Community Wise

Matt Josephs

What the Court said on fair housing

By Matt Josephs
Senior Vice President for Policy

There was good news from the Supreme Court today. Its ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs vs. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., upheld the principle of “disparate impact,” finding that the Fair Housing Act protects against housing practices that have a discriminatory effect, even in instances where there was not a discriminatory intent. In doing so, the Court preserved a valuable tool... More[+]

A population straining to afford home

The unstable state of American housing

Low rates of ownership, rising rents and housing distress in many minority and impoverished neighborhoods: that’s the upshot of the new State of the Nation’s Housing 2015, an in-depth report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies that shows how the much-touted, post-recession rebound is not all that. LISC’s director of housing, Celia Smoot, discussed these issues, and the importance of ensuring long-term affordability for low-income residents, on a video roundtable with NPR’s Jim Zarroli and a panel of housing experts. More[+]...

The "a-ha" moment: Seeing how better communities make for better health


Helping revitalize neighborhoods through a holistic approach is LISC’s stock-in-trade. But we have come to see, in increments, how community development and health go hand in hand. In a video conference for the Build Healthy Places Network, LISC’s national program director for community health, Amy Gillman, describes her own “a-ha” moment when she began to apprehend how housing, education and income determine our well-being and longevity. More[+]...

The case for housing tax credits

The case for housing tax credits

Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) finance just about every affordable rental housing unit in the country. And while LIHTC may be an imperfect tool in the imperfect world of anti-poverty work, they are a tremendous driver of investment in low-income neighborhoods and stimulate some $9.1 billion in local income, writes Denise Scott, LISC’s executive vice president for programs, in a column for New York University’s Furman Center. Says Scott, we need to shore up support for the LIHTC program in the neighborhoods in greatest need. More[+]...