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.

Connecticut’s Affordable Housing Commitment

Earlier this month, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy announced a proposal that would increase the state's commitment to affordable housing by...

How To Do Affordable Housing When Your Government Is Being A Jerk

We’ve written about municipalities and states going at it alone when federal funding was scarce, but there is promising news from some groups that are working on innovative financing mechanisms—and some that shift the focus from development to acquisition, which is often a stumbling block.

Gabby, Ryan, and Home Opportunity for All

Not even Olympians are immune from America’s homeownership crisis. The Associated Press reported this week that the parents of U.S....

Philanthropy Needs to Step Up and Fund Democracy

Ascertaining how much foundation money supports civic engagement, voter registration and mobilization, and related community organizing activities is damn near...

The Thanks of a Grateful Nation

The Marine base that exerts an outsize gravitational pull on Twentynine Palms, Calif. is the largest in the world, and shimmers several miles outside...
“Poor door” by Liz Jones via flickr, CC BY 2.0

In Defense of the “Poor Door”

The “poor door,” by making economic separation visible, caused a discomfort that we can easily ignore when income groups are segregated by neighborhood.

Renting From the Bank?

Alyssa Katz, author of Our Lot: How Our Real Estate Came to Own Us, is skeptical of the proposal to have foreclosed homeowners stay...

Houses Passes Wall Street Reform Bill; $1 Billion for NSP 3

Thanks to the National Housing Conference’s Sharon Price for passing this info on only moments after the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 4173,...

Homeowner Associations Have Draconian Rules. Why?

I’ve always been somewhat puzzled as to why people choose to buy houses in neighborhoods with homeowner associations (HOAs). They always seem to have...

Canada Is Looking Better and Better (The Regent Park Story)

High-density public housing may seem like an idea whose time has come and gone, buried along with the ruins of notorious projects like St....

Ferguson on My Mind

Outside my house, two young African-American boys, maybe 9 or 10, scoot by on skateboards. One is carrying something on a leaf and stops to show me a giant slug. We chat about it a bit; I tell him that I looked up what kind of slug that was recently but now don’t remember. He […]

“True Homeownership” in Rural America

On Independence Day, people across the nation engaged in truly American activities—watching fireworks, marching in main street parades, and...

More than Hair: Barbershops

Last year when I was walking my neighborhood, flyering for the Tale of Two Cities march and feeling out of place as writer trying...

Have CDCs Created a Dependent Poor Population?

Michael McQuarrie’s article, “What Mumbai’s Slums Do Right, And Why We Should Emulate Them,“ in the new issue of...

Not Just Affordable Housing, but Connections to Neighborhoods

Shelley Poticha, director of HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Community Development, speaking at NACEDA’s annual summit, outlined two main grant programs in HUD’s...

CDFIs “Rethink” Systems, But (Hopefully) Not Identity

We are definitely in some danger of losing a connection to the animating social movements that gave rise to the industry.

It’s an Affordable Housing Victory, But How Do We Win Over the Towns?

Let’s get one thing clear: at least in New Jersey, we’re having the affordable-housing-as-mandate discussion. The fact that so many taxpayers, elected officials, and...

Housing Counseling in Danger: They Say Cut Backs, We Say ??

Housing counseling works. Counselors form a critical bridge between servicers and homeowners in distress, advocating for them in the face of perverse servicer incentives,...

President Obama Could Be Doing More for Unemployment

In January, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and seven other Congress members created the Full Employment Caucus, with the goal...

Fukuyama’s Wisdom on Rent Control and Unions Is Anything But Conventional

The ideas of Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) are making a comeback, in large part due to Glenn Beck, who has touted the libertarian economist and...