Foreclosure Fuzziness Media Watch

Pity the poor media consumer. It’s nigh-on impossible to understand the burgeoning mortgage crisis rippling through communities around the country if you’re relying on the mainstream press to give you insight into “the story.” Is it a matter of market forces and investment returns? A tale of predatory lending practices and unscrupulous mortgage brokers? A […]

MacArthur Foundation Earmarks $25 Million for Housing Research

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to invest $25 million over the next five years in research into the causes, effects and solutions to the nation’s affordable-housing crisis. The foundation’s initiative seeks to redress what MacArthur president Jonathan Fanton describes as inadequate research focus on the complex effects of decent and affordable […]

School House Rocks

One Missouri school district has given new meaning to “no child left behind.” Discouraged by the number of homeless students in its district, and by the limited shelter options available to male teens especially, the Maplewood, Mo., school board partnered with local school officials and churches to open Joe’s Place-a house for homeless high-school boys. […]

On a Positive Note

House Committee on Financial Services chair Barney Frank’s plan to include provisions for an Affordable Housing Fund in the House version of regulatory reform legislation governing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks drew an epistolary response from the committee’s ranking Republican, Spencer Bachus, that was high on sensibility but low on […]

Passing the Buck

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the effects that predatory lending and exotic mortgages have on the rising rate of home foreclosures, Douglas G. Duncan, senior vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, cited death, illness and unemployment as the prevailing reasons for the foreclosure spike. No mention of the bad subprime loans […]

An A for Effort

When it comes to covering affordable housing and homelessness crises that plague our country, the press has given it the good-old college try. Small-town papers like California’s Modesto Bee and big-city papers like The New York Times frequently report on affordable master-planned communities and supportive housing services-some even appear above the fold. But they haven’t […]

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Housing First may have gone a long way toward taking homeless individuals off the street, but it’s leaving families out in the cold.

President Barack Obama speaks while holding a microphone. He was a former community organizer.

Obama’s Third Way

Barack Obama carried lessons he learned as a community organizer to the political arena. Both organizers and politicians would be wise to study them closely.

NYC Tenants Get a Break

Since 1994, only low-income New Yorkers in emergency circumstances-those fleeing domestic violence or families in shelters-could apply for federal housing assistance. But this year, from February until May, the NYC Housing Authority has opened the waiting list for its Section 8 housing-voucher program to the general public. Because of federal funding changes and reforms in […]

Hope, Action, Change

Reading David Moberg’s article on presidential candidate Barack Obama’s days as a community organizer, I was struck by a quote from an Obama fundraising letter urging supporters to host local events that could build a grass-roots movement for “hope, action, change.” Hope, action, change: These simple yet stirring ideas provide the context for much of […]

Asset-Building Comes of Age

From IDAs to comprehensive community wealth building, the number of strategies to increase personal and collective assets is growing.

A Winning Campaign

Housing advocates in Washington, D.C., marshaled four strategies for achieving inclusionary-zoning policies designed to protect affordability in a rapidly gentrifying city.

The Purchase of a Lifetime

The bank balked. Neighbors grumbled. But these poor tenants would not be swept away in the real estate boom.

City Hall Steps In

Local governments are embracing community land trusts to promote and preserve affordable housing.

Gaining Ground

Manufactured-home communities, long vulnerable to displacement at the whim of park owners, are working with nonprofit partners to increase resident ownership of the land.


With the publication last fall of Shared Equity Homeownership: the Changing Landscape of Resale-restricted, Owner-occupied Housing, the National Housing Institute completed the first phase of a long-term project for documenting the performance, raising the profile and increasing the scale of innovative models of affordable housing that straddle the line between renting and owning. The best-known […]

the book cover for Waiting for Gautreaux

Lessons from a Chicago Saga

In “Waiting for Gautreaux,” Polikoff examines the 30-year effort to eliminate the Black ghetto and move Chicago Housing Authority tenants to integrated communities.

Building For the Future

The supply of affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to increase in the next five years because of an innovative inclusionary-housing campaign led by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH). Just as impressive, the campaign has created new leaders, new relationships and newly energized activists who can continue the […]