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.
 

ROOFLINES

blogging beyond bricks & mortar
A New Paradigm for California Transit: Equity, Sustainability, and Housing

Across the country, inequity is a defining issue of our time, and in Los Angeles and …

Posted by Geeta Rao on 30 Aug 16

June 25  ·  Industry News »

Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation

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 »

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

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

SIGN UP FOR SHELTERFORCE WEEKLY,
our FREE e-newsletter!

RESEARCH »

Homeownership Today and Tomorrow:  Building assets while preserving affordability

Permanent affordability vs. building assets has often been considered an either-or proposition. It's not.

Federal, state, and local governments spend billions of dollars every year on programs designed to promote wider access to homeownership for low- and moderate-income families, but these programs only help one family, and then their subsidy is lost. Permanently affordable homeownership through shared-equity programs are a more efficient use of public funds. But can low-income families build enough equity in them to transform their circumstances? New research says yes.

Web Exclusive »

In Pursuit of Financial Well-Being: A Conversation on Fairness, Accessibility, and Empowerment

In a world of growing financial complexity, predatory products, stagnating wages, and escalating inequality, financial insecurity is a dramatic problem. To kick off our focus on this topic, we gathered a group of leaders who are combating financial insecurity by both working with individuals and changing systems for a conversation on how it all relates and how to balance the big picture and the household-level work.

Taking part in this conversation with Shelterforce editor Miriam Axel-Lute and NHI executive director Harold Simon, were Holly Frindell, senior program manager, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders; Andrea Levere, president, CFED; Andrea Luquetta-Kern, director of policy and research, California Reinvestment Coalition; Ann Solomon, strategic initiatives manager, Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; and Woody Widrow, executive director, RAISE Texas and NHI board member.