Community Development Field

Shelterforce considers “community development” to be an extremely broad term. But there are still many conversations about the ways in which that broad work happens. Comprehensively or in coalitions of specialized organizations? Locally or regionally? Place or people? While the answers to all of these are usually “both,” there are many conversations to be had about “how.”

A glass door etched with a logo that reads "U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development" in black. Changes HUD implemented in 2013 have made it harder for community housing development organizations, or CHDOs, to receive housing funds.

How an Obscure HUD Definition Is Leaving Housing Dollars Unspent

Agencies are required to set aside a percentage of their HOME grants for projects led by community housing development organizations. But changes HUD implemented in 2013 have made it harder for nonprofits to receive those funds.

Alphabet Soup: Breaking Down All Those Housing and Community Development Terms

Confused by the acronyms and initials dotting your reading material? All fields have them, and housing is no exception. Here’s what many of the most common mean.
Cables plug into the back of a router

Housers Build Bridges Over the Digital Divide

Internet connectivity has become equally important to households as basic utilities, but millions of people who live in affordable housing still lack access to devices and connections. Housing managers across the country are finding innovative ways to close the digital gap.
Two women in jackets and face masks hold up keys.

Shared Housing Tackles Loneliness in Homeless Services

Transitioning out of homelessness can be a lonely process. To address this, some homeless service providers are giving clients the option to share housing with someone they know, with each receiving their own bedroom.

Shelterforce’s Top 10 Stories of 2021

COVID-19 and evictions, more on the gentrification debate, and the misleading marketing of renters choice—Shelterforce reviews its most-read articles of the year. Which was most important to you?

Pandemic Housing Market Is Not Like the Great Recession’s

The pandemic housing market may be a different beast from the recession market, but the outcomes could be eerily similar.
Two older woman talk at a table, as part of a busy outreach event.

From an Abandoned Mall to Bustling Community Hub

A medical complex in Mississippi draws on local artists to go beyond doctors' offices and become a gathering place for those living nearby.

9 Tips for Overcoming NIMBY Opposition

Lessons for affordable housing developers from the trenches.
Three audience members doing an activity on a table, while an actress stands up on stage behind them.

Shifting the Affordable Housing Narrative Through Arts and Culture

Housing activists want to use this political moment to shift long-standing narratives surrounding housing. From film to theater, here are some arts strategies that might work.
Residents at Lincoln Place gather and socialize outdoors.

The Journey Into Supportive Housing

Venturing into supportive housing can be a daunting task for housing providers. The Vancouver Housing Authority shares the insight they’ve gained over the years through doubling their supportive housing units.

Contracting with the Community

To connect with hard-to-reach communities, a Twin Cities agency diverted some of its consulting budget away from national firms and to organizations that already had those relationships.

How Community Developers Are Using Alternative Construction Methods

Community developers try out new technologies and processes, oftentimes out of a sense of responsibility to help put potential solutions to the test.

After Ida, How Can Affordable Housing Withstand Climate Impacts?

What lessons can Ida offer to affordable housing managers and owners whose properties are at risk of damage from extreme weather events?

Housing Organizations Pivot to Provide COVID Testing and Vaccinations

Some CDCs hope that building trust can save lives now while building a stronger foundation for long-term health. “COVID is a catalyst forcing us to think outside the box, to pivot, to explore our partnerships in different ways.”

Getting Competitive Health Care Systems to Work Together For the Community

Although they were serving the same communities, Philadelphia’s nonprofit hospitals weren’t coordinating with each other. A yearslong process aimed to change that. How did the hospitals eventually come together and what lessons can be drawn to inform hospital collaborations elsewhere?

Understanding Community Land Trusts

What are CLTs? How do they work? What are the benefits and areas of concern? An overview.

How LISC, Enterprise Hope to Bring More Capital to Developers of Color

Two large community development intermediaries have announced major racial equity initiatives that emphasize how affordable housing gets built—and who builds it.

‘Gentrification’ Is Not the Real Problem

The conversation about gentrification continually repackages a set of debunked theories as reality and it obscures a set of real crises that need fixing.

Community-Police Partnerships After George Floyd

An interview with Mona Mangat, vice president of safety and justice initiatives at LISC. We talked with Mona Mangat, vice president of safety and justice initiatives at LISC,

The Assumptions Behind Place-Based Programs Can Hinder Their Success

Examining eight common assumptions underlying place-based work shows that even when avoiding the pitfalls of no change or gentrification, the work is challenging.