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.”

Upside-down image of a faucet dripping.

Trickle Up Housing: Filtering Does Go Both Ways

Here's something we don't talk about enough: developing affordable housing in a tight, high-cost market also increases overall affordability through filtering! Just in the other direction—it trickles up.

How to Hire a Consultant

Did you ever feel like you need a consultant to help you figure out what you need your consultant to...
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...

Skipping “Placed-Based” Work Leaves Cities Vulnerable to Climate Change

I remember it clearly. “The Myth of Community Development,” Nicholas Lemann’s 1994 New York Times Magazine article, cracked the...

Engaging Banks–And Fighting Them at the Same Time

John Taylor, the President of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), proudly told me that NCRC’s Annual Conference is...
NYC skyline painted on brick wall.

New York City Becomes a Hotbed of Community Land Trust Innovation

New York seems poised to move the concept of community land trusts in new and exciting directions.

Building Communities From the Inside Out

In distressed communities across the United States, savvy organizers and leaders are rediscovering ancient wisdom about what builds strong communities, and then developing new...

Happy Thanksgiving!

To All Shelterforce Rooflines readers and contributors: The Shelterforce staff is thankful for you and your words that inspire, challenge, and inform. We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. We'll return to our regular blog publishing on Monday. (Photo credit: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P., CC BY-NC 2.0)

3 Reasons We’re Not Reaching Rural Communities

Rural communities are being ignored. Again. As discussion of the federal sequester and fights over funding dominate the news channels as well as policy discussions,...

The Healthy Nonprofit Ecosystem

In the halcyon days of my youth, way back in 2006, I went to New Orleans. I traveled there...

It Came from Chicago!

Let's just come right out and say it: New York City is the best. At everything. We are the smartest,...

Shelterforce’s Top 10 Articles of 2019

We're sharing the most-read Shelterforce posts of 2019. We hope you enjoy them all and share with anyone who may have missed them.

Neighborhood Investment Doesn’t Have to Mean Displacement

The word “gentrification” is a loaded one and has a host of negative implications for people in the housing...

Staying Ahead of the Age Wave

Groups working with older adults, including many community developers, are crafting a range of creative interventions, from home modifications to service-enriched housing models, to allow seniors to age in place. Will it be enough?

Can Nonprofits Use Volunteerism to Achieve a Sustained Increase in Capacity?

Last week, we asked readers if volunteerism could play a factor in growing an organization’s capacity. Respondents offered a mixed...

Rethinking Community Economic Development Beyond “Rent or Own”

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home with for sale sign in foreground

Time to Delink Homeownership from Asset Building

Using homeownership as an asset-building mechanism and retirement plan might not be a great thing for our society.
physician takes blood pressure

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

News from—and affecting—the community development world.
A man, who is surrounded by people holding signs, speaks at a podium in in New York.

Moving Beyond Place-Based Community Organizing

How to train organizers to work across various communities, not just neighborhoods.

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,...