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.

Awesome Choice: Shelley Poticha to Take Sustainability Post at HUD

Wow. Only a week after I wrote a post celebrating how well the Obama administration seems to be getting its...

House Passes Bailout: Let The Market Soar!

Amid all of the gloom and doom, perhaps a few positive headlines will help to boost the mood of the nation’s sagging economy. If...

Entrenched Poverty, Juxtaposed Against Occasional Pockets of Progress

Recently, more than 150 people from across the nation rolled along the backroads of the iconic Mississippi Delta, peering through bus windows at scene after scene of entrenched poverty juxtaposed against occasional pockets of progress that had been achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds. While there were signs of advancement, they were set against the backdrop of conditions that disproportionately plague these places—substandard housing, underperforming schools, inadequate access to quality health care, and limited private and philanthropic investment. 

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...

Solar for the People

So this story started off sounding so promising.An affordable housing complex put solar panels on its roof!Also, it's affordable...

Where Do Houses Go When They Die? (Apparently, Pennsylvania)

The late George Carlin once quipped that “Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets...

Drexel to Follow in Penn’s Community-University Footsteps

The University of Pennsylvania is well-known as a leader in community-university partnerships, and especially the kind that actually try to build community wealth. Under...

The Roots of #Ferguson

The situation in Ferguson, MO continues to be volatile, news cycle after news cycle. A second young person, a Howard...

What An Affordable Housing Victory Looks Like in DC

There is big affordable housing news from DC. HUD and Congress are not involved. In fact, the federal government...

Where Do We Go From Here? Toward a New Freedom Budget

If, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, a “budget is a moral document,” then this budget is a reflection of the moralities of the boardroom, the eviction notice, the emergency ward, and the pink slip.

History of the Housing Market

Here’s a cool animation of something we’re all too familiar with. subprime from beeple on Vimeo.

‘Ohana-Based Approach to Incentivized Youth Savings

How can we measure the impact of incentivized youth savings beyond just financial impacts?Hawai‘i Island ‘ohana participating in the...

The Challenge of Scattered-Site Rental Management

In the winter 2011 issue of Shelterforce we looked at the difficult challenge behind managing scatttered-site rental housing by nonprofits, and...
construction

We Can Totally Build Our Way Out of This Problem

Here's a list of possible translations to the statement, "We can't build our way out of the housing crisis," and a handy response to each.

Kinda Not There Yet

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy that Senator Obama will be the Democratic nominee. It says a hell of a lot about how far...

Helping Johnny (and Joanie) Walk to School

“Aside from reduced CO2, less traffic time and health advantages, the most important benefit of walk to school programs is teaching children self-reliance.” The quote...

Lesson from Sandy: Better Disaster Planning Needed for Housing

The terrible impacts of Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath demonstrate the need for more robust disaster planning, not to mention...

Extra! Major Funding Is Provided By…Congress?

The print media industry, we all know, has been in rapid decline over the past few years, but recently, we’ve truly begun to see...

A Big Easy Comparison, But How Similar?

“Katrina” is a loaded word, less associated with an actual hurricane than it is with catastrophic destruction from natural disaster, breathtaking flaws in effective...

GOP Credo: Less Government, No Community Organizing?

Ronald Reagan famously said the government is the problem, not the solution, and touted the importance of our civil society. Now we hear the...