Outlawing Homelessness

In the past decade, cities have increasingly moved toward enacting and enforcing laws that specifically criminalize homelessness in response to their concern about the use of public space. Cities enact and enforce these criminal laws as “quick-fix” solutions to remove homeless people from sight, rather than addressing the underlying causes of homelessness. This criminalization trend […]

Rewarding Savings

Selina and Duane Darden of Washington, DC, thought they were doing the best they could on their combined earnings, which were below 150 percent of the federal poverty line. They were getting by and paying their bills and somehow managing to raise their four children. Saving money, or owning a home, didn’t seem possible, so […]

Eyesore to Community Asset

On a hill just west of downtown Los Angeles sits the Mary Andrews Clark Memorial Home, a 1912 “Chateauesque” building that The Los Angeles Times has called “architecturally one of the most imposing structures in this city.” The building also happens to serve as a 153-unit single-room occupancy (SRO) affordable housing development. In Cleveland, the […]

Grantmaking Power to the People

Foundations that fund grassroots organizing are a rare breed, perhaps because organizing challenges a power structure that includes foundations themselves. A new foundation in the Southeast is taking aim at this question of power. The Southern Partners Fund not only funds nothing but organizing—it is also governed by the grantees. From Radical Roots The Bert […]

Act Fast

As we go to press, Congress is in recess. Throughout the country, Representatives and Senators extol the booming economy that has resulted in a budget “surplus.” To spend that money, House and Senate Republicans have passed a $792 billion, 10-year tax cut. While the President has promised a veto, he appears willing to return up […]

Shelter Shorts

NC Leads Predatory Lending Fight In late July, North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt signed what State Attorney General Mike Easley says is the toughest predatory lending law in the nation. The bill prohibits mortgage lenders from charging exorbitant up-front fees, requiring prepayment on loans of less than $150,000, tagging additional insurance payments onto loans, and […]

CDCs Access New Economic Development Resources

Historically, community development organizations have pursued traditional federal funding for their economic development projects. Grants and loans are annually requested from: HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program (although its economic development component remains underutilized); HUD’s Section 108/ Economic Development Initiative (EDI); Economic Development Administration (EDA) resources from the Department of Commerce; “Equity-like” grants from the […]

Philadelphia Campaign Reshapes Homelessness Debate

For the past few years, homeless advocates in Philadelphia have made some remarkable strides in pushing for solutions to homelessness. Several distinct but overlapping campaigns have worked to bring homelessness back in the public arena – and in the minds of elected officials. A central struggle was the battle over a proposed Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance, […]

The Endless Discussion: Reauthorizing Homeless Assistance

Since 1995, when then Assistant Secretary of HUD Andrew Cuomo came to Washington with an idea called the “Continuum of Care,” a seemingly endless procession of homeless assistance reauthorization bills has marched through Congress. All follow essentially the model Cuomo originally set: a formula allocation to jurisdictions, which would be required to plan and implement […]

Housing Legislative News

House Committee Slashes HUD Funding “Death by a thousand cuts” is how some have described the House VA-HUD-IA Appropriations Subcommittee’s mark-up on July 26. The proposed bill cuts nearly every HUD program. According to an analysis by subcommittee minority staff members, the current budget is $945 million below the FY 1999 enacted level of $27.076 […]

A dark-haired man with a mustache wearing a suit stands with multiple reporters sticking microphones in his face. Over the black and white photo are large red block letters saying "Show Me a Hero." Smaller type gives author Lisa Belkin and notes the book is now an HBO show.

How Well Did Yonkers Fair Housing Measures Work?

Across the United States since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, only a handful of lawsuits have challenged systematic racial discrimination in housing. Examples include the Gautreaux saga in Chicago, which eventually opened the way for minority residents of Chicago public housing to use housing vouchers in nearby suburbs, and a 26-year-old […]

Book cover showing row house with US capitol dome in background and title It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty

Fighting Poverty as a Nation

The dramatic changes in federal and state antipoverty programs are leading to renewed interest in policies and strategies for reducing poverty. Borrowing from the theme of Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village, Rebecca Blank has combined her knowledge of poverty research and public policy in It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty. […]