Editor’s Note

Reforming Public Housing? An odd thing is happening in Philadelphia. Mayor Rendell and his housing director, John Kromer, have concluded that allowing Section 8 tenants to take their certificates or vouchers and use them in more affluent communities doesn’t work. “Aimed at lifting people out of the isolation of the projects, the [Section 8] program […]

Twelve Ways to Say “Thank You.”

My colleague Kim Klein, publisher of the Grassroots Fundraising Journal, once wrote an article, “Donors Are Not Water Faucets.” If you only contact your contributors to request money and ignore them the rest of the time, she wrote, pretty soon they will stop contributing. Her advice, based on both good manners and common sense, is […]

Public Housing Unchained?

In the three-year legislative odyssey called public housing reform, there is near universal agreement that overhaul of public housing is needed. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that the bill passed by the House last spring, and its counterpart, finally reported out of the Senate last month, reflect a consensus about how that […]

Congressman Rick Lazio on H.R. 2

Rick Lazio (R-Long Island, NY) was first elected to Congress in 1992. He currently serves as the chairman of the House Banking Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Deborah Austin is the acting executive director of the National Neighborhood Coalition and recently served as the director of legislation and policy for the National Low Income […]

GOP Aims to Shut Out Poor

  In 1890, Jacob Riis’ groundbreaking book How the Other Half Lives chronicled the lives of thousands of families living in squalor in New York City. A horrified public cried out for reform, and the public housing movement was born. More than 100 years have passed since Riis’ book, and although hundreds of thousands of […]

Taking Charge: Public Housing Tenants Organize

The problems affecting the Cooks Bridge complex in Needham, Massachusetts, in 1990 were the kind typically associated with troubled public housing: lack of or poor maintenance and drug-related crime. After meeting with indifference from the local housing authority, the Cooks Bridge Tenant Association realized they would need to act independently to make the playground and […]

Portland Commits to Poor

With public housing authorities (PHAs) facing the tightest federal budget squeeze in decades, much of public housing industry groups’ testimony before Congress over the past two years has been to the effect that PHAs, while desirous of full funding, could survive with greatly reduced funding if Congress would give them the flexibility to house higher […]

Getting the Lead Out: Controlling Lead Paint Hazards in Housing

Lead poisoning remains the foremost environmental health risk to American children, with just under one million children with elevated lead levels. While the average blood lead level in the U.S. population has dropped dramatically – by 82 percent – over the past two decades, and the number of children with elevated levels has also declined, […]

The Reports are In: Homeownership Rising, Renters Suffering, Income Gaps Growing

City Life, Homeownership, and the American Dream Americans’ impressions of cities are improving, according to Fannie Mae’s 1997 National Housing Survey, City Life, Homeownership, and the American Dream. Where the 1991 survey found that more people saw cities as the source of problems rather than progress, the 1997 results show respondents’ opinions evenly divided on […]

Fighting for Worker’s Rights in Maine

Years of alleged wage, immigration, safety, and civil rights violations, environmental sanctions, and other infractions at the DeCoster egg farm in Turner, Maine, have led to a new state law allowing the farm’s approximately 300 long-term migrant workers to unionize. The legislation that went into effect this September was seen as an important step to […]

Congress Passes HUD Budget,Worsens Mark-To-Market Bill

The conference report for the FY98 HUD/VA Appropriations bill easily passed the House and Senate the second week of October. The bill contains roughly $24 billion in HUD funding for the fiscal year that began October 1. Compared to recent years, many programs fared well, and there is enough funding to renew all expiring project-based […]

Fighting for Worker's Rights in Maine

Years of alleged wage, immigration, safety, and civil rights violations, environmental sanctions, and other infractions at the DeCoster egg farm in Turner, Maine, have led to a new state law allowing the farm’s approximately 300 long-term migrant workers to unionize. The legislation that went into effect this September was seen as an important step to […]