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Spring 2018

The front cover of the Spring 2018 edition of Shelterforce magazine. It shows an African-American man speaking through a bullhorn. The theme is In this issue we also take a look at where models of permanent affordability and shared equity stand now, how they have fared over time, and how they could be or are being expanded into new places —even some places where the existing community development organizations weren’t so excited to see them coming.

The Latest

What Does “Community Control of Land” Mean?

When we put out a call for essays about the meaning of community control of land, we expected we might get a handful of responses. Instead we got dozens and dozens, coming from all different parts of the country, from residents and researchers, activists and advocates. We clearly touched a nerve.

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A view of a community in Oregon, with an American flag framing the left hand side. Lots of trees in the area.
Editor’s Note

The State of Permanent Affordability

In the face of accelerating gentrification, along with ongoing speculation and eviction, the idea of putting a substantial number of homes outside of the reach of the speculative market has been gaining momentum across the country.

An apartment complex in Minnesota that was under threat of being sold to a luxury developer.
Community Development Field

Beating Luxury Developers at Their Own Game

The tide is starting to change as a number of organizations have partnered with nonprofits to make deals to acquire naturally occurring affordable housing.

A man and a woman stand in front of a chalkboard sign that reads "This House Could Be ..."The man is writing on the board, as many others have done. Some of the suggestions for what the house could be include a community gathering space and a senior center.
Community Control

Rebellion Spurs Opportunity and a New Housing Movement

How a Baltimore collaborative plans to make shared-equity housing a significant sector in the local housing market.

A home at the Dos Pinos Housing Cooperative, the only limited-equity housing co-op in Davis, California.
Housing

A Low-Cost Ownership Oasis in a Desert of Apartment Unaffordability

When this limited-equity cooperative in California began more than 30 years ago, it wasn’t the most affordable place to live. But now the co-op’s monthly costs are 50 percent lower than the average market-rate apartment.

An African-American man and woman stand happily outside on their front porch. The woman is wearing a red coat and a black and white hate, while the man is reader a read Oakland A's hat and a black jacket.
Housing

Getting Ahead of Gentrification in the South Side of Columbus

More than a decade after several groups came together to improve substandard housing in the South Side of Columbus, signs of gentrification and forced displacement are beginning to emerge. Can something be done so current residents can afford to stay in their neighborhoods for years to come? The short answer is yes.

The polygon outline is the residential census tract for the participants’ housing project community, represented by the single black marker. Green markers represent places participants identified as positive, healthy, and good, while red markers represent places identified as negative, unhealthy, and bad.
Health

The Real Limits of Census Tracts, and Other Boundaries

We can’t truly understand how a person’s health is affected by where they live if we look only at data within arbitrary boundaries like census tracts and ignore the places people actually go and don’t go every day.

A group of residents stand outside of the Oak Hill Meeting House holding a sign that reads "We Own It." They are clapping and cheering.
Community Development Field

The State of Shared-Equity Homeownership

Though the need is greater than ever for resale-restricted, affordable homes, the growth of this model of homeownership appears to be limited.

A vacant building in New York City that has boarded up windows and a "Get Rich" signs for a kid cut.
Housing

Housing, Not Warehousing—A Victory 10 Years in the Making

Warehousing is one of real estate’s best-kept secrets, and a crucial piece of how the housing market can keep supply low and demand high. One New York City organization rallied to prove warehousing still posed a problem, and pushed the boundaries of what was politically possible.

Several residents, as well as some children, enjoy outside exercise equipment.
CDCs

Getting Health on Board

It’s becoming increasingly common for community development corporations and grassroots housing organizations to have board members from the health care sector. Here’s why.

We ask: What don't people who are getting rental assistance get a job? The Answer: More than half are elderly or disabled. Of the rest, most of them do have a job!
Explainers

Q: Why Don’t People Who Get Rental Assistance Get a Job?

A: More than half are elderly or disabled. Of the rest, most of them do have a job! Ninety-four percent of rental assistance receipts are …

Eastern Market food advertisement banners on old buildings in downtown Detriot.
Housing

Inclusionary Housing in Soft or Mixed Markets

The time to strike isn’t when the iron is hot. Cities in soft or mixed markets should adopt inclusionary housing policies before the housing market heats up and the process becomes even more challenging.

Community Control

“More Than the Sum of Our Property Values”

How can power over land be used in such a way that people who are at a political disadvantage—who are poor, members of racial, ethnic or religious minorities, very young or very old, or have a disability—benefit? How about those who cannot speak for themselves, like trees or rivers?