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Shelterforce Poll Results: Community Developers Feel Conflicted About Police

When the conversations surrounding the Michael Brown and and Eric Garner cases were at their strongest late last year, Shelterforce conducted a survey, asking our readers how they felt about the relationship between law enforcement and the communities in which they work and live. The answers we received ran the spectrum, from “Police presence is […]

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

Finding Common Ground

Everyone knows the real story of Las Vegas – enormous power concentrated in the hands of casinos, unchecked by government and oblivious to community...

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...

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...

Courting Racial Justice

Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia. By David L. Kirp, John P. Dwyer and Larry Rosenthal. Illustrated. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers...

Clearing the Air

The Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point has one of the highest asthma rates in the world. Home to the world's largest food distribution center,...

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...

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...

How Will We Leverage Stimulus Dollars?

While it’s probably too early to accurately measure the impact or effectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as “the stimulus,”...

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...

What Is Philanthropic Equity? A Roundtable Discussion

As we prepared this issue, the term "philanthropic equity" kept surfacing. What is this new concept in philanthropy, and how is it different from both traditional grantmaking and program-related investments? In December we gathered a group of people from foundations and nonprofit intermediaries to explore the concept, its promises and pitfalls.

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

What lessons do the 2012 election results hold for those of us who are committed to expanding opportunity and protecting human rights? 

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...

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.

Advocates for Healthy Housing

As public health and housing activists recognized a century ago when they fought for stronger sanitation and health codes, poorly maintained housing causes serious...