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.”

The Tenants Movement and Housers

Much has changed in the last 30 years about both Shelterforce magazine and the housing movement. Shelterforce, which began as a tenants’ rights and...

In Memoriam: Cushing Dolbeare

Cushing N. Dolbeare, founder and chair emeritus of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, died March 17 of cancer at her home in Mitchellville,...

Making Progress in the Preservation of Affordable Housing

During the last six months of 2003, one could easily make the case that the nation’s entire domestic priorities were summed up in five...

Anatomy of a Merger

The merger of two nonprofit housing development corporations in Nashua, New Hampshire, provides an opportunity to examine one path these organizations can take to increase the odds of survival.

East Harlem’s Bottom Line: Hope Community Development Corporation

Mark Alexander has a plan. At 46, he isn’t content with having more than tripled the number of apartments that Hope Community manages in...

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning, by Chester Hartman, Center for Urban Policy Research, 2002. 405 pp. $29.95 (Paperback), $39.95...

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...

Going the Other Way: Adding Organizing to Development

Some groups move in the opposite direction from Nobel Neighbors, starting out with a development focus and adding in organizing for the same reasons...
mural artist

Arts Build Community

CDCs now recognize that art and cultural activities can be useful tools toward building a community's identity, meaning, and spirit. But bank regulators have not yet reached a sufficient level of comfort with this new strategy.

CRA Survives Its Toughest Challenge

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result. –Winston Churchill The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has survived the most serious attack in...

Expanding the Scope of Community Development

More than four decades of suburban growth have moved demographic, political, and economic power from central cities toward their suburban counties. The change can...

Redefining Community Development

Part II: Collaborating for Change (Click here for Part 1: New Partnerships) Willie Mae Gaskin can't walk through the halls of the Warren/Conner Development Coalition (WCDC)...

Preparing for Change

CBOs, particularly those involved in comprehensive community building efforts, need to do a better job of involving residents and other constituents in planning and...

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....

Housing Advocate, Minnesota State Representative Karen Clark

Mention the word "housing" in the Minnesota state legislature, and you're likely to be referred to the office of Representative Karen Clark. Clark, a...

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...
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.

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...

The Soul of the Neighborhood

Why do we call community-based development an "industry" rather than a "movement" these days? "Industry" is such a satisfyingly hard-nosed word. It says, 'we...

The Early Years

It was during 1973 that I first began thinking about a national publication for the housing movement. I was a legal services lawyer helping...