Tag: blog_reimport

Foreclosures Are Making People Sick

[Editor's note: Shelterforce continues to discuss the connection between health and housing, and most recently devoted an entire issue to the topic. The op-ed below originally appeared in American Banker on November 3, 2014.] While foreclosure activity has declined since the peak of the mortgage crisis, millions of families are still at risk of losing […]

Would Just Letting the Hot Markets Build More Help Affordability?

As people move back into the cities, and rental housing demand goes up, it's been an interesting time for people wrestling with the problems of highly unaffordable areas to live. Some people are arguing that limits on development—whether it's density restrictions like Washington, D.C.'s height limits, or the kinds of geographical, historical, or quality of […]

Happy Holidays From All of Us to All of You

                    As we wind down 2014 and prepare for the new year, the folks at Shelterforce would like to express our thanks to you—our readers and supporters. We’ve enjoyed connecting with you through Shelterforce in print and on the web, Rooflines, and our Shelterforce Weekly newsletter, […]

Amidst Congressional Missteps, Housing Opportunities Remain

Here in Washington, Congress has finally done its primary job: that of funding the government. The process of last-minute scrambling and late-night bargaining is clearly no way to run a government—as members of Congress and their staff become harried, priorities don’t get properly vetted. This style of governance also offers an opportunity for special interests […]

Jobs and More Jobs: Organizing’s Economic Impact

In the report, “Jobs and More Jobs: The Economic Impact of Community Organizing,” Gamaliel community organizers add up $13 billion worth of public and private programs that faith, community, and labor leaders worked to create or save through their advocacy efforts in 2012-13, employing nearly 460,000 people. Using commonly accepted economic formulas to measure the […]

Say It Loud: Inequality is Bad for Everyone

    There is an invisible culprit in the great scandal of inequality in America: your Econ. 101 textbook. Go ahead, dig it out from that storage chest, and undoubtedly you’ll read that inequality, while we might not like it, is good for economic growth and progress. This idea has undergirded decades of policymaking, and […]

Photo Contest: Aging With Dignity

Do you have a senior housing development? Are you helping seniors age in place with supportive housing, accessibility retrofits, home repair assistance, creative financial solutions, or other services? Are you organizing against financial abuse for seniors? Does your organization run on the power of retirees and their volunteerism? Share their faces and stories with your […]

Do Good Techies Make Good Neighbors?

Everybody knows that if you want to restore integrity to your downtown business corridor or your local industrial park, if you want to create jobs and point your community toward the future of the workforce, or if you want to capture the hearts and minds of DIY makers and social entrepreneurs, you'd better have a […]

Maybe We Should Call Them Trailers

It is an article of faith among advocates for residents of manufactured housing that one of the most important things we can do to get over the stigma that this form of housing carries is to stop using the term “mobile homes” (they aren't really mobile) or “trailers/trailer parks” (ditto). Shelterforce has used “manufactured housing” […]

Stepping Back From “Stepping Forward”

Public housing tenants are celebrating the Seattle Housing Authority’s (SHA) decision to retract a controversial plan to raise rents by more than 400 percent in the coming years. The “Stepping Forward” plan, announced last September, was immediately met with stiff resistance from tenants mostly organized through the Tenants Union of Washington State (TUWS). In November, […]

How Much Money Is Your City or State Losing to “Economic...

Have you ever wondered how much money your city or state is actually losing when it gives a 20-year tax break to a developer in exchange for a handful of jobs? You might soon be able to find out. As Shawn Escoffery of the Surdna Foundation and Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First explain in […]

Renters Are Not The Problem

Alan Mallach concludes his recent commentary on the problem of declining homeownership (Do Urban Neighborhoods Need Homeowners?) with the important reminder that cities and policymakes should not neglect renters. Yet, his argument leading up to this point is a prescription for continuing a century-old approach to housing that structurally advantages homeowners and disadvantages moderate- and […]

How Are Shared Equity Programs Growing With Public Investment?

In an era of dwindling affordable housing resources, communities are looking for ways to use what they have more efficiently. Advocates for shared equity homeownership programs have long argued that preserving long-term affordability helps public funding go further; in fact, new data shows that public funds invested in shared equity homes have been growing at […]

Housing Equity’s Future: Moving from Debate to Productive Dialogue

A robust debate erupted on Shelterforce in response to Miriam Axel-Lute’s article, “The Dangerous Rhetoric of Escaping to Opportunity,” with strongly worded opinions flowing from both sides of the mobility and place based debate. As practitioners who were involved in this vigorous conversation and referenced in the article, we had a series of private discussions […]

Vouchers Are Helping Children Avoid Concentrated Poverty

More than 5 million people in some 2 million low-income families use Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to help them afford decent housing. Although the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program makes little difference in where poor white families with children live, it makes a large difference for poor families of color, as our recent paper explains. […]

Manufactured Housing: Underutilized and Misunderstood

What will it take for manufactured housing, the principal source of unsubsidized, affordable homes in the United States, to reach its potential? Limited and expensive financing options make life even more difficult for the financially vulnerable residents who live in manufactured housing (MH) communities. The continuing consolidation of ownership is taking a toll, and the […]

Policing in Communities of Color: We Want to Hear Your Voice

On Rooflines, bloggers have written directly about events in Ferguson, MO, and indirectly analyzed the social ramifications of racial and economic discrimination going unchecked in communities. From “Three-Strikes” Law enforcement, to sentencing disparity among races in crack/powder cocaine offenses, to aggressive policing strategies in communities of color, the relationship between law enforcement and people of […]

On Beyond Income: Asset Building and Union Organizing Go Together

I wrote earlier this week about how the current increase in labor organizing among service workers calls for a conscious choice by other nonprofits who work with low-income households to offer our solidarity to those campaigns. Beyond the fact of supporting workers in their struggle for self-determination, there are some other opportunities for cross-pollination there. […]

On Progressives and Picket Lines

The story was very different, depending who told it. To the organizers of the I'M HOME and National Manufactured Homeowners' Assocation conferences, news that the Seattle Olive 8 hotel, which they had booked for their annual conferences this past November, was under boycott by the hotel workers union UNITE HERE for refusing to allow workers […]

Walking Away: What Happens When a Project Can’t Be Completed?

As children, many of us grew up hearing from our parents that we must, “finish what we started.” Whether we stalled on a math assignment or scooped too much food onto our dinner plate, we were instructed to keep going until we were done. Certainly, this lesson provides some guidance for events to come later […]