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.

In Wisconsin: Do You Hear the People Sing?

We just had our second amazing Saturday in a row, with estimates ranging from 70,000 to 120,000. The problem with the estimates was that...

Now File Fair Housing Complaints on the Go

There's an app for fair housing now. That's right. HUD has released an app that allows you...

DeMarco Replacement Named, CBO Supports Principal Reductions

We've heard noises before that President Obama might nominate Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) to replace Ed DeMarco as director of...

States Undercutting Historic Mortgage Settlement

Early this year, in a settlement with 49 state attorneys general, the five largest banks in the United States—Citi,...

Too Many Bargains With Pending Foreclosure Settlement, Advocates Worry

Housing advocates and many legislators are voicing their concern with an anticipated $25 billion settlement stemming from an investigation by...

Working in Partnership

[Editorial note: In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Rooflines has chosen to share an essay from the Shelterforce archives. Co-written by Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and John Taylor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the decade-old essay shows us that the reality for millions of Americans in poverty has not changed very […]

Meeting the Mission: A Fresh Set of Eyes

The National Housing Institute (publisher of Shelterforce) describes itself as “dedicated to fostering decent affordable housing and a vibrant community...

Has the Housing Movement Found Something to Unite Around?

I've been around the affordable housing field for a little while (not as long as many of our readers though...

What Do You Make of the Fannie/Freddie Takeover?

The markets responded well on Monday following Sunday’s announcement of Treasury’s takeover of mortgage investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, signaling some optimism about...
Painted measuring tape on street

Measuring What Really Matters in Community-Based Development Organizations

Developing a road map for performance improvement within CBDOs can be a daunting task, and while their missions are sometimes nebulous, here are some ways to measure them.

Prescription for a Legal Advocate

When we wrote in 2006 about Boston Medical Center's program to link patients to lawyers who could help improve their...

All the Fury Over CFPB Ignores Its Modest Mission

Ever since its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been the focus of heated controversy, with banks...

Transforming Communities Through Residential Energy Efficiency

Too many people are forced to choose between paying to heat and cool their homes or paying for medicine, food and other necessities.

Where Do the Candidates Stand on The Foreclosure Crisis?

One issue that has been conspicuously missing from all this talk about our economy is the ongoing home opportunity crisis.

In Memoriam: Marva Smith Battle-Bey

Marva Smith Battle-Bey, director of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation in Los Angeles, which she founded in 1979,...
People gathered outdoors around a table.

We Need the Data—But Can’t Forget the People—in Creative Placemaking

However difficult, altering one’s viewpoint of a community is a crucial step, because creative placemaking’s overarching goal is to reach everyone where they are, and you can’t do that if you begin with a well thought-out plan in hand.

Fair Housing’s Giant Two Steps Forward

It’s a rare moment when two branches of our federal government take major steps to expand opportunity for all...

Webinar: Can Lease Purchase Save Us?

As developers struggle to find buyers for rehabbed affordable homes, many are looking to a lease-purchase model to expand the...

The Day The Fed Stood Still

With the Federal Reserve Board’s first meeting of 2015 last month and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, I had Mr. Peabody crank up the “Wayback Machine” and set it for April 14, 1980. (If Millennials think they can’t afford to buy their first home now, mortgage interest rates then were heading to […]

Deep-seated, Anti-Government Mood Remains

The stunning upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary election on Tuesday by a Tea...