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.”

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...

Community Development Is in Everyone’s Interest

One of the main principles of organizing is self-interest. People are motivated to take action by the desire to improve their own lot. Students...

From Eyesores to Assets: CDC Abandoned Property Strategies

To save a neighborhood that’s in danger of going down, you can’t simply add new homes. You have to put the process of decline in reverse

We Need a Federal Housing Agency

Our politics have made an artificial divide between the public and the private sectors when it comes to housing. It’s time to do better.

CAPACD 2013: ‘Lei’-ing the Groundwork of Future Reform

Aloha! No, I did not just return from a tropical Hawaiian vacation. Rather, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) conference, where...
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.
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.

Can Organizing Resuscitate Community Development?

There has been a lot written about the uncertain future of community development and the way forward for community...

Not Your Average Community Garden

A good community garden is a space that nurtures hope, natural abundance, and growth, and eventually moves beyond food and into the realm of relationship-building that can help sustain healthy communities.

Making a Pipeline for Vacant Building Rehab

Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program sparked revitalization block by block with a few key legal powers and partnerships.
rusty door knock

Panacea or Problem? The Possibilities in Opportunity Zones

With Opportunity Zones, the potential is there for great benefit, but it is not yet clear where, how, and to whom any benefits will accrue. People who care about connecting residents and businesses in distressed communities with opportunities need to act now so they fulfill their promise.

An Artful Rebirth in Columbus

In two excellent articles and a video, The Atlantic magazine profiles the good work the community development field is doing in Columbus, Ohio. As part of a larger series on reinvention and resilience in communities throughout the country, the magazine takes a close look at the Franklinton neighborhood and the Franklinton Development Association (FDA). Like […]

Fighting for Responsible Corporate Partnerships

As with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, we need a new mechanism for the next 36 years that forces corporations to anchor themselves in our neighborhoods.

The Regional/Local Dance

Q & A with Kimberley Burnett

Why Leadership Pays

In previous blog posts (Why Evaluation Stinks), I’ve discussed how the fragmented nature of the nonprofit sector makes it very...

A 21st Century Vision For Community Development

Today's economic crisis is devastating neighborhoods and households across the country. Urban, low-income communities that were slowly recovering from the disinvestment of earlier decades are now falling back to where they were in the 1970s. Rural communities, walloped by the collapse of key economic generators, have suffered no less. Families that had begun to break the cycle of poverty and build small amounts of savings are now being plunged back into debt. Yet, at a time when the work of community development corporations is more needed than ever, there are growing questions about their long-term viability and efficacy.

A Foundation for Progress

A question I often hear is “How does the stimulus affect your work?” And while I can provide varying answers depending on the state...

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.

Employee Ownership: A Solution that Preserves Retiring Owners’ Businesses

Reflecting growing enthusiasm for worker co-ops, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy—held last month in Worcester, Massachusetts—attracted a record 300-plus participants. One item on the...

The Revitalization Trap

Place-based initiatives won’t address the kinds of injustice and poverty that community development was formed to fight.

With responses by Brentin Mock and Miriam Axel-Lute.