All Print Issues

Fall 2011

Issue #167

Holding Banks Accountable

Lenders and servicers must be, and can be, partners in neighborhood stabilization. But even as there is partnership potential, the power relations between affected communities and financial corporations are still severely imbalanced, and communities continued to be harmed. In this issue we hear from those trying to pile on the scales on the side of communities, seeking what Michael McQuarrie has described as the “respect and recognition that comes from successfully negotiating an outcome to a confrontation — something that can never be achieved when confrontation is off the table.” Green design lowers utility bills, repair and replacement expenses, and healthcare costs. Locating near transit and in denser, opportunity-rich areas lowers residents’ transportation costs and increases their access to jobs and other opportunities for self-sufficiency. Along with making a stronger, more just society, these improvements strengthen local economies and save taxpayers money from other pots. We have a set of articles in this issue that we look into how those two sets of goals are being pursued in tandem.


The Unlikely Activists

Wall Street’s criminal recklessness and its impact on millions of people across the country is making activists out of an unlikely selection of people.


The Human Right to Housing

Housing and homelessness are human rights issues—and that can be an organizing strength.


Uncle Sam Outdone by Ocwen’s SAM

This summer, mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. officially launched a mortgage principal reduction program for homeowners with negative equity.

The New Bottom Line

Fighting organized money takes organized people.


(Land) Bank of America?

“What we now have taking place in Cleveland is an ‘REO Race,’” wrote Frank Ford in our Fall/Winter 2009 issue, describing a “tsunami” of neglected, vacant, unmaintained properties affecting his […]

Organizing Strategy

A Surprising Victory

When business leaders in St. Louis withdrew financial support for a campaign to pass a badly needed transit tax, it was a blessing in disguise.


The Sword and the Shield

Boston’s City Life/Vida Urbana is finding success by turning conventional wisdom on its head and entering the picture after a foreclosure has taken place.

Editor’s Note

True Costs, True Responsibilities

This past July, a Voice of San Diego investigation charged that rather than doing its job of providing “homes for those who can’t pay San Diego’s high rents,” “affordable housing […]


Green Is Affordable

The affordable housing movement has not only accepted green building, but is making it integral to its work.


The People’s Court

Cleveland housing court Judge Raymond Pianka uses innovative legal tactics to achieve code compliance, but is it enough to stabilize neighborhoods?


What Affordable Housing Enforcement?

In 2010, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduced legislation to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing, the enforcement body for New Jersey’s fair share affordable housing rules, which grew out […]


Leading the Way to Green

In Virginia, a statewide incentive program has put new affordable housing projects out in front of most market-rate developers when it comes to green design.

Financial System

Extending a Bank Branch to the Community

The systemic closing of bank branches in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods is followed by payday lenders, pawnshops, and check cashing services stepping in to fill the void.


Transit-Oriented Preservation

Affordable housing already exists near transit, but without action it will be lost.


Smart Can Be Affordable

Despite fears that rising prices follow smart growth projects, smart growth and affordable housing advocates need each other to realize the promise of each. 


Nicolas P. Retsinas

Nicolas P. Retsinas, a senior lecturer in real estate at the Harvard Business School and director emeritus of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, talks with Shelterforce about his long service in the housing field.


Still Transforming Rental Assistance

HUD, in light of a recent capital needs study, will conduct a “rental assistance demonstration” rather than complete programmatic implementation of its Preserving, Enhancing, and Transforming Rental Assistance plan, which […]