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 Assumptions Behind Place-Based Programs Can Hinder Their Success

Examining eight common assumptions underlying place-based work shows that even when avoiding the pitfalls of no change or gentrification, the work is challenging.

Neighborhoods or Regions? A Trick Question

There is a narrative out there about how much of community development has lost its soul — community development has become too much about Development and not enough about Community, too concerned with efficient...

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 or locality, it’s safe to say that the American Recovery...

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 a scene similarly portrayed in the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton,”...

Nine Rules of Engagement for Recruiting and Retaining Community Volunteers

In community development's formative years, it would have been unthinkable for a nonprofit housing organization not to have a grassroots membership and not to have a governing board elected in...

On the Cover: Transformation

So you may be wondering, what is that amazing mural on the cover of the latest issue of Shelterforce?It's called Transformation, and it was created by Chilean graffiti artist...

The Revitalization Trap

The community development movement began in the 1960s as part of a crusade against social injustice, racial discrimination, and poverty.  But in recent years it has...

Shifting Fortunes: Trends in Housing Policy and Programs

In exchange for the abandonment of meaningful levels of housing assistance—whether project- or tenant-based—we are paying a high price in homelessness and severe cost burdens.

Can We Build a Movement for Structural Economic Change? We Must

This July, the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a coalition of over 140 organizations from across North America, will convene in Buffalo for its biennial conference. Called Commonbound, the gathering has adopted the stated goal...
Two employees of Grace Federal Solutions in North Carolina, an African-American man and woman, chat in the hallway of their offices. The company secured a loan from a CDFI.

CDFIs Led By People of Color Face Financial Disparities Too

A lack of access to capital, capacity-building resources, and technical assistance significantly constrains the ability of CDFIs led by people of color to achieve greater impact.
A yellow house on a corner.

The Power of Proximity: Making the Case for Living Where You Work

Twenty years later, it’s hard to overstate how wise I think that group of board members was in imposing its residency requirement on me. While initially skeptical, over the years I’ve learned some powerful lessons about the benefits of proximity.
Rubin cover, Advocacy for Social Change

Advocacy for Social Change: Coalitions and the Organizations that Lead Them

Many books discuss the corrosive effect of money in politics and lobbying organizations, but few are devoted to how those representing the have-nots organize on a national level to fight for laws and regulations that seek to empower communities.

Why Don’t We Build It Ourselves?

Humboldt Construction Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago CDC Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, has been providing local employment and high-quality work for over 30 years. But it hasn't been easy. This report details...
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.
Jigsaw is a harmony among the group will not be impossible.

8 Ways to Connect with Your Public Health Department

Tips for community organizations looking to build relationships with local public health departments.
Three audience members doing an activity on a table, while an actress stands up on stage behind them.

Shifting the Affordable Housing Narrative Through Arts and Culture

Housing activists want to use this political moment to shift long-standing narratives surrounding housing. From film to theater, here are some arts strategies that might work.

A Cure for the Memphis Blues

As the Bluff City picks itself up, its CDC community faces a host of challenges that are increasingly common across the field.

We Still Have the Power

What do activists, policy makers, advocates, scholars, and citizens of other countries do to surmount the challenges that face us here? What knowledge and wisdom can we import? What can we export?

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 of many signs that Americans are emerging from 40 years...

How do you feel about the proposed QRM rule that would exempt banks from...

Results of the Shelterforce poll of October 12, 2011 Click continued for more results You said: “20 percent is far more than necessary to protect banks against defaults and would price homeownership out of reach for middle-...

Listen to Other Articles