Subject: Advocacy

  • Where Do We Go From Here? Toward a New Freedom Budget

    Last week, President Donald Trump announced his first budget proposal. If, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, a “budget is a moral document,” then this budget is a reflection of the moralities of the boardroom, the eviction notice, the…

  • Homeownership Equity Depends on Racially Equitable Policy

    Once again, we hear rumblings that housing finance reform, the wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the retooling of the mortgage marketplace are coming. A new administration—with allies in Congress and in private industry—may have a remarkable opportunity…

  • Who Counts as a “Homeless” Child? It Matters

    Are children in foster care homeless? It might sound like semantics, but it really makes a big difference. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary federal legislation designed to improve the lives of homeless people. One of the major…

  • Disclosure Remains Our Right

    I was interviewed last month for a book on redlining that took me back to the ‘70s. Going through my file of the national newsletter DISCLOSURE, which I edited for Gale Cincotta from 1974 to 1984, got me thinking: government has…

  • How Data Disclosure Will Help Prevent the Next Financial Crisis

    It seems like an overstatement, but data disclosure can help prevent the next financial crisis. In the run-up to the Great Recession, subprime and other abusive lenders made loans beyond borrowers' abilities to repay. They got away with this because…

  • Putting Housing Back at the Forefront of the National Conversation

    Eric’s family purchased a Habitat for Humanity home in the Florida farming community of Immokalee, Florida, which among many other things, provided stability and quiet. Eric recently earned a full scholarship to Cornell University, where he wants to study business…

  • 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…

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