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Homeownership Is a Ponzi Scheme

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
In this Issue: Georgia Changes How It Gives Tax Credits ● Remember Slavic Village? It's Back ● Homeownership Is a Ponzi SchemeAlso: Jobs ● Shelter Shorts ● Request for Comments Industry News +
Tanner Howard, freelance journalist
There's a fundamental problem in the way that Americans have conceived of housing as this representation of bourgeois success. Houses don't increase in productivity, they just slowly fall apart and require progressively more maintenance. There's a kind of inescapable Ponzi scheme-like nature to the whole housing system, where... Read Full Article
Dennis Keating, Cleveland State University
A Cleveland neighborhood made famous as an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis works its way back to stability. Here's how. Read Full Article
Shelterforce Staff
NIMBYs, YIMBYs, PHIMBYs—Oh My! | Can Algorithms Make Equitable Cities? | Retail Segregation Takes a Toll | ER Visits and "Tough" Neighborhoods | Enough Innovation Already | More... Read Full Article
Michelle J.M. Rushing, James E. Dills, and Leigh Alderman, Georgia Health Policy Center
In Georgia, public health practitioners are using a Health Impact Assessment to suggest changes to the allocation plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Some of them even got made! This is how they made it happen... Read Full Article
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Industry News
Michael McAfee PolicyLink CEO
Michael McAfee Succeeds Angela Glover Blackwell as PolicyLink President and CEO McAfee came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute, and was the catalyst for the creation of the Corporate Racial Equity Advantage, the first comprehensive tool to guide private sector companies in assessing and promoting equity in their business operations and strategy. Before joining PolicyLink, McAfee served as senior community planning and development representative at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as director of community leadership for The Greater Kansas City Foundation and Affiliated Trusts.
Damon Harris Susan Neufeld BRIDGE
BRIDGE Housing Names Damon Harris VP of Community Development, Susan Neufeld VP of Evaluation and Resident Program Design ● Damon Harris previously spent a decade at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a community planning and development representative. Before that, he served as director of resident services at Mission Housing Development Corporation. Susan Neufeld, a Shelterforce contributor, joined BRIDGE in 2012 and now steps into this new role to improve programs and services in low-income and public housing. Neufeld previously served as assistant executive director for the Hope Through Housing Foundation, and as founding executive director for a startup youth-services nonprofit seeded by the Flintridge Foundation.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is gearing up for the 2018 Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action, which leads up to National Call-In Day and the Twitterstorm on May 7 and 8. Local events are starting as early as April 30, so click here to see if an event is happening near you and/or to announce an event your organization is coordinating.
Request for Comments

FHFA Comment Period on Proposed Rule Change Is Now Open ● The Federal Housing Finance Agency has posted on the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program Amendments and the public comment period is now open. To read the proposed rule and current comments, and to find out how to submit your comments, click here. Written comments must be received on or before May 14.
You Said It!

There is a fundamental problem with this proposal. The folks bearing the increased housing costs due to Amazon moving in will mostly not be Amazon employees. They will be existing low-income renters. Subsidizing Amazon employees’ housing could actually worsen this problem by… —Dan Immergluck, more

Author Reply
If I were proposing to simply dump money into the existing market without any controls, you would probably be right and I probably wouldn't advocate such a strategy. Fortunately, I have not advocated such a single approach. First, I have called for… —Dan Hoffman, more

The farm producing the expensive product is creating scarcity, at least the perception thereof, just so that the wealthy consumer can feel special and will be encouraged to participate. When artisanal, hyper-local foods are no longer trendy, the business will die, because… —Jen Mankin, more

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In Case You Missed It

A recent Shelterforce article has been getting the attention of other publications. Steve Dubb at Nonprofit Quarterly wrote an excellent article on gentrification and rent control inspired by our piece "Dear Business School Professors: You’re Wrong, Rent Control Works." Multifamily Executive, a trade publication for apartment building owners also ran a piece based on that article. Now that more and more of us are tenants and the opportunities for affordable homeownership are few, new attention is being paid. Even funders, some of whom have not focused their energies on rental in recent years, are committing to solve the rental crisis, as you can see from our recent interview with Jeanne Fekade-Sellassie, project director of a funder collaborative with a strong focus on rental issues. 
Senior Communications ManagerCapitol Hill Housing seeks a Senior Communications Manager to work across all departments and be the primary staff contact for projects with a significant communications or marketing element. The SCM works as part of the CHH Foundation and manages the Grant Writer and Associate of... Read Full Listing
Executive DirectorHousing Initiatives is a nonprofit that serves homeless mentally ill individuals using the housing-first model. Our new ED will need experience in financial and human resources management and nonprofit fund development, and will oversee a staff of at least ten people, as well as management of over... Read Full Listing
Community Development Manager – Midwest Region (Michigan and Ohio)The National Community Stabilization Trust seeks the right individual to be responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with public, nonprofit, and for-profit partners to support the acquisition of vacant and/or abandoned properties from financial institutions for the purpose of... Read Full Listing
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