Urban Policy Professor Alex Schwartz Publishes Third Edition of Textbook

Alex_SchwartzProfessor Alex Schwartz recently published the third edition of his textbook, Housing Policy in the United States. The classic primer for its subject, Housing Policy in the United States, has been substantially revised in the wake of the 2007 near-collapse of the housing market and the nation’s recent signs of recovery. Like its previous editions, this standard volume offers a broad overview of the field, but expands to include new information on how the crisis has affected the nation’s housing challenges, and the extent to which the federal government has addressed them. Schwartz also includes the politics of austerity that has permeated almost all aspects of federal policymaking since the Congressional elections of 2010, new initiatives to rehabilitate public housing, and a new chapter on the foreclosure crisis. The latest available data on housing conditions, housing discrimination, housing finance, and programmatic expenditures is included, along with all new developments in federal housing policy. This book is the perfect foundational text for urban studies, urban planning, social policy, and housing policy courses.


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Emeritus Professor Peter Eisinger Looks at Detroit’s Recovery

Peter_EisingerPeter Eisinger, Professor Emeritus of the Urban Policy Program, has been focusing his recent research on the City of Detroit. In March, Eisinger spoke on the Detroit: A City in Crisis panel at the 44th Urban Affairs Association conference. In May, Professor Eisinger gave the endowed Lent Upson lecture at Wayne State University in Detroit, “Five Challenges to Detroit’s Recovery.”

In addition to speaking engagements, Eisinger’s paper, “Is Detroit Dead?” was published in the Journal of Urban Affairs in February. He also has two forthcoming papers, due for publication in 2015: “Theorizing Urban Death,” in R. Scott and S. Kasslyn, eds., Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and “Detroit Prospects: Why Recovery Is Elusive,” in Michael Peter Smith and L. Owen Kirkpatrick, eds., Reinventing Detroit.


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People’s Climate March Planning Session Hosted at Milano

Climate March Balloon Poster (1)Last Tuesday, July 1st Milano hosted a planning event for the People’s Climate March. Representatives from various sectors including organized labor, youth, environmental justice, retirees, environmental and peace movements, student groups, food justice, the arts, etc were well represented. The event had over 500 participants and was deemed a great success by event organizers.

The focus of the evening was getting these varied sectors organized around mobilization efforts leading to the march that will take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014. The march will happen at a time when the world’s leaders will be in NYC for the UN’s Climate Summit 2014. Please visit the People’s Climate March website for more details. There will be another planning meeting likely in August, with details to follow.

Mary R. Watson Appointed Executive Dean of the New School for Public Engagemnet

mary-watsonEffective today, Mary R. Watson is the new executive dean of the New School for Public EngagementMary has been the associate dean of the Milano School since 2011 and during the summer and fall of 2013 served as Milano’s interim dean and as NSPE interim associate dean. She has chaired and taught in the Management program and led the working group tasked with reimagining Milano’s academic profile. Her scholarship, creative practice, and teaching, which focus on advancing the human rights of workers worldwide, reflect her commitment to social justice and make an important contribution at The New School.

Beyond The New School, Mary’s leadership in the global 50+20 management education network and the Ashoka Changemaker campus initiative are only two examples of her efforts to bring about educational change. She has been a speaker, consultant, facilitator, and project leader for dozens of organizations, including Social Accountability International, the Posse Foundation, Columbia College, the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, and Community Voices Heard. She holds a PhD in Organization Studies from Vanderbilt University.

We congratulate Mary on her new role, and we thank her for her inspiring service here at Milano.


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Alex Schwartz Co-authored Report “Underwater America” Featured in the National Journal

Alex-Schwartz1-e1399649858552In this article, highlighted by the National Journal, Schwartz discusses how last month homeowners’ equity reached the highest level since the recession began but still, about 9.8 million homes are still “underwater,” — that is, households “owe more on their mortgages that their homes are worth,” which is a reported 6.28 million, according to a recent report from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California (Berkeley). The report’s authors analyzed home-equity data from Zillow, an online real-estate database, and demographic data from the Census Bureau to find out how many homes per ZIP code are still underwater and who owns them. They found that neighborhoods in which more than 40 percent of homeowners have negative equity tend to have two things in common: a median household income below the national average and a disproportionate share of African-American and Latino residents.

In the article, Schwartz and his co-authors begin to analyze negative equity and foreclosure data together with race and income data, at the ZIP code level, the city level, and the metropolitan area level.  The report shows that if we were to look at the neighborhood level, a significant number of communities across the country still face very high underwater rates. The report also shows that the legacy of predatory lending has resulted in a disproportionately negative impact on African American and Latino communities.


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