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 New Dawn of the Nonprofit Merger

It used to be that the idea of one nonprofit taking over another was simply anathema.  Nonprofits didn’t, you know, do that to one another. Mergers and acquisitions were the territory of national banks, energy companies and pharmaceutical giants with oversized ambitions and possibly malevolent intent. Nonprofits weren’t motivated by “creating efficiencies,” particularly at the […]
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...

Live Blogging From NCRC 2010 Conference

Rooflines will be live blogging from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2010 National Conference beginning Wednesday, March 10. Join us here at Rooflines as...
tents and tarps on a lot

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 6

Gentrification Is Bad For One's Health | Housing Teachers-At School | Protecting Space for Local Business | TOD Doesn't Have to Displace | Community Artists Win in Court | More . . .

Community Development of Tomorrow

Community development is when people join together to improve conditions and create change at the community level. It can...

How Did the Community Development Industry Become So Housing Centric?

The nonprofit community development industry has grown and matured over the last thirty years. During the 1970s this nascent movement was boosted by the...
Word bubbles made of paper materials.

10 Ways to Talk About Inclusionary Housing, Differently

We need to talk about inclusionary housing in a different way that circumvents common misperceptions and creates a new narrative for policymakers in moderate markets and more conservative political climates. Here are 10 messages to help frame your conversations.
This woman says Four-County employees assaulted her. She did not want her face shown.

Taking Sexual Harassment Seriously: Tips for Nonprofits

Sexual harassment is a topic that’s not often addressed in the community development field, but it should be.

Assessing Impact at Anchor Institutions

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

A Nation—and Neighborhoods—of Immigrants

The story of neighborhood populations changing with waves of migrants is a classic part of the history of American cities. We are, as most...
redlining map and racial equity

Redlining Would Be Relegalized by CRA Reform Proposal

In an attempt to make compliance easier for banks, regulators are proposing to incentivize the very thing the Community Reinvestment Act was written to fight.
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op.

Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

While eliminating food deserts often involves resources from outside of the community, a neighborhood must maintain control of its assets and identity.

The Tenacity of Dysfunction

The word resilience has different meanings in different fields. In the field of material science, it refers to the ability of a material to...
sign defining "gentrification"

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Neighborhood Is Going to Eventually Gentrify

“We could use some gentrification here.” Let's never say this—we must refrain from debating the long-term likelihood of gentrification in distressed places.

Census 2010: Stand Up and Be Counted! (Or Not)

Why all the paranoia about the 2010 Census? If you listened to the far right, the data collected from the census could result in...

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...

Turns Out Innovation Is Officially Overrated

Many nonprofits and social enterprises face constant pressure to be “innovative,” whether from funders or charitable business leaders who want...

Cause of Death: Rural Life?

Every once in a while I read that the federal government has come up with some new definitions for...

Creative Placemaking: Honoring the Past While Welcoming our Futures

A discussion about honoring the history of a place while actively working to encourage its growth and foster positive change.

Giving Community Organizing A Good Name In East Hollywood

Through the combination of my insatiable curiosity and the wonders of the internet, I have stumbled upon a magic kingdom in Southern California. No,...