James DeFilippis

Rutgers University


James DeFilippis’ research focuses on the political economy of cities and communities. He is particularly interested in the processes of social change, and questions of power and justice in cities. While his interests are broad and include questions of immigration, affordable housing, the conditions of work in low wage industries, and the production of public space, it is questions of community control and building forms of power in poor neighborhoods that have been at the center of his work. He began working on and with efforts for community control over economic development more than 20 years ago and continues to work with and in support of community land trusts, community development credit unions, worker co-ops and other forms of community control. He is a founding member of the New York City Community Land Initiative (NYCCLI).

James is the author or editor of six books, around 50 articles and book chapters, and many applied monographs and reports for practitioners and advocates. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont, and a PhD in Geography from Rutgers University. He taught at King’s College London and Baruch College, CUNY before returning to Rutgers. Outside of his academic career, he has also been a staff member for (then) Congressman Bernie Sanders and a Housing Policy Analyst for the Community Service Society of New York.

Watch James DeFilippis in the short video, Why Community Land Trusts Matter for Housing Justice, part of the #UnequalCities series of conversations on housing justice.