Subject: Advocacy

  • Despite What Bankers Say, Data Is Indispensable

    The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) provides indispensable data to assess whether lenders are meeting consumer credit needs, and to protect against discrimination. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enacted a final HMDA rule in 2015, implementing enhancements that were…

  • Developers: Organize Your Residents for 2018

    On May 4, we applauded Congress’ dismissal of the Trump administration’s request for $18 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary programs. Those cuts would have eliminated critical funds that support affordable housing, including the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Community…

  • Failing The Equitable Development Test

                  “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin…

  • CRA Should be Becoming Less Partisan. Instead, It’s More.

    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a law that requires banks to serve the credit needs, consistent with safety and soundness, of all communities including low- and moderate-income communities. With this requirement, CRA is essentially aimed at making capitalism work…

  • 10 Ways to Speak Truth to Powerful Lies

    How to engage, inform, and fight back against falsehoods. In an era of fake news, alternative facts, and downright lies, it’s a daily struggle to promote the continued benefit of our social justice work and a positive, inclusive vision for…

  • 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…

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