Housing Affordability Cheat Sheet

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
In This Issue: Chipping away at implicit bias ● We need Baltimore's artists ● Creating a sanctuary for youth in Camden ● Industry v. movement—redux Also: Industry News ● Events You Said It! ● In Case You Missed It ● Jobs ● More
Jillian Olinger, and Kelly Capatosto, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Over time, racialized laws, policies, and practices have imposed a racial bias on our collective values. Our minds are wired to automatically piece together information to make sense of the world around us. As part of this automatic process, people unconsciously internalize the patterns of inequity in our society in the form of implicit racial bias.

State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2016 explains, “Our implicit biases are the result of mental associations that have formed by the direct and indirect messaging we receive, often about different groups of people. When we are constantly exposed to certain identity groups being paired with certain characteristics, we can begin to automatically and unconsciously associate the identity with the characteristics, whether or not that association aligns with reality.”

Over time, due to the structural discrimination that overrepresented Black families in impoverished communities, many Americans developed an association between blackness and poverty. Moreover, Black families were often falsely associated with other symptoms of systemic neighborhood disinvestment, such as criminality, in the news and other venues.

Repeated exposure to these associations translated to . . .
Eva Wingren, Baltimore Community Foundation
I’m in the process of buying a house in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District of Baltimore. Here’s what the listing has to say about my house: “This modern rehab is close to everything Station North Arts and Entertainment District has to offer. Walk to restaurants, Charles Theater, various entertainment venues, coffee shops—it is all here.”

Baltimore’s arts scene was a major reason I moved to Baltimore, and a major reason for choosing the Station North neighborhood. But while my listing talked up the arts, it said nothing about the artists.

Artists have certainly left their mark on Station North, and my partner and I certainly look forward to patronizing the businesses they run. But the organically-developed communal live/work spaces that play . . .
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Affordable housing accumulates a lot of jargon, even when it comes to talking about which homes are affordable to whom. Use this cheat sheet if you, or a new member of your staff or board, need some help wading through the ways in which we talk about affordability. 
Natasha Fletcher and Asia King, Rutgers University
At a workforce training and education center for 14- to 24-year-olds called Hopeworks ‘N Camden, it used to be that “when a youth disappointed us, perhaps if they showed up late, we would set boundaries, say they were unmotivated, and talk about the deficits—all the things ‘wrong’ with the young person,” says the program’s executive director, Dan Rhoton.

But then the organization was reworked from top to bottom to take into account the effects of trauma, which most participants (and many employees) have experienced. Operating through “trauma-informed” practices has been a game changer, says Rhoton. “Now we . . .
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John Emmeus Davis, Burlington Associates in Community Development
“Winter is coming,” repeats the mantra of warning in Game of Thrones. There are barren days ahead. If community development organizations are to survive the coming years of ice and snow, we must shepherd our resources, making them last as long as possible and go as far as practical. We must plan for the probability that our “industry” is going to contract during the next few years. Projects will be deferred, organizations will be merged, and anticipated expansions of programs and territory will be delayed, as we hunker down against the cold.

There must be no contraction, however, in the values and commitments that imbue community development with the feisty energy, permeable boundaries, and righteous purpose of a “movement.” That was also the argument I tried to make three years ago, but . . .
Industry News
Lisa Mensah Joins OFN as President and CEO ● Earlier this year, Lisa Mensah, formerly Under Secretary of Rural Development for the USDA, joined the Opportunity Finance Network as president and CEO. Mensah has had leadership positions at the Aspen Institute, Ford Foundation, Citi, and more. Shelterforce interviewed Mensah, an expert in economic development, during her tenure at USDA.
Events
Regional Food Systems: Driving Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development webinar ● Sept. 14, 3 p.m. EDT This Connecting Communities® webinar is presented by the Federal Reserve system. Speakers will discuss technical support that can be provided to entrepreneurs, as well as creative tools for financing regional food enterprises. 
You Said It!

Your supermarket employee who earns $1,500 per month receives a federal Earned Income Tax Credit of about $3,373 for the year if they have one child (more if they have two or more) . . . and while $18,000 is over the federal poverty limit, it is low enough in many states to receive free healthcare through the Medicaid program . . . We can’t get “a good picture of who is really burdened by housing cost” unless we consider government benefits and payroll taxes as well. —Jerry Rioux, more


I used to be the youngest person in CDC meetings more years ago than I want to count; wanting to know why it was the same cadre of same-looking people making the decisions, receiving the grants, winking at each other while the new kids on the block looked on. Now, I look like the old, white dude that I often wondered about, but with a different bent. Looking at the last organization that I was the ED for, NHS of Greater Cleveland, we were . . . —Lou Tisler, more


One thing I don’t think you mentioned was the historic district designation. I have contributed to gentrification — at that time unwittingly — but there was no way that people without our resources could have bought & renovated our property. First is the financing issues but second is the HDLC requirements that require extra time & money for compliance. I expressed this to an HDLC employee who said we should have used the state tax credit system. Okay so we fill out a 26-page questionnaire & front the money to get . . . —Jane Morgan, more
In Case You Missed It
Jobs
Vice President of Community & Economic Development
HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union) is seeking a mission-driven individual to lead its CED work in the Mississippi Delta. This person will join a talented team to execute large, multi-party investments in healthcare facilities, schools, affordable housing, fresh food . . . Read Full Listing
Senior Housing Developer
The person in this role is engaged in activities which lead to the successful completion of affordable housing development contracts and projects, improve client capacity, and meet local community development objectives. The Senior Housing Developer plans, coordinates and manages . . . Read Full Listing
Housing Developer
The person in this role completes real estate development functions, including taking the lead on affordable housing and community facilities developments. The position requires experience in many aspects of housing development as well as capacity for good time management . . . Read Full Listing
Executive Director
The person in this role is responsible for the overall management, strategic direction, fundraising, accountability, and administration of the organization to ensure it achieves its goals. Ideal candidates for this position will be passionate about NeighborWorks Great Falls’ mission of developing affordable housing and . . . 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