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1999 May - June

The Annual Public Housing Authority Plan

A New Opportunity to Influence Local Public Housing and Section 8 Policy

By David B. Bryson & Daniel P. Lindsey

The 1998 Housing Act's requirement that public housing authorities set forth policy in an annual plan is Congress' way of keeping public housing authorities accountable. The annual plan is a public document, and as such a public housing authority cannot hide or downplay strategic policy decisions affecting low-income families in its jurisdiction. Procedures for developing the annual plan should allow for increasing tenant and applicant participation.

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Using the Community Reinvestment Act to Promote Checking Accounts for Low-income People

By Dory Rand

As governments move toward electronic transfer of benefits and more welfare recipients move into the labor force, low-income people increasingly need to be informed about money management and opportunities to use traditional bank checking accounts. A Chicago example shows how advocates can use the Community Reinvestment Act and other strategies to help bring low-income people into the financial mainstream.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development and Section 3

Challenges and Opportunities

By Wendy Pollack & Dina Schlossberg

Section 3, a provision in the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, is a tool that can be used to promote employment, training, and other economic opportunities for low- and very low-income persons. For Section 3 to be effective, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with agency recipients of funds for housing and community development, contractors, and Section 3 residents, needs to exercise leadership in its implementation. Section 3 must also be part of an aggressive antipoverty strategy.

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Merger Mania

Religious Hospital Mergers and Access to Reproductive Health Services

By Susan Berke Fogel & Lourdes A. Rivera

One of the most significant but least noticed changes in the current health care market is the increase in the size and influence of religious health systems and the impact of this growth on access to reproductive health services. While a number of religious institutions, most significantly the Catholic church, prohibit or discourage treatments for infertility, contraception, sterilization, and abortion, advocates can use several innovative tools and strategies to help prevent the elimination of legal and necessary reproductive health services.

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Information Management for the 21st Century

Do Computer Screens Really Reflect Up?

By Claire L. Parins & Michelle Nicolet

Advancements in technology offer many new ways to access and manage information. These opportunities open doors for collaboration and help advocates do their jobs better. Some organizations already are taking advantage of new technology to develop the Internet library, and hundreds of helpful Web sites are available. The time is ripe for the community to implement a shared vision for information management.

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