Beyond Gentrification

There is no reason why people who have worked so hard to build lives and improve their neighborhoods should not be able to stay there.

A round blue and orange sign on an urban street corner with a train on it reads "Welcome to the Ironbound"

Tales of Three Cities

Even after neighboring Hoboken turned from working-class enclave to exclusive high-cost outpost, some think that will never happen to Newark…

The Price is Wrong

Imagine a vacant, boarded-up shell of a house at auction. The local community development corporation is bidding, though it has calculated that even if the price were zero, substantial subsidies would still be needed to fund an adequate rehab job. Imagine another bidder, this one a speculator, willing to pay $20,000 for the house, intending […]

Rent Control in the New Millennium

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the fight for rent control galvanized tenant organizing. That era’s economic and political context made rent control timely and attainable on a number of different levels. First, inflation from the Vietnam War and OPEC oil embargoes placed economic hardships on increasing numbers of working families. Like today, in many […]

The Decontrol Blues

“In our building we are like family now. We all work to support our families. All of us had to take a step forward and say enough is enough,” says Gabriel Mondon about his building at 59 Norfolk Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During 1998, the mostly Haitian and Latino tenants formed an association to demand […]

Stepping in the Spirit of the March

In just a little over five years, Women in Support of the Million Man March (WISOMMM) has become a force for social change and community development in the greater Newark, NJ area. WISOMMM began as a group of women who helped send over 50,000 New Jersey men to the Million Man March on October 16, […]

Politics and Markets

On May 29, The Washington Post reported that in England, even the most conservative major party supports national healthcare, subsidized higher education and income supports for all families with children. It’s important to get an outside perspective like this every once in a while, to help keep our priorities in order when our government debate […]

Shelter Shorts

Home Sweet Cell??   Critics of the United States’s rapid growth in prison population have often quipped that our only housing production program for the poor is prison building. But apparently not everyone thinks that’s a joke. Massachusetts State Representative John H. Rogers has introduced legislation that would make prison cells count as affordable housing […]

Don’t Start Small

It’s often said that organizers should begin with easily attainable goals to bolster their group’s confidence. But Caroline Murray, executive director of the Anti-Displacement Project (ADP) in Massachusetts, calls that kind of organizing a shot in the dark. “[Tenants] fight around getting repairs made and then move on, but there’s no change in power,” she […]

The Three Types of Donations, and How to Use Them

Many grassroots organizations want to buy their own building, open an endowment or raise more program money from major donors. Projects like these represent three different kinds of organizational needs, which should be matched to three different kinds of donations. The Needs Organizations have three needs: annual, capital and endowment. Annual campaigns raise the money […]

Bush Proposes Funding Cuts for Community Economic Development

The community economic development industry faces elimination of several programs and cuts to numerous others in the proposed spending plan presented by George W. Bush on Monday, April 9, 2001. Community development advocates should be concerned that the budget resolution for FY 2002, the unfair and excessive tax cuts, elimination of the estate tax and […]

Refundable Child Tax Credit Passes Congress

The otherwise thoroughly regressive tax legislation passed by Congress May 28th includes a significant silver lining – a partially refundable child credit for low-income families. For three months, grassroots members of the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, a special project of the Center for Community Change, along with the Children’s Defense Fund, the […]

Weaving Storytelling and Theory

Renewing Hope Within Neighborhoods of Despair, by Herbert J. Rubin. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. 2000. 280 pp. Herbert Rubin, a sociology professor from Northern Illinois University, spent over five years in the 1990s interviewing hundreds of community development corporation (CDC) directors, staff and community leaders about their challenges and their theories […]

Timeline: A History of Community Development Policy in America

Timeline: A History of Community Development Policy in America, from Development Training Institute. 2001. 90 minutes. $39.95 410-338-2512; Capturing the dynamism and influence of the community development movement on film presents distinct challenges. The field is comprised of spirited, complex efforts that defy neat visual packaging. Although the historic events that inspired these myriad […]