Poisoned Flint, Still Subsidizing Suburbs

Also in this issue: Building Children Out of Our Cities * More Important to Control Development Than to Develop * Don't Rebuild Public Housing In Place
Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Webinar | Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy | February 10

Stan Greenberg speaks with Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz about Rewriting the Rules, a new report by Stiglitz, discussing topics including how we got to this point of severe inequality, an evidence-backed economic frame to combat trickle down market ideals, and a comprehensive policy agenda. Register for the webinar here.


Call for Nominations | 2016 NLIHC Organizing Award | Deadline February 5
Recognize the hard work of an ally NLIHC member organization or your own with a nomination. The award recognizes outstanding achievement during 2015 in state or local organizing activity. Special consideration will be given to nominations that incorporate tenant- or resident-driven organizing.

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Your Voice!

Poisoned Flint, Still Subsidizing Its Suburbs
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
Cities like Flint have long been regarded as at fault for their own problems and in need primarily of a stern dose of fiscal temperance (for example, shopping around for supposed basement bargains on crucial contracts like water supply). But this collective attitude of cities as takers rather than makers is part of what set up the poisoning of Flint's children. It's time to tell a different story . . . More

First Ignored, Then Poisoned
Laura Barrett, Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Why is our country's response to food poisoning so much quicker and more effective than the response to the Flint water crisis? Flint residents were organized before the media started paying attention. Why did no one listen?  More 

It's More Important to Control Development Than to DevelopInterview: Gordon Chin, Founding Executive Director, Chinatown CDC
Josh Ishimatsu, National CAPACD
Developers want to develop; they're always thinking about the next project, and that's fine. But you don't want to become imbalanced. You wake up one day and . . . More

Building Children Out of Our Cities
Tiffany Eng, HomeKeeper/Salesforce

It's been said that children are the indicator species of urban health and great neighborhoods, and by this measure, Oakland is in trouble . . . More 

Unsafe, Segregated Housing Is Never "Fair"

John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service
Distressed public housing located in racially- or economically-segregated areas should not be rebuilt on site. Here's why . . . More 

You Said It!

This is a huge issue and absolutely related to affordable housing and family stability. Thanks for this article! --Anne B. Gass on When Work Creates Insecurity

We have a situation in Port Arthur, Texas where banks are "Redlining" in an African American city, with a high poverty rate. Glad to be a part of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).  The Texas Community Reinvestment Group has been formed to address CRA issues in the State of Texas. There is a lot of work to be . . . --Igalious "Ike" Mills on CRA Exams Aren't Cutting it for Communities in Need

Thank you Robert for calling out the lack of family-sized housing in our cities. At the local level, we really do need to get beyond counting production only in terms of units and start paying attention to the number of bedrooms being built and the housing capacity in our pipeline. If no one is tracking unit pipelines and production by bedroom counts, it's hard for me to understand how we can adequately plan for our growing cities in a way that . . . --Tiffany Eng on Seeking True "Multifamily" Housing

Achieving this level of data collection is quite a feat, and I commend you and your team for taking the initiative. I'm curious, do you have any outside entity who will peer review your data to determine the significance of any observations you make? In other words, who will determine if observation X is evidence of a statistically significant trend or purely anecdote? In general, I worry that . . . --Chris L. on Data Systems for Social Change

In many situations the right answer will not be so obvious and John fails to deal with at least two key questions that have to be analyzed before we demolish longstanding housing communities and tell everyone to move to a new neighborhood. First, what do the existing residents want? . . . Second, what impact will demolition have on the surrounding neighborhood and those residents?Will demolishing the public housing result in . . . --Joe Kriesberg on Unsafe, Segregated Housing Is Never "Fair"

A high priority is placed on protecting and retaining long-time homeowners, but long-time renters can be casually dismissed? -- Terry Pratt on 7 Policies That Could Prevent Gentrification

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Leading this complex, critical community asset requires an executive with strong professional competencies in financial and team management, resource, policy and organizational development, and program development and evaluation.  Candidates for this role will . . . Read Full Listing 

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In This Issue

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Shelterforce Weekly 
with your colleagues...

Featured Bloggers
Center for Health, Environment
& Justice

Housing Assistance Council

Michael Bodaken
National Housing Trust

Raphael Bostic
USC Price School of Public Policy

Janis Bowdler
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

HOPE Credit Union

Burlington Associates

Democracy Collaborative

Jamaal Green
Portland State University

Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

Lisa Hodges
Hodges Development, LLC

Planner, Louisa County, Va.

National CAPACD

Rick Jacobus
Street Level Advisors

Daniel Kravetz
Freelance Writer


Center for Community Progress

Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
City University of New York

Tulane University

Habitat for Humanity

National Urban League


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  


San Francisco Community 
Land Trust

Shelterforce Weekly

Associate Editor, Keli Tianga

Publisher, Harold Simon

Assistant Publisher, Terri L. Clegg