Life After Lockup

One Sunday night the men at Patrick Allison House in Baltimore cheered a field goal scored by their hometown team, the Ravens, drowning out the grunting of a washing machine in the laundry room. TV and chores typically fill their Sundays. And for these men, nearly all former drug offenders, this is newfound normalcy of […]

Housing Ex-Offenders

There is growing anxiety about how to house the large number of ex-offenders being released from state and federal prison each year, over 600,000 annually. Many of these individuals experience rejection from families and friends, refusal by private landlords and intensive screening (and eviction) from public housing. As a result, the burden of housing ex-offenders […]

Predatory Lending: Redlining in Reverse

The proverbial American dream of owning a home has become an all-too-real nightmare for a growing number of families. Take the case of Florence McKnight, an 84-year-old Rochester widow who, while heavily sedated in a hospital bed, signed a $50,000 loan secured by her home for only $10,000 in new windows and other home repairs. […]

Building a Community-University Partnership in Newark

Among all the issues that affect taxpayers, none has a greater impact than a property tax revaluation. When Newark, New Jersey was about to have its first revaluation in more than 42 years, both local residents and New Community Corporation (NCC), one of the largest and most comprehensive community development corporations in the country, were […]

Shelter Shorts

HUD Ordered to Desegregate in Baltimore A federal judge chided HUD for concentrating African-American families in Baltimore public housing, and said the federal agency must work to disperse these families across the metropolitan area. Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled in favor of public housing tenants who had sued HUD and the city of Baltimore a […]

In Red State Florida, Victory for Working People

While 52 percent of Floridians voted for George Bush in the November election, 72 percent backed a Bush-unfriendly ballot initiative: a constitutional amendment raising the minimum wage. The law set a state wage floor of $6.15 an hour, a dollar higher than the federal level, which hasn’t been boosted since 1997. It also pegged the […]

Exploring Alternative Sources of Fundraising

A low-income housing organization borrows $2 million at 1 percent interest and is able to buy a large number of homes that it then rents or sells to low-income families at a fraction of what the market would charge. A health clinic serving a very poor neighborhood owns its building. The clinic has been refinanced […]

The Rebirth of Urbanism

City: Urbanism and Its End, by Douglas Rae. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. 432 pp. $30.00 (hardcover). My reaction to Douglas Rae’s City: Urbanism And Its End was somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, I found it one of the most interesting books written in recent years about the rise and fall of […]

It’s the Mission, Stupid

For the past four years, the Bush administration has been working hard to turn HUD into the Cheshire Cat – all grin, no programs. It has proposed block granting Section 8 Vouchers and zeroing-out HOPE VI while cutting most of the remaining HUD budget and providing, at best, tepid support for their own initiatives. Now […]