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This Is How We Should Measure Our Work (And Achieve Economic...

This is Part 6 in a series about the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. Click here for...

The 1996 Campaign Season – How Housing Groups Can Make a...

The 1994 elections are history. Newt is on a tight leash, the Contract on America is losing in the polls, and Clinton and Dole...

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

We first met Darren Walker about 15 years ago while planning an issue on faith-based development. Darren was the chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, the storied community development arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. We asked Darren to write an article that was not simply a cheerleader’s promotion of church-based CDCs, but a realistic assessment of the benefits and challenges to an institution embarking on that path.

Darren was optimistic and enthusiastic about the work he was doing at Abyssinian creating hundreds of units of affordable housing in Harlem. But he was pragmatic and realistic also. His article encouraged organizations to temper the enthusiasm necessary to even consider this work with a realistic analysis of an organization’s capacities and a clear-eyed examination of their assumptions about the rewards of creating a CDC.

Darren approached his work enthusiastically, I think, because he had visceral understanding of the challenges low-income folks had and the opportunities that were available to them with the right help. The kind of help that the stability of an affordable home could provide. His understanding came from personal experience that would inform his work wherever it took him, from law school to international finance, from a storefront afterschool program and Abyssinian to the Rockefeller and Ford foundations.

When we sat down with Darren on March 18 to conduct this interview, we were glad to see that enthusiasm, optimism, and pragmatism were as strong as ever as he starts his leadership of one of the world’s largest foundations.

The 30 Percent Rent-to-Income Ratio Doesn’t Add Up in NYC

The 30 percent standard only ‘works’ in calculations where it is irrelevant. The residual-income approach, on the other hand, can turn what all too often becomes an abstract and theoretical discussion into a series of researchable questions.

Without More Affordable Housing, Veteran Homelessness Will Return

Federal funding to end veteran homelessness has had a real impact, but a nationwide shortage of affordable housing could make its success temporary.

HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development

Andrew Cuomo HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Andrew Cuomo, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, served as founder and president of...

The Renter’s Dilemma

“The old formula of buying and dying in your house is no longer the formula for many…The stigma of renting is no longer the...

20 Years Later, What HOPE VI Can Teach Us

Affordable housing programs are at great risk of elimination under the current administration. In this uncertain climate, what can we learn from a program that leveraged private interest while aspiring to be a protector of affordable housing?

Community Building & Community Organizing Issues in Creating Effective Models

Sandy O'Donnell and Ellen Schumer have been deeply involved in developing a new model of organizing called "family focused community building." Their work centers...

What Are the Goals of Community Planning?

What are our priorities when it comes to neighborhood planning? According to the results of a public opinion poll...

An Opportunity Century?  Election 2012, Social Justice, and America

As the election results sink in, partisans are busy debating what 2012 voting patterns mean for Republican and Democratic prospects...

The Elements of Success

What follows is a discussion of the important, parallel elements that emerged from the six successful cases in this report, from NHI's conference, from...

How Cambridge Lost Rent Control

25 years ago tenants organized, formed coalitions, took to the streets, and won rent control in Massachusetts. But, after two and half decades of...

How a Risk-Averse Hospital and a Risk-Taking CDC Built a Functional...

Shelterforce recently spoke with Angela Mingo of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Rev. John Edgar of Community Development for All People to learn more about their health/housing partnership and how it came to be.

Mission Above Method

Shelterforce is graciously allowing me to weigh in on a current topic of debate within the field of “shared equity homeownership” or “permanently affordable...

Homeowner, Meet Your Lender

The reconciliation that takes place Thursday mornings at Philadelphia City Hall is not some attempt to further prove that Philadelphia is the City of...

Getting At Impact: A Beginners Guide to Program Evaluation

In 1999 the Sacramento Mutual Housing Association (SMHA) owned and operated 492 units of democratically controlled affordable housing. It had demographic data on its...

Charting a New Course in Portland

Portland, Ore., threw away the old rulebook when it crafted its Economic OpportunityInitiative, focusing on helping low-income people in innovative ways. Could it inspire a new national anti-poverty strategy?

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.

Is a Meritocracy Really What We Want?

“Together we can break down all the barriers holding our families … back. We can build ladders of opportunity...