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.

Collective Efficacy: The Key to Community Change?

Nandinee Kutty, who, with James Carr, is co-editor of the newly released book Segregation: The Rising Costs For America, comments on my previous post...

Citizenship Is an Economic Asset for Communities

If New York’s legal permanent residents all became U.S. citizens, the city’s economy could grow by up to $4.1...

Affordable Housing Doesn’t Have Enough Advocates, Science Explains Why

In May, Scientific American (SA) published an article entitled “You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think.” The title refers to...

Deflating a GOP Double Standard

After the sequester cut teaching jobs, Head Start spots, senior food programs, and access to nutrition assistance for over half...

Harnessing Immigrant Entrepreneurship for Economic Growth

Last week’s release of Bread for the World’s new paper on immigrant small businesses was marked by racial tension...

Shelter Shorts

Landlord Tastes Own Medicine Newark landlord George Williams recently suffered a fate similar to that of Joe Pesci’s character in the movie The Super, in which a judge orders Pesci to serve time in the same decrepit building his tenants must endure daily. On November 22, Municipal Judge Paul R. Daniele ordered Williams to serve […]

EPA Should Make Environmental Justice Job One

The EPA is making news lately.  Unfortunately, it’s not for protecting the environment or victims of pollution. Activist groups,...
flow chart describing land value

How to Kill Land Speculation

  People live in communities because natural and human-made resources make them productive places to live, work, and play. Because geographically based resources are gifts...

Does a Sustainable Community Need a Good Drinking Establishment?

My friend Eliot Allen first introduced me to the concept of neighborhood completeness: that the quality of a place is defined in part by...

Homeowner Associations Have Draconian Rules. Why?

I’ve always been somewhat puzzled as to why people choose to buy houses in neighborhoods with homeowner associations (HOAs). They always seem to have...

Community Development: A Love Story

Film director Michael Moore will use a $1 million film tax credit he received for his film "Capitalism: A Love Story" to launch the...

Forcing Banks to Buy Back Loans

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee is slated to consider the administration’s nomination of Joseph A. Smith Jr., the commissioner of banks for North...

Remembering Debby Visser

On December 4, we lost a good friend, thoughtful colleague, and champion for social justice in Debby Visser.Debby's career...

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.
Policy and appropriations: a vew of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Congress: Breaking Down the Walls

Washington is a really confusing town in good times and an almost indecipherable town in surreal times like these. In order to make sense...

Three Takeaways from the President’s 2016 HUD Budget

Here are three key facts to understand the President’s 2016 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its broader budget, policy, and political contexts: 1. The proposed funding increase is much more modest than it may initially appear. The President’s $41.0 billion HUD request for 2016 is $6.2 billion, or […]

The Real Problem with the Model Minority Myth

There is a Time article—“The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans“—that has been making the rounds on the Internet. As a card-carrying member of the Model Minority Myth Busters club, I am sympathetic with author Jack Linshi’s piece in that it seeks to discredit model minority mythology. However, there are a couple […]
A group of people stand in a line outside a building a court building. In the foreground Black man with a white beard in a black jacket and cap holds a sign a sign reading "Shut down housing court until coronavirus is past."

An Eviction Moratorium Is Not Enough—Suspend Rent

What will people do when they’re expected to pay back rent after the crisis is over? Eviction moratoriums are not enough to prevent a homelessness crisis.

Invest In Your Values

In a panel discussion at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2010 National Convention assessing the administration’s mortgage modification initiatives, Gordon Whitman, director of public...

HUD’s New Plan

When we conducted our interview with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and the soon-to-be-published interviews with Sandra B. Henriquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and...