Housing

Photo Credit: Frank Oudeman / OTTO ©

Housing

Tue Apr 25, 2017

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing winning approval for the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than family shelter).  On Wednesday April 5th, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously voted to approve the zoning variances and exceptions for the construction of short term family housing in wards 3 and 5! This vote is a major milestone in the effort to close the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter, and helps the city to more equally share the responsibility for caring for the most vulnerable among us. With this vote, zoning has been approved in all six facilities going under construction, and the next step forward is breaking ground!

Tue Mar 7, 2017

One LA leaders celebrated a second election victory for the most vulnerable in Los Angeles County after the March 7 election.  Together, with a coalition of other organizations and with the support of County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, leaders worked to pass Measure H— a quarter cent sales tax to fund critical services for homeless populations as well as homelessness prevention for those at risk.

Following successful efforts to pass Measure HHH in November, a county-wide ballot measure to fund the construction of housing for the homeless, One LA leaders rallied again to support Measure H in 2017.  Expecting low turnout, leaders organized civic academies and information sessions in their congregations to encourage members to vote.

One day prior to the election, One LA leaders joined Rabbi Dara Frimmer of Temple Isaiah and Fr. Arturo Corral of La Placita in lending moral authority to the measure at a press conference in which they stood flanked by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Measure H passed by only 2 percentage points, approximately 16,000 votes, driving home the lesson that all politics is local, and every vote counts.


Tue Feb 14, 2017

Seeking redress for deplorable conditions in their apartments, tenants of Northwest Park and leaders from Action in Montgomery (AIM) spent the last year organizing to hold Kay Management accountable for reoccuring mold and persistent problems with rodents, bed bugs, and cockroaches that have triggered or exacerbated asthma problems. After the discovery of over 2,000 housing violations, tenants and AIM have worked to get a number of improvements, the latest of which was a commitment from Kay Management to replace all 1,950 windows in the 800-unit complex over the next four years and overhaul their policy for preventing and remediating mold.

Tue Feb 14, 2017

Six months after advocating that a 10-acre city-owned property be developed with a variety of affordable housing options for local working families, AMOS leaders succeeded in expanding the number of rental and lower-priced housing units to be made available.

Initially, the land parcel was zoned for single family detached homes, with some of the loudest voices calling for exclusively owner-occupied units.  Thanks to the intervention of AMOS leaders, Ames City Council voted for more affordable housing to be developed on-site, including 60% to be made available at affordable rates, and to include rental housing in its Request for Proposals.

The following month, the City of Ames further committed to two years of matching funds for an affordable housing trust fund that was created at AMOS’ initiative.  This move will help the fund gain funding and build momentum, locally.

Housing Trust Fund Task Force Continues Progress Toward Affordable HousingAmes Tribune

Housing Trust Fund Task Force Approved for IncorporationAmes Tribune

Affordable Housing Task Force Holds First MeetingAmes Tribune

Housing Trust Fund Task Force Approved for IncorporationAmes Tribune

AMOS Ups Number of Affordable Housing Units in New Ames DevelopmentAMOS


Fri Feb 10, 2017

Durham CAN leaders demanded and won public agreement from the Durham City Council for the construction of affordable housing at a publicly owned lot located next to the Durham Station Transportation Center. At least 80% of the units built in this lot will be affordable to families at 60% AMI or below. City Council Moves Forward with Mix-Income Project.

Fri Feb 10, 2017

As part of a larger strategy to secure affordable housing options in Portland, Oregon, leaders of the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG) and allies secured unanimous passage of an emergency tenant relocation assistance ordinance, persuading an “on the fence” Commissioner to support the measure.  Seventy-five MACG leaders packed City Hall chambers, with direct views of the commissioners as they voted.

Three MACG leaders testified in support; one read a statement from a St. Andrew parish leader who had been prepared to speak, but stayed home due to recent ICE activity in the city.

The new temporary law requires that Portland landlords pay $2,900 – $4,500 to tenants who are evicted without cause or have to move as a result of a +10% rent increase.  Leaders see the approval of this temporary measure as a critical step toward providing immediate relief.  The plan now is to target the state legislature to pass Just Cause Eviction and Rent Stabilization legislation this year.

Testimony: Dr. Luis Manriquez, Portland Primary Care Doctor

Testimony: Gillian Weisgram, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

Photos


Fri Oct 3, 2014

Marin Co., CA - Thanks to the Marin Organizing Committee, Fairfax became the first city in Marin County to financially commit to expanding a seasonal homeless shelter into a year-round project; the Town Council approved funding at $16,392.

Soon after, leaders held a 'Housing Sabbath' to raise awareness of the campaign. MOC leaders plan to target nine other cities, in addition to Marin County, to cover the cost of expansion.

More here...


Fri Sep 13, 2013

VOICE's Bank & Foreclosure Accountability Campaign secured $30 million in commitments for their Prince William Restoration Fund from Bank of America, General Electric, and VA Housing Development Authority (VHDA).  The fund will support a pilot that would:

(1) rehab 100 abandoned / blighted properties in neighborhoods devastated by foreclosure for affordable homeownership & rental housing,

(2) allow for the development of 1,500 units of rental housing over the next 15 years in Northern Virginia for families.  

VOICE announced the commitments at 500+ person action in Woodbridge VA with Senator Mark Warner and representatives from Bank of America, General Electric, and VHDA.  When JPMorgan refused to participate in the restoration fund, VOICE organized a direct action at their DC Private Banking Offices with 60 leaders. VOICE's pioneering work has garnered significant national media coverage by USA TodayCNN, and the Washington Post.


Sat Aug 4, 2012

After an extensive campaign documenting safety and health hazards in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, Metro IAF NYC affiliates successfully pushed Mayor Bloomberg and the director of the housing authority to install security cameras in 85 of the most dangerous housing developments, as well as other security upgrades representing a $10 million investment.

Sat Jun 16, 2012

EBC completed construction of the first two phases of 1,525 units of new Nehemiah owner-occupied homes in the Spring Creek section of East New York with more than 341 families already settled in. Further construction on the third phase is set to begin soon after.

In addition to the 1,525 Nehemiah units (consisting of single-family, two-family, and three-family homes, and eight unit apartments), there will be three parks, a supermarket, and an EMS station. The brand new Spring Creek Educational Campus opened in September 2012 and is home to two 6-12 schools and a district 75 school. The $73 million campus features a full gymnasium, exercise and weight training room, auditorium, a college level research library and technology lab, two fully stocked music rooms and smart boards in every classroom.

The homes were designed by architect Alexander Gorlin and assembled locally at the Brooklyn Yard.  

Click here for the background on East Brookyn Congregations Nehemiah Housing

Architect Credit: Alexander Gorlin / Alexander Gorlin Architects

Photo Credit: Frank Oudeman / OTTO © 


Sun Sep 18, 2011

With TRF Development Partners, BUILD organizes to rebuild East Baltimore. In the worst housing market since the Great Depression, BUILD continues to rebuild the Oliver Community located in East Baltimore. 40 homes have been constructed, fully occupied. 20 are under construction. 


Thu Aug 11, 2011

In the Spring Nehemiah Development, EBC leaders will build 1525 affordable homes and develop two new small quality schools.

Fri Jul 1, 2011

Lake County United has supported Mercy Housing Lakefront’s proposal for 70 units of affordable senior housing in Grayslake.  Lake County United was pivotal in the building’s original planning with our active community leadership inspiring Mercy to come to Lake County and to include a 25% set aside of units for seniors with special needs in the project.  We then helped Mercy secure rental subsidies from the Lake County Housing Authority, tax credit financing from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, worked closely with them to develop local support for the project from Grayslake residents and clergy in order to secure the final zoning approval for the project from the Grayslake Zoning Board of Appeals and Village Board.  Vocal “Not In My Back Yard” opposition slowed the process down, but after a final approval vote in early July, Mercy now expects to break ground in early October 2011.

Wed May 18, 2011

 
Since 2003, AIM has secured $224 million in county investment in affordable housing.   The affordable housing funds have been used to build or refurbish over 5,000 units of for sale, senior, rental and disability housing throughout the county.  10% of the funds are allocated for homelessness prevention programs.  

Wed Mar 2, 2011

With TRF Development Partners, BUILD helps develop City Arts Building, 69 affordable artists lofts:

http://housingbaltimoreartists.wordpress.com/city-arts/


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In the News


Lake County United, 40 unit affordable housing

Lake County United Celebrates Completion of Fairhaven Crossing

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Lake County United

Lake County United identified the land, secured the site, established a development team, and built the community support for a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Mundelein, IL. Over 300 Lake County United leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Fairhaven Crossing, which will give everyone, including residents with disabilities, the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The unit includes a community center and computer room.


Affordable Housing, NYCHA, repairs, Mold

East Brooklyn Congregations Demands Housing Repairs from NYCHA

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
DNA Info

When Brooklyn Director and his managers refused to meet with 200 NYCHA tenants from four developments because the Director’s office could not afford the one hour of overtime pay, residents decided to act. During four days of action, EBC and over 500 tenants participated in confronting NYCHA managers in-person and by conducting phone banks to demand the respect and repairs they deserved. The work of over 225 leaders and students from 14 institutions also forced Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, to publicly commit to meeting with leaders in May to discuss a plan to make neighborhoods safer.


Jersey City Together, Affordable Housing, city inspections, landlord

Jersey City Together Wins Long Overdue City Housing Inspections

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
New Jersey.Com

On Sunday, March 26th, 175+ tenant & Jersey City Together leaders gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Church to hold one of the city's largest landlords, Trendy Management, accountable. The owner, Esther Kaplan, promised to attend, but cancelled at 12pm the day of the action.

Following a building tour with leaders, press, & public officials, the city has now begun systematically investigating their buildings. Inspections of the first 6 of their properties have resulted in more than 325 violations. The company owns more than 140 rent-controlled apartment buildings in Jersey City.


NYCHA, Mold, Affordable Housing, Fr. Francis Skelly, Organizing in NYC

Mayor Budgets $1B to Fix NYCHA Roofs, But Critics Say Not It's Enough

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
New York Daily News

....Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, questioned whether repairs will come fast enough to alleviate the toxic mold that afflicts so many public housing tenants.

“Ten years is an eternity for the children and adults who suffer with respiratory conditions now,” Metro IAF member Fr. Francis Skelly, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in the South Bronx, said. “The health threats are urgent.”


Affordable Housing, Rent, Property Price Stabilization

Radical Model Fighting the Housing Crisis: Tie Property Prices to Income

Monday, January 16, 2017
The Guardian

Buried among the workhouse chic and the new brick apartment blocks is an unlikely experiment in building homes that will remain affordable to local people forever. After a decade of campaigning, the East London Community Land Trusthas succeeded in creating housing where the prices will be linked to local income in perpetuity, entirely detached from the superheated speculation of the property market....

As the capital’s first community land trust, the St Clement’s project was made possible because the site, home to a mental health hospital that closed in 2005, was owned by the Greater London Authority. After a long grassroots campaign, led by charity Citizens UK, the GLA asked the successful developer, Linden Homes, to work with the East London CLT group, which had also bid for the site. 

 


Carmelia Goffe, Nehemiah Housing, EBC Leader

Remembering Carmelia Goffe

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
New York Times

The Metro IAF sadly reports the death of Carmelia Goffe, East Brooklyn Congregations leader.  Ms. Goffe helped lead the resurrection of East New York through EBC's fights for Nehemiah housing, community policing and improved schools.  We ask that you continue to keep Ms. Goffe and her family in your prayers.


Affordable and Dignified Housing, Evictions, Josephine Lopez-Paul, organizing in Texas

Dallas Area Interfaith Fights Off Mass Evictions in West Dallas

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Dallas Morning News

DAI, in collaboration with the Wesley Rankin Community school and center, organized a meeting to brief hundreds of worried renters about their rights as tenants, the basics of eviction law and to pressure the City of Dallas to intervene on tenants’ behalf.  Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, along with the Assistant City Attorney, assured renters that extra-legal evictions would not be tolerated.

The next day, the State District Judge Ken Molberg ordered the Dallas landlord to temporarily halt the mass evictions... 


Affordable Housing, Community Preservation Act, Community Organizing in Boston

GBIO Pushes for Community Preservation Act on Boston Ballot

Monday, October 10, 2016
Boston Globe

These days, grass-roots organizations such as Brown’s affordable housing alliance and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization are undertaking a disciplined outreach effort to educate Boston residents on the measure’s potential impact, according to organizers.

Almost 30 church groups from across the region are holding themselves to a strict pledge. At a rally in September, each participating congregation promised to secure roughly 3,000 “yes” votes from Boston residents, and before Election Day, supporters plan to hold a rally on City Hall Plaza.

“We can’t just diagnose the problems with housing over and over again,” said Jeanette Callahan, a doctor who lives in Dudley Square and is organizing through her church to pass the November measure. “We keep thinking we’ve done something and we’ve done nothing. It’s time to look at a treatment plan.”


Affordable Housing, Sherman Park, 75 properties rehabilitated

Common Ground Rehabilitates 75 Properties

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Common Ground

Common Ground has been working in the Sherman Park community since 2008. While visible progress doesn’t always make front page news, we are happy to report on some recent successes resulting from our community efforts.

For starters, Common Ground has rehabilitated 75 properties in the last five years that are now worth $6 MILLION, increasing property values, decreasing foreclosed properties and creating positive change. These 75 properties are now generating almost $200,000 in annual property tax revenue....


Affordable Housing, Vacant Lots, NYC, Rev. Skelly, Rev. Brawley

Metro IAF Leads the Way on Affordable Housing in New York City

Monday, February 22, 2016
New York Slant

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s recent report that identified 1,130 vacant and city-owned lots is shocking, but all too familiar. Every empty lot represents a missed opportunity for the city to build more desperately needed affordable housing. What’s more, building on vacant sites means that no residents need to be displaced in the process, nor is there a need for the kind of complicated and controversial trade-offs that have mired Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed housing plan in a heated debate with housing advocates and community boards....


Mobile Home Regime, Mobile Home University, Dignified Housing

Austin Interfaith Wins Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents

Thursday, December 10, 2015
KXAN and Telemundo

Last July, Hidden Valley / High Meadows (mobile home) residents became distressed when lot rents for people on month-to-month leases were raised for the second time within a 12-month period.  New rules mandated improvements and standardizations — adding new costs to residents — including deck and railing upgrades, paint jobs, skirting repair, shed standardization, and control over inside window coverings.  Families were asked to demonstrate possession of a drivers’ license to drive on the property, impacting hundreds of residents. Many families scrambled to comply; some left....


Affordable Housing, Dignified Housing, slumlords, Mold, Crime

Immigrant Leaders Battle Mold, Crime and Slumlords in Dallas Apts.

Friday, December 4, 2015
Dallas Morning News

“It all started with a group of women,” said Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) organizer Walker Moore, that “wanted to know what their rights were.”  With the guidance of DAI, the ladies went on to organize several meetings — at local churches and in apartments — to formulate a strategy to address mold, dilapidation and crime.

In November, extra chairs had to be hauled out to accommodate 160 people who gathered at San Juan Diego Catholic Church at a meeting in which they brought specific issues with apartment conditions straight to the police chief and City of Dallas elected officials....  


Bob Wilson, In-fill Development, Urban, Community Development

Durham (CAN) Infill Development a Good Sprawl Substitute

Thursday, November 5, 2015
News & Observer

With the election of a City Council and mayor firmly behind infill development, Durham CAN’s proposal to turn a barren publicly owned lot at the corner of Jackson and Willard streets into an affordable-housing complex looks like a no-brainer.

That’s good news for downtown Durham, which needs full-time residents to help sustain the renaissance of a once-forlorn area. It’s no longer lights out after work in downtown.

Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods) is a community coalition that has amassed political clout since its founding in 1997 as an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation....


Arlington County Master Plan for Housing, Schools, Affordable Housing

Arlington Board Approves Additional Affordable Housing

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Washington Post

The Arlington County Board, in an unanimous vote, on Saturday passed an affordable housing plan that will add about 15,800 apartments affordable to low to moderate income households by 2040.

Three hours of personal and heartfelt testimony from those who said they have benefited from Arlington’s existing housing supports swayed the lawmakers who said they couldn’t recall more affecting testimonials in their tenures.

Carolina Perez described the impact of having a safe and stable apartment on her family, showing the board her daughter’s A-plus on a math assignment. “It really hurts us when people say low-income (families) are bringing down Arlington,” she said. “You are not wasting your money. You are investing in your future.”

Coverage of back story here.


Nationstar, Foreclosure Prevention, Edens, Keisha Krumm

Common Ground's "Million Winning Strategy" in Milwaukee

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Shepherd Express

In our era of political polarization and highly negative partisan attacks, it’s rare to see community advocates who cheerfully—even gleefully—describe their years-long campaign to help struggling Milwaukeeans.

But Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground’s Keisha Krumm and Jennifer O’Hear were all smiles when talking about their part in securing $30 million settlement between mortgage servicerNationstar Mortgage LLC and the City of Milwaukee.


MACG, Mary Nemmers, Affordable Housing, Portland, Oregon IAF

MACG considered a force for the common good in Portland

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Portland Mercury

"We are in a crisis and people are being dispossessed from their homes and their neighborhoods," says Bob Brown, a MACG member who's been working on this issue for months. "It's bad, and it's going to get worse if we don't do something."

...Brown was one of 97 MACG members who, on September 1, packed a PHAC review hearing for that mandatory review process.

... At the September 1 hearing, the group unleashed its secret weapon—a former senior housing policy manager for the PDC named Leah Greenwood.... 


Foreclosure Prevention, Nationstar, Keisha Krumm, Wes Edens

Nationstar to Give $30 Million for Distressed Milwaukee Homeowners

Friday, August 28, 2015
Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

"Common Ground is pleased that the mayor and Common Council President Michael Murphy negotiated aggressively in our behalf to get the best deal they could get for our city," she said.

"We are pleased with the result."


NYCHA, Olatoye, senior citizens, East Brooklyn Congregations

Metro IAF Pitches Own NYCHA Housing Plan

Thursday, August 13, 2015
The Real Deal

The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation invited several Brooklyn elected officials last month to hear a proposal to “infill” large swaths of open space at public housing developments in the borough with between 10,000 and 20,000 units of senior citizen housing.

The faith-based organization has developed low-income homes in parts of Brooklyn through its local chapter, East Brooklyn Congregations.


NYCHA, Harlem, South Bronx, apartments, Mold, leaks, New York IAF

Roof Repairs at Harlem NYCHA Building Made Leaks Worse

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
NY Daily News

“What’s happening in the King Towers echoes what we are seeing all over the city,” said Michael Stanley, an organizer with Metro Industrial Area Foundation, a housing advocate group that’s been critical of NYCHA for years.

Barbara Solomon, 59, says she has tried in vain to get management to fix her ceilings. “Too often, NYCHA doesn’t show up, but even where they are supposedly fixing things, the repairs are usually so ineffective that nothing is really resolved or the problem even gets worse,” Stanley said.


Mold, Public Housing, Consent Decree, New York IAF

Judge Slams NYCHA Officials for No-Show at (Metro IAF) Mold Hearing

Friday, July 10, 2015
Daily News

"A judge overseeing NYCHA’s flailing efforts to clean up its toxic mold problem ripped into agency officials for being no-shows at a hearing Friday.

A lone NYCHA lawyer showed up, but none of the top brass appeared in Manhattan Federal Court to answer why they’ve failed to live up to a 2013 promise to abate mold in decrepit apartments.

“Why wouldn’t some policy-making, decision-making official of NYCHA be here?” fumed Judge William Pauley. “I can’t believe they have more important things to do.”"


NYCHA, De Blasio, EBC, Metro IAF, New York IAF, Public Housing

Metro IAF / EBC Demand that De Blasio Act on Housing Horror

Thursday, June 25, 2015
City Limits

Angry residents and faith leaders joined forces Thursday to call for the resignation of Shola Olatoye, chairwoman of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). On the steps of City Hall under a bright sun, hundreds of members of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation called for a "shake up" at NYCHA, demanding that Mayor de Blasio keep his promises to New York City’s most vulnerable population.


Affordable Housing, Community Organizing in Westchester, Tenants, Port Chester

Starwood Tries to Raze Low-Rent Housing, Westchester United Fights Back

Friday, April 3, 2015
Lohud - The Journal News

Starwood Capital Group, an international private investment company that manages assets of $42 billion, wants these families to leave so that its development team can demolish the affordable-housing complex, and make way for a hotel and housing for young professionals and adults over age 55.

According to the proposal, Starwood's plan is designed to limit the number of children who would attend Port Chester schools, which are cramped for space.


Mississippi IAF, Organizing in Jackson, Housing Trust Fund, HUD

Working Together Jackson Wins First Housing Trust Fund in State

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
MS News Now

Mississippi was one of only three states in the country without a housing trust fund before ’Working Together Jackson‘ changed that.


East Brooklyn Congregations, NYCHA, De Blasio, Community Organizing in New York City

Tenants: De Blasio Needs Bigger Role in NYCHA

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
City Limits

When the head of the New York City Housing Authority met with residents at a chapel in Brownsville on Tuesday night, there were questions about failing radiators, missing kitchen sinks, moldy walls, broken doors, pigeon excrement and more.

These were all part of a more general question: A year into his administration, to what extent is Mayor de Blasio accountable for the continuing maintenance woes at NYCHA, which has been shortchanged by all levels of government for at least a decade?

Hundreds of public housing tenants in Brooklyn took school buses from their churches to Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church...


Foreclosures, Mortgages, Community Organizing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin IAF

City Officials Warn of Another Possible Wave of Foreclosures

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

Milwaukee officials on Thursday detailed new concerns that another looming wave of foreclosures could damage vulnerable neighborhoods still recovering from the last housing crisis.

Major mortgage-servicing companies have given data to the city and community groups such as Common Ground that suggest there are hundreds of properties that are delinquent on loans or are underwater, meaning property owners or the holder of the mortgage owe more than the home is worth.


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