Subject: Advocacy

  • Shelterforce Stands in Solidarity with #F17

                       Today, the Shelterforce/NHI office is standing in solidarity with the February 17th General Strike, a national day of action being observed by organizations and individuals across the country that are pushing…

  • Three Dangers and an Opportunity

    If it seems like we're approaching a domestic policy pivot point, it might be because we are. Since November 9, we’ve been thinking about the near- and long-term implications of the election results, and while the future cannot be predicted,…

  • Nonprofits—Yes You Can Advocate. And Now’s The Time

    Amidst the chaos of the past couple weeks there has been at least one positive change—a lot more people are starting to stand up and speak out about issues that concern them. I have personally had people seek out my…

  • OCC Moving Steadily Forward on Fintechs—Is This a Good Thing?

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appears to be plowing ahead with its proposal to allow non-bank financial technology companies, known as fintechs, to acquire national bank charters. The agency recently released a white paper called Exploring…

  • The President as Developer-in-Chief

    People have been asking me what I think about Ben Carson as the nominee to be Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It’s not just family, friends, and acquaintances who ask this question, but allies—people who…

  • You’ve Seen This Movie Before. You Know What to Do

    I prebooked my post-election group therapy by getting a ticket to hear Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, speak on Nov. 9, the day after Election Day. I’m sure everyone in the audience was looking forward to hearing about the…

  • Fighting Community Opposition in the Age of…Opposition

    On Nov, 8, voters across the country heard the affordable housing call and approved numerous state and local housing funding measures that will make it possible for more of our neighbors to live in safe, healthy, and affordable homes. This…

  • Indivisible: How We Fight This—Together

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they…

  • An Opportunity to Shed Sunlight on Lender Legal Compliance is Missed

    Bank regulatory agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and others missed a critically important action to encourage lenders’ compliance with consumer protection law. I’ve previously described how the agencies proposed to…

  • Interview with Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA

    At the Opportunity Finance Network conference in October, I finally got a chance to sit down and talk with Lisa Mensah, undersecretary for USDA rural development, whose energy and spirit had grabbed my attention at the Rural Housing Summit hosted…

  • A Strong Rule and Reforms Are Needed to Combat Payday Loans

    Something astonishing happened when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked the public for comments on its proposed rule to curb high-cost and abusive payday loans: the CFPB received 1 million comments. This doesn't happen too often for regulatory proposals,…

  • Gramm Wrong, Again, on CRA

    In an effort to undercut future public investment in the nation’s infrastructure, Phil Gramm, former chair of the Senate Banking Committee and currently with the Swiss bank UBS, once again trots out the long-discredited notion that the recent financial crisis…

  • Tweaks to CRA Q&A Document Miss the Larger Picture

    During the dog days of summer this July, the federal bank agencies decided to quietly bunt instead of swing for the fences when it came to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The agencies made changes to an interagency Question and…

  • Our Denial and Inaction On the Issue of Lead

    How far does the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) denial about leaded drinking water go? This week, I was having tea with a friend who had been an intern at the EPA in 2012. She recalled a story of starting to…

  • It’s Time to Talk about Cops

    I don't need to revisit the hundreds of police killings around this country over the past few years (not to mention the dozens of recorded encounters) to know that we have to start talking about cops; and I think, with…

  • The Romance and Reality of the New Financial Technology (Fintech) Companies

    Technology is enticing. It's fun. It can make life easier. With a click of a button, consumers can purchase items instantaneously and have them delivered within hours to their doorstep. But in the lending industry, can technology and online platforms…

  • To Reduce Recidivism Rates, Turn to Housing Policy

    A couple months ago here on Rooflines, I wrote about the value of addressing housing challenges that many former prisoners face upon release. Back then, it seemed that Congress might even pass bipartisan criminal justice reform. Sadly, that seems less…

  • Out of Reach 2016: Much More than Bad News

    “A worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 2.8 full time jobs, or approximately 112 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year, in order to afford a two bedroom apartment…

  • Imagine if Banks Had a Rating Showing Compliance with Consumer Law?

    When consumers shop for new cars or other major products, they often like to consult with Consumer Reports or some other resource that rates companies selling the products. Imagine if we had a Consumer Reports for banks that provided ratings…

  • Advocates: Let’s Get These Details Right From the Beginning

    It’s rare when a major new national housing program comes along. The National Housing Trust Fund, a signature accomplishment of years of advocacy by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, is a rare opportunity to increase the housing supply for…

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