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.

Rail Time Enthusiasm

Summoning the ghost of Eisenhower, President Obama announced yesterday “a new era in American train travel” involving an $8 billion “down payment” for, and...

Two Americas On Display: DC & Las Vegas

I was struck by two hugely contrasting stories in Sunday’s Real Estate section of The Washington Post. If you want evidence that John Edwards’s...

Housing Counseling in Danger: They Say Cut Backs, We Say ??

Housing counseling works. Counselors form a critical bridge between servicers and homeowners in distress, advocating for them in the face of perverse servicer incentives,...

Urban Farms and Growing Communities

Urban farming has long served as  a way for distressed communities to turn blighted land into socially and economically productive community spaces—a means of...
Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents

Skating the Surface of Gentrification

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

4 Ways Critics of the Disparate Impact Doctrine Have Got It Wrong

On Feb. 8, 2013, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a rule clarifying the circumstances under which certain housing practices may...
Neon sign in window reads "Real Estate Home Loans."

Despite What Bankers Say, Data Is Indispensable

The American Bankers Association (ABA) issued a white paper maintaining that the CFPB exceeded its mandate under Dodd-Frank. Full of rhetoric, the white paper makes a number of unfounded allegations about HMDA data and the CFPB final rule.

How Exactly Does One Measure Economic Justice?

This is Part 5 in a series about the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. Click here for...

The Early Years

It was during 1973 that I first began thinking about a national publication for the housing movement. I was a legal services lawyer helping...

A New Kind of Redlining: Punishing Success

During the worst years of the Great American Mortgage Meltdown, shared equity homes represented an island of stability in a...

Same-sex Couples Can Love, But Where Can They Live?

 Same-sex couples’ right to marry is now protected, but do they have the right to housing? It is not...

It’s All About the Votes

With the news talking about close races in swing states, and voter intimidation in full swing, the importance of voter...

Magner v. Gallagher and Fair Housing in the 21st Century

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a little-known case with profound implications for our nation’s progress toward equal opportunity for all....

Sustainability: Still a Novel Idea

I had an exchange with an acquaintance about a recent tweet we put out when we were covering the fourth annual summit of the...

The False Choice Between Mobility and Community Development

What is it about community development that it constantly seems to be posited in a binary set of choices that...

Believing in Homeownership: Where Does the American Dream Idea Come From?

Homeownership in the U.S. has long been associated with a wide range of positive outcomes–from investment potential to social stability...
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:

HUD Downsizes Multifamily Housing Programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that it will be restructuring its Multifamily Housing Programs and the Office of Field...

‘Housing First’ Offers Hope for Homeless Veterans, Others

On this Veterans Day, when we remember those who have served, it is troubling to note that, although veterans make up around 9 percent...