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.

Putting the Impact in Impact Investing

Impact investing is a popular idea that promises to channel the power of market capitalism into serving the common...

4 Groups That Need to Change to Make Mixed-Income Communities Work

As long time affordable housing developers and community builders now working in the area of public housing transformation, we...

The Complexity of Compliance

Native American Connections (NAC) is a leader in the development and management of high quality, affordable housing communities. It...

Does Screening for Eviction Records Violate the Fair Housing Act?

We tend to think of the Fair Housing Act as covering access to housing—getting “into” housing. But it also applies to staying in...

Is a Meritocracy Really What We Want?

“Together we can break down all the barriers holding our families … back. We can build ladders of opportunity...

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,...

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate

Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at...

Leveling the Playing Field for Tenants Facing Eviction

New York City renters who face eviction could get a little more help on their side if a proposed initiative is given the green...

CRA on a State Level Makes Sense

When practitioners in the affordable housing and community development field think about the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), they think...

From Homelessness to Homeownership in Nine Months. It’s Possible

Earlier this month, I had the chance to speak at the 14th annual conference of an organization new to...

Two Presidential Affordable Housing Platforms!

“There’s still time to get the nation’s housing and urban crisis on the presidential campaign radar,” wrote Randy Shaw...

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...

So Far, Development is Divisive, and Driven By Race

Many of us live in cities that are undergoing a renaissance, but the longstanding populations are no better off...

Energy Efficiency: Vital to the Budgets of Low-Income Households

Electricity and water are indispensable for day to day living, and low income households pay a disproportionate share of...

There’s No Shortage of Low Quality Housing

In two recent posts, Emily Washington at Market Urbanism (part 2 here) argues that middle class sensibilities, with regard to...

How to Make Housing Affordable for All the Working Poor

The headlines tell the story: “Half of all renters can’t afford the rent.” “Renters, get ready to take it...

Fracking Waste and Drinking Water, A Toxic Combo

Environmentalists have succeeded in making fracking, renewable energy, safe water, and climate change part of the presidential campaign. Hillary...

Two Sneaky Reasons Why Building More Housing Isn’t Helping

The discussion about how much building more housing will help with affordability, and the nuances of the neighborhood and regional effects and what to...

Can We Build a Movement for Structural Economic Change? We Must

This July, the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a coalition of over 140 organizations from across North America, will convene in Buffalo for its biennial...

The “Supply-Side” Arguments, and Why Geography, Scale, and Migration Matter

Rick Jacobus' article, "Why We Must Build," published here on Shelterforce a couple of weeks ago has created quite a...