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.

At the Crossroads

On a map of the rural county where I live, there are many place names that identify crossroads, significant in that many cars pass...

Those Who Lived Here Before Us

One question most of us probably don't ask when we're thinking of renting or buying a home is, who were the people who lived here...

Say It Loud: Inequality is Bad for Everyone

    There is an invisible culprit in the great scandal of inequality in America: your Econ. 101 textbook. Go ahead, dig it out from that storage chest, and undoubtedly you’ll read that inequality, while we might not like it, is good for economic growth and progress. This idea has undergirded decades of policymaking, and […]

There is No “Culture of Poverty”

This is Part 2 in a series about the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. Click here for ...

Say What, Washington Post? Declining Homeownership Rates Aren’t a Good Thing

On Aug. 3, The Washington Post published a remarkable opinion piece by Charles Lane, one of the paper’s editorial...

Two Steps to Rebalancing Housing Policy

Tax-writing committees in both houses of Congress are developing legislation to reform the tax code that may be seriously...

Dr. King and The Poor People’s Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968 while in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. Up until that time, he'd spoken about the dignity...

Turns Out Innovation Is Officially Overrated

Many nonprofits and social enterprises face constant pressure to be “innovative,” whether from funders or charitable business leaders who want...
women sitting in chairs on grass

Practical Ideas for Addressing Micro-Segregation in Mixed Income Communities

Practical lessons from long time community builders on promoting integration and interaction among residents of mixed income communities.

Just Because His Sleeves Are Rolled Up, It Doesn’t Mean He Means Business

I’m a little late weighing on on this, but this retrial of Jon Stewart v. Tucker Carlson is not sitting well with me. Countless investors...

There’s Really No Argument Against Disparate Impact

When a housing policy has the effect of perpetuating racial exclusion, and that policy is unnecessary or unjustified, it must be set aside or changed under the Fair Housing Act, whether or not the politicians who passed it were intentionally focused on racial discrimination. But now, that important principle is at risk.
Nikole Hannah-Jones

We’re All Enforcing “Separate But Unequal” Schools—An Interview With Nikole Hannah-Jones, a MacArthur “Genius”

Shelterforce spoke with MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award" recipient Nikole Hannah-Jones about her research into the persistence of racial segregation, and how without government intervention, average Americans have done an excellent job of enforcing "separate but unequal" schools.

Ditch Smart Growth; Try Oxygen-Based Development

At the Farm Pond Circle Reforestation Community in South Lansing, N.Y., a small community outside of the small city of...

The Romance and Reality of the New Financial Technology (Fintech) Companies

Technology is enticing. It's fun. It can make life easier. With a click of a button, consumers can purchase...

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...

Did Amazon Really Just Create a Pop-up Homeless Shelter?

As cities around the U.S. scramble to figure out how to address the housing affordability crisis, one of them...

FHFA’s Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – New Opportunities for Community Builders

Community housing and community development advocates could see new opportunities for financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 and beyond under a...

Scoring Bragging Rights–and Funding

If there is one thing we have no shortage of here at LISC, it’s modesty.When a distressed community rebounds,...
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.

Sell the CLT Movement For What It Is: Radical and Superior

This morning I taught what was probably my millionth class on community land trusts—but this one was different. This...