Archives

Changes, Big and Small

Things keep changing; sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. When President Obama nominated Shaun Donovan as HUD secretary, many of us cheered. Donovan is...

Hello, Again

When I last wrote an editor’s note for Shelterforce (#117, May/June 2001), we were all adjusting to the beginning of the G.W. Bush administration,...

The Road to PETRA

From the early days of the public housing program in the 1930s to the present, vociferous opposition has resulted in a host of problems. Understanding the history can help put President Obama's PETRA program in context.

The End of Public Housing

In written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Financial Services in May, excerpted here, a group of urban affairs academics argue that PETRA is nothing less than a formal divestment from public housing, worse than anything previous administrations have proposed.

Private Money, Public Housing: Will PETRA Work?

PETRA, the Obama administration’s $350 million effort to reform public housing, first proposed in February 2010, has many in the housing field skeptical.

Shelterforce Interview: Sandra Henriquez

HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez spoke with Shelterforce to discuss the administration’s Preservation, Enhancement, and Transformation of Rental Assistance initiative and address some of the concerns regarding PETRA’s push to allow public housing authorities to leverage private investments. 

PETRA Perspectives: National Low-Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition wants to be able to support PETRA, but has some concerns.

PETRA Perspectives: Congresswoman Maxine Waters

While PETRA is flawed, it is also the only serious attempt any administration has made to preserve public housing in quite some time.

PETRA Perspectives: National Alliance of HUD Tenants

The National Alliance of HUD Tenants weighs the merits and drawbacks of the PETRA proposal.

PETRA Perspectives: PolicyLink

As the merits and flaws of PETRA are being debated, PolicyLink offers its list of desired outcomes for poor people and economically distressed communities.

PETRA Perspectives: National People’s Action—Housing Justice Campaign

The history of well-intentioned housing plans from HUD and Congress has public housing residents across the country scared to death that they could lose their homes through PETRA.

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. After years of neglect, the Obama administration wants to save public housing for future generations. Let's let them.

Sowing Seeds of Change: Q&A with John Atlas

Editors of sat down recently with John Atlas, NHI board president and author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group, to discuss the organization itself, as well as organizing on a national level, tensions between organizing and development, and lessons learned from the downfall of the once-powerful antipoverty organization.

A Tale of Two Markets: Affordability and the State of the...

For first-time homebuyers with good credit, stable employment, and savings for a down payment, buying a home is more affordable than it has been in decades. For everyone else, however, lower home prices have been a disaster.

Tainted Loans: Fighting Toxic Mortgages in the Courts

It's not too late to treat toxic loans as the defective product they are.

Taking Foreclosures to Task

All across the country, local governments, CDCs, community groups, and housing counselors are coming together to address the foreclosure crisis.

Green Jobs with Roots

For the founders of Cleveland's Evergreen Coops, putting a handful of people to work at minimum wage isn't worth it. They are aiming at nothing less than a ground-up economic transformation -- one owned by the very people it's intended to help.

A Battle for Wards in New Jersey’s Hub City

How an organization of residents crossing age, race, and socioeconomic lines took on an unyielding City Hall known for quelling grass-roots efforts and (almost) overtook the political party machinery.

CHA Back in Charge

After 23 years, the Chicago housing authority is no longer in receivership. The court-ordered receivership had placed administrative duties in the hands of a...

Another Post-War, Middle-Class Enclave in Default

First it was New York City’s Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, and now, another enclave built by Metropolitan Life in the 1940s for veterans...