Tag Archives: housing

Housing, Health and Walkable Cities

5 Mar

Donald and I have recently began dialoguing about housing.  The conversation quickly moved to zoning changes needed to better plan our cities. Higher density housing often provides the opportunity for affordable units to be included… and it is often coupled with walkable streets.

If you ask people why they live where they do, most of the time it has to do with the cost of housing and safety. Where I live in Pasadena, the freeways are jammed from 3-7 pm with folks going home to what they see as safer, better, and often bigger and more affordable housing.

But they don’t always realize how this has a huge cost on the health of the environment, our bodies, our families and more.

Much research is being done on how to design our cities in a way that our jobs are closer to where we can afford to live, and with more walkable distances between where we live, shop, and work.

Jonathan, my other friend who is working on creating “complete streets” here in Pasadena, sent me this wonderful video from Every Body Walk. “Complete streets” allow space for bikes, walking, and cars — but cars slowed a bit to safer speeds.


I was inspired. I hope you are as well. Let me know what you think. Jill Shook

Making Housing Happen book review in Friends Journal

6 Feb

"This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed..." --Isaiah 58:6I was excited to have Making Housing Happen reviewed in the January issue of Friends Journal. Published by Friends Publishing Corporation, the journal serves the Quaker and wider communities through “articles, poetry, letters, art, and news that convey the contemporary experience of Friends.”

The book reviewer is Diane Randall, former executive director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, a Connecticut-based nonprofit focusing on affordable and supportive housing. Diane, who is now executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, writes:

How do people get caught up in the issue of affordable housing? Some do because they are poor and in need of a home that is safe and affordable, some because they see economic and environmental injustice played out in poor neighborhoods, and they are called to address it.

In the second edition of Making Housing Happen: Faith-Based Affordable Housing Models, editor Jill Suzanne Shook addresses reasons why people of faith engage in the long-term commitment to create affordable housing that builds stronger communities. This book will resonate with those of us who have sought to justify zoning laws for housing density that make homes more affordable, those who have lobbied for independent apartments for people who have been chronically homeless, or those who have used any other approach that allows people to have a place to call home. Builders who have volunteered sweat equity on projects for first-time homeowners will also be interested….

You can read the full review on the Friends Journal website.

Photo: cc by Matti Mattila

Keep Your Home California: Do you know someone who could qualify?

19 Jan

Take advantage of California’s $2 Billion Keep Your Home California Program for homeowners! I just heard about this AWESOME resource through Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) along with Hyepin Im also featured in my book Making Housing Happen. 

Keep Your Home California (KYHC) is the state’s $2 billion foreclosure prevention effort, established under the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. There are four programs, with three aimed to prevent avoidable foreclosures by offering mortgage payment assistance to qualifying low- and moderate-income homeowners who are facing a financial hardship. Keep Your Home California’s four programs are the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance, Principal Reduction and the Transition Assistance Program.

KCCD is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency for the KYHC Program. KCCD’s counselors will assist you in determining if you are eligible and provide counseling to begin applying for the KYHC Program.

Book Signing at Vroman’s 1/27

15 Jan


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