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.

GOP Tax Plan Takes Mortgage Interest Deduction Unfairness Off the Charts

Let's raise the standard deduction and lower tax rates to give everyone a tax cut! It should not surprise you that since this is a...

Boston Squanders Opportunity to Keep Itself Affordable

This, my friends, is exhibit A in why we still need good old-fashioned investigative journalism—and journalists who will not just...

Shelter Shorts

Landlord Tastes Own Medicine Newark landlord George Williams recently suffered a fate similar to that of Joe Pesci’s character in the movie The Super, in which a judge orders Pesci to serve time in the same decrepit building his tenants must endure daily. On November 22, Municipal Judge Paul R. Daniele ordered Williams to serve […]

The Mystery of a Mere Idea

Compelling ideas are all you need to start a revolution. That could be one lesson to take from the experience of Van Jones, the...

“No Home, No Job, No Peace, No Rest”

My son downloaded “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen with Tom Morello on my iPod a couple of months ago. During this...

Revitalizing Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine (Part 2)

Last week I wrote the first installment of my miniseries about Cincinnati’s remarkable Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. As I wrote then, this distinct and historic...

Losing CDGB Funds: Dakota County, Minn.

The Twin Cities-based Star Tribune reports the impact of the potential loss of community development block grant funds in Minnesota’s Dakota County—funds that have...

Who Is Still Unbanked, And What Can We Do About it?

Seven percent of U.S. households, a group roughly the size of the population of Australia, were “unbanked” in 2015, meaning they have neither a checking nor savings account. This is the lowest unbanked rate recorded since the survey first launched in 2009

echo: an autobiographical journey of the power of the ballot

                         this land is your land, this land...

Maybe We Should Call Them Trailers

It is an article of faith among advocates for residents of manufactured housing that one of the most important things we can do to get over the stigma that this form of housing carries is to stop using the term “mobile homes” (they aren't really mobile) or “trailers/trailer parks” (ditto). Shelterforce has used “manufactured housing” […]

False Narratives About Artists Harm Artists, and Communities

In 2002, Richard Florida published a book that kicked off a wave of urban development efforts based on the belief that architects, artists, musicians,...

Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction Vulnerable?

Shelterforce and the National Housing Institute have been outspoken about the need to change the mortgage interest deduction — the country’s largest housing subsidy,...

Data Systems for Social Change

Throughout Chinatown Community Development Center’s 39-year history in San Francisco, we have grown to encompass multiple strategies in our quest for comprehensive community development....

Foreclosure Holiday at Fan & Fred Comes to an End

There weren’t any splashy headlines like there were when, just before the holidays, GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a foreclosure moratorium, but...

5 Reasons Why Housing Finance Reform Can’t Wait

If Congress doesn’t fix our housing finance system sooner rather than later, people all around the country will feel...

Activists Have Long Known That Donald Sterling Is Racist

I am a huge sports fan and  I grew up in and currently live in the San Francisco Bay...
factory building

Marrying Rehab and Affordable Housing

How can cities creatively and compactly marry affordable housing, historic rehabilitation, vibrant commerce, civic uses, and urban revitalization?

Conflict and Placemaking in Humboldt Park: La Crucifixion

It took 10 years, but a local Chicago activist managed to save a mural that portrays Pedro Albizu Campos, the leader of the movement for Puerto Rican independence.

Elizabeth Warren Embarrasses Bank Regulators

  If you haven't watched this yet, you probably want to. Here's the...

Underwater America, the Battleground States, and Electoral Votes

Republican Platform: Taxpayer dollars should not be used to bail out borrowers and lenders by funding principal write-downs.Democratic Platform:...