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.”

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.

More Than a Mural: How Arts and Culture Advance the Mission of the Seattle...

Arts programs at one public housing development in Seattle have eased the challenges of redevelopment by helping residents define what the community means to them.

Insights for Health and Community Development Partnerships from People Who Have Crossed Sectors

Increasingly, health practitioners are being hired by community development organizations, and vice versa. What can they tell us about how differently the sectors operate and perceive issues, and where there’s potential for partnership?

Did the Comprehensive Community Initiatives of the 1990s, early 2000s Bring About Change?

Once a must-have for foundations, Comprehensive Community Initiatives found mixed success.

Lessons to Guide Future Equitable Development Planning

How did recent equitable development projects in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and South Florida fare?

Paying Community Members for Their Time

Community development organizations are recognizing that community expertise is valuable and that residents should be compensated for it.

Community Engagement Can’t Be a Checklist

Are we engaging communities meaningfully, or are we just checking off boxes?

During the Pandemic, Community Development Organizations Prioritize Relief and Assistance Work

While rent relief might not be their mission, organizations are focusing on the immediate needs of residents. But with all of their staff and monetary resources being used to plug holes, some organizations believe they’re a few months or another crisis away from financial disaster.