Inadequate income, lack of affordable housing and demanding caretaking responsibilities force many women to live in substandard housing. Domestic violence and poor credit ratings are other factors that undermine housing options for women and girls. The Sub-Prime mortgage crisis has hit low-income women and people of color particularly hard, with long-range implications for their housing opportunities. Affordable, accessible, quality housing is essential, not only for the economic security of women and their families but for their health and safety as well.

Expert Profile

United States
40° 50' 10.932" N, 73° 55' 20.5068" W

Nancy Biberman founded WHEDco in 1991 with the vision of restoring the South Bronx to the beautiful, bustling place it once was. WHEDco’s first project was the renovation of the abandoned Morrisania Hospital to provide low-income families with affordable homes and economic opportunities. In partnership with neighborhood leaders, Nancy developed the Urban Horizons Economic Development Center, which houses family support services, a Head Start center, a commercial kitchen that incubates small food businesses, and a primary healthcare center. With local parents, Nancy catalyzed the construction of the adjacent public school, PS/MS 218. Recently, Nancy led WHEDco in developing Intervale Green, the largest multi-family, high-rise, Energy Star certified affordable housing development in the nation.


Bronx, NY 10452
United States
40° 50' 10.932" N, 73° 55' 20.5068" W

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CEDAW FORUM: Lighting a Fire for the Women’s Rights Treaty

By Allie Bohm*

As a colleague recently reminded me, our system of government was developed not to pass laws, but to make change slowly. Take, for example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international treaty dedicated to gender equality. Although the U.S. played a major role in drafting the treaty and signed it in 1980, it still has not been ratified by the Senate. We’re hoping to change that this year.

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NATIONAL PARENTS' DAY FORUM: The Alternatives to Marriage Project asks, are “traditional” families a myth?

July 23, 2009 posted by Hunter McCord*

When we close our eyes and think of a family, most of us will assign to it the image of a different-sex married couple and their children. But when we open our eyes, we immediately notice that families vary in numerous ways—by income, marital status, number/presence of children or partners, etc. Recent studies confirm the diversity of families in the United States (US). Almost 40% of children today are born to unmarried mothers, and nearly 40% of different-sex unmarried households include children. Furthermore, fewer than half of all households in the US are headed by a married couple. It is time to broaden our consideration of what constitutes a family today.

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NATIONAL PARENTS' DAY FORUM: Recognizing Caregivers

July 24, 2009 posted by Amy Sueyoshi*

This Sunday (July 26) while others will be celebrating National Parent’s Day, I will be honoring my ancestors at the San Francisco Buddhist Temple Obon Festival. Though I have no children of my own, I am, perhaps ironically, the god parent of my Catholic niece and nephew and have played a parental role for my immigrant mother since the day I could speak English. While I recognize the need to honor people who have their own children, I long for a world where we can embrace and respect all types of families and networks of care in which we willingly (but more often unwillingly) become involved.

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NATIONAL PARENTS' DAY FORUM: Don’t forget about non-custodial parents!

July 26, 2009 posted by Rebekah Spicuglia*

National Parents Day, unlike the heavily promoted and merchandised Mother’s and Father’s Days that by their very nature tend to reflect gendered expectations around parenting, really broadens the discussion of family in all its diversity. Today’s celebration is inclusive, celebrating ALL parents, and without a strict definition of mom+dad+baby=family. So we are not excluding same-sex couples, single parents, noncustodial parents, step-parents, extended families, or anyone who might sometimes feel left out of traditional holidays framed around out-dated expectations of how most children are parented.

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Women’s Control over Economic Resources and Access to Financial Resources, including Microfinance

This World Survey of the Role of Women in Development, published by DESA in Oct. 2009, addresses the ability of women to control and access economic and financial resources such as land, housing, employment, and social protection.

"Long-standing inequalities in the gender distribution of economic and financial resources have placed women at a disadvantage relative to men in their capability to participate
in, contribute to and benefit from broader processes of development. Despite considerable
progress on many aspects of women’s economic empowerment...deeply entrenched inequality persists as a result of discriminatory norms and practices, and the pace of change has been slow and uneven across regions. Women continue to be absent from key decision-making forums shaping the allocation of economic and financial resources and opportunities, which further perpetuates gender inequality."


Expanding the Fair Housing Act

March 15, 2010 posted by admin

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