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.

“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...

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...

Impact Investing Resources

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

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....

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.

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...

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...

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.

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 […]

People and Places 2015: Not Your Average Community Development Conference

I go to a lot of conferences. I enjoy them, generally, as places to get to talk to all...

Tackling Uncomfortable Issues, With Enthusiasm

We've written about the fissures that can appear when community developers and organizers of different ages, gender, or ethnic...

The Revitalization Trap

Place-based initiatives won’t address the kinds of injustice and poverty that community development was formed to fight.

With responses by Brentin Mock and Miriam Axel-Lute.

Get Big or Get Out!

Earl Lauer Butz, as the U.S. secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, used this slogan to...

Let’s Turn this Old Barn into a Theater…Part II

Moving into a newly adapted space usually entails a leap in operations—not a slow, steady climb.

Seeking Solidarity Between Place-Based and Economic Justice Work

Last week, Brentin Mock over at CityLab had an incisive response to Peter Dreier’s Shelterforce article, The Revitalization Trap....

Getting the Lead Out: Controlling Lead Paint Hazards in Housing

Lead poisoning remains the foremost environmental health risk to American children, with just under one million children with elevated lead levels. While the average...

#OMG: Is the #NPO Sector Tech Averse?

I was speaking with a friend of mine who works at a very large nonprofit organization (very large as in over $100 million in annual revenues). They serve thousands of clients every year with job development, alcohol and other drug abuse treatment, affordable housing, psychological counseling and a variety of other supports. As a result […]
Name tag pasted to a wall

When Bad Names Get in the Way of Good Policy

Today, America is a place where symbols are often more important than the causes or deeds they describe. With social media and the 24-hour...