Common Ground: an interview with Rosanne Haggerty of Common Ground Commnity

Rosanne Haggerty was on vacation in Ireland not long ago when she decided to see how that country addresses the housing needs of its poorest residents. What she discovered in the city of Belfast was the Foyer Program, a model long used in France, Ireland, and England to help young people without family and at […]

Feeling Safe in the Real World

Foster Care Youth United (FCYU) is a bimonthly magazine published by Youth Communication in New York. Since 1993, FCYU has provided a forum for young people to write about their experiences in the foster care system. Contributors hone their writing skills, but also connect with and advise each other. A core staff of 15 based […]

The Conundrum of Community Development: People vs. Place?

When community development corporations were launched in the 1960s, their mission was clear: to empower the poor and revitalize their communities. In places like Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, or Cleveland, Ohio (the sites of the earliest CDCs) the idea was not just to marshal private, public and nonprofit resources to eradicate poverty, but to foster greater […]

East Harlem’s Bottom Line: Hope Community Development Corporation

Mark Alexander has a plan. At 46, he isn’t content with having more than tripled the number of apartments that Hope Community manages in the eight years he’s been its executive director. The community development corporation’s strategic plan calls for more than doubling that inventory – by adding 1,700 new units – by 2004. “In […]

Balancing Business and Mission

“East Harlem’s Bottom Line” casts a spotlight on the work of Hope Community, a well-respected CDC operating in the East Harlem section of New York City. By extension, the article also examines the entire nonprofit community development field by raising a series of challenging issues and questions about the role and essence of nonprofit organizations. […]

Community Development as Freedom?

Development can be seen as a process of expanding real freedoms that people enjoy. Focusing on human freedoms contrasts with narrower views of development such as… growth of gross national product, or the rise in personal incomes…The overarching objective…is to [maximize people’s] capabilities to lead the kind of lives they value. — Amartya Sen, Development […]

Going Subprime: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Consider the Subprime Loan Market

The recent foray into the subprime mortgage market by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has renewed the debate over their role in the affordable housing arena. The subprime market targets borrowers with credit problems or limited credit histories who do not qualify for cheaper, prime loans. Fannie and Freddie traditionally have purchased a small share […]

Shelter as a Human Right

When the Nobel Prize committee awarded Jimmy Carter the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, it recognized the former president’s efforts on behalf of international peace and human rights. But for many Americans, it is his work building homes with Habitat for Humanity that has distinguished his post-presidency years. “My concept of human rights has grown to […]

Shelter Shorts: Community Development News

Out of Reach in California Six California cities are among the top 10 metropolitan areas deemed least affordable by the latest edition of Out of Reach, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report of housing affordability. The report measures the housing wage – the amount a full-time worker has to earn to be able […]

Profile of a Healthy Fundraising Program

Clients often ask me what constitutes a healthy fundraising program. At first glance, the ability to raise the money you need seems to be the most important criterion, but that can disguise multiple problems. For example, suppose you have been able to raise all the money you need for four or five years from foundations. […]

Review of Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock, by LynNell Hancock

Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock, by LynNell Hancock, William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2002. 320 pp. $13.95 (Paperback, available December 2002), $25.95 (Hardcover). In 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act, placing a five-year lifetime limit on benefits and requiring recipients to work or […]

The Legislative Agenda and the Nonprofit Sector

Most community developers do not think of charity and philanthropy as policy issues that fit on the advocacy agendas of CDCs, but they do. Repeal of the estate tax, the nonitemizer tax deduction and new guidelines for corporate grantmaking are issues that directly affect every CDC and the resources available to them. This fall the […]

Almost Home

Shortly after her 18th birthday, Cindy (not her real name) left her group home in the Bronx to live with her mother. Although under New York laws she could have stayed in the foster care system until she turned 21, Cindy had lived in foster homes and group homes for nearly six years, and she […]