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.

home with for sale sign in foreground

Time to Delink Homeownership from Asset Building

Using homeownership as an asset-building mechanism and retirement plan might not be a great thing for our society.

April Is Fair Housing Month

April, as you might have heard is Fair Housing Month, commemorating April 1968 when President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law just...

CFPB: Government for the People

Those of us who work in regulated industries, such as banking institutions and credit unions, often succumb to the temptation to see government regulators...

20 Years Later, What HOPE VI Can Teach Us

Affordable housing programs are at great risk of elimination under the current administration. In this uncertain climate, what can we learn from a program that leveraged private interest while aspiring to be a protector of affordable housing?
girl and boy symbols painted on a wall.

Could Gentrification Be Changing D.C. Schools for the Better?

While gentrification's benefits and drawbacks have been discussed at length, one aspect has been largely overlooked: its effect on neighborhood schools.

Inclusive Growth, Identity, Poverty-Alleviation, and Freedom

I am writing from India, where last week a small but significant convening took place. Some 250 experts (business leaders, academics, and other thinkers)...

Building Healthy Housing Through Health Action Plans

A pilot program required CDCs to collaborate with public health professionals in order to discover—and address—a community’s pressing health issues. What the collaboration uncovered were issues that the participating CDCs hadn't even considered.

Blurring the Lines Between For-Profit and Nonprofit

In my last blog post I spent a good chunk of time talking about the trend toward “complexification” in the...

NLIHC Budget Chart Outlines HUD Appropriations

Here’s a handy resource released today by The National Low Income Housing Coalition today assembled following last week’s Senate passage of H.R. 1105, the...

Fed to Congress: We Don’t Want That Responsibility!

At a March 23 hearing, “The Future of Housing Finance,” conducted by the House Committee on Financial Services, Illinois Republican Judy Biggert criticized...

High Cost of Affordable Housing Is Not CDCs’ Fault

You know what doesn’t help lower the cost of affordable housing? Spuriously blaming some of the organizations that are working hardest to create it in the most difficult situations.

When We Debate Poverty, What Are We Really Arguing About?

This is Part 3 in a series about the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. Click here for ...

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. Now, after years...

The Role Student Housing Plays in Communities

Off-campus housing for college students has grown extensively over the last decade, and communities across the country are hoping to gain control over its spread and potential negative impact on neighborhoods and available affordable housing.

With ACORN, Transparency Is Just as Important as Good Values

The last few months has seen a number of articles, editorials, and interviews about the lack of financial responsiveness and accountability in the private...

These States Are Trying to Level the Field for Disadvantaged Students

How would the trajectories of children’s lives change if they knew that their state, their community and their parents were investing in their future success for as long as they could remember?
voters in booths

Dear Presidential Hopefuls: The People Want to Talk to You About Housing

Before we celebrate its resurgence as a national political issue, and certainly before we set out to solve for housing injustice, we should understand why America has overlooked housing.

Congress Can’t Give House Room to Paulson’s Section 8

Listening to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson testify before the Senate Banking Committee, I’m marveling at his insistence to Republican Sen. Mel Martinez,...

ACORN: The New York Times, Lies, and Videotape

The New York Times hit ACORN with a one-two punch last weekend, making sure that the community organizing group — flattened by attacks from...

Are You An Advocate?

“Isn’t it true, Dr. Squires, that you are an advocate?” As an occasional expert for plaintiffs in fair housing lawsuits this is a question I...