A Little Too Blunt?

Alphonso Jackson, HUD’s tough-talking chief, might have spoken a little too bluntly in Dallas in April. Speaking before a gathering of business leaders, Jackson said that he had denied a government contract to an executive because the man mentioned that he disliked President Bush and his policies. Making contract decisions for such political reasons is […]

Saving Mark-to-Market

Housing advocates are calling on HUD to support renewing the Mark-to-Market program, one of the more successful efforts to address the expiration of Section 8 project-based contracts. The program enables HUD to restructure mortgages on these projects, so that it can maintain rents at levels low-income tenants can afford and keep the projects profitable for […]

All Out for Affordability

Irvine, a city of 180,000 in conservative Orange County, California, plans to make 10 percent of its housing stock permanently affordable. The city set a goal of putting nearly 10,000 units in a community land trust by 2025. Currently Irvine has 4,400 affordable units from inclusionary zoning and HUD-assisted projects; the city hopes to include […]

A Community Whodunit

The Long Stair: An Albany Mystery, by Kirby White. Fox Creek Press, 2005, 220 pp. $15 (paperback). The Long Stair is available for $15 (plus tax) from the Capital District Community Loan Fund at 518-436-8586 or Louise@cdclf.org. There are those who say that A.S. Byatt’s fabulous novel of literary intrigue, Passion, got as much acclaim […]

Say NO to Wal-Bank

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has become the retail corporate poster child for unscrupulous behavior. And now they would like to be a poster child for the banking industry “ or at least for the industrial banks. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart took another stab at entering the world of banking by applying to […]

Thirsty for Justice

Some 200 miles from the Mexican border, residents of New Mexico’s 23-year-old Pajarito Mesa community pay taxes but lack essential services like roads, electricity and emergency services. Perhaps the most pressing need for the 1,080 residents is one that many people take for granted “ water. In 1997, the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), based in […]

The Second Storm

“The New Homeless: The Affordable Housing Crisis on the Gulf Coast” A short video on the evictions crisis Nine months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, low-income families face a harsh new reality “ the threat of mass evictions and a shortage of affordable rental housing. According to a recent survey, the storm destroyed […]

Hallmarks of Success

In Lawrence, MA, a group of residents had what should have been a simple request: that the city improve its trash collection in their neighborhoods. That need led to a journey of empowerment for them and accountability for the city’s leaders. These residents learned that their city’s budgeting process had no place for their participation. […]

Building Trust

The challenge of 9/11 brought Chinatown’s organizations, long riven by deep-seated differences, together to plan for recovery.

Following the Money Trail

Chicago’s community organizations are learning to actively engage in the local budgeting process to fund neighborhood improvements.

GSE Not Doing Enough?

A Texas nonprofit says Fannie Mae doesn’t serve enough people who are low-income and of color in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. After four years of research, the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service found that the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) buys more single-family mortgage loans for white and upper-income families than other race and income groups. […]

Former Prisoners Get A Break

Boston took a big step this spring to help reintegrate ex-felons into their communities, by easing background checks on potential city employees. The city will not look at people’s criminal records in most cases, but if it does, it will wait until an applicant has proven he is qualified and the city is ready to […]

OTS Strikes Again

Last year the federal Office of Thrift Supervision weakened the responsibilities of many mid-sized banks under the Community Reinvestment Act by redefining them as small banks. Now OTS has redefined community development to benefit more middle-income people. The agency says banks should get credit for serving “distressed or underserved, nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies.” OTS received over […]