Shelby R. King

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Shelby R. King is Shelterforce's investigative reporter. She began her reporting career in 2010 covering cops/public safety and has been writing about housing and community development since 2014.
A view from below of the girders supporting a bridge.

Is a YIMBY/Tenant Activist Bridge Possible?

A culture war between housing justice advocates and YIMBYs began in 2014. While the groups have different priorities, they do have shared interests. Can they be allies or will the habitual quarreling keep them at odds?
One man holds a microphone and raises his other hand while speaking outside, and behind him, a person holds a white and black sign.

Organized Tenants Are Baaaaack

After a lull in the 1990s, the tenants rights movement reemerged and has only gained strength. What caused the resurgence and what do tenants’ prospects look like?
An illustration highlighting the 6 policies tenants are fighting for, including good cause eviction, right to habitability, right to counsel, rent regulation, tenant opportunity to purchase, and right to organize.

Tenant Protections 101

Tenant advocates have long been pushing for a “tenants bill of rights” to codify rules that protect renters from landlords. Here’s a rundown of the top protections housing justice activists say need to be included.
YIMBY Action members chant over activists of color during an counter protest in California.

Have the YIMBYs Evolved?

Yes in My Back Yard activists started with a simple—and some would say simplistic—argument: to solve the nation’s housing crisis we just need to build more housing, of any type and in as many places as possible. But as the movement nears a decade of existence, some of its members argue that their message has become more nuanced.
A woman wearing a redish sweater and shirt look at at a piece of history at the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville, Georgia. She is surrounding by other artifacts.

CDCs Are Having a Moment. Can the Momentum Last?

Over the past couple of years, community development corporations have been popping up in sometimes-unexpected places across the country. Will this increased interest in CDCs last, or is it a trend that will end when the money runs out?

ESG … and T? Tenant Protections Fly Under the Impact Investing Radar

To meaningfully evaluate real estate-related companies, organizations that evaluate impact investment standards must address tenant experiences.

Why ADUs Can’t Solve the Nation’s Housing Crisis

While accessory dwelling units are a valuable tool to add more rental housing, they also come with limitations.

Going Statewide to Boost ADU Development

ADUs are typically regulated at the local level, but advocates argue statewide legislation is what’s actually needed to get to scale. California has been aggressively leading the way.

Affordable ADUs: How It’s Being Done

In the face of limited financing options, local governments, nonprofits, and social enterprises are experimenting with ways to make affordable ADUs a reality.

How Financing Barriers Keep ADUs Expensive

Most homeowners have neither the capital nor the credit to self-finance an ADU or get a loan to build one. If financing doesn’t change, ADUs will stay niche and expensive.

ADUs: Laws and Uses, Do’s and Don’ts

As ADUs gain national attention, cities are searching for the best ways to legalize their development and encourage construction.

ADUs: Defined, Disambiguated, and Debated

Accessory dwelling units are being touted as a way to provide more affordable rental units for tenants, and additional monthly income for homeowners. But some cities allow them, others don’t. So what are ADUs exactly?
Bank corporate finance building seen from below. The sign "bank" visible close. Sky reflecting in the glass facade. More Facade pictures below

The Post-Protest Pledges: Banks’ Racial Equity Initiatives

It’s been almost two years since the racial justice reckoning galvanized big banks to promise billions of dollars to increase racial equity and close the wealth gap. What are those dollars going toward, and how big a change do they represent?

What if Vouchers Aren’t the (Only) Answer?

Rather than continue to find ways to make Section 8 work better, some affordable housing and tenant advocates argue the federal government should instead invest heavily in addressing the affordable housing shortage at its root.

How One of Boston’s Top Evictors Changed Its Ways

After learning it was one of the city’s most prolific evictors, a for-profit affordable housing provider created a tenant retention program that’s being touted as a model for other developers.

Minor Defendants: Kids Are Being Named in Evictions

When landlords name minor children in eviction filings, the negative effects could haunt them years later.

Tech Company Promises More Than It Delivers to Tenants of Single-Family Rental

Tech-based property management companies promise convenience and customer service, but these Kansas City renters’ experience has been, and continues to be, anything but.

How to Make Universal Vouchers Actually Work

If Congress gave the Housing Choice Voucher program enough money to serve every income-eligible applicant, what other reforms would be needed so every voucher recipient could find a decent home in a suitable area?
A street in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

How Santa Fe Prevented Evictions with Easy Access to Rent Relief

Last year, tenant advocacy groups convinced the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to give cash quickly to residents at risk of eviction. As federal rent relief money trickles out, what can other areas learn from Santa Fe’s program?
Open door to a new home with key and home shaped keychain.

Universal Housing Vouchers: A Promise or a Pipe Dream?

President Biden promised to expand the Housing Choice Voucher program so that everyone who qualifies for a voucher gets one. What exactly would that change entail, and how long could it be before we see it happen?