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.

Good Local Housing Policy is Good Economic Development Policy

We hear a lot about the importance of housing to the nation’s economy, and recently, the news has been...

Health and Housing: Where Should the Money Come From?

When we published our focus issue on health and housing and neighborhoods, one of the themes that came up in...

Walking Away: What Happens When a Project Can’t Be Completed?

As children, many of us grew up hearing from our parents that we must, “finish what we started.” Whether we stalled on a math assignment or scooped too much food onto our dinner plate, we were instructed to keep going until we were done. Certainly, this lesson provides some guidance for events to come later […]

This Is How We Should Measure Our Work (And Achieve Economic Justice)

This is Part 6 in a series about the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. Click here for...

An Industrial Revolution Comes to Indianapolis

Abandoned factories have been an economic albatross for Midwestern cities since the 1990s, when American manufacturers moved overseas or...

FHFA’s Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – New Opportunities for Community Builders

Community housing and community development advocates could see new opportunities for financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 and beyond under a...

FHFA: Orphaned No More

Since being taken into conservatorship, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two U.S. housing mortgage giants, have been treated as unwanted orphans. The massive...

What Can FHFA Learn from the Banks’ Big Mistakes?

This post, submitted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, is part of an ongoing series based on the National...

Community Organizing Creates Jobs

The value of community organizing was perhaps never questioned as much as when Barack Obama became a candidate for president...

Too Young to Vote, But Not Too Young to Engage

The Obama campaign headquarters were bustling five days before the election and two high school journalism students I brought there to report for their...

“Workforce Housing” Is an Insulting Term

So folks, we need to have a chat about this whole “workforce housing” thing. It's a problem. Or rather, the way it is often being used these days is a problem, which is as shorthand for housing for people who aren't really low-income, but are still having trouble affording housing in a hot market. Moderate […]

A Continued Pattern of Abuse

This post is part of an ongoing series based on the National Fair Housing Alliance report, “The Banks Are Back,...

Who’s Pulling for Struggling Americans?

Everyone should be outraged that the proposed economic bailout package passed by the Senate on Wednesday night and being debated in the House...

Is it: “Faster, Stimulus! Spend! Spend!” or “Think Before You Buy”?

James Oberstar, the Democrat from Minnesota who chairs the House Transportation Committee, has been sending out cranky letters to governors around the country who...

Still Learning, After All These Years

I had a great education and was fortunate enough to have scholarships to become the first in my family to obtain a Master’s degree. But I made a career choice in 1974 to forego a PhD for experiential learning. I didn’t know that at the time. For me it was a job then not just […]

You Must Remember This: Uses of the Past in Community Development

“History is bunk,” declared Henry Ford to a newspaper reporter in 1916.  “The only history that is worth a tinker’s...

With Rising Property Taxes, Should Non-Profits Now Pay Their “Fair Share”?

It’s tight here in New Jersey. And it’s because it’s crowded. With 8.7 million people, we are 11th in the country in population, but...

“The Fight Continues.”

Michael De Los Santos, community organizer and outreach and project coordinator with the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina talks about working within communities...

Imagine if Banks Had a Rating Showing Compliance with Consumer Law?

When consumers shop for new cars or other major products, they often like to consult with Consumer Reports or...

It’s Time to Talk about Cops

I don't need to revisit the hundreds of police killings around this country over the past few years (not...