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The National Housing Institute supports the individuals and organizations that work to create healthy and thriving communities. NHI is at the intersection of theory, practice and policy in community development. We support the field through our quarterly magazine, Shelterforce, as well as through research, convenings, and our community development blog, Rooflines.
ROOFLINESblogging beyond bricks & mortar
Stop Talking About Displacement
We’ve all heard the tale: long neglected places, usually in major cities, usually communities of color, …
Posted by Tony Pickett on 5 Feb 16
June 25 · Industry News »
Phillip Henderson was only 38 when he took the helm at the Surdna Foundation seven years ago, becoming Surdna’s second director in what he calls its “modern era.” Henderson came to the family foundation from a career that had been focused on international philanthropy, but he applied many of the lessons he learned fostering civic engagement in post-Communist Europe to Surdna’s domestic grantmaking. Henderson sat down with Shelterforce to talk about aligning program with mission, cross-pollination between programs, and Surdna’s recent launch into the impact investing world. more
May 6 · Industry News »
We first met Darren Walker about 15 years ago while planning an issue on faith-based development. Darren was the chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, the storied community development arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. We asked Darren to write an article that was not simply a cheerleader’s promotion of church-based CDCs, but a realistic assessment of the benefits and challenges to an institution embarking on that path.
Darren was optimistic and enthusiastic about the work he was doing at Abyssinian creating hundreds of units of affordable housing in Harlem. But he was pragmatic and realistic also. His article encouraged organizations to temper the enthusiasm necessary to even consider this work with a realistic analysis of an organization’s capacities and a clear-eyed examination of their assumptions about the rewards of creating a CDC.
Darren approached his work enthusiastically, I think, because he had visceral understanding of the challenges low-income folks had and the opportunities that were available to them with the right help. The kind of help that the stability of an affordable home could provide. His understanding came from personal experience that would inform his work wherever it took him, from law school to international finance, from a storefront afterschool program and Abyssinian to the Rockefeller and Ford foundations.
When we sat down with Darren on March 18 to conduct this interview, we were glad to see that enthusiasm, optimism, and pragmatism were as strong as ever as he starts his leadership of one of the world’s largest foundations. more
The Changing Landscape of Resale-Restricted, Owner-Occupied Housing
As the housing crisis worsens, putting the American Dream out of reach for millions, communities around the country are turning to shared equity homeownership—limited equity coops, community land trusts and inclusionary units—to redefine the housing ladder. This breakthrough study examines the benefits of these models within a sectoral framework; a third sector housing strategy. Support for this study was provided by the Ford and Surdna foundations.
In September 2015, on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the bill that created HUD, Julián Castro, the agency’s 16th secretary, spoke at the University of Texas. In his speech he noted how the agency was formed partially in response to the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles a month prior, situating the agency’s mission firmly in a social justice context, and he praised President Johnson as someone who believed in the potential for government to be a force for good. On September 3rd, Shelterforce got a chance to speak with Secretary Castro about some of the current ways in which he’s working to make HUD a force for good in people’s lives, and what steps there are left to be taken.