Did the Comprehensive Community Initiatives of the 1990s, early 2000s Bring About Change?

Kubisch is now president of The Ford Family Foundation, a grant-making organization in Oregon unrelated to the New York-based Ford Foundation that funded the NFI. In a recent interview with Shelterforce, she said she believes the theory underlying CCIs is still valid. Addressing complex problems in vulnerable communities requires integration and layering of interventions, along with a community-building approach to engage residents and make programs sustainable. It’s just that “the implementation was really hard,” she says, and funders did not stick with neighborhoods long enough to make deep changes.

“The problem was, they were structured in the form of an ‘initiative’ because of the way foundations thought about things. If you have a theory of philanthropy that says, ‘We want to pilot something, show how it works, and then move on,’ you automatically by definition have this time-limited sense. You announce, ‘We’re going to provide some fixed amount of money on an annual basis, and we’re going to do it for 10 years and we expect that we’re going to change the world in these 10 years.’ That just didn’t make any sense. It just doesn’t match the reality,” she says.

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If ‘Housing Is a Right,’ How Do We Make It Happen?

“Housing is a right in America,” President Biden said last month as he signed an executive order promising to address racial discrimination and inequality in housing. On Tuesday, the administration announced an extension of the federal foreclosure moratorium through the end of June.

While this temporary measure is a necessary Band-Aid on a gaping economic wound, housing is not yet a right in this country — far from it. Mr. Biden’s emphasis on redressing racial inequity in housing provides a welcome contrast, though, to the long history of the federal government’s housing policies, which created barriers to safe, affordable housing in all 50 states, especially for communities of color.

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America’s racist housing rules really can be fixed

Neighborhoods matter. As Vox’s Dylan Matthews reported, researchers Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence Katz found in 2016 that moving to a wealthier neighborhood not only increased the likelihood that kids would go to college, but also increased earnings by roughly 31 percent by the time they’d reached their mid-20s.

Part of what has kept Kennetha out of living in Franklin is exclusionary zoning. Single-family zoning, which means it’s illegal to build anything other than single-family homes, is prevalent in the suburb. Single-family homes are more expensive than apartments, townhomes, or duplexes, and that makes rent costly, too. Houses in Franklin go for an average price of $550,000, far above the average in Nashville of $335,000.

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U.S. cities segregated not just by where people live, but where they travel daily

Using data collected between 2013 and 2015 from Twitter — where millions of urban Americans leave behind valuable clues about where they eat lunch, work out and socialize each time they post a tweet — Candipan and her colleagues developed what they called a Segregated Mobility Index, or SMI, for each of 50 cities in the U.S. Candipan explained that each city scored somewhere between 0 and 1 on the SMI. If a city were to score 0, it would indicate total interconnectedness, with residents regularly visiting neighborhoods that don’t resemble the racial and ethnic composition of their own with a frequency that corresponds with the diversity of the city. If a city were to score 1, it would indicate total racial segregation, with residents failing to visit any neighborhood that doesn’t resemble the racial makeup of their own.

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Connecticut is failing to provide affordable housing for cashiers, child care workers and many of the state’s unemployed laborers

Connecticut is failing to provide affordable housing for essential workers and new public investment is needed, according to a report prepared for two state agencies. And without better regional planning, the prioritization of housing based on need and “proactive” investment, Connecticut’s housing problems will surely get worse, the study’s authors predict.

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Billions in school construction in CT hasn’t made a dent in segregation — but this year, things could be different

“Get your son out of this school.”

That’s the message Yanira Rios received seven years ago from her son’s kindergarten teacher shortly after moving to Bridgeport, the only community in the region where she could afford an apartment. Her son had learned to read in preschool before leaving Shelton, and now Rios was being told that his teacher needed to focus on his classmates, who were far behind him academically.

“It was so discouraging to have a teacher beg you, ‘You have to figure it out. You have to get your kid out of here, because at the end of the year he’s going to be behind,'” said Rios.

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Rebuttal: Build housing to create more a dynamic and just economic future for Connecticut

In a December 17 opinion piece titled Zoning reform must consider the character of each townAlexis Harrison of Fairfield argued against HB 5132, a bill that would reform zoning laws in the state. This was not her first opinion piece in the Mirror objecting to zoning reform and housing development. On September 4 she wrote against proposed developments in Fairfield, blaming state law 8-30g and warning about dire consequences if HB 5132 passed in the future. In these articles she argued that zoning reform in Connecticut must be stymied in order to: 

  • conserve local wetlands and the environment, and
  • defeat density and prevent “large, monstrous developments” 
  • preserve “neighborhood character”
  • maintain local control over land

As Katherine Levine Einstein laid out in her book Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America’s Housing Crisis, these are common arguments against building more homes, but they should not stop us. We need a larger, diverse offering of market-rate and affordable homes in every community Connecticut, preferably in walkable, transit-friendly places.

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A chance to break housing segregation patterns

Metropolitan Chicago's Black-white segregation is among the worst in the nation and has improved only modestly in the past three decades. A 2017 Metropolitan Planning Council study put the price tag of segregation at $8 billion annually. To see how this moment might create an opportunity for breaking down segregation, we need to understand what created and sustains segregation.

As Kyle Crowder of the University of Washington and I argue in our book, "Cycle of Segregation," segregation is perpetuated in part because our social networks and daily experiences and the media shape the mental maps we have about where we should and should not live. And they affect whether we've even heard of a place.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

For decades, starting at least in the 1930s, low-income and minority communities were intentionally cut off from lending and investment through a system known as redlining. Today, those same neighborhoods suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher incidence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19.

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The Black Lives Next Door

The Black Lives Next Door: A new generation of activists is trying to figure out where to concentrate its efforts. Residential desegregation is the final frontier.

By Richard Rothstein, NY Times, August 14, 2020. Available Here. 

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