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.

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.
courageous philanthropy cover

Reawakening “Courageous Philanthropy”

A review of Courageous Philanthropy: Going Public in a Closely Held World, by Jennifer Vanica.
opportunity zones construction

Pushing Opportunity Zones to Fulfill Their Promise

Some guidelines to ensure that Opportunity Zones are transformational and not transactional.
bright sunlight on city street

The CFPB Needs Sunlight: Keep Easy Access to HMDA Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's reassurances on continued public access to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are not very reassuring.
four people linking hands together

Let’s Get Explicit: Social Justice in Asset Based Community Development

Four Asset Based Community Development practices that support social justice frameworks when practitioners make them explicit and intentional.
Two women help a senior go up the stairs to her home. Like Project Sustained Legacy, the CAPABLE program helps seniors age in place.

Helping At-Risk Homeowners Stay Put With a Land Trust

For some homeowners at risk of losing their home, City of Lakes Community Land Trust has been able to keep them in place by bringing their home into the land trust.
People at a rent-reform rally in New York City, 2015

Rent Control Is at a Turning Point

Advocates around the country now have current data on what rent control expansion would do to help low-income, cost-burdened renters.
men making guitar

Arts, Culture, and Community Mental Health

Examples of projects around the country that are infusing community development with creativity and collaboration and stimulating the potential for unique mental health benefits.
group lobby day photo

The Collaboration Behind California’s Successful Statewide Ballot Campaign for Housing

As housing becomes ever more urgent an issue, California's model for running a statewide ballot campaign offers insights to organizations around the nation.