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.”

Why Don’t We Build It Ourselves?

Humboldt Construction Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago CDC Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, has been providing local employment and high-quality work for over...
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.
Barcelona apartment buildings

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 20

NIMBYs, YIMBYs, PHIMBYs-Oh My! | Can Algorithms Make Equitable Cities? | Retail Segregation Takes a Toll | E.R. Visits and "Tough" Neighborhoods | Enough Innovation Already | More...

Is Community Development Failing or Succeeding?

Massive change tends to lead to massive introspection. And changed circumstances tend to lead to a need for changed tools. ...
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.

FHFA’s Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – New Opportunities for Community Builders

Community housing and community development advocates could see new opportunities for financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 and beyond under a...

So You Want to Be a Developer: Community Organizing Groups Consider Housing Development

The second week of October 2001 was a busy one for Nobel Neighbors, a community organizing group in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. It...
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?

Braiding Resources, Place, and Opportunity

Creating economic opportunity for people who live in distressed communities is by necessity place-based, or if you prefer, place-conscious,...
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.

Two Structured Community Development Funds: A Peek at How They Work

The details, lessons, and impact of two innovative community development funds created by Enterprise Community Partners.

A Tale of Conflicting Circumstance

The next few years promise to feature both the best of times and worst of times for affordable housing finance and those who practice or are somehow affected by affordable housing and community development.
In the center are blue doors that are surrounded by orange, white, and brown pieces of metal-looking material. This is what a warehouse looks like in a Mumbai slum.

What Mumbai’s Slums Do Right, And Why We Should Emulate Them

Sometimes to understand our own cities and community development practices it is helpful to understand a radically different setting. In the slums of Mumbai...
yellow arrows painted on sidewalk

Where Banks and the Public Agree on CRA . . . and Disagree

Despite a CRA exam pass rate of 98 percent, the major thrust of bank comments is that they want easier exams with fewer moving parts and less uncertainty.
Statue of children playing tug of war.

A Crisis of Culture (Again)

From the removal of confederate statues throughout the South to the controversial actions by football players during the national anthem, we, as a nation,...

Invest In Your Values

In a panel discussion at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2010 National Convention assessing the administration’s mortgage modification initiatives, Gordon Whitman, director of public...
Close-up black and white photo of binoculars.

A View from the Other Side of the Funding Proposal

During my time on a CDC's board, my expectations and assumptions have been challenged. This change in perspective and experience has offered me some interesting observations and lessons.

Tools of the Trade: Measuring the Health-Related Returns of Community Development

Partnerships are becoming more the norm and less the exception, but how do we know that they are actually having a good effect on health, well-being, and economic opportunity?
People line up next to donation items after Hurricane Katrina.

Civil Rights Organizations on Hurricane Relief Efforts

Throughout what we know will be a long recovery over the coming weeks, months, and years, Shelterforce hopes to share the stories of the...

Foundations Shrugged

Editor's Note: Ruth Loess (her pen name) is our newest blog contributor who will bring something different to our...