Blog

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.

Sanitation worker Bobby Parker was illegally evicted from his home for paying his rent late.

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

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...
housing march

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.

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.

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.
Spiky globes representing novel coronavirus float in a purple background.

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."

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"

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

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

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.
decade of fire

Out of the Flames

A review of a documentary about the decade-long period in the South Bronx when 80 percent of its housing, home to around a quarter of a million people, was lost to fire.
structural sinking boat

Financial Coaches, Let’s Be Upfront About Economic Structural Racism

Financial education messaging is too often presented as if individual behavior and attitudes are the cause of our growing economic challenges rather than our social, economic, and political systems.
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Not All Rent Regulations Are Created Equal

As we work toward passing rent regulations in cities and states across the country, there’s an important distinction we should be making between two different sets of goals and approaches, and they could line up with some terms that are currently used interchangeably.
Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents

Skating the Surface of Gentrification

A review of Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents, by Matthew L. Schuerman.

Why Organizations Should Invest in Home Repairs to Improve Health

A closer look at the relationship between health and the home repair needs of lower-income households.

Parks, People, and Inclusive Collaborative Planning

A Philadelphia park conservancy develops arts-based partnerships within the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood to strengthen the community's cultural identity.
fair housing wrecking ball

Affirmatively Dismantling Fair Housing

HUD has proposed a new rule that would make it more difficult to combat racial segregation in housing. The rule doesn't even mention segregation.
AFFH flooded neighborhood

HUD Secretary Asks America to Accept Housing Segregation

HUD Secretary Carson's new rule proposal asks our nation to accept legacies of racism and give up on our nation’s half-century obligation to create integrated communities.
water storage tanks in Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky

How a Dozen Organizations Are Fighting Persistent Poverty Together

A national coalition of development financial institutions, CDCs, and financial intermediaries have banded together with local leaders who live in communities where more than 20 percent of the population has lived in poverty for more than 30 years.
View of a Chicago neighborhood and the city skyline

Under Fire, Aldermanic Prerogative Is Turned to Democratic Ends

Long used to maintain segregationist and discriminatory policy, aldermanic prerogative is now being wielded in a more inclusive way.