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.

mixed-income townhome development

The Geography of Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

Where are "naturally-occurring" mixed income neighborhoods, how do we support them, and how do we use them as examples to model?
Eviction notice: door with envelope taped to it

As Affordable Housing Units Expire, Los Angeles Lags in Preservation Efforts

As thousands of affordable housing units expire, L.A. lags behind other cities in its preservation efforts. But one group of tenants may be victorious.
aerial view of construction worker sawing board

How Successful is Your County in Accessing Community Development Funding?

some communities in the United States seem much better than others at attracting grants and financing for community development—even after adjusting for their relative needs. Here are some of the surprising trends:

The Role Student Housing Plays in Communities

Off-campus housing for college students has grown extensively over the last decade, and communities across the country are hoping to gain control over its spread and potential negative impact on neighborhoods and available affordable housing.
group photo

Harnessing the Creativity of Artists to Unlock Community Wealth

With collaboration among Dallas' arts community, a place-based initiative called CultureBank invests in social impact artists in order to steward community assets to promote the health and well being of residents.
A group of people gather outside an apartment complex to discuss community land trusts.

Are We Diluting the Mission of Community Land Trusts?

CLTs’ dependence on external grant funding to acquire land and maintain their operations make them particularly susceptible to mission drift. Coming in with this knowledge, organizers may still be able to use the tool adequately or opt for other collective land ownership strategy.
view from street of empty bakery

Is Success Making CDFIs Too Risk-Averse?

Shelterforce's Miriam Axel-Lute in conversation with Ed Gorman of NCRC on whether community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are taking enough risk, and therefore, falling short of their mission.

A Health Insurer and a CDC Collaborate to Move the Needle on Housing and...

David Adame of Chicanos Por La Causa, and Joe Guadio of UnitedHealthcare talk about the value of addressing social determinants and lessons they’ve learned.
row of dark brick houses

What is the Future of the Black Urban Middle Neighborhood?

What does the future hold for urban Black middle and working class neighborhoods in cities, and is there any way to shape it?
home with sold sign

Don’t Diminish the Importance of Homeownership in CRA Reform

A significant reduction in attention paid to home mortgage lending on CRA exams would be neither economically efficient nor equitable.
A young man repairs a bike as part of a program in Hawaii that offers young men and boys healing spaces.

Informal Gathering Spaces for Healing Community Trauma

All communities—especially those carrying heavy burdens of trauma and inequity—deserve the transformation and resilience that healing spaces can provide.
Washington DC skyview construction

Behind the Scenes of NCRC’s Gentrification Report

A conversation with an NCRC senior research analyst about the organization's report on gentrification, what its findings show and don’t show, and what the policy implications might be.
A worker at Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, which recently secured new contracts for 3 million pounds of health care linens.

Building Prosperity—A Review of ‘The Making of a Democratic Economy’

A review of "The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few," by Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard
a manufactured home

How to Temper the Influence of Private Equity in Manufactured Housing

The risk of onerous lot rent increases and the fear of eviction are more threatening than ever as private equity enters the manufactured housing market.
sign defining "gentrification"

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Neighborhood Is Going to Eventually Gentrify

“We could use some gentrification here.” Let's never say this—we must refrain from debating the long-term likelihood of gentrification in distressed places.
group photo

HUD Approves Vouchers for Housing After Foster Care

A group of former foster youths and advocates recently convinced top federal housing officials about how best to legislate new federal support for housing for youth after they exit foster care.
people seated at tables in a meeting

HUD Finally Puts a Landlord on Notice for Interfering with the Right to Organize

There must be actual, meaningful penalties for landlords that retaliate against tenants who fight for safe, standard home conditions.
An affordable housing complex under construction. We musn't forget about housing that already exists, like naturally occurring affordable housing.

Opinion: Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing is Hiding in Plain Sight

As we think about future housing policy, we shouldn’t lose sight of available affordable housing that can be preserved.
CSI’s former space at 215 Spadina in Toronto

Nonprofit Centers: Hubs for Connection and Collaboration

To understand nonprofit centers and how they achieve their impact, it’s helpful to think of them in layers: the building as an asset, the building as a program, and the building as a platform for collaboration.
A meeting of the Chelsea Hub in Massachusetts.

Connecting the City’s Social Services to Help At-Risk Populations

A four-year-old Massachusetts program helps vulnerable populations by increasing communication among a range of local groups. And it's having a positive effect—it's helping reduce crime.