Taxation of Shared-Equity Homes

In 2004, the National Housing Institute launched an ongoing research project on shared-equity homeownership, focusing on three models of resale-restricted, owner-occupied housing: limited-equity cooperatives; community land trusts; and deed-restricted houses and condominiums with affordability covenants lasting at least 30 years. During the initial phase of this project, NHI assessed what is presently known – and […]

Martinez Makes Amends

Housing advocates are wondering if Mel Martinez had a conversion on the road to the Capitol. His record as HUD secretary merited failing grades on affordable-housing production and homelessness. Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, however, the Florida Republican has started to see the light on housing policies aimed at helping the […]

Half-Truths on the Hudson

Through the rose-colored glasses of USA Today, Jersey City looks fabulous. America’s newspaper ran a feature article describing how the Hudson County city-long before “The Sopranos,” the butt of a thousand Jersey jokes and synonymous with everything that ails urban America-has undergone an extreme makeover. Only problem is, the city on the page bears little […]

Long Time Coming

After 40 years of abuse and neglect, will the residents of D.C.’s once-vibrant Shaw neighborhood succeed in redefining the value of people and place?

A Matter of Trust

Although a March 2007 Zogby International poll found that affordable housing was an important election issue, most elected officials have yet to place creating a housing trust fund at the top of their to-do list. Elected officials need to hear from their constituencies that committing public revenues to affordable housing is a safe vote for […]

Building a Better Housing Policy

Shelterforce editor Alice Chasan talks to Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, about an ambitious new project aimed at reframing the national conversation about why housing matters.

A Hometown with You in Mind?

A new book rating more than 400 U.S. metropolitan areas taps Gainesville, Fla., as the best place to live in the country. In the second edition of “Cities Ranked & Rated,” authors Bert Sperling and Peter Sander give the “right-sized university town” high marks on such measures as economy and jobs; commuting time; cost of […]

Small is Beautiful – Again

The shrinking cities movement imagines revitalization without growth – and housing advocates take a hard look at what that means for the poor.

Conversation Starter

How do we take care of our own? It’s a deceptively simple question that’s so fraught with contention in the American public discourse that we could devote this and every issue of Shelterforce to the cacophony of answers it provokes. In recent months, the question has surfaced again in the heated rhetoric over immigration reform. […]

Mock the Vote

Since the Justice Department axed nine U.S. attorneys, all eyes have been on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but the scandal began with a GOP strategy to stifle grass-roots registration of poor minority voters.

Weathering the Storm

As the foreclosure tsunami sweeps through Ohio’s communities, housing advocates devise strategies to keep homeowners from being pulled under.

Meeting the Foreclosure Crisis

Every day, news reports document rising foreclosures and their growing impact on our economy. As the congressional representative from Ohio’s north coast – a region with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation – I am keenly aware of the detrimental effect this phenomenon is having on our families and our communities at […]

Losing Ground

In communities of color throughout New York City, growing numbers of homeowners with subprime mortgages are finding themselves at risk of losing their homes, the bitter fruit of years of predatory lending practices.

American Nightmare

Homeowners under threat of foreclosure suffer a level of trauma that’s largely invisible to most Americans, while professionals working to keep people in their homes are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the crisis.

The ABCs of Organizing

I left a perfectly good job in a curtain factory in Holyoke, Mass., in 1971 to work in a neighborhood organization on the south side of Providence, Rhode Island. I received no formal training or specialized education on the subject. In fact, I was released into the world as a trainee organizer after an intense […]

Praise for the Peacock

Shelterforce never shies away from chiding mainstream media for ignoring America’s affordable-housing crisis, so we shouldn’t hesitate to give praise where it’s due. Kudos to’s Rising from Ruin an online special report focused on the post-Katrina struggles of the coastal Mississippi towns of Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Check out the site for some […]

Not That Happy Anymore

Things are heating up in Anaheim, Calif., where a dispute between the city council, a housing developer, and the Walt Disney Company has turned “the happiest place on earth” into a three-ring circus. Anaheim is home not only to Disneyland but also to more than 4,000 of the resort’s low-wage employees. Most earn between $6 […]

Stripped of Duty

All 22 staff members of the Berkeley Housing Authority were fired in late spring after an investigation uncovered abuses within the agency, which receives $25 million in federal funds each year. Perhaps the most bizarre irregularity involved two years’ worth of rent subsidies paid on behalf of 15 deceased tenants. Other violations included overpaying subsidies […]