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.”

A car and truck submerged on a flooded road.

Rules for Radicals to Demand a Fair and Transformative Disaster Recovery

At Texas Housers, we've confronted a series of natural disasters over the past decade that forced us to develop new approaches for our housing advocacy. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we find ourselves back at it. Here are seven lessons we have learned.

Interview with George McCarthy, President of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

After 14 years at the Ford Foundation, George "Mac" McCarthy became the fifth president of the 41-year-old Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
physician takes blood pressure

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Sept. 21

News from—and affecting—the community development world.
Painted measuring tape on street

Measuring What Really Matters in Community-Based Development Organizations

Developing a road map for performance improvement within CBDOs can be a daunting task, and while their missions are sometimes nebulous, here are some ways to measure them.

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.

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,...

Social Impact Investment and the Failure of Imagination

Domestic social impact investment is stuck. Each year a few deals trickle through, but despite the potential and promise, impact investments in the United...

Modern Community Development for a Modern Crisis

A story about a nonprofit organization that achieved a large-scale bulk purchase of mortgages. The properties, all vacant and abandoned, and many deteriorated, are located primarily in the New Jersey municipalities of Newark, Orange, East Orange, and Irvington.

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...
A child stands in front of a sign that reads "Low Water Landscape." Photo by 100 Resilient Cities

Resilience 101

Community development fits well within the growing resilience movement—and connecting the two more explicitly could make their work even more powerful.
demolished building

Is “Sustainability” Old Hat?

Americans have treated the word “sustainability” as though everyone practices sustainability daily and the concept is old hat. We should know better.

Community Development: It’s What’s For Dinner

Last week we heard from Alan Mallach and Mindy Thompson Fullilove on different aspects of stable neighborhoods. Mallach, in his post, looks at some of...
housing sign

Housing Advocates—Seize This Moment!

I’ve been working to address housing affordability since the late 1970s. There has never been this much media and public focus on the issue.

Why Organizations Should Invest in Home Repairs to Improve Health

A closer look at the relationship between health and the home repair needs of lower-income households.

10-5-11 Poll: Should nonprofits manage scattered site rentals?

Selected feedback. You said: “Yes. It’s been my experience that nonprofits often do and should manage scattered site rental units. This is an especially good idea...

Taylor: Establish Meaningful Consumer Protections

When Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) last week announced that he would move forward with a consumer protection bill without seeking Republican support on the...
recipe: mixing bowl with flour

A Recipe for Failure

In a large mixing bowl, stir in these ingredients: 1 cup Good Idea 3 cups Vision 2 tbl Great Site 16 oz Capital 2 pints Community Support When fully blended,...

Assessing Impact at Anchor Institutions

This week, The Democracy Collaborative is releasing a new paper that seeks to create a framework for measuring the...

Nonprofit Housing Providers Face Down COVID-19

As organizers struggle to get strong eviction moratoriums passed and enforced around the country, there’s one sector where evictions during the pandemic were not...

What’s in a Name?

The government leaders in Paterson, N.J., are learning the hard way about the importance of community involvement in the naming and branding of...