Domes for Sale

A community of 14 domes that housed about 30 homeless people in the shadow of the Staples Center in Los Angeles was for sale on eBay this fall. Designed by a student of architect Buckminster Fuller, the futuristic domes were home to a village of men, women and children, unlike many shelters that isolate individuals […]

OTS Reverses Course

Thanks in good part to a change in leadership, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision announced in September that it is reversing its regressive 2005 decision to cut CRA enforcement. Under previous director James Gilleran, the office had allowed thrifts with assets between $250 million and $1 billion to use a weaker CRA test. Previously, […]

No Smoking Gun

It seems that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson has been heard urging his staff to steer contracts toward people who like President Bush. But since an investigation by HUD’s inspector general into the matter could find no hard evidence that Jackson or his staff actually did favor certain contractors, Jackson has claimed exoneration. Several top HUD […]

2006 Housing & Community Development Victories

Housing Trust Funds The Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina was instrumental in getting South Carolina legislators to pass budget bills that reinstate $6.5 million to the state’s Housing Trust Fund, replacing funds that were used three years ago to help balance the state budget. In Kentucky legislation passed that allows the state’s Affordable Housing […]

Shelter Shorts

No Smoking Gun It seems that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson has been heard urging his staff to steer contracts toward people who like President Bush. But since an investigation by HUD’s inspector general into the matter could find no hard evidence that Jackson or his staff actually did favor certain contractors, Jackson has claimed exoneration. […]

All Hail the Mighty E-mail

Relationships with your constituents are built on respect, trust and communication – qualities realized when you demonstrate that your organization is worthy of supporters’ time, energy and money. As nonprofits embrace the Internet’s power, e-mail is emerging as an increasingly important communication tool. Nonprofits that learn the communication preferences of their donors and prospects will […]

NHI Research Update: Rebuilding America’s Housing Ladder

For as long as the National Housing Institute has been in existence, the nation’s housing ladder has been in disrepair. In too many communities, there are broken rungs at the bottom, where persons who are homeless or inadequately housed find it hard to step into secure, decent, affordable rentals. There are missing rungs in the […]

The Case for a Right to Housing

While the Constitution of the United States ensures citizens many rights, housing is not one of them—although such a right has been advocated for many years. Shelterforce asked Chester Hartman and Rachel G. Bratt (co-editors of A Right To Housing, with Michael E. Stone) to discuss this notion of a “right to housing.” Hartman, answering a series of questions, puts it into the context of other rights Americans expect. Bratt explains how a right to housing can advance the work of CDCs.

A Merger of Equals

The merger of Over-the-Rhine Housing Network and ReSTOC created a transformative opportunity for these two Cincinnati institutions and their neighborhood.

Rescue 311

People in Baltimore worried about losing their homes to foreclosure can now call a city hotline to get help. When they dial 311, the city’s one call center, operators will connect them to a national counseling hotline as well as a housing aid center run by a local nonprofit. The initiative is the work of […]

Next Time, a Better FEMA

In September Congress passed several reforms to the notorious agency known as FEMA, though it comes far too late for the victims of its pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina bungling. The amount of financial relief for households is still limited to $26,000, but in future disasters the agency will lift caps on how much can be […]

2006 Housing & Community Development Victories

In 2006, housing advocates across the country scored numerous legislative victories in their states. From new funding sources for housing trust funds to improving local tax credit regulations, policies are now in place to promote the production of affordable housing, protect residents from displacement and help low-income workers afford their housing. Here are some of the highlights.

Aging on the Street

The median age of San Francisco’s homeless population rose from 37 to 46 from 1990 to 2003, according to a recent study by University of California researchers. The study’s authors estimate the median is now 50, which is more like 65 if one considers the wear and tear of street life. As the median age […]

Replacing Hotel Housing

Officials in Sacramento, CA, are scrambling to protect the residential hotel units that remain in the city’s downtown for people with very low incomes. In 1960 there were 3,558 of these units; after years of urban renewal and downtown revitalization, only 712 are left. Now the city plans to replace any further loss of hotel […]

Cincy CDC Settles With Loan Flippers

Price Hill Will, a CDC in Cincinnati, agreed to an out-of-court settlement with a group of mortgage appraisers, investors and brokers that allegedly took part in a property flipping scam. Damages will go to a revolving loan fund that supports housing initiatives. The CDC had sued for the net loss in property value caused by […]

Making Tax Credits Work for the Disabled

Throughout the country, low-income people with mobility disabilities face an unprecedented and growing housing crisis. Accessibility and housing costs rank high among the problems they face. Some live in places where they must crawl up and down stairs to enter or exit their homes. Many pay nearly 70 percent of their monthly incomes to rent […]

Housing for All

With simple design changes and a few added features, an attractive and functional home can be built for people both with or without disabilities.

NYC Fights Poverty

A new effort by New York City to fight poverty couples local policy changes with a national legislative agenda. The city will offer cash rewards for families who make strides to better themselves, such as staying in school or keeping doctor’s appointments. The city may also develop a more accurate measure of poverty than the […]