Cincinnati: A Year Later and No Wiser

April 7, 2001 will be forever etched in the minds of Cincinnati residents: At about 2:20 a.m., Timothy Thomas was shot and killed by police officer Stephen Roach in a dark alley in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Mr. Thomas—a teenager who was unarmed—was the fifteenth person to die at the hands of the police since 1995. […]

So Fresh and So Clean

Poor people must not like Starbucks. I wonder about that each time I drive my borrowed hooptie through and around Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood. Development is nigh. It’s in the form of cookie-cutter, peanut butter–brown brick condominiums and multi-unit apartments. There are rumors that a recreation center is coming. I’ve been joking that West End […]

Built to Last: Managing CDCs

For most community development corporations, internal management understandably takes a back seat to activities that stimulate community revitalization. But across the CDC field, there’s growing concern that a legacy of weak management is threatening the industry’s effectiveness. Poor management has already claimed some prominent groups, including the Indianapolis-based Eastside Community Investments, which collapsed financially two […]

Making a Living: How the living wage movement prevailed

Since the mid-1990s, 79 cities or counties in America have passed living wage ordinances. The movement’s success has been remarkable, given a legislative climate that looks suspiciously on any rules that might interfere with market forces. What has compelled city councils and others, including university presidents, to support this grassroots attack on working poverty? The […]

Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and raising children

Community context matters to child development—the number of households in poverty and the ratio of adults to children in a neighborhood influence a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. A well-run CDC provides a stable presence in the community, a network of relationships, the ability to build leadership, and experience in planning, managing, and assessing […]

Poverty and Opportunity

I grew up in a middle-class suburban neighborhood where children expected to have a future. Most of my friends went on to college, a few to distinguished careers. Even those who didn’t excel academically have made solid lives for themselves, taking over the family business or pursuing a skilled trade. Like all kids, we had […]

Shelter Shorts: Community Development News

Millennial Commission Speaks The much-anticipated Millennial Housing Commission (MHC) report was finally sent to Capitol Hill on May 30th. Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, lauded the MHC for recommending the establishment of a capital fund for low-income rental housing production and expansion of the voucher program. But Crowley expressed concern […]

Community Development Venture Capital

Low-income communities often have a wealth of ingenuity and innovation, but lack the equity capital and entrepreneurial experience needed to grow a business and stabilize the community in the process. Community development venture capital (CDVC) funds use the tools of venture capital to create jobs, build entrepreneurial capacity, and expand the wealth of distressed communities. […]

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning, by Chester Hartman, Center for Urban Policy Research, 2002. 405 pp. $29.95 (Paperback), $39.95 (Cloth). In her foreword to Chester Hartman’s newest book, Jane Jacobs acknowledges the pivotal role the author played in challenging the sweeping claims of those who supported the Federal Urban Renewal […]

Housing and the Bush Tax Cut

Some of the most important policy decisions affecting low-income housing in the years ahead are not about housing per se, but instead revolve around last year’s massive federal tax cut. Although the tax cut is scheduled to expire in eight years, the White House has proposed making it permanent, which could doom any major new […]