Whatever Happened to the Tenants Movement?

Last June, thousands of New Jersey tenants wrote to Republican Governor Christine Whitman and urged her to include more tenant/consumer voices on a Landlord-Tenant Task Force set up to study local rent control and state eviction protections. Last July, Governor Whitman increased the number of “tenant-friendly” seats on the task force from one to three. […]

Can Seattle’s Renters Put Judy Nicastro in the Hot seat?

Judy Nicastro is running for City Council. Ronald Reagan made her do it. It was 1980, and Nicastro was 14. Reagan had just been elected President of these United States. Nicastro’s father had died two years before, and the family received widow’s benefits. In 1981, Reagan put widow’s benefits on the chopping block. The money […]

Shelterforce Roundtable: Housing Justice Today

On March 29th, 1999, Shelterforce convened the leaders of ten national housing and social justice organizations to discuss the accomplishments and challenges of the housing and community development movement to date. Excerpts from the discussion follow. In future issues, we will reconvene the participants to examine specific topics in greater depth. Participating in the discussion […]

Building Effective Partnerships: The Process and Structure of Collaboration

The widespread pursuit of partnerships and collaborative relationships is one of the most significant trends in community organizing and development in the 1990s. Whether it’s collaboration among local institutions or efforts to bring together diverse groups of neighborhood residents, community organizations throughout the United States are recognizing the importance of partnerships for leveraging resources, building […]

Charting a New Future

In late 1996 Southern California CDCs were reeling. The recession of the early ’90s had bottomed out but recovery was at least a year away, smoke from the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest seemed to still hang in the air, and rubble from the 1994 earthquake was still visible in vacant lots. Moreover, federal housing […]

New Movements for Housing Justice

Years ago, the founders of Shelterforce – the Shelterforce Collective – had a vision. They would unite the middle-class and the poor around a common issue, the right to decent housing for everyone, without exploitation or discrimination. Their ideas were simple: organize people to resist exploitation, provide policy analysis and strategy guidance to make resistance […]

Shelter Shorts

Hot Housing Market for Whom? While homeownership rates soared to an all-time high in 1998, the housing boom has led to higher rents and housing prices and greater difficulty for the working poor and the young in finding affordable housing, according to the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies annual report, The State of […]

Collaborative Fundraising

My grandmother, when she wanted to describe a scary but potentially important undertaking (such as going on a trip to another country, or opening a business, or adopting a child), would say, “This is fraught with possibilities.” Collaborative fundraising seems exactly that. Joining forces with other groups to engage in fundraising is a task most […]

Grassroots Advocacy Strengthens Housing Trust Fund

Washington state housing activists came together in 1997 to launch the  Housing Our Community Campaign to increase the state Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to $100 million per biennium.  The HTF, which had been funded at about $50 million per biennium since 1991, finances a broad range of housing for low-income people around the state. The […]

HUD and Congress Remember HUD’s “Forgotten Housing Stock”

Over the past three years, the strong economy has driven up real estate prices in many markets, making the market rate conversion of below market, HUD-assisted or -insured apartments extraordinarily attractive. Not surprisingly, many owners of this housing are opting out of their Section 8 contracts and/or prepaying their HUD-insured mortgages, resulting in dramatically higher […]