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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

Impact Investing Resources

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

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...

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...

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 […]

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.

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.”

Blurring the Lines Between For-Profit and Nonprofit

In my last blog post I spent a good chunk of time talking about the trend toward “complexification” in the...

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....

Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Redefining Community Development

Part I: New Partnerships Driving through the Germantown neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia is a study in contrasts. Huge stone mansions stand side-by-side with boarded and...

Do Good Techies Make Good Neighbors?

Everybody knows that if you want to restore integrity to your downtown business corridor or your local industrial park, if you want to create jobs and point your community toward the future of the workforce, or if you want to capture the hearts and minds of DIY makers and social entrepreneurs, you'd better have a […]

Land Trust Conference Models Better Ways to Get People’s Attention

Folks who present on and moderate panels: We can no longer claim that a meaningful presentation can’t be done in three minutes and that you need longer.
Michael Bodaken

Interview with Michael Bodaken, retiring director of the National Housing Trust

Shelterforce took the occasion of Michael Bodaken's retiring from the National Housing Trust to speak with him about how he got into housing, some of his favorite projects, and his recommendations for the field going forward.