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.

From “Knucklehead Kid” to Boston Mayor?

There are several teenagers featured in Holding Ground, a film about the launch of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. DSNI...

9-28-11 Poll: How do conflicting market data affect your neighborhood stabilization efforts?

You said: “Sadly, we may know our economy, but the funding sources require us to use the economists or market study data that may...

The Felt Factor

With all this talk of sustainable communities, how come we tend to exclude, at least in conversation, the very thing that can educate community...

Are Millennials Different, or Just Delaying Homeownership?

Big, diverse, and a little bit different, the Millennial generation is often cast as the solution to—or the cause of—many of America’s housing challenges. But Millennials probably aren’t as principal to understanding U.S. housing market conditions as the sheer amount of media coverage may lead us to believe. The opportunities available to Gen Xers and […]

Why Can’t Harlem Stop Gentrification?

In his May New York Times editorial, “The End of Black Harlem,” Michael Henry Adams portrays the historic African-American...
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.

The Feds Bow Out: We’re On Our Own

Yes, the federal government is back in business.After 16 days and untold billions in lost earnings and wasted dollars,...

Living the TOD Lifestyle in Denver: Growing Transit and Affordable Housing

A consequence of huge transit expansions is that nearby rentals and other housing tend to escalate in cost, and lower income residents—who may have...

Japan’s Unintentional Social Experiment

Having just come back from two weeks in Japan, my brain is still overflowing with sensations and images from that fascinating, exciting, and intermittently...

Riots and Resilience in Baltimore and Beyond

I remember reciting the Langston Hughes poem Harlem (“What happens to a dream deferred?”) to my students in South...

Can Community Wealth Building Redefine City Economic Development?

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An emergency entrance of a hospital.

Meeting Individual Social Needs Falls Short of Addressing Social Determinants of Health

While individual-level interventions are beneficial, characterizing them as efforts to address social determinants of health conveys a false sense of progress.

So About that Deconcentrating Poverty Thing…

Land of Opportunity Interactive has a marvelous interactive video (click here for description of what that means) called “Bricks and Sticks: Public...

Take Me Home On (Sort Of) Country Roads

The other day at a meeting I heard some residents complaining that Virginia's transportation department won’t pave their road. I had to feel for...

Hubs Help Move the Local Food Movement to the Next Level

It’s not unusual to read a press release from a governor’s or mayor’s office celebrating a deal to bring a new company to a neighborhood or city. Typically we’d be talking about a new manufacturing or tech firm, and the press release would speak glowingly of the prospects for economic development. Which makes a bit […]

Time to Learn from Europe on Housing?

Since we recently had bloggers squaring off on the question of whether expanding homeownership really is an important policy priority in and of itself (Alan Mallach: Yes, Tony Roshan Samara: No), I thought it was interesting to throw this New Yorker article into the mix—a reminder that many of our tax subsidies ($200 billion a […]

Should FHFA’s REO-to-Rental Pilot Program Address Affordability?

Recently the National Low Income Housing Coaltion, as part of a blog series looking at discrimination in the marketing and maintenance...

No Going Back to Segregation After Landmark Texas Fair Housing Case

As a Texas houser and fair housing advocate, I have been an anxious and interested outside observer of the...

Luxury Housing in NYCHA’s Open Space?

“Mind you, they are taking someone’s public space—what little space they have—and putting in garbage compactors.” ...

A Light in the Voting Rights Darkness

When we wrote last year about the fights to preserve voting rights and voter turnout against mounting attacks leading up...