An orange tinted bridge over water in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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.

A worker at Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, which recently secured new contracts for 3 million pounds of health care linens.

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.

Taking Foreclosures to Task

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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 private company, Habitat Co. Now U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen has determined that CHA has sufficiently addressed desegregation issues and is no longer out of compliance with the landmark Gautreaux […]

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.

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 smart and experienced, and he cares. In turn, he appointed assistant secretaries with those same characteristics. With a good staff in place, HUD began the difficult task of undoing years of […]

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 and middle-class families has run into financial distress after being purchased by speculators during the recent real estate boom. The owners of the 115-acre, 3,221-unit Parkmerced apartment complex in San Francisco, […]

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, nervously trying to figure out what it would mean for our work and for the low-income neighborhoods and populations we serve. Foreclosure was on the radar, in Cleveland, Detroit, LA, and […]

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.

Countrywide Sued Again

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, alleging it steered African-American and Latino borrowers into subprime mortgages and charged them more for them. Madigan’s office conducted a two-year investigation into Countrywide’s lending policies, and the resulting suit, as reported in HousingWire, alleges that in 2006, Countrywide sold higher-cost loans to 50.9 […]