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Our field is too white. We can fix that.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
In This Issue: Hurricane Recovery Resources ● Renters Take to the Streets Across the Country ● The Problem with "We Have to Do Something" ● Why Are States Rolling Back Housing Supports? ● Our Field Is Too White. We Can Fix That Also: Events ● Industry News You Said It! ● In Case You Missed It ● Jobs ● More
This past week, renter advocacy groups staged coordinated demonstrations in over 45 states to disrupt business as usual, including stand-ins at the personal residences of corporate landlords, banner drops, neighborhood tours of the housing crisis, and creative actions at city halls.

“Our communities are under constant attack. From policies of mass deportation and incarceration to gentrification and mass evictions, we are facing displacement in many forms. Renters have had enough. In 2016, we declared a ‘national renter state of emergency’ and mobilized the power of the emerging Renter Nation,” says Right To The City Boston organizer Darnell L. Johnson. “This year the mood is even more militant. The Renter Week of Action and Assemblies will be a wake up call that we’re organized, we’re powerful and we won’t back down.”

With the help of #RenterWeekofAction convener Right to the City, Shelterforce has compiled photos from several such demonstrations throughout the country in order to highlight the size and scope of this movement.
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Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce 
Shirronda Almeida hears the question from other colleagues of color often: “When I go to housing meetings why I am the only person of color?” As an African-American woman, Almeida—director of the Mel King Institute for Community Building in Boston, which runs training, leadership development, and mentoring programs for community developers—knows the feeling well. She says things haven’t changed on that front over her many years in community development as much as she would have hoped.

Her perception isn’t wrong. The community development world has a racial representation problem, especially in its top leadership.

Though there isn’t a complete census of community development corporations (CDCs), NeighborWorks America reports that . . .
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
This summer, Eve Ewing, a sociologist of race and education at the University of Chicago, wrote an article called “The Chicago Negro and the Warsaw Ghetto: Antiblackness at the root of gun violence ‘solutions.’”

In that article, which I strongly recommend everyone read in its entirety, Ewing discusses the ways in which the sentiment “Well we have to do something,” is used as an excuse for supporting rights-violating, dehumanizing steps to “combat crime” such as invasive surveillance, sending in federal troops, or placing concrete barriers around a neighborhood experiencing high amounts of gun violence, literally echoing the creation of the original ghettos.

“Trust, I know we have to do something,” she writes. “The profound insult of it all is that . . .
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Solana Rice and Kamolika Das, Prosperity Now
Recent Census data illustrate that median incomes went up and poverty rates decreased in 2016. This seems like great news, but we know that achieving and maintaining financial security depends on more than just income alone. Savings, along with wealth-building assets like a home and tools like insurance that protect families’ hard-earned income, are all critical determinants of how well a family can weather life’s ups and downs.

Unfortunately, we also know that very few families have the savings, assets, and protections in place needed to set out on a path to long-term financial stability. For households of color in particular, this may be an understatement: as our colleagues wrote in our recent report, Black and Latino households with median levels of wealth are on track to see their assets and savings reach zero within our lifetime. Indeed, if the trends of the past 30 years continue, median wealth for these households of color will reach $0.

The so-called road to zero wealth for many families of color has been paved by policies that lock them out of wealth-building opportunities and keep them in a perpetual state of financial peril. This is especially true in the context of . . .
How to Help Residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Recover After Hurricane MariaRaceForward/Colorlines continues to update their list of hurricane recovery resources — including organizations that are helping with immediate needs and long-term efforts on the ground in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican Community Land Trust Call for Support • We recently wrote about the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in Puerto Rico. They, like most of the island, are suffering the affects of the hurricanes, and they have just launched a GoFundMe campaign. To support their efforts, please click here.
Oct. 3, 4:00 p.m. ET ● The Color of Money: Race, Wealth, and Communities on the Front Lines of Economic Justice The New America Foundation will present a discussion with Mehrsa Baradaran, author of The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap along with a panel of municipal leaders in Washington DC. Attend in person or view the live webcast by registering here.

Oct. 4, 1:00 p.m. ET ● Strategies to Make Homes and Neighborhoods Safer and Healthier Presented by LISC, this webinar will explore the work of several organizations that have pioneered approaches to remedying toxic threats to housing & involving residents of neighborhoods in advocating for planning and land use policies. 

Oct. 10, 2:00 p.m. ET ● Prosperity Now Making the Connection: Bringing Tax Wonks and Grassroots Activists Together to End Inequality This webinar will show to how to develop an advocacy strategy to advance progressive tax reform and enhance the economic well-being of working families. 

Oct. 12, 3:00 p.m. ET ● Connecting Communities®Advancing Financial Inclusion: Innovative Financial Products and Services for Low-Income Households Sponsored by the Federal Reserve System, this webinar brings together experts in the field to examine current research, initiatives, and best practices to help organizations address the challenges low-income households face in the financial marketplace.

Oct. 24, 1:00 p.m. ET ● Are We Making A Difference? Online discussion from Build Healthy Places Network with four national metrics experts spanning community development, public health, and healthcare who will share their efforts developing innovative cross-sector tools to measure neighborhood-level health and well-being.
Industry News
Nancy Biberman Davon Russell
Nancy Biberman to Step Down as President of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco). Davon Russell Named as Successor As Biberman steps down as president—a position she has held since WHEDco's founding in 1992—Davon Russell, the organization’s decade-long executive vice president, will succeed her. The transition comes as WHEDco celebrates 25 years of transformative work in the South Bronx, most recently breaking ground on Bronx Commons and the Bronx Music Hall.
You Said It!

Totally useful article. One of the best we have seen over several years of trying jockey something into position on inclusionary zoning. Thanks. —Tim Funk

I have lived in the same community for 35 years. It has more than doubled in population and housing has only multiplied in cost so I know the argument that more building will bring down costs isn’t true everywhere. More housing didn’t make it more affordable here . . . —Duffie Westheimer, more

This is so true. We are a CDFI located in Little Rock Arkansas . . . We are the only CDFI that is led by persons of color and we are clearly excluded out of the loop when it comes to funding, however we have not let that stop our efforts of helping our community. Thanks for speaking up on this issue. —Arlo Washington, People Trust Community Loan Fund, more

Perhaps we are naïve? I think not. Most communities have answers within . . . always we should first look to the people in our communities to inform the process, and to be the decision makers. —Stacey Daniel, more
In Case You Missed It
Project Manager, Homebuilding and Stabilization
The person in this role is responsible for leading all single-family real estate development activities for Develop Detroit. 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 . . . Read Full Listing
Executive Director
The ideal candidate for this position will be passionate about NeighborWorks’ mission of developing affordable housing and helping improve the livability of Great Falls neighborhoods. The ED will be responsible for the overall management, strategic direction, fundraising, accountability . . . Read Full Listing
Senior Policy & Research Associate
The person in this role will serve as an integral part of the CNYCN Policy and Research Team, which works to further affordable homeownership in NY by advocating for city, state, and federal policy reform, identifying trends, researching needs, and developing solutions. Section 3 residents are . . . Read Full Listing
Chief Operating Officer
The Center for NYC Neighborhoods seeks a Chief Operating Officer to lead the design, implementation, and operations across our diverse set of programs, including our lending affiliate, a certified CDFI. The Center strongly encourages Section 3 residents to participate in this hiring effort . . . Read Full Listing
Project Manager (Affordable Housing)
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