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.”

Melvin L. Oliver, Ph.D., joined the Ford Foundation in 1996 as vice president for asset building and community development.

Interview with Melvin L. Oliver of the Ford Foundation

Melvin Oliver, vice president for asset building and community development at the Ford Foundation, talks about community development, black and white wealth, and racial inequality.

Why Do We Care About Health Equity?

The fight for health equity—for everyone to have a roughly equal shot at the potential and choice that good health offers—is of course, similar to the fight for economic justice and the work of community development.

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...
flow chart describing land value

How to Kill Land Speculation

  People live in communities because natural and human-made resources make them productive places to live, work, and play. Because geographically based resources are gifts...
Little Tokyo neighborhood

“Welcome to Little Tokyo, Please Take Off Your Shoes:” Remembering Dean Matsubayashi

Sustained resistance to gentrification and displacement requires more than antagonism. It requires a community organized around an open, positive alternative vision that has both big ambitions and achievable, intermediary steps.

What If Community Developers Held a Congress and Everyone Showed Up?

The question we pose captures some of the feeling emanating from the People & Places conference, which took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this...

Much Ado About Clean Air, But How About Our Clean Water?

The President made a big to-do about climate change in his State of the Union speech the other day, and...

Rooflines: Make It Better

Welcome to Rooflines, the new group blog of the National Housing Institute. At the risk of going all biblical on you, Rooflines’ launch is one...

The Revitalization Trap

The community development movement began in the 1960s as part of a crusade against social injustice,...
Football players kneel during national anthem.

#ThisIsNotUs. Except, It Is.

We are constantly faced with the decision of whether to #TakeAKnee in our work, and whether we meet this challenge or not either reinforces our racialized landscape or disrupts it. What is clear is that we cannot sit on the sidelines with a universalist perspective, claiming to do good work.

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...
A rendering of the Restore Oakland building, which will be a 12,000-square-foot community advocacy and training center.

Buying Power: Why Nonprofits Should Own Their Space

Four reasons why organizations should consider owning property in the neighborhood they work in.
displacement protest

To Address Displacement in Your Community, Start by Asking, “Who’s Financing It?”

While developers, tech companies, and greedy landlords are often cited as the usual suspects driving the housing crisis, one group is often overlooked: the banks that finance the deals.

For The Holidays: These Are a Few of My Favorite…Places

Herewith, some of my very favorite smart, livable places that are contributing positively to the environment, as I’ve written about them on my NRDC...

Stuck in the Middle

What do community development intermediaries do these days, and why do we need them?
The Whittier Street Health Center.

Healthy Futures Fund to Connect Health and Housing Practitioners

Building affordable housing with integrated health services. Health centers in low-income neighborhoods.These are goals of a $100M investment fund.

Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Words Not Whacks

You've had it! You've tried your best to remain calm and reasonable in a conflict, but your last nerve has been plucked. What now? WAIT....

Viewing Housing Within a Context

Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry were honored this week with the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Edward W. Brooke III...

Four Kinds of Concentrated Areas of Poverty

In a fair housing workshop yesterday at the National Low Income Housing Coalition's annual conference Sara Pratt of HUD's Office of Fair...

Toward Comprehensive Approaches for Strengthening Communities

Last January, The New York Times Magazine published "The Myth of Community Development" by Nicholas Lemann. The article painted a gloomy picture of urban...