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10 Ways to Talk About Inclusionary Housing

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
In This Issue: Hurricane Evacuees Forcibly Evicted in Miami Historic Step for Affordable Housing in CA ● Career Path for Community Change Agents ● A Partner, Not an Expert ● Also: Hurricane Recovery Resources You Said It! ● In Case You Missed It ● Jobs ● More
Marcia Olivo, Miami Workers Center
More than 60 households—mostly elderly Latino/a renters—living in the Civic Towers apartment complex in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood have been stranded and homeless for over a week since Hurricane Irma evacuations forced them from their homes. Early Wednesday morning, at around 4am, they were forcibly removed from the site of the complex after Senator Marco Rubio and Mayor Tom├ís Regalado visited.

Yesterday, they set up a tent city to draw attention to the atrocities they are enduring and provide some level of decent shelter for one another.

“The city and federal government are not . . .
Sasha Hauswald, Grounded Solutions Network
Critiques of inclusionary housing are often based on widespread myths, such as:

“It’s not fair for developers to shoulder the burden of providing affordable housing.”

“Inclusionary housing, just like other bureaucratic impediments to development and restrictive zoning rules, ultimately raise housing costs for everybody.”

Grounded Solutions Network and numerous academic institutions produce research that rebuts these myths. However, resistance to inclusionary housing adoption remains strong.

We need to talk about inclusionary housing in a different way that circumvents common misperceptions and creates a new narrative for policymakers in moderate markets and more conservative political climates.

Here are 10 messages to help frame the way you talk about inclusionary housing differently . . .
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Murtaza Baxamusa, San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council
California’s affordable housing problem is multi-faceted, and as I have written previously, has grown larger and larger over decades of public and private sector failures. It has manifested itself in almost half of the state’s 6 million renters paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and 1.5 million paying over half their income on rent. The state also has the lowest homeownership rates since the 1940s, with only one in three households able to afford a median priced home. Meanwhile, California’s homeless crisis is expanding to the countryside and cities deal with widespread health emergencies due to large populations of unsheltered people (San Diego is facing a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak among its homeless citizens).

Despite a panoply of local housing measures last year, the approval of last week’s legislative package is a paradigm shift in California’s approach to housing. This is because it elevates the discourse on affordable housing to the center of policy decisions at the state and local level, and sets up the framework for political agreement between the Democratic-controlled Assembly, Senate, and Governor. 

It took years of failed proposals to reach a viable deal; nonetheless, the three fundamental pillars of this political agreement are:
Bill Bynum, HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union)
Robert Kennedy’s pilgrimage through the Mississippi Delta a half-century ago focused national attention on the plight of the people living in this cotton-tipped, flatland region that had been a fierce battleground for civil rights.

America’s consciousness was shaken by images of Kennedy standing amid ramshackle homes and malnourished children. Decades later, owed largely to the stubbornness of Jim Crow political and economic systems, the Delta remains a region plagued by persistent poverty and its many consequences.

In contrast to 1967, today’s residents of the predominantly black Delta exercise more political power. In fact, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state. However, the Delta still faces substantial barriers when it comes to realizing prosperity for its families and their communities. Local officials remain burdened by limited budgets and staffing, tending to day-to-day needs while struggling to find ways to hold their communities together.

These realities spurred us to initiate . . .
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John Ortbal, freelance writer and marketing consultant
As the founder of CLP, Andy Mott spent more than 35 years at the Center for Community Change (CCC), a national nonprofit that helps grassroots groups in changing their local communities. “Over the years, I saw that progressive leaders—primarily white males—from the ‘60s and ‘70s were retiring,” Mott says. “This created a big gap in finding and cultivating the next generation of leadership—especially among people of color and from low-income areas.”

With a grant from the Ford Foundation, Mott left CCC to explore ways of blending leadership knowledge with the practical skills of organizing locally to effect change. He found Denise Fairchild, who, since 1999, has been partnering with the Community Development Technology Center (CDTech) in Watts and South-Central Los Angeles. She had built the kind of program model Mott was searching for . . .
The Harvey Community Recovery Fund • Enterprise Community Partners • The Fund will respond to the needs of nonprofits serving displaced low-income residents in the storm-damaged areas of South Texas, the Houston metro area, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, and Southwest Louisiana. To learn more about applying for the fund, click here. To contribute to the fund, click here.

More Ways to Help Communities of Color Recover From the Recent Hurricanes Colorlines has published a listing of eight grassroots organizations bringing help to communities of color and groups who may face socioeconomic challenges after Irma and Maria. The Hurricane Maria Community Relief and Recovery Fund, housed at the Center for Popular Democracy, supports grass roots organizations in Puerto Rico working on immediate relief and equitable rebuilding of communities hardest hit by the storm.
You Said It!

I live in Tahoe where the problem is that wealthy out-of-towners buy all the houses. Then all the locals who make even close to $100K are forced out. I know this is a problem elsewhere too so I’m wondering if you have heard of any communities coming up with a new name or designation that sounds good and is deed restricted for locals only . . . —Rebecca, more

Editor Reply:
Restricting to locals only is actually really tough because you can run afoul of fair housing laws. But there many programs that focus their marketing efforts and outreach on local residents. You might find this useful . . . —Miriam, more

Thanks Josh for the references and commentary that support an action under the “genius of CRA” as we look to create a solution to what was said, by the previous administration, to be the number one human rights problem in America – racism . . . —Hershel Daniels, more

The elephant in the room is constantly increasing population . . . Growth has costs that can and must be compensated. Convincing anyone to pay that cost is hard and in fact has to be . . . —Patrick Murphy, more
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Under the supervision of the Associate Director of Housing Development, the Project Manager performs a wide variety of tasks related to planning and developing affordable housing for Tenderloin NDC. The PM coordinates and implements all activities relating to project development from . . . Read Full Listing
Vice President of Community & Economic Development
HOPE is seeking two mission-driven individuals to lead its CED work in two locations: Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. In partnership with communities in the region and HOPE’s credit union and commercial lending teams, the VP for Community & Economic Development will . . . Read Full Listing
Program Officer, Strong Local Economies
Surdna's Strong Local Economies program aims to create robust and sustainable economies that include a diversity of vibrant businesses and sectors and improved access to quality jobs for the Program’s priority populations. The PO will work closely with the team on day-to-day . . . Read Full Listing
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Featured Bloggers
Bob Annibale, Citi ● Laura Barrett, Interfaith Worker Justice ● Murtaza Baxamusa, Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC ● Michael Bodaken, National Housing Trust ● Bill Bynum, HOPE Credit Union ● Steve DubbJamaal Green, Portland State University ● John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service ● David Holtzman, newspaper reporter and former planner ● Josh Ishimatsu, National CAPACD ● Rick Jacobus, Street Level Advisors ● Daniel Kravetz, freelance writer ● Alan Mallach, Center for Community Progress ● Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity ● Doug Ryan, Prosperity Now ● Josh Silver, NCRC ● James Tracy, San Francisco Community Land Trust ● Eva Wingren, Baltimore Community Foundation