Homeownership Tax Credits

As a candidate, George W. Bush had little to say about housing issues except to propose a $1 billion tax credit to promote homeownership. On January 3, Representative John Sweeney (R-NY) introduced a tax credit for first-time homebuyers of 10 percent of the purchase price up to $5000 (HR 211). Sweeney’s credit is not targeted […]

Faith-Based Management

Faith-Based Management: Leading Organizations that are Based on More than Just Mission. By Peter C. Brinckerhoff. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 1999, 250pp. Peter Brinckerhoff, author of Mission-Based Management and guru of nonprofit management for almost two decades, repeats early and often in Faith-Based Management that faith-based organizations – both houses of worship and faith-based […]

Shelter Shorts

Trespassing for the Cause Homes Not Jails (HNJ), a group advocating the use of vacant and abandoned housing for the homeless, has been busy on both sides of the country this summer. In San Francisco, members and supporters were arrested for occupying a condemned school building for nearly two days to publicize their demand that […]

Faith and Justice

When I tell politically progressive friends that I’ve started teaching a course at Harvard about religion’s impact on American politics and public policy, I usually face one of two responses. The first is an awkward silence – and a quick change of subject. The second is also awkward but comes with an anxiously knowing, usually […]

Black Churches, Community, and Development

When people discuss “faith-based community development,” they often jump directly into a conversation on the special role of faith-based groups, assuming that the meanings of “community” and “development” are well-defined, universally understood and constant. They may even think, given the recent surge of black church participation in the fields of housing and economic development, that […]

Not By Faith Alone

On a bright summer day last year, the Rev. Richard C. Corbin, Sr. of Washington, DC’s First Rock Baptist Church proudly surveyed five beautiful new homes his church had developed in one of DC’s most distressed neighborhoods. He had reason to be proud. First Rock, a small but growing church of several hundred devoted members, […]

Just Another Form of Ministry (Houston’s College of Biblical Studies)

In the late 1990’s the Houston Endowment saw a significant increase in grant requests for faith-based community development projects. It was a goal they supported, and yet, says Grant Officer Donald Sheppard, “We were concerned whether these new emerging groups understood the field and the science of community development.” Meanwhile, Houston’s College of Biblical Studies […]

Building Democracy (Faith-Based Community Organizing)

On November 7, 1999, six thousand people were listening to these messages from Fr. Richard Beck, a white Catholic priest, and the Rev. Terry White, a black Protestant minister. The audience – which included Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, several Texas U.S. Congress members, and San Antonio’s mayor – was packed into the municipal auditorium […]

We Can’t Be Pegged

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a funder of community organizing, defies right and left stereotypes to focus on justice.

(Un)Charitable Choices?

In Fall 2000, the “Reverend Annie” agreed to participate in a “Charitable Choice” demonstration project that would involve faith-based organizations (FBOs) in New York City’s welfare-to-work process. A former welfare recipient herself, the Rev. Annie (whose story is a composite of a number of pastors’ stories) saw the demonstration project as an opportunity to respond […]

Faith Based Directory

Under the new administration, faith-based groups are going to be asked to play an increasing role in solving social ills and building sustainable communities. The organizations listed below can help local faith-based groups choose their roles carefully and meet the challenges they take on. Faith-based networks are national or regional groups of affiliated organizations (usually, […]

Dispelling Myths, Offering Thanks, and Saying Goodbye

Although this issue’s focus is at the top of the news, we honestly didn’t know who would be in the White House today when we began planning this issue. But, as I write this, George W. Bush is proposing a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As he promised during the campaign, Bush […]

Shelter Shorts

Debunking the Property Values Myth – Again!   Hear ye, hear ye. Low-income housing does not drag down nearby property values – at least not in St. Paul and Minneapolis. According to a study released by the Family Housing Fund in Minneapolis, MN, homes near new low-rent developments in the Twin Cities suburbs sold quickly […]

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

Massachusetts has one of the nation’s worst housing cost problems. Its rents and home prices have risen at one of the steepest rates in the country in recent years, due to cuts in state housing funding, the end of rent control in four cities, a widening income gap, lower interest rates, and suburban policies to […]

Raising Money from Religious Institutions

Religious institutions receive about half of the money given away by the private sector in America. Although these institutions use most of the money they raise to pay for their own programs, organized religion is also a major source of funds for secular nonprofits. We don’t know exactly how much is given away by religious […]

The New HUD Secretary

On January 24, Melquiades (Mel) Martinez was sworn in as the new HUD secretary. After his induction, Secretary Martinez vowed to address the needs of minorities, the elderly and working families. Martinez, 54, was the chief elected official of Orange County, FL, a former commissioner and chair of the Orlando Housing Authority and active in […]