Reimaging A Social Contract for Housing with Dignity
When Affordable Housing Isn't Affordable - The Tipping Point to Homelessness
By: Karen Wawrzaszek
Affordable housing policy is a complex problem impacted by many different forces such as individual prosperity, changes in public mood, and fluctuations in the market. These forces undermine housing stability and can lead to the displacement of the very people who built the fabric of the neighborhoods we love. So what do we do when the sum of all the parts are not making our society whole? When housing the poorest among us continues to elude policymakers and private citizens alike?
Avoiding Community Displacement Through Workforce Development - An Opportunity Zone Perspective
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs[i], for a person to reach their full potential, their most fundamental needs must first be met. It is at these highest levels, when we are not worrying about our basic needs of food, water, sleep, clothing, and shelter, that we are free to focus on activities that increase our personal enrichment and wealth. However, for many people the most basic need of affordable shelter remains out of reach, as shortages in affordable housing exist in every state in our country[ii].
When Food Insecurity and Food Proximity Become Barriers to Economic Success
Supportive policies that aid our work in system change are critical to alleviating poverty in Washington, D.C. Private capital alone cannot make progress without a policy framework that is advancing the good will attempted. The integration of private capital and legislation for housing, community, and workforce development has a long history in our country. There is a certain homogeneity about affordable housing making it easier to test policies to stabilize it for the underserved as well as organize private investment. However, workforce development is a trickier proposition but a critical component to improving generational poverty in many of our communities.
Lifting a community up through Social Entrepreneurship
It is a widely held view that the best schools are in the best neighborhoods, pricing out many from a better education experience. We are learning that this is also the case with nutritious food. In a country that occupies the top spot of Developed Countries, the lack of proximity to food can leave some communities feeling like they are a part of a different Country all together.
Tens years ago, we were in the throws of the global financial crisis, weeks away from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Today, the U.S. economy is strong. The stock market is up, unemployment is down, and the gap between the rich and the poor is wider than ever. Things are better, but also worse.