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.

Rep. Watt Can Save the American Dream

Change is coming to the most important government agency, one that most Americans have never heard of. For many months,...

We Can Save Homeownership

It’s no secret: homeownership in America is in trouble. If this crucial part of the American Dream is worth saving—and...
2010 midterm elections, view of House of Representatives chamber

Five Hidden Opportunities in the 2010 Election Results

The 2010 midterm elections have certainly made many community developers anxious for our communities and our field — and with good reason. The Republican...
An image that says "Stop Gentrification in Pilsen."

NPR: “Gentrification May Be a Boon To Longtime Residents”

Studies say that gentrification could be a good thing for low-income residents, but people suffer when they can't afford to stay in their neighborhood. So what's up with these studies?

Rivlin, SEIU’s Stern, Picked for Debt Commission

President Obama announced today that it had chosen SEIU’s Stern to serve on his deficit commission, formally dubbed the “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility...

Two Sneaky Reasons Why Building More Housing Isn’t Helping

The discussion about how much building more housing will help with affordability, and the nuances of the neighborhood and regional effects and what to...

Doubling Down on Community Resilience

Last month here in Rooflines, I argued that place-based community development can make low-income neighborhoods more resilient to climate...

Collective Efficacy: Who’s in the Collective?

Kari Lydersen’s post on the challenges of mixed-income communities yesterday reminded me of some things I’d wanted to bring up...
vampire squid illustration

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Feb. 23

Unreformed Vampire Squid | Facebook to Investigate Inequality | When Algorithms Fail the Poor | A Mortgage Fraud Scheme that Targeted Minorities | Puerto Rico's Brewing Housing Crisis
Black Panther newsletter from 1969

What Black Panther-inspired Gift to Oakland Should Have Looked Like

Disney's Black Panther-inspired gift to Oakland children is great, but there is a way it could be better.

Crossing Neighborhood Boundaries

Equitable regions are stronger, healthier regions for everyone. This is becoming more and more of a bedrock understanding within our...

The “Supply-Side” Arguments, and Why Geography, Scale, and Migration Matter

Rick Jacobus' article, "Why We Must Build," published here on Shelterforce a couple of weeks ago has created quite a...

HUD Announces NSP2 Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this morning the long-awaited list of grantees for the second round of the Neighborhood Stabilization...
Business Hours sign on glass door.

Unstacking the Deck for African-American Entrepreneurs

The truth is most entrepreneurs’ firms don’t grow quickly, employ people, or earn much money. And, more importantly, entrepreneurial success has far less to do with exceptional skill than with one’s ability to weather repeated failure and financial loss.

Can Organizing Resuscitate Community Development?

There has been a lot written about the uncertain future of community development and the way forward for community...

No, Minimum Rents Do Not “Encourage Financial Responsibility”

President Obama's 2015 Budget seeks to impose a $50 per month minimum rent on tenants living in USDA Rural...

Community Organizing Creates Jobs

The value of community organizing was perhaps never questioned as much as when Barack Obama became a candidate for president...

From Homelessness to Homeownership in Nine Months. It’s Possible

Earlier this month, I had the chance to speak at the 14th annual conference of an organization new to...

Doesn’t Voter Fraud Require Actual Voting?

John McCain’s peculiar, over-the-top attacks on ACORN were initially a little hard to take seriously. Even when he kept on, it just left us...

A Nation in Trouble

Most of us feel today that this country and its communities are in serious trouble. We don't, however, see anyone doing anything ambitious enough...