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.

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.
communities exercise-people with sign

Prioritizing Inclusion and Equity in the Next Generation of Mixed-Income Communities

An introduction to a new series of essays on mixed income communities that will comprise the fifth volume in the San Francisco Fed's 'What Works' series.
mural in oakland, california

Housing Vulnerability Analysis: A Discussion

A pilot study on housing vulnerability has identified over 50 different housing tenures, each with different degrees of legal protection, political and advocacy support, and with very different types of risk.
Los Angeles green new deal

L.A.’s Green New Deal and Housing: Will a Crucial Opportunity Become a Missed One?

Los Angeles' Green New Deal is an opportunity to demand the type of investment in housing required to actually address the crisis we face. It would be an awful mistake to back down.
HOLC Map for San Francisco

Redlining and Mental Health: Connecting the Dots Across Poverty, Place, and Exclusion

A side by side comparison of historical redlining maps reveals a strong spatial relationship between a history of systemic exclusion in the form of redlining and poor mental health.

Can You Have Revitalization Without Displacement?

Derek Avery is providing middle- and low-income housing in struggling neighborhoods. And his company doesn’t stop at housing. It's building education resources and investing in community.

Investment Without Displacement: From Slogan to Strategy

How investments can be leveraged to ensure residents get to stay in their communities and reap the benefits of new amenities and increased accessibility.

Why Doesn’t Rural Housing Get Any Respect?

President Trump's 2020 budget once again proposes to eliminate, or sharply cut, most rural housing efforts and some other USDA rural programs.
person holding Amazon delivery box

Lessons for the U.S.: How the EU Controls Bidding Wars for Jobs and Investment

The European Union’s rules on subsidies limit bidding wars, and make the level of incentives we have seen for Amazon, Foxconn, and other companies completely impossible.
affordable housing woman in hard hat

Opinion: Make the Cost of Home Something We Can All Afford

Two former HUD secretaries come together to help launch a national housing affordability advocacy campaign that calls on local, state, and federal officials (and candidates) to come up with credible solutions to solve the nation’s housing emergency.
Charleston, SC

Building Resilience and Preserving History in Charleston

In Charleston, South Carolina's historically significant Eastside neighborhood, the city is trying new approaches to improving energy efficiency and flood protection.
woman in wheelchair approaches door of house

When a Renter with Disabilities is Denied Housing

Renters with disabilities are often unable to meet the kinds of admission criteria that landlords establish for their properties.

Using Theater to Envision Racial Equity Solutions

Techniques from the arts world can help us envision and re-envision relationships and systems to spot stress points and opportunities within communities.
In Dublin, Ireland, a sign that reads "Housing is a Human Right."

U.N. to U.S. Government: Do Better on Housing

In blistering letter, U.N. special rapporteur slams the U.S. government and international companies for violating human rights through the excessive financialization of the housing market.

Building Healthy Housing Through Health Action Plans

A pilot program required CDCs to collaborate with public health professionals in order to discover—and address—a community’s pressing health issues. What the collaboration uncovered were issues that the participating CDCs hadn't even considered.
B. Ruppe drugstore in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, NM

Regenerating a Place of Cultural Pride and Healing in Albuquerque’s Barelas Neighborhood

Restoring a community's culturally significant site in Albuquerque to be a true economic resource as well as a source of healing.
A liquor store in Baltimore.

Closing Liquor Stores, Hoping to Gain Public Health

A new code in Baltimore will reduce the number of liquor stores in the city. Will the change result in a drop in violence? What will happen to store owners?
redlining map and racial equity

Can Using a Racial Equity Lens Increase Capital in Communities of Color?

If CDFIs adopted traditional appraisal standards to determine loan amounts, they'd make very few loans in the communities they were founded to serve.
thought bubble

“So, what do you do?” How to Have Conversations about Homelessness

Conversations about homelessness with those outside the field’s bubble can be exhausting, but there are several strategies and techniques that can help steer the conversation in a productive way.