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.

After the Politicking, Let’s Remember ACORN’s Vital Work

ACORN has been falsely charged in the news media, by politicians, and even by some supporters. This was the point driven home by Wade...

Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted” Supports, Challenges Housing Field

With Evicted, Desmond is taking a powerful argument that housing matters beyond the usually circles where that is discussed.

Is There Room for Real Change in the Democratic Party?

Thirty-one years before Cory Booker, Junius Williams, another dynamic African-American Yale Law School graduate, moved to Newark with ambitions...

Seeking Solidarity Between Place-Based and Economic Justice Work

Last week, Brentin Mock over at CityLab had an incisive response to Peter Dreier’s Shelterforce article, The Revitalization Trap....

Places of the Heart

Everyone has a story about third places—those gathering places that are not home or work—in the communities they have lived and worked. I wrote...
Six tiny houses share a common deck.

Tiny House Villages in Seattle: An Efficient Response to Our Homelessness Crisis

Over the past three years, Seattle has led the country in piloting tiny house villages as a response to the homelessness crisis. Here's how they're doing it, and the lessons they're learning.

“Nation’s Poorest 1% Now Controls …..

Two-Thirds Of U.S. Soda Can Wealth,” so reads a headline from the latest issue of The Onion, my favorite source of political commentary. The...

Obama Could Take a Cue From This LA Dust-Up

Now it’s on! — woohoo! — between Barack Obama and John McCain, who has already morphed into McNasty. A CBS poll on June 6...

The “What If” Scenario

At the third and final presidential debate, when John McCain proclaimed that, Acorn, the darling target of conservative advocacy groups like FOXNews, could have...

Ferguson on My Mind

Outside my house, two young African-American boys, maybe 9 or 10, scoot by on skateboards. One is carrying something on a leaf and stops to show me a giant slug. We chat about it a bit; I tell him that I looked up what kind of slug that was recently but now don’t remember. He […]
renter rights rally

How California’s “Sleeping Giant” Woke Up and Won Statewide Rent Caps

California's momentous statewide win for statewide rent caps is owed to organizers and the power of organizing. Now that the giant is awake, what's next?

The Federal Housing Administration: Unsung Hero of the Housing Market

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is one of the unsung heroes of the housing market. Despite helping to save the...

What Creating a ‘Stable Neighborhood’ Really Means

Last month I wrote about why Project Rebuild is basically a bad idea, and why the Obama administration is making...

Cleveland–East Cleveland Merger Plan Overlooks Main Issue

East Cleveland, a struggling suburb of Cleveland, has ended up in so much fiscal distress that it is considering allowing...

U.S. Catholic Funders: Resist Calls to Abandon Social Justice

In the last few years community organizers have learned it's in their self-interest to become astute Vatican watchers. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)...

Deflating a GOP Double Standard

After the sequester cut teaching jobs, Head Start spots, senior food programs, and access to nutrition assistance for over half...

CDFIs “Rethink” Systems, But (Hopefully) Not Identity

We are definitely in some danger of losing a connection to the animating social movements that gave rise to the industry.

Finally! A Concrete Proposal to Address Gentrification-Driven Displacement

I, and others, have sometimes felt that the fair housing community can be too focused on opening up the...
vampire squid illustration

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, Feb. 23

Unreformed Vampire Squid | Facebook to Investigate Inequality | When Algorithms Fail the Poor | A Mortgage Fraud Scheme that Targeted Minorities | Puerto Rico's Brewing Housing Crisis

Study: NJ Land-Use Patterns Increase Exclusionary Zoning and Sprawl

All too often, we hear how sprawl development continues to eat up the last remaining open spaces across New Jersey,...