Category: Housing

One Month After Memorial Day: What Has Happened In Your City to Support Veterans?

About a month ago, many of us were making final plans for the unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day is a day to reflect and honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Flags are hung, we bow our heads in remembrance, and in our own ways we say

Continue reading

Book Review: Confronting Suburban Poverty in America

Inner-city slums.  Rural isolation.  The affluent suburbs.  For decades, these terms have demarcated the mental boundaries of our nation’s collective understanding of the geography of poverty and wealth in America. Yet this geography has been changing rapidly in recent years – and neither our perceptions nor our poverty reduction policies are keeping pace. In a

Continue reading

New Days, New Ways: Innovation is Needed to Tackle Housing Problems

During the past several months, there have been national conversations about what the appropriate next steps should be in federal housing policy as a national “housing recovery” becomes a reality for more and more Americans. In February, after a 16 month process, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released its report, Housing America’s Future, in an effort

Continue reading

The VA Claims Backlog: Yes, It’s An Outrage, But What Can Cities Do? Plenty.

In the past several weeks, there have been an increasing number of reports by the federal government (here and here) and in the media (see other stories here and here) about the travesty our veterans are facing as they wait–at times for years–to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. There is no doubt

Continue reading

General Dempsey: Trust Runs From the Battlefield into Cities

During his presentation at the Congressional City Conference last week, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, walked nearly 1,200 attendees through multiple aspects of a photo (below) showing two soldiers from Afghanistan. The General underscored the importance of veterans in communities and the need for local leaders to ensure

Continue reading

The Opportunities and Challenges of Our Withdrawal from Afghanistan

During the State of the Union address last night, NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers joined First Lady Michelle Obama in the gallery, a clear recognition of the vital role that cities play in strengthening our nation. Among the many topics covered, the President announced his intention to withdraw approximately 34,000 American troops from Afghanistan in the

Continue reading

2013: A Pivotal Year in Ending Veteran Homelessness

The holiday decorations are put away, the resolutions have been made (maybe even broken by now?), and 2013 is underway. This is a critical year in our nation’s efforts to end veteran homelessness. In late 2009 and early 2010, the federal government rolled out their plan to end veteran homelessness by 2015. We are now

Continue reading

New Report on Homelessness: The Good, The Bad, and What You Can Do

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released their latest national estimate of the number of homeless across the country. While there are several points of good news, there are also sober realities that must be acknowledged. The Good News Broadly speaking, in January of this year 633,783 people were homeless. This

Continue reading

Sequestration Doesn’t Hurt Veterans, Right? Well actually…

It wasn’t too long ago when the term sequestration was one that practically no one used. Lately though, it seems that a news cast doesn’t go by without the word being mentioned. It is commonly thought that Congress and the Administration made sure sequestration would not hurt any programs that help our veterans, but that

Continue reading

Financing Housing

A number of discussions were held during NLC’s Congress of Cities on the topics of housing, housing finance and home mortgage foreclosures.  From these discussions a picture emerges that is hopeful at one level but deeply troubling at another. Despite the improvements in the housing sector in the form of sales prices, construction permits and

Continue reading