A Realistic Way to Make Housing Affordable for All

In this issue: Why Building More Housing Isn't Helping * The Breathtaking Story of Whitman Park Housing * Seven Ways to Make Real Local Economic Change
Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Why Funding Overhead Is Not the Real Issue: The Case to Cover Full Costs | Monday, April 18 |
2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT

The myths of overhead ratios as indicators of an organization's impact or financial efficiency and the misinterpretations of the true full costs of delivering vital programs have contributed to a chronically fragile social infrastructure for our communities. Nonprofit Quarterly offers this webinar, which will present new insights on framing costs when applying for funding.

The State of Big Ideas: Moving Environmental Health Outside the Box | San Antonio | June 13-16

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Environmental Health Association today announced they will host an annual educational conference to address today's pressing global environmental health issues.

Online Event | A Place to Call Home: LGBT Older Adults and Housing Discrimination | April 27, 2:00pm to 3:30pm (EDT)

Presented by Sayida Abjani of SAGE, this Live Online Event will guide participants through a basic primer on Fair Housing guidelines with a focus on protected classes. Participants will familiarize themselves with the different manifestations of housing discrimination in LGBT communities, how to identify if someone is being discriminated against, and resources for addressing discrimination.

Industry News

Smart Growth Award Winners Announced

NJ Future has just announced its seven 2016 Smart Growth Awardees, including HANDS Inc. of Orange, NJ. The award is for the transformation of an abandoned factory into the mixed-use F. Berg Hat Factory complex. HANDS Inc. was founded by Patrick Morrissy, an NHI/Shelterforce board member.

NLIHC Honors Rep. Barbara Lee, Nancy Bernstine, and CNHED for Accomplish-
ments on Behalf of Low Income Communities

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has awarded its Edward W. Brooke Housing Leadership Award to U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, the Cushing Niles Dolbeare Lifetime Service Award to the longstanding low income housing advocate Nancy Bernstine, and the 2016 Organizing Award to the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development for its Housing for All Campaign. The awards were presented during NLIHC's Housing Policy Forum and NLIHC's Annual Housing Leadership Awards Reception April 3-5.

A Realistic Way to Make Housing Affordable for *All* the Working Poor
Peter Dreier, Occidental College
We can combine the best features of the earned-income tax credit and the housing voucher program to address the housing crisis for America's working families. Here's how it would work . . .  More

Overcoming Racism, Dirty Politics, and Riots: the Breathtaking Story of Getting Whitman Park Housing Built
Jake Blumgart, freelance reporter, researcher, and editor
What can housing advocates learn from how a set of bitterly contested row houses got built in South Philadelphia?  More

Two Sneaky Reasons Building More Housing Isn't Helping
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
The discussion about how much building more housing will help with affordability, and the nuances of the neighborhood and regional effects and what to do about them is alive and well and important. But so far most of those conversations are assuming . . .  More

Steve Dubb
Seven Doable Ways To Make Real Economic Change in Your Neighborhood

Steve Dubb, The Democracy Collaborative
There are new practices emerging that, if integrated with existing community development work, might help propel meaningful change. Some examples include . . .  More

Fracking Waste and Drinking Water, a Toxic Combo
Laura Barrett, Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Environmentalists have succeeded in making fracking, renewable energy, safe water, and climate change part of the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are doubling down on . . . More


Fernando Pag├ęs Ruiz's recent Shelterforce article, Building with Culture in Mind,
was reprinted in the current issue of the UTNE Reader on page 9, and posted here.


You Said It!

The key ingredient to all low and modest income occupied housing is giving the occupants enough controlling interest in their homes to create a sense of responsibility as demonstrated by the thousands of housing cooperative successfully surviving now for 40 or more years . . . --Herb Fisher on Canada is Looking Better and Better (The Regent Park Story)

On The "Supply-Side" Arguments, and Why Geography, Scale, and Migration Matter

I think the argument essentially comes down to answering the question "Are prices rising because developers are building in particular highly desirable (by people with money) neighborhoods or there are developers building in these desirable neighborhoods because prices are rising?" One's view on SF's housing crisis and the appropriate response depends largely on how they answer this question . . .
--Alex Lantsberg 

Trickle-down" is an intellectually dishonest substitute term for filtering. It tries to associate filtering--by this point a foundational concept in housing economics, generally accepted by economists from across the ideological spectrum--with now thoroughly empirically discredited "supply side" and "trickle-down" economic theories . . . --Jake Wegmann

Author Reply

I won't challenge your expertise on the accuracy of the term and the theory of filtering. Unfortunately, the use of the term in current debate is often charged with political ideology. In the political discourse of housing policy in San Francisco, most every term can become intellectually dishonest. Even "affordable housing" is used in intellectually dishonest ways at times.
You do make an interesting statement, which I'd like to hear more about. You said, "...now thoroughly empirically discredited 'supply side' ... theories." Can you elaborate on how supply-side theory has been discredited? That would be informative to our local debates. --Peter Cohen

Looking for a Job?

Project Manager 
The Project Manager will work in the Tenant Purchase Program on tenant opportunity to purchase TOPA projects, managing 4-6 projects & overseeing tenant organizing, financing, and renovation of the buildings. Through this program, Mi Casa has prevented the displacement of over 1,000 people, and supported and empowered tenants to . . . Read Full Listing 

Associate Director,
Affordable Homeownership
CFED is a national nonprofit with a mission of empowering low- and moderate-income households to build and preserve assets. We seek a proven leader who combines a depth of affordable housing policy experience and project management know-how, who thrives on collaboration, curiosity, and . . . Read Full Listing  

Research Manager
The Research Manager has primary responsibility for designing and implementing our research program in order to advance best practices and innovations in housing programs and policies that lead to lasting affordability and more inclusive communities. S/he will oversee all aspects of Research, including . . . Read Full Listing 

Rental Housing Development Program Manager
The role of this position is to ensure line-of-business activities result in successful projects and support the mission and business objectives of Community Frameworks and our clients, and to actively participate in project development work. The Manager is skilled in real estate/affordable housing development and finance, in leadership . . . Read Full Listing 
Community Development Director 

The CD Director will prepare assessments and inventories of existing community conditions and resources potentially useful for revitalization and related projects in cooperation with local businesses, community-based groups, individual residents, appropriate city departments and other nonprofit organizations . . . Read Full Listing 

Director - Homebuilding & Stabilization   

This position requires a breadth and depth of real estate experience, and a genuine commitment to the mission of building and preserving quality housing and transforming communities. Responsible for leading all single-family real estate development activities for the organization, including integration with broader neighborhood stabilization . . . 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

Murtaza Baxamusa
Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC

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

Ana Garcia-Ashley
Gamaliel Foundation

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

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Shelterforce Weekly

Senior Editor, Lillian M. Ortiz

Associate Editor, Keli Tianga

Publisher, Harold Simon

Assistant Publisher, Terri L. Clegg