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.

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now: A Cautionary TOD Tale

Everywhere we go we hear about transit-oriented development: bringing the home closer to the transit hub. Not only does TOD offer an opportunity to...

A Stimulus Package We Can Believe In

Author and columnist Tom Friedman described the nation’s current predicament as when Roy Scheider’s character from Jaws gets his first glimpse at the...

Rent Regulation in the Great Recession

Over at the Gotham Gazette, David King walks us through the latest round of politics over New York City’s rent regulation laws, which have...

Job Quality & The Stimulus Package

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the Stimulus Package — passed by Congress in a painful process in February, proposes to create or...

One Candidate Drops Out of Public Finance, Another Wishes He Could

Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of the public financing system for this fall’s general presidential election has all the Sabbath Gasbags buzzing. The...

Tenant Jujitsu: Renters Fight Back in San Francisco, And Win

Shelterforce, as many of you know, began as a tenant organizing newspaper. Though we've evolved to cover a much...

Renters Still Facing Foreclosure Evictions; Help Arrives, But Is It Enough?

Last week, I wrote about Cook County (Chicago) sheriff Tom Dart angrily suspending evictions of renters from foreclosed buildings; since many of these renters...

Community Development: Let Your Mission Do the Talking

In Part 1 of this post, I discuss the issues around the term “gentrification.” Here are two other terms that have become problematic in...

Portland Shrinks Carbon Footprint with Revitalization, Walkability

Portland, Oregon has become such a recognized model of progressive planning and development that people like me are actually discouraged from talking about the...

When the Market Recovers, Smart Growth Will Claim a Larger Share

Even before the recession began, the market for residential and commercial property in the US was changing away from a model of unmitigated suburban...
Small American flag with fringed edges attached to a wire stick.

Why Giving Up on Homeownership Is Giving In

These ideas aren’t new, but pulling them together in a collective, coherent way will push back against those who, like their predecessors of 80, 70, 60 and 50 years ago, would deny long-term stability to those for reasons more than just the color of their money.

Counting Better: A Step Toward Addressing Native American Homelessness

Homes in Indian Country are three times more likely to be crowded than those in the United States as a...

Policy Victory Means Millions for Lower 9th Ward

Tonya Boyd-Cannon, a singer/ songwriter, has performed at Jazz Fest and Essence Festival, and recently reached the final 20 performers on NBC’s talent show,...

Peoria LISC

What does it mean when the country's largest community development intermediary opens its first new office in 15 years in...

Manufactured Housing: Underutilized and Misunderstood

What will it take for manufactured housing, the principal source of unsubsidized, affordable homes in the United States, to reach its potential? Limited and expensive financing options make life even more difficult for the financially vulnerable residents who live in manufactured housing (MH) communities. The continuing consolidation of ownership is taking a toll, and the […]

Affordable Housing Strikes Back

George Lucas seems to be on a mission to be an affordable housing developer—or at least to use affordable...

Poetry Is Not a Luxury to Achieving Racial, Social, and Economic Equity

In her essay, Poetry Is Not a Luxury, Audre Lorde, the Caribbean-American writer, poet, radical feminist, lesbian, and civil...

NYT in a Time Warp?

The following is a letter to the editor I submitted to The New York Times: The Times’ Aug. 8 article, “Housing Program Moves Poor...

Does HUD’s “Hope” Float?

Today’s New York Times editorial titled “Show Us the Hope” slams the inadequacies of both the Bush administration’s and Congress’s attention to the plight...

CDCs and Creative Placemaking: Who Should Learn from Whom?

Feb 2013: I'm attending a small conference in Miami. With me are over 150 participants—all folks deeply committed to their communities,...