Zoning for Housing Justice

Alvivon Hurd remembers when no one with means lived in downtown Los Angeles. Especially not white people. “For 30 years you only saw [white people] during the day in the week,” says the life-long L.A. resident, who can see downtown from her apartment. But things have changed in the past few years. “Everything is coming […]

Freddie and Fannie Under Fire

This has been a long, hot summer for executives at Freddie Mac. What at first appeared to be a disagreement over arcane accounting rules turned into much more when Freddie Mac, the nation’s second largest housing finance company, announced the forced departures of its three top executives. The details behind the shake-up are still emerging, […]

Strengthening Weak Market Cities

The decade of the 1990s was a time of growth for some, but not all, American cities. Fifty-five percent of metropolitan areas with populations over 100,000 saw their populations diminish, stagnate or grow only modestly. Suburbs account for the majority of growth in most cities, while the core inner-city neighborhoods saw decreasing populations. Cities with […]

The Fight Over Low-Income Housing

In 1995 Buckeye Community Hope Foundation decided to build a 72-unit tax credit apartment complex in Cuyahoga Falls, a city with a population of roughly 50,000 situated between Akron and Cleveland, OH. Buckeye discussed its plans with the city’s mayor, Don Robart, who welcomed the planned development as a means of addressing his community’s need […]

No Shelter in the Storm

For those of us in the business of forecasting the future prospects of affordable housing development, the Supreme Court’s March 2003 decision in City of Cuyahoga Falls v. Buckeye Community Hope Foundation is profoundly demoralizing, both for what the Court said and for what it did not say. While I’m fundamentally an optimistic person, I […]

The World As It Should Be

This is a time of anxiety over national security, tax cuts for the rich and high unemployment. National policy starves the federal government of funds for housing and other programs for the poor. Money dominates politics, and rightwing talk shows rule the airwaves. What are the prospects for a political movement steeped in the values […]

The Shrinking Heart of Government

Conservative economists call it starving the beast: cutting taxes to force belt-tightening, drastically reducing public spending and shrinking “big government.” In a recent article, Princeton economist Paul Krugman describes the Republican crusade against taxes that stretches back to the 1980s and the Reagan Revolution and what it may ultimately bring us. What Krugman sees in […]

Shelter Shorts

Foundation Follies I Foundation executives lobbied hard to kill an amendment in the Charitable Giving Act of 2003 that would have forced foundations to spend more of their assets on charity each year. And they won. Foundations have long counted their administrative costs toward the average 5 percent of assets that they must spend each […]

Building the Political Will to End Homelessness

“Ending homelessness” has become something of a watchword in Washington, yet it is utterly bereft of meaning. The nation’s poor are facing the country’s biggest job and housing crisis since the Great Depression. Housing costs have skyrocketed and millions of full time jobs have been lost. The current economic downturn has put even more working […]

Trends for Funding CDC Commercial Projects

Community development corporations seeking financing for economic development initiatives are increasingly turning to nontraditional federal funds, tax credits and private sector collaborations. Historically, CDCs relied on Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants that matched bank loans, and local philanthropic or intermediary support for commercial real […]

The Community Economic Development Handbook

The Community Economic Development Handbook: Strategies and Tools to Revitalize Your Neighborhood, by Mihailo Temali. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (www.wilder.org). 2002. 288 pp. $35 (paperback).. As a community economic development professional for the past 25 years, I have always wanted a “one-stop” guidebook on strategies and tools for community economic development. The Community Economic Development […]

In response to:

I am writing regarding an article entitled, “Affordable Forever,” by Winton Pitcoff, published in your February 2002 issue. [T]he article states that the “Owners of First Homes’ CLT houses can still make money should they decide to sell: half the appreciated value will go to the owner while the other half will fund the operation […]