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 Health Insurer and a CDC Collaborate to Move the Needle on Housing and...

David Adame of Chicanos Por La Causa, and Joe Guadio of UnitedHealthcare talk about the value of addressing social determinants and lessons they’ve learned.
a manufactured home

How to Temper the Influence of Private Equity in Manufactured Housing

The risk of onerous lot rent increases and the fear of eviction are more threatening than ever as private equity enters the manufactured housing market.
sign defining "gentrification"

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Neighborhood Is Going to Eventually Gentrify

“We could use some gentrification here.” Let's never say this—we must refrain from debating the long-term likelihood of gentrification in distressed places.
CSI’s former space at 215 Spadina in Toronto

Nonprofit Centers: Hubs for Connection and Collaboration

To understand nonprofit centers and how they achieve their impact, it’s helpful to think of them in layers: the building as an asset, the building as a program, and the building as a platform for collaboration.
communities exercise-people with sign

Prioritizing Inclusion and Equity in the Next Generation of Mixed-Income Communities

An introduction to a new series of essays on mixed income communities that will comprise the fifth volume in the San Francisco Fed's 'What Works' series.

Investment Without Displacement: From Slogan to Strategy

How investments can be leveraged to ensure residents get to stay in their communities and reap the benefits of new amenities and increased accessibility.

Using Theater to Envision Racial Equity Solutions

Techniques from the arts world can help us envision and re-envision relationships and systems to spot stress points and opportunities within communities.
redlining map and racial equity

Can Using a Racial Equity Lens Increase Capital in Communities of Color?

If CDFIs adopted traditional appraisal standards to determine loan amounts, they'd make very few loans in the communities they were founded to serve.
thought bubble

“So, what do you do?” How to Have Conversations about Homelessness

Conversations about homelessness with those outside the field’s bubble can be exhausting, but there are several strategies and techniques that can help steer the conversation in a productive way.
A man helps put together solar-powered generators in rural Puerto Rico.

The Rural Difference in Natural Disasters

There are distinct differences between natural disaster response and recovery in rural and urban communities. How can community-based organizations better respond to disasters and help rural communities prepare before disaster strikes?

From Sustainability to Resilience

My first reaction to the emergence of “resilience” as a lens for viewing community development was mostly informed by skepticism.
A child stands in front of a sign that reads "Low Water Landscape." Photo by 100 Resilient Cities

Resilience 101

Community development fits well within the growing resilience movement—and connecting the two more explicitly could make their work even more powerful.
Several groups gather at the Bayou Bienvenue to rid the area of water hyacinths. Joint efforts like this help build neighborhood resilience.

NOLA Brings a Holistic Focus to Resilience

Cities cannot weather the effects of climate change without going beyond infrastructure to address institutional racism, historical inequities, and access to physical and mental health services.
Parks can be a key component of building resilience. Two women walk adjacent to Buffalo Bayou Park in downtown Houston, Texas.

Designing for Climate Change

How can affordable housing be more resilient to extreme weather and better prepared to deal with the consequences of climate change?
A rendering of the Restore Oakland building, which will be a 12,000-square-foot community advocacy and training center.

Buying Power: Why Nonprofits Should Own Their Space

Four reasons why organizations should consider owning property in the neighborhood they work in.
A man, who is surrounded by people holding signs, speaks at a podium in in New York.

Moving Beyond Place-Based Community Organizing

How to train organizers to work across various communities, not just neighborhoods.
courageous philanthropy cover

Reawakening “Courageous Philanthropy”

A review of Courageous Philanthropy: Going Public in a Closely Held World, by Jennifer Vanica.
bright sunlight on city street

The CFPB Needs Sunlight: Keep Easy Access to HMDA Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's reassurances on continued public access to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are not very reassuring.
four people linking hands together

Let’s Get Explicit: Social Justice in Asset Based Community Development

Four Asset Based Community Development practices that support social justice frameworks when practitioners make them explicit and intentional.
lightbulb as a small terrarium with plant growing inside it

A Hole in our Vision: Race, Gender, and Justice in Community Development

In years past, the community development field imagined how to change the world. So, what would it take to change anew? Nancy O. Andrews argues that it takes asking ourselves the right questions.