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.

Get Your Green On

In general, most efforts to develop “green infrastructure” at the neighborhood level have been volunteer-led, grassroots efforts. City governments don’t tend to take the...

Preliminary HUD Budget Shows Carson Lied in His Confirmation Hearing Too

The Washington Post reported today that a preliminary HUD budget cuts $6 billion—eliminating Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the HOME program, and cutting...

ACORN and the Media

You might have seen Peter Dreier, NHI board member, and the director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College on Rachel...

Yes They Can. And They Bloody Well Did

As you watch the games of the XXX Olympiad, you should know that something extraordinary has been happening in a low-income neighborhood near the...
A liquor store in Baltimore.

Closing Liquor Stores, Hoping to Gain Public Health

A new code in Baltimore will reduce the number of liquor stores in the city. Will the change result in a drop in violence? What will happen to store owners?

Rethinking Rentals

With the rental population growing and the stock of affordable housing rentals in decline, “due to the demolition of older apartment buildings, the abandonment...

Housing, Credit Woes: When Can We Exhale?

After a week of dizzying feints by the White House, the Treasury Secretary, the head of the Federal Reserve, and some members of Congress,...

…At Your Own Risk

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey’s piece in The Wall Street Journal, “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare,” touted his own company’s health insurance...

Do the Roads Belong to All of Us?

The other day at a planning board meeting, I heard someone claim that all the roads from the nearest shopping center to their house, a distance of at least three miles, were “residential roads.” That was a new one to me. What he based that on was the fact that there are many houses along […]

Should FHFA’s REO-to-Rental Pilot Program Address Affordability?

Recently the National Low Income Housing Coaltion, as part of a blog series looking at discrimination in the marketing and maintenance...

Putting a Face on the Budget Cuts

“When you have a key that you can put in the door, it gives you the chance to control your destiny” says Almon Hubbard,...

Did the GOP Attack on Community Organizing Backfire?

In a column on September 14, titled “Community Organizing Changed Fishery,” John Corrigan, the fishing writer for the Concord Monitor, explained that “anybody...

Keeping Justice in Mind as We Talk Asset-Building

I attended my first ever Assets Learning Conference, put on by CFED last week, and I have to say it was mighty impressive. And I was particularly pleased to see that economic justice and things like reforming the tax code to be less regressive and reward savings by low- and middle-income Americans, rather than mostly […]

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...

Harvard Planners Talk Race, Design, and St. Louis

In our recent interview with long-time urban planner and racial equity advocate Chester Hartman, he told us he thought...

Work That Needs Doing

How many times have you pointed to something in your community and said “If only we could put someone to work fixing that ?” The...

The Early Years

It was during 1973 that I first began thinking about a national publication for the housing movement. I was a legal services lawyer helping...
Albany, New York

Funding the City

Property taxes were set up at a time when cities were regional centers of wealth. Times have changed. We need to another look at how we're funding cities.

Remaining Hurdles Dampen Positive Changes to the Housing Market

Over the past month, the Obama administration has achieved several Home for Good victories for homeowners and consumers.  Among them...

Affordable Housing Doesn’t Have Enough Advocates, Science Explains Why

In May, Scientific American (SA) published an article entitled “You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think.” The title refers to...