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The Shelterforce blog (formerly known as Rooflines) is a forum for voices in the community development, affordable housing, community organizing, neighborhood revitalization, and related fields to challenge each other and other stakeholders; share ideas, successes, and failures; and pose questions to one another. Learn how you or your organization can submit a post.

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Don’t Just Defer Loans—Start Modifying Loans Now

We have learned how to successfully provide broad-based mortgage payment relief to millions of American households in need. There’s nothing to stop us this time around from doing it right.

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Arts & Culture

A Letter from A Starving Artist

To my fellow artists? Just please, PLEASE, stick around on the planet. I know. It’s getting tougher. For me too. You’re not alone.

gap in book stacks
Opinion

The Coronavirus Will Explode Achievement Gaps in Education

The achievement gap between low-income and other children is already equivalent to at least two years of schooling. Might the coronavirus shutdown expand that by another half year?

Sanitation worker Bobby Parker was illegally evicted from his home for paying his rent late. He's seen here, walking the streets of New Orleans.
Reported Article

High-Risk, Essential, and Illegally Evicted

Eviction moratoriums are only as good as their enforcement, as one man’s harrowing story in New Orleans shows.

close-up image safety net of rope
Housing

Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers Would Strengthen the Safety Net

It’s time to mend the housing safety net. The COVID-19 crisis has thrown light on the fragility of millions of American families for whom a missed paycheck forces a decision […]

housing march
COVID

How Rent Control Promotes Racial Equity

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our long-standing housing affordability crisis called for universal rent control as a baseline protection. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson smiles as his folds his hands in front of his chest.
Policy

HUD Urged to Make Tenant Income Adjustments Automatic by April 1

Preventing catastrophe when eviction moratoriums lift requires reducing tenants’ rent quickly—which advocates say is fully within HUD’s power.

Policy

What an Effective Eviction Moratorium Must Include

An eviction moratorium must hit all five phases of eviction to protect public health. Here’s what’s needed for an eviction halt policy to do its job.

Opinion

Housing Policy Must Change in Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 will hurt the low-income and housing insecure the most. We must act now to protect them—and ensure safe housing for all going forward. Here’s how.

A group of people stand in a line outside a building a court building. In the foreground Black man with a white beard in a black jacket and cap holds a sign a sign reading "Shut down housing court until coronavirus is past."
Opinion

An Eviction Moratorium Is Not Enough—Suspend Rent

What will people do when they’re expected to pay back rent after the crisis is over? Eviction moratoriums are not enough to prevent a homelessness crisis.

A multicolored tent in house's front yard. A sign on the fence says "Moratorium on foreclosures and evictions" and a sign on the house reads "Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign"
Housing

The Many Fronts of COVID-19 Related Housing Needs and Measures

Stable housing is crucial during a pandemic. Front-line providers and local governments are moving to address the impacts, but they need more federal funds

Close up of a typewriter with the word "Regulations" typed out
Policy

Business as Usual: Trump Agencies Resist Calls to Suspend Non-Essential Rulemaking

Congressional leaders and community advocates are calling on HUD and financial regulators to suspend non-essential rulemaking. HUD appears to refuse.

Love statue
Community Development Field

A Love Letter to the Next Decade of Community Development

For a long time, we’ve been too quiet about what’s working and what’s fueling us. But our field has major reasons to be proud; reasons you could miss in the cacophony of daily news.