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.

Landlines Turned Lifelines

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the growing hardships of people living a rural life. They tend to have...

Who Dun It in the “American Murder Mystery?”

The Atlantic story on crime in Memphis (Tenn.) and Louisville (Ky.) by Hanna Rosin and her identifying “one of the most celebrated antipoverty programs...

Time to Bet on Prize-Linked Savings

During 15 years of working within a community development corporation to create and support socially and economically resilient communities, one of my perpetual frustrations...

Jobs and More Jobs: Organizing’s Economic Impact

In the report, “Jobs and More Jobs: The Economic Impact of Community Organizing,” Gamaliel community organizers add up $13 billion worth of public and private programs that faith, community, and labor leaders worked to create or save through their advocacy efforts in 2012-13, employing nearly 460,000 people. Using commonly accepted economic formulas to measure the […]

Better Business, Better Food…Better Community?

At a grand opening for a new retail market operated by a farm family, celebrants posed for a group photo on the sidewalk and...
Mural on wall with faces of girls looking into the distance.

Art in the Face of Gentrification

Four representatives of New York City organizations discuss their employment of art and artists to empower residents in the face of gentrification.

When the Market Recovers, Smart Growth Will Claim a Larger Share

Even before the recession began, the market for residential and commercial property in the US was changing away from a model of unmitigated suburban...

Some Relief in the Gulf for Homeowners

Housing Wire reported this morning that mortgage giant Fannie Mae has authorized its servicers to reduce mortgage payments or suspend payments altogether for those...

Community Development and Faith

Pope Francis begins his visit to the United States today with stops in Washington D.C., New York City, and...

Organizing Will Win

  For anyone who organizes and advocates for worker justice, the last months of 2016 felt like an unmitigated disaster. But even as we begin...

9-28-11 Poll: How do conflicting market data affect your neighborhood stabilization efforts?

You said: “Sadly, we may know our economy, but the funding sources require us to use the economists or market study data that may...

Report: Spending Half of Income on Housing

According to the new Housing Landscape 2012 report from the Center for Housing Policy, nearly one in four working...

There Will Still Be a Need for Community Organizers

As we approach Tuesday’s historic election, we can count on one clear fact that the political pundits likely will overlook in their election night...

Gallup: U.S. Wants Government to Help Fix the Housing Market

Even though some in the House chamber winced at the president's mention of a mortgage investigative unit during the State...

Good News—New York State Style

New York state has been described as having the most dysfunctional legislature in the country. Gerrymandering that keeps the houses continually in the hands...

Casinos are Parasites

It is not news that communities desperate for jobs and economic development often make terrible long-term decisions, welcoming in...

Will 2009 Be the Year of No Credit for College Tuition or a Green...

As forecasters offer their new year’s predictions of a struggling economy, it is past time to be asking how a federal bailout of our...

The Limits of Federalism

Responding to Andrew Macurak’s post on Pennsylvania interfering with its counties’ right to pass strict smoking bans and but allowing them opt out of...

Say It Loud: Inequality is Bad for Everyone

    There is an invisible culprit in the great scandal of inequality in America: your Econ. 101 textbook. Go ahead, dig it out from that storage chest, and undoubtedly you’ll read that inequality, while we might not like it, is good for economic growth and progress. This idea has undergirded decades of policymaking, and […]

Too Much Measurement

I'm a data guy. I loved statistics in grad school. I crank through spreadsheets on a daily basis. I've coordinated...