Community Entrepreneurship

A remarkable left-right consensus has emerged that one of the most promising ways to address poverty these days is through minority business development. Politicians, policymakers, philanthropists, academics, corporate heads, and even activists are touting the virtues of entrepreneurship. This has come about from a confluence of factors: mounting concerns from liberals and conservatives alike about […]

Cardell Cooper

On August 11, 1999, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development and former mayor of East Orange, New Jersey, Cardell Cooper returned home for a few hours, joining U.S. Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ), Orange Mayor Mims Hackett, and New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) for press conference at St. Matthew’s A.M.E. church. He was there […]

Community Power

Community Power has taken on a whole new meaning at the Pennsylvania Low Income Housing Coalition (PALIHC), the state’s largest affordable housing advocacy organization. Community Power is PALIHC’s wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary formed in response to electricity deregulation in Pennsylvania. Consumers can now shop for their electricity generator, though responsibility for the delivery of service remains […]

Urban Horizons

Scents drifted from a kiosk in the lobby of the Urban Horizons Center for Food Production and Entrepreneur Support, which trains low-income women in culinary arts and serves gourmet and ethnic foods to area residents and businesses for take out or delivery. A group of visitors passed through the lobby and arrived in a meeting […]

A Helping Hand

In 1991, Common Ground, a nonprofit developer in Manhattan, purchased the Times Square Hotel to rehab the single room occupancy housing structure and develop supportive services. Completely refurbished in 1993, The Times Square has become a national model of supportive housing that includes retail businesses, job training, and social services. The organization is now replicating […]

Moving Out of Poverty

We’ve had the longest sustained period of economic growth in decades. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since World War II. The number of people receiving “welfare” is about half what it was a few short years ago. And yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1998 nearly one in three U.S. workers had […]

Shelter Shorts

Journalism of Note Following Up on Welfare Reform An extensive article series by Donna McGuire in The Kansas City Star (August 8-9, 1999) followed up on those who have left the welfare roles in Jackson County, Missouri – and those who haven’t. Knocking on doors to reach those without phones, The Star found a complex […]

Approaching Corporations for Funding

For more than 30 years, the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel has published an annual report called Giving USA, which analyzes trends in philanthropy and measures the extent of giving by each element of the private sector. Giving USA 1999 noted that in 1998 foundations, corporations, and individuals gave away $174.52 billion to registered nonprofits […]

“No Evictions. We Won’t Move!”

“This land is too valuable to permit poor people to park on it.” —Justin Herman, former executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, 1970 The land Herman was referring to in the quote above was a city block in the heart of downtown San Francisco’s growing financial district. One of the most famous skylines […]

Millions of Working Americans Still Lack Affordable Housing

Despite the booming economy, affordable rental housing is unavailable to millions of working Americans, concludes the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) in its annual Out of Reach report on income and rental housing costs. The analysis shows that in no local jurisdiction in the U.S. can a full time minimum-wage worker afford the Fair […]

Housing Legislative News

Congress Guts CRA The bill that emerged from conference committee negotiations over the financial modernization bills, H.R. 10 and S. 900, would gut the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The new bill, largely authored by Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), would reduce the frequency of CRA exams from every two to every five years for both urban […]

Business Consultants for Everyone

Ripples from the Zambezi: Passion, Entrepreneurship, and the Rebirth of Local Economies, Ernesto Sirolli. New Society Publishers, 1999. 151 pp. Cloth: $14.95.   As a young man working for an Italian aid agency in Africa, Ernesto Sirolli witnessed something he would never forget. Colleagues of his had started a tomato farm on the banks of […]