The Continued Importance of Fair Lending in the Age of Obama

Housing discrimination continues to plague the market, as does the myth that the housing crisis resulted from extending homeownership and home mortgage credit to historically underserved groups: minority families. Even with the Obama administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan and, within that, the Making Home Affordable program, minority groups continue to suffer ongoing discrimination and fair housing violations.

Can the Silk City Forge its Next Industrial Revolution?

New Jersey’s Paterson is among the nation’s oldest planned industrial cities, but it has fallen on hard times since the once-booming silk industry there declined in the latter half of the 20th century. Much of the industry in this city of 150,000 has since left, but now a geological attraction once envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as something that could be harnessed for industrial might, is fully protected, and could be channeled, this time, for its community-building potential.

Organizing Lessons from Allen Parkway Village

When Lenwood E. Johnson, the son of Texas sharecroppers, moved into Houston’s Allen Parkway Village project housing, the Freedmen’s Town section of the city had yet to be designated historic, and the village had yet to be saved. By the end of the 1990s the village was preserved, and Johnson proved to be something of […]

Publisher’s Note

It’s quite a time to rejoin Shelterforce. As we struggle with the pain and despair that comes from the worst economy in decades, fueled by a subprime crisis so many of us saw coming, we also find ourselves in once-in-a-lifetime moment. For the first time in years, we have a chance to change the rules […]

Homeownership Done Right

While the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance is helping people buy homes, their aim is to build an army of trained homeowners to engage their own neighbors in organizing and advocacy.

Note from the Board

I would like to take this opportunity today to tell you about some important changes at the National Housing Institute–changes that, like so much of life, are both happy and sad. In February, David Sailer left his post as NHI executive director to return to the SEIU where he will be rejoining the labor movement. […]

Fighting Foreclosure On All Fronts

While national coverage has subsided, a handful of immigrant families in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood are still fighting to stay in their foreclosed apartment building, and their story is simply part of a larger struggle in the country’s third-largest city.

The Green House?

We couldn’t resist the pun when news broke in March that Van Jones will serve as Special Adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Jones is expected to work with departments and agencies to advance the President’s agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency […]

Just a Regular Maverick (Realtor)

Jim Klinge, the Realtor-cum-blogger who, first expressing pre-burst housing bubble incredulity, has since lit up the Web with an honesty rarely seen from a real estate agent. It’s not just that he’s telling the truth about his listings, it’s that many of his listings have become material for his ongoing (and often scathing) commentary on […]

Oprah Donates to Newark Nonprofits and Schools

A handful of Newark, New Jersey, nonprofits received some much-needed relief in a time of reduced donations from a surprising benefactor — Oprah Winfrey. In February, the talk show host and media mogul donated a combined $2 million in charitable gifts to Newark’s Apostles’ House, Robert Treat Academy, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and Integrity House, […]

Crossing Silos: HUD, DOT, and Sustainable Communities

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation have unveiled a new partnership to help families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs. The partnership eyes a reduction of housing and commuter costs by encouraging affordable, sustainable communities. When the new initiative was announced in […]

TARP At Six Months: Report Delivers “Mixed” Emotions

Six months after Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, allowing for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) allocation, a report issued by the Congressional Oversight Panel formed to monitor the federal bailout, labels the Treasury’s actions thus far under the watch of Secretary Timothy Geithner as “reasonable” if his office’s […]

Equity 2.0: The Missing Pieces

Under President Obama, data transparency, private-sector innovation, and a renewed commitment to expanding opportunity could revolutionize housing and urban planning. But just as proponents of equity, open government data, and social entrepreneurship are being appointed to key positions, and while the administration is still young, the new HUD/DOT sustainable communities initiative illustrates why the devil is in the details.