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.

Master of Low Expectations

<a href="http://www.robertreich.org>Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich offers faint praise for the foreclosure fixes working their way through Congress, calling them <a href=">better than...
Washington DC skyview construction

Behind the Scenes of NCRC’s Gentrification Report

A conversation with an NCRC senior research analyst about the organization's report on gentrification, what its findings show and don’t show, and what the policy implications might be.

In Memoriam: Pete Garcia

The community development world lost a leader on May 3. Pete Garcia, who was the director of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) from 1984 to 2008, passed away at the age of 71.

What Works–and What Doesn’t–in Community Development

“Let’s invest in what works,” is a common and recurring slogan that has gained currency in recent years and why...

Mr. Nice Guys

Professional athletes have become synonymous with big cars and bling, not with random acts of kindness. But the Houston Texans’ Jason Simmons is not...

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...

Rich Train Station Neighborhoods Need More Apartments

New Jersey’s extensive public transportation system is a source of envy for most other states, many of whose larger...

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?

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...

A Reality Check for Housing Affordability Advocates

The State of the Nation's Housing 2005 report shows that middle-income families are beginning to face the kinds of housing cost burden issues only the poor used to have.

Bending the Arc Toward Justice

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards...

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...

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Organizers Grow Up To Be Developers

When a community-based developer of affordable housing incorporates community organizing into its programmatic repertoire, there is almost always added value—for...

Olympic Redevelopment in London: Displacement or Empowerment?

The Olympics are filled with fascinating storylines that illustrate an athlete's life-long goal of competing at the games—often overcoming adversity in the process. But there's...

Million Dollar Wasteland? Responses to HOME Investigation

Recently, The Washington Post ran a series, Million-Dollar Wasteland, that waded through layers of project mismanagement and bureaucracy depicting the shortcomings of the HOME...

What Determines Opportunity? (Hint: It’s Not One’s Bootstraps)

It’s the rare occasion when a significant social challenge is raised up in rigorous economic research and almost instantly answered...

Sounding the Death Knell for Public Financing, Or a New Era of Grass-roots Fund-Raising?

Sen. Barack Obama’s decision to forgo public financing for the 2008 general election appears to be steeped more in pragmatism than it is in...

Density Revisited

This past summer, I wrote a feature for Shelterforce about a community where a CDC was battling a NIMBY mentality. The CDC was trying...

What’s the CDC Model?

No one expects that a one-size-fits-all definition for community development or a blueprint model for effective CD is attainable—it must be tailored to the...

So Far, Development is Divisive, and Driven By Race

Many of us live in cities that are undergoing a renaissance, but the longstanding populations are no better off...