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.

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.
tiny houses illusion photograph

Tiny Houses: Does Size Matter?

The suggestion of tiny houses as a solution to housing unaffordability is both condescending and impractical. Here's why.
a row of tiny houses in a tiny house village in Seattle, Wash.

Tiny Houses — Not a Big Enough Solution

Tiny houses are a step up from shelter beds, but are they also a distraction from real, obvious solutions to our homelessness epidemic?
two couples dance in traditional Mexican ballet folklorico style

Redevelopment That Preserves Cultural Heritage

Preserving and fortifying longstanding culture is key to social cohesion in a community. How can we make sure it's given equal priority when planning for and funding redevelopment?

Shelterforce’s Top 10 Articles of 2019

We're sharing the most-read Shelterforce posts of 2019. We hope you enjoy them all and share with anyone who may have missed them.
Food worker at the Malamiah Juice Bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Food equity

Battling Inequity in Food Systems with Entrepreneurship

A number of leadership organizations and initiatives–from large to small–are working to bring about greater economic opportunity in the food system and improve access to healthy food, focusing specifically on communities of color.
CRA oped

Protecting the Community Reinvestment Act Is an Investment in Economic Justice

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation just released a set of proposed rules for the Community Reinvestment Act that threaten the very heart of the law.
Market rate apartment

Rents Will Only Go So Low, No Matter How Much We Build

Why doesn't market rate housing seem to bring rents down to where the lowest income people can afford them?
AAPI community meeting

Anti-Displacement Organizing Should Start Here

Organizing in AAPI communities has challenges, but their location and composition make them key in the fight against gentrification. Here's why.
bank brach counters

New Writings Suggest Incremental Change is Best Path for CRA Reform

These writings suggest that careful reform of CRA regulations can build upon the progress in lending and investing if the reforms are incremental instead of “transformational." 

What Do Housing Groups Think About Dems’ Affordable Housing Plans?

Despite the near silence about the housing crisis during the last five Democratic debates, several frontrunners have proposed serious housing legislation. But will the plans actually address the crisis? We talk with several housing groups to get their take.
Indian Country homes

Increasing Access to Affordable Housing in Indian Country

There is a strong desire for homeownership among Native households, but a set of obstacles specific to Native lands are getting in the way.
Guadelupe Neighborhood

Criticisms About Community Preference Policies Are Misguided

Community preference policies have been challenged by those inside and outside of government who fail to see or value the anti-displacement benefits of the policy.
asset based deficit based

The Opposite of Deficit-Based Language Isn’t Asset-Based Language. It’s Truth-Telling.

How do you describe the people you work for and with, or the neighborhoods you work in? Do you use primarily “deficit-based” language like...
Little Tokyo neighborhood

“Welcome to Little Tokyo, Please Take Off Your Shoes:” Remembering Dean Matsubayashi

Sustained resistance to gentrification and displacement requires more than antagonism. It requires a community organized around an open, positive alternative vision that has both big ambitions and achievable, intermediary steps.

Move to the Front of the Line

Community preference policies, which give current residents preference for new affordable housing in their neighborhood, have become increasingly controversial. Supporters say these types of policies are a crucial way to fight displacement, but fair housing advocates argue that the policies are exclusionary. Different cities are balancing these two concerns in different ways.

A Home After Prison: There’s No Place Like Homecoming

Formerly incarcerated people are nearly 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general public. The Homecoming Project imatches those returning home with a community host for six months.
An aerial shot of St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey.

NJ Pays Hospitals to Build Affordable Housing

New Jersey’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offers significant subsidies to encourage local hospitals to build housing for low-income residents and frequent users of hospital services.
segregation of Atlantic City

In Atlantic City, the Legacy of Segregation and Redlining Endures

The legacy of racist housing policy shapes—and disempowers—Black, largely urban, neighborhoods to this day, and can be seen in places like the Northside neighborhood of Atlantic City, New Jersey.