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.

A New Turn for the Consumer Financial Protection Bill

At about noon today, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor announced to attendees of his organization’s annual conference that the bipartisan attempt at crafting...

Unlikely Poets / Guerrilla Haiku Movement / Sharing The Sidewalk

We hailed down a police car in Orange, N.J., and Police Director John Rappaport pulled over. We explained our situation. He thought for a...
Talking revitalization graphic

Talking About Revitalization When All Anyone Wants to Talk About Is Gentrification

Strategies for turning the conversation back to places where gentrification is not only *not* present, but not impending.

What’s the Take-Away of the Jim Johnson Saga?

So James A. Johnson has resigned from Barack Obama’s vice president search committee in the aftermath of the Wall Street Journal’s revelations that Johnson,...
rent control

Here’s Why Costa-Hawkins Repeal Would Be Revolutionary for Housing in California

Rent control is one of the foremost demands of grassroots movements organizing around housing justice today. To activists across the country, from Los Angeles...

NeighborWorks Asks: Do you Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends?

It’s been five years since the full force of the Great Recession hit the United States, with a combination...

Instead of Blaming FEMA, We Need a National Safety Net

As the water rose in his Cedar Rapids home, Frank refused to leave, even when a FEMA boat pulled up to his porch. FEMA...

In Supporting Financial Protection Bureau, Merkley Looks Back

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) addressed a roomful of renters, housing advocates, and practitioners today as he called for increased protections for consumers, including...

Revitalizing Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine (Part 2)

Last week I wrote the first installment of my miniseries about Cincinnati’s remarkable Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. As I wrote then, this distinct and historic...

Countrywide CEO’s Cyberblunder

We hear it a lot these days, the Dante Alighieri quote that declares that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who...

You Must Remember This: Uses of the Past in Community Development

“History is bunk,” declared Henry Ford to a newspaper reporter in 1916.  “The only history that is worth a tinker’s...

An Opportunity to Talk About the Foreclosure Crisis

As the Republican presidential candidates debate the moral legitimacy of venture capital strategies, and the Occupy movement continues to challenge...

Principal Forgiveness: Not a Complicated Matter

I’m looking at loan modification papers for homeowners who recently came to ESOP for help on their delinquent mortgage. ...

Can Mentoring End Poverty?

This year we mark the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty, and yet, 46.5 million people were living in...
Los Angeles green new deal

L.A.’s Green New Deal and Housing: Will a Crucial Opportunity Become a Missed One?

Los Angeles' Green New Deal is an opportunity to demand the type of investment in housing required to actually address the crisis we face. It would be an awful mistake to back down.

The Obama Housing Plan: Bold and Sensible, But Gaps Remain

There is much that is praiseworthy about the President Obama’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. It is an intelligent plan that recognizes the seriousness...

Staying Current and Healthy with Efficient Building Practices

Holistic, green building certifications are an increasingly integral part of affordable housing development. These certifications are often pursued by...

Fifty Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America

In the next decade, America will be transformed by a new wave of progressive activism, led primarily by organizers, thinkers,...

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.” ...

When a Housing Advocate’s Work Hits Home

It’s been a very long time since I saw the movie “Dr. Zhivago,” but I can remember clearly the noisy...