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.

“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...

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.

Impact Investing Resources

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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 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...

Housing for Families, Not Just Households

It’s time to do away with a mortgage-industrial complex that turns “families” into “households” with income earners, credit scores, and debt ratios.

Tackling Uncomfortable Issues, With Enthusiasm

A national organization enthusiastically embraces the varied backgrounds and experiences of attendees at its convention, the theme of which was “Moving Forward, Rising Together.”

A Ground-Up Approach in a Top-Down World

Community development in the last 20 years has been hindered by the perpetuation of real estate as a vehicle for wealth creation.

Fair Housing and Community Developers Can Work Together

Two organizations in New Jersey show that with a good working relationship, a balanced approach to healthy communities and housing choice for all can be more than pretty words.