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.

What Works–and What Doesn’t–in Community Development

“Let’s invest in what works,” is a common and recurring slogan that has gained currency in recent years and why...

6 × 6: Call for Nominations!

Shelterforce will turn 36 next year and we’d like you to help us celebrate! Community Developers 36 and Under: Call for Nominees Are you, or someone...

Do As I Say, Not (Necessarily) As I Do

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued some guidance to banks about the “obligations and risks related to foreclosed property.” The...

My Berlin Wall Moment

It took me a couple of days after the extraordinary evening of President-elect Obama’s victory on November 4 for the impact to really sink...

Intergenerational Housing-The New Sharing Model?

With regard to housing, it is ever clearer that designing new models that mix the young and the old is becoming necessary, as affordable housing options for both groups don’t exist on the scale needed. Some programs are creating viable options.

The Lifecycle of Predatory Equity

The New York City Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) has a new report out that examines the “lifecycle” of predatory...

Renters Are Not The Problem

Alan Mallach concludes his recent commentary on the problem of declining homeownership (Do Urban Neighborhoods Need Homeowners?) with the important reminder that cities and policymakes should not neglect renters. Yet, his argument leading up to this point is a prescription for continuing a century-old approach to housing that structurally advantages homeowners and disadvantages moderate- and […]

Can We Demolish Our Way to Revitalization?

While the answer to that question in the title of this piece is obvious, there’s a strong case to...

Anchoring “The Community” to the Community Building Movement

Community building has many definitions all of which capture an integrated approach to addressing poverty. For me, community...

Some Forms of Displacement Are Beyond Criminal

Earlier this month, The New York Times published a major front-page story on deed theft scams that highlighted the...

Ferguson, Sanford and the Persistence of Violent Racism

“Wonder when I’ll find paradise // Somewhere there’s a home sweet and nice” –WAR, The World is a...

In Case You Missed It: Can Lease Purchase Save Us?

Last week's webinar, “Can Lease Purchase Save Us?,” sponsored by NHI/Shelterforce and NeighborWorks America, provided an in-depth look at the lease purchase model that...

Tracking the Recession and the Recovery

The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings announced today the launch of its MetroMonitor, a tool that measures the health of 100 of America’s largest...

Land Banks Are Not a Silver Bullet

We were very excited to hear that after many years of organizing, Philadelphia succeeded in winning a municipal land...

Rossana Torres: Taking on the FHFA

The following is a first-hand account from Rossana Torres on the need for the government to contribute to the...
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...

Financial Counseling and Coaching Need to be Professionalized

What happens to families who are financially vulnerable and rely upon free financial counseling and coaching services to get out of debt or repair their credit score?

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...

Jon Kest’s Activism, New York’s Future

Thousands of Bill de Blasio’s grassroots supporters—as well as the small inner circle of advisers who helped catapult him...

NoMi? NoBe? No Go

A few years ago, we had a movement of people who tried to rebrand our Twin Cities community as...