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One of the nation’s most prominent philanthropic organizations is stepping away from its work in financing research into housing-related socioeconomic issues.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will no longer provide monetary backing to housing-related research. The Foundation will instead focus its resources on studying issues related to safety and criminal justice, climate and nuclear safety.
"Housing is something I find a very compelling issue," said Julia Stasch, a former Chicago housing commissioner who became the foundation’s president in March. "At the same time, we are challenged to say, 'Are we doing too much across our entire portfolio?' When you go down that path, you have to make some tough decisions. No initiative in any foundation lasts forever."
Stasch added that any study of housing needs to be tied to wider considerations, and she challenged other organizations to explore this macroeconomic territory.
"You cannot solve a housing crisis through housing policy alone," Stasch said. "You have to pay attention to the whole area of employment and income. Are there not funders from those domains that would be interested in housing policy?"