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.”

modular home Y:Cube

CDCs and Nonprofits are Indeed Leading Affordable Housing Innovation

Blaming community development corporations (CDCs) for the high cost of affordable housing construction is not only misguided, but it ignores the work of CDCs and nonprofits that are leading efforts to reduce costs in the key areas of financing, construction, and land costs.

Don’t Be Quick to Blame the Borrower

“The borrowers weren’t risky so much as the loans were risky,” said Michael Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending in offering...
green shoot pushing up from under concrete block

Community Development Is Crucial in This Moment

One month ago, when I began the first draft of this article, the world was drastically different. Well before we became part of this...
asset based deficit based

The Opposite of Deficit-Based Language Isn’t Asset-Based Language. It’s Truth-Telling.

How do you describe the people you work for and with, or the neighborhoods you work in? Do you use primarily “deficit-based” language like...
Jeanne Fekade-Selassie

New Money on the Block: Funders for Housing and Opportunity

A new funding collaborative, Funders for Housing and Opportunity, has just launched. The collaborative, officially a project of the New Ventures Fund, involves (so far) nine large and well-known foundations.
Black Panther newsletter from 1969

What Black Panther-inspired Gift to Oakland Should Have Looked Like

Disney's Black Panther-inspired gift to Oakland children is great, but there is a way it could be better.

Interview with John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service-Part 2

John Henneberger talks about expansive definitions of fair housing, exciting organizing work in Texas that the rest of the country should keep an eye on, the role of a state-level advocacy organization, and more.

Health Care and Community Development Partnerships in the Time of COVID-19

For health care institutions and community development organizations that focus on low-income communities’ social determinants of health, this year has been a doozy. The...
CSI’s former space at 215 Spadina in Toronto

Nonprofit Centers: Hubs for Connection and Collaboration

To understand nonprofit centers and how they achieve their impact, it’s helpful to think of them in layers: the building as an asset, the building as a program, and the building as a platform for collaboration.

Address Merger Concerns Before the Merger

The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) both began in the early 1980’s as grassroots statewide advocacy organizations....

Community Based Arson Prevention

FEMA's program of funding Community Based Organizations has helped reduce arson and provided a focus for communities seeking to organize.

‘Gentrification’ Is Not the Real Problem

The conversation about gentrification continually repackages a set of debunked theories as reality and it obscures a set of real crises that need fixing.
swimming pool

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Oct. 19

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: rent really is racist, new tales of voter suppression, swimming pool access, a response to a pro-gentrification argument, more.
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.
A map displaying the boundary of a neighborhood, with several green markers within the boundary and many other green markers outside of it.

Let’s Re-Place the Health Opportunity Maps

The way we map health opportunity has serious flaws. How can we make those maps more reflective of communities' lived experiences?

Who Will Lead Community Development Corporations?

Community development corporations are surprisingly short on executives of color. Why? And how can the field do better?

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...

Seeking Solidarity Between Place-Based and Economic Justice Work

Last week, Brentin Mock over at CityLab had an incisive response to Peter Dreier’s Shelterforce article, The Revitalization Trap....

The Great American Fire Sale

Investors have played, and will continue to play, an important role in foreclosure-ravaged communities. What can towns do to ensure investors are responsible, and what role can CDCs play?

The ‘Art’ of Public Planning

Café tables? Yes. Mimes? Sure. Palm trees? Oooh yeah.I checked off boxes next to the features I like in...