Shelter Shorts

500 New Homeowners; One Dead Housing Program Hundreds of western Massachusetts tenants became homeowners this past summer because of their work through the Anti-Displacement Project, which has organized tenant associations and targeted HUD bureaucrats and Massachusetts’ most powerful politicians to leverage buyout money from HUD. The group particularly credits its success to its relationship with […]

Defensible Space

In the Five Oaks community of Dayton, Ohio, during 1991, violent crimes increased by 77 percent, robberies by 77 percent, vandalism by 38 percent, and overall crime by 16 percent. Drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes had taken over the streets with abandon. Gun shots could be heard at all times of the day and night; […]

Putting up the Gates

Gated communities provoke impassioned reactions from supporters and critics alike. In their book, Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, to be published in October by the Brookings Institution Press, we question the ability of this increasingly pervasive design tool to meet its security goals and strengthen the sense of community in America. Over […]

The Price is Wrong:

Imagine buying a brownstone in an up-and-coming neighborhood like Clinton Hill or Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and pouring $25,000 worth of repairs into your new house, only to be told, after all the time and effort, that your home’s market value is basically the same as or even less than what you paid to acquire and […]

Courting Racial Justice

Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia. By David L. Kirp, John P. Dwyer and Larry Rosenthal. Illustrated. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1996. 267 pp. Suburbs Under Siege. By Charles M. Haar. Illustrated. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996. 266 pp. Almost two-thirds of American blacks live on blocks that are […]

Tenant Self-Sufficiency Programs in St. Louis

“EHPC started back in 1979 over breakfast at Howard Johnson’s,” recalls Lynn Broeder, founder of the Ecumenical Housing Production Corporation in St. Louis. It brought together a group of experts, including architects, contractors, lawyers, and community leaders, to direct policy and provide practical expertise. “We had one thing in common: our concern about the shortage […]

Empty the Courts, Fill the Streets

After a 27-year legal battle, the planning board of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, approved the construction of 140 units of low- and moderate-income housing. The nearly three decades of litigation resulted in landmark court decisions that created a number of housing opportunities for New Jersey residents. But as a strategy for fighting poverty and racial […]

Shelter Shorts

New York’s Rent Regulations Expire; Compromise Reached Their worst nightmares realized, 2.5 million tenants watched rent regulations expire at 12:01 a.m. on June 16, leaving New York City and State without rent protections for the first time since World War II. Having flexed their political muscle, state legislative leaders and Governor Pataki then held a […]

Tenderloin Senior Organizing Project

“It’s hard to do this – I was scared,” said Robin King, one of the younger women living in a building organized by the Tenderloin Senior Organizing Project (TSOP), which actively organized tenants in San Francisco’s deteriorated Tenderloin district from 1980 to 1995. Matt Bixby, another resident, added, “Lydia [the organizer] had to drag us […]

Schmoozing 101: Developing Relationships with Foundation Officers

If you want to raise money through grant proposals, one of the most important things you can do is develop strong, peer-to-peer relationships with the decision makers. The value of these relationships is stressed in the National Network of Grantmakers’ booklet, What is Good Grantmaking for Social Justice? “While it is less of a ‘good […]

Homeless Assistance Programs Up for Reauthorization

This year, Congress will consider reauthorizing the four federal homeless assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY), the Chairman of the Housing Subcommittee which oversees the HUD-administered McKinney programs, has introduced H.R. 217, which would reauthorize the programs and make fundamental changes. National homeless advocacy […]