should go further.

Editor’s Note

Rules Matter

Marge Piercy’s poem “To Be of Use” praises people who jump right in to whatever work needs to be done, passing buckets of water down the line to put out […]


NSP at Halftime

The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a welcome source of funds in struggling communities, and it has had a massive effect on the nature of the response to the problem of vacant foreclosed property. As NSP3 gets underway and the NSP1 obligation period comes to a close, Shelterforce looks back at NSP so far.


Next Target: Insurance Redlining

Bank reform offers a chance to address an under-the-radar form of redlining with the same sort of data disclosure HMDA requires about mortgage lending.


Heartache for HAMP

It’s no secret that the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, has produced lackluster results


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.


Greening Vacant Land

Urban agriculture projects bring hope — and food — to communities that have long suffered from a glut of empty lots.


HAMP Is Not Enough

The federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program has a lot of mass appeal. But banks have been slow to act and HAMP was never intended to be the sole solution to the foreclosure crisis. HAMP needs backup.


Dragged Down by Regs

For an “emergency” measure, NSP came so loaded with ever-shifting regulations and restrictions it was hard to get any money out the door. It’s getting better, but more could be done.


Shelterforce Interview: Raphael Bostic, HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research

Bostic, now in his second turn at HUD, is known for his extensive work analyzing the roles that credit markets, financing, and policy play in furthering economic access for all.