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.”

Voices From the Field: Mixed Income

Do we need more mixed-income housing? Why or why not? The following data and observations were collected via a survey we conducted from late January through mid-February, distributed via Shelterforce Weekly and social media.
Shamus Roller is the executive director of the National Housing Law Project. He is formerly the executive director of Housing California.

Community Development and Ending Homelessness

The discussion of homelessness is dominated by stories of personal mistakes, bad luck, and mental illness. In contrast to this narrative, we know that...

Looking to Alternative Markets for Housing, Jobs, and Assets

As public resources, grants, and publicly owned lands dwindle, community developers have had to seek out new approaches to continue their work.

Winning Back the Government’s Love (and Money)

If people grapple with real budget trade-offs, they might appreciate government spending more, and redirect it to programs that benefit their communities.

“Money Must Serve, Not Rule!”

In November 2013, Morgan Stanley launched its Institute for Sustainable Investing and announced that within five years it was aiming to manage $10 billion...

Thinking Gray—And Positive

When I think about all the boards and committees I’ve served on, the clean-up days and neighborhood association events and protests I’ve attended, I...

Address Merger Concerns Before the Merger

The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) both began in the early 1980’s as grassroots statewide advocacy organizations....

A Nation—and Neighborhoods—of Immigrants

The story of neighborhood populations changing with waves of migrants is a classic part of the history of American cities. We are, as most...

We Must Find the Legacies of Racism Within Our Own Organizations, Too

We can’t begin to disentangle the racial dynamics of the institutions we want to fix if we are unwilling to get to the root of the same dynamics in our own organizations.

The Value of the Local Touch

Last November, we surveyed readers about what they thought the rise of high-capacity nonprofit housing developers meant for neighborhood-based community developers that use real...

Community Development Corporations at a Crossroads

For nearly half a century, community development corporations (CDCs) have been a tool of choice for organizing and implementing grassroots economic development programs. Emerging...

The Regional/Local Dance

Q & A with Kimberley Burnett

Taking a Sustainable Approach

Over the next 36 years, the biggest issue facing community developers will be energy. Many experts say we have already hit peak oil production...

Impact Investing Resources

If you want to explore impact investing further, here are some places to start.

Health Care Confronts Challenge to Shift from “Volume to Value”

Health care, as we all know, is a big business. U.S. hospitals alone have $782 billion in total annual expenditures, which is roughly five...

The Changing Model of CDCs

Staying relevant in a changing economy will push CDCs to place importance on green initiatives, sustainability, and out-of-the box funding methods.

Four Lessons Learned from Collaboration

We’ve seen a renewed interest in non-profit collaboration (see articles in Shelterforce here, here, and here) but effective and successful collaboration takes more than...

CDFIs: Bridging the Poverty Gap

Each year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday prompts people to reflect on Dr. King’s life and legacy. By achieving passage of civil rights and voting rights legislation, the actions of King and others compelled a sharp decline in the blatant discrimination and wanton violence that had permeated the nation for generations. However, today, five […]

Beyond Social Service: Sustainable and Dynamic CDCs are Key to Economic Recovery

As a program director at the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) in Minneapolis, coupled with my prior corporate experience as human development consultant in...

Tapping Into the Power of Technology

One of the greatest changes affecting the community development field has been in technology, and the benefits and challenges it brings. Because my background...