Building in Affordability

A range of existing policy tools can help preserve and expand affordable housing near planned transit stations — but to have the most effect, they need to be put in place up front.

An Affordable BeltLine?

The Atlanta BeltLine brings much promise to the city of Atlanta, but will elevated housing costs be an unwelcome addition? Atlanta is looking to a community land trust to preserve affordability for the long-term near this new asset.

Can Lease-Purchase Save Us?

As developers struggle to find buyers for rehabbed affordable homes, many are looking to a lease-purchase model to expand the pool of potential owners. But lease-purchase is far more complicated than just an end-run around the credit crunch.

Bringing CLTs to Scale in Atlanta

To ensure affordable housing around the Atlanta BeltLine, the new Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative will balance citywide scale with local control of individual land trusts by existing CDCs.

Making Connections

How often have you heard the phrase “affordable transportation” as a companion to “affordable housing”? My first time was at the National Inclusionary Housing Conference in Washington, D.C., in early November. And, impressively, it was coming from U.S. DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary Beth Osborne. “Something’s wrong when ‘affordable’ areas by total [housing plus transportation] costs […]

The Plague of the Nonprofits

The familiar transformation from volunteer organizing effort to established nonprofit needs an overhaul, or it will keep sucking the life out of truly grass-roots organizing.

Shelterforce Interview: Ron Sims

HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims doesn’t just want the 8,500 employees he oversees at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to do their jobs: he wants them to challenge themselves, even if there’s a risk of failure.

Organizing for Inclusive TOD

Large-scale and small-scale transit-oriented development projects are popping up everywhere around the country, and in many places advocates are working to include affordable housing and other community priorities in the mix from the start.

Best of Both Worlds

Permanent affordability and asset building might seem at first blush to be contradictory goals for a low-income homeownership program, but new research says in fact they can be achieved together.

Shelter for the Homeless in the Emerald City?

In Seattle, a mayor-appointed citizens’ panel has concluded that the city should put a permanent homeless encampment on city land and make certain parks and the basement of City Hall available to people with nowhere else to sleep. According to a report in The Seattle Times, panel members were sent a list of potential sites […]

No Cover for Making Home Affordable

We’ve long known that the administration’s collection of foreclosure prevention programs, known together as Making Home Affordable, has been underperforming, with government data indicating that less than $400 million of the now $30 billion in servicer incentives set aside by Treasury has been spent. But recent reports have been even bleaker. As of the end […]

Building the Progressive City

Making change is not always easy, even when “your candidate” wins. Activists in City Hall looks at two well-known progressive city administrations and the way that activists working for them did and didn’t achieve their goals.

Communities Investing in Their Values

In November, Illinois People’s Action, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and 15 other community organizations from across the country filed an official protest against the Treasury Department’s top CRA assessment of Bank of America and Wells Fargo. “These outstanding ratings are a reward for their fraudulent behavior,” said Don Carlson, executive director of Illinois People’s […]

Affordable Housing Has Mass. Appeal

While many people had their eyes on the Congressional midterm and gubernatorial elections last Election Day, we were looking at the big win in Massachusetts for affordable housing advocates and residents when the state’s voters turned back an attempt to repeal the state’s affordable housing statute, known as Chapter 40B. The law — one of […]

A Partial Win for Post-Katrina Mississippi

The Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state of Mississippi to appropriate $132.8 million in primarily HUD supplemental disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant funds to support long-term recovery along the post-Katrina Mississippi Gulf Coast. The agreement also requires the […]

The Self-Help Model

In 2008, Self-Help Federal Credit Union began working on a way to help lease-purchase programs come to scale. Although it originally thought it would be a product offered through third parties, when no banks were interested Self-Help decided to offer the product itself. The borrower is initially a preapproved nonprofit with a lease-purchase program. Self-Help […]