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Measuring Blended Value

Tracking social return on investment is more complicated than measuring financial return. How do impact investors do it?

Changing the Way We Think About Poor Rural Communities

Rural communities are very different places—separated by climate, geography, and often race. But in many other ways, these communities are far more similar than different.

Now You See the Money, Now You Don’t

Since November of last year, the United States Justice Department has announced multi-billion dollar settlements with the nation’s three largest banks – Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America (BoA) – over what Justice calls the “packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities.” Collectively, these three banks have agreed to pay a total […]

To Move or to Improve?

During a recent national housing conference, a senior HOPE colleague, along with an architect and the mayor of a...

Can We Build a Movement for Structural Economic Change? We Must

This July, the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a coalition of over 140 organizations from across North America, will convene in Buffalo for its biennial...

FHFA’s Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – New Opportunities for Community...

Community housing and community development advocates could see new opportunities for financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 and beyond under a...

Asset-Building Comes of Age

From IDAs to comprehensive community wealth building, the number of strategies to increase personal and collective assets is growing.

The Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

Across America—in inner city neighborhoods and rural towns alike—the level of economic and social distress is rising. Although these...

Let’s Re-Place the Health Opportunity Maps

The way we map health opportunity has serious flaws. How can we make those maps more reflective of communities' lived experiences?

A New Way to Finance Equitable Economic Development?

Big companies discovered the long-stagnant Immigrant Investor Program EB-5 after the 2008 financial crisis. Can community developers bend the program toward their goals too?

6 Ways to Prevent Post-COVID Vacancy

Local governments must explore ways to minimize commercial and residential property deterioration and subsequent vacancy.

How *to* Connect Health and Community Development

A recent Rooflines post explored how not to connect community development and health, urging practitioners to not fall into the trap of “moralizing public...

When a Person’s Character Trumps Their Credit Score

Some CDFIs approve loans based on a person’s character instead of their credit score. But they only recommend doing so when you know the applicant.

Lessons from 20 Years of Enabling Tenants to Buy Their Buildings

As cities across the country consider giving tenants the right of first refusal, municipalities must be meticulous in crafting policies that preserve and expand tenants' ability to form housing cooperatives.

What Does the Future Hold For Fannie & Freddie?

The functions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- liquidity, stability, and access -- remain important for the housing economy. Indeed, the two companies today are providing more than 70 percent of all the financing for housing even while under conservatorship. But their collapse into the federal government's arms is causing a wholesale reevaluation of how best to provide those functions in the future.

There Is an Emergency at the Border. It’s Poverty.

Targeted investments that address persistent poverty are necessary and should supersede financial support of a border wall.

Brave New World for Nonprofits

The current "bathtub recession" poses a drowning hazard for community development and housing groups, as philanthropic giving shrinks and foundations look beyond nonprofits for solutions to social problems.

A 21st Century Vision For Community Development

Today's economic crisis is devastating neighborhoods and households across the country. Urban, low-income communities that were slowly recovering from the disinvestment of earlier decades are now falling back to where they were in the 1970s. Rural communities, walloped by the collapse of key economic generators, have suffered no less. Families that had begun to break the cycle of poverty and build small amounts of savings are now being plunged back into debt. Yet, at a time when the work of community development corporations is more needed than ever, there are growing questions about their long-term viability and efficacy.

Taking Ownership Into Their Own Hands

Residents who live in manufactured housing communities across the U.S. are under threat of skyrocketing property values, predatory investors, and limited financing options. Can resident-owned communities stem the tide?

On the Front Lines: Solutions for Overleveraged Multifamily Properties

As foreclosures drive multifamily assets to market in New York City, drawing a glut of speculative investors in the process, a new program from Enterprise looks to retain these homes' affordability and stability.

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