Economic Development

Economic activity is a crucial part of a healthy community, whether it’s access to quality jobs for residents, business support, or a functioning, diverse range of retail options.

We Should Be Working Less

Changing our assumptions about what constitutes "normal" full time work could help address all sorts of social problems, from unemployment to civic disengagement.

Crackdown Rocks Real-Estate Industry

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that the Justice Department has indicted more than 400 defendants in 144 mortgage fraud cases. The indictments,...

Revitalize Our Building Stock, Revitalize the Economy

For the same reason that many admire the Flatiron building in New York City, I had a special affinity...

Can We Bend the Sharing Economy Toward Equity?

For all of its promises to increase prosperity and sustainability, the so-called “sharing economy” has a serious dark side.

Rebuilding The Ghetto Does Work

Last January, The New York Times Magazine published "The Myth of Community Development" by Nicholas Lemann. The article painted a gloomy picture of urban...

How Much Money Is Your City or State Losing to “Economic Development?”

Have you ever wondered how much money your city or state is actually losing when it gives a 20-year tax break to a developer in exchange for a handful of jobs? You might soon be able to find out. As Shawn Escoffery of the Surdna Foundation and Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First explain in […]

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...

Pushing Back Against the Demolition Juggernaut

Memphis has knocked down all but one of its public housing complexes — and the housing authority assumed that a Choice Neighborhoods grant would be license to demolish the last one. But the community had a different idea.

Parks For Revitalization

The image in this post, which photographer Bill Lim has made available to us through the wonder of the Creative Commons, is of the...

Evergreen Cooperatives Sows Sustainable Jobs with New Greenhouse

If my food shopping habits can in any way predict the success of the latest Evergreen Cooperatives initiative than they're in luck. Every year I...

Community Groups’ Role Vanishes Under New Federal Workforce Legislation

On July 22, 2014, after it passed by wide bipartisan margins earlier in the year, the Workforce Innovation and...

Keeping Everyone Afloat: Is Universal Basic Income the Answer?

Advocates and organizers who deal with the needs of the poor often say it's not really a housing/food/training issue, it's an income issue. So what would happen if we just addressed income?
Women looking at museum exhibit

The Cavalry Is Us: Civil Rights and Cooperative Action

In our nation’s most vulnerable places, every vulnerable person and those more fortunate who care about their well being, are best served when we come together to help ourselves.

Why Do Low-Income Residents Oppose Development Even When Displacement Risk Is Low?

There’s more than one way to be excluded from your community.

Emerging from Chicago’s Shadow

Towns long in Chicago’s shadow have sought creative ways to collaborate for federal funding, while building off existing partnerships as part of a long-term approach to neighborhood, and regional, stabilization.

To Build a Community Economy, Start With Solidarity

How residents who can't afford to buy in can still get the benefits of co-op work and housing.

Detroit: Precise Associates

“When we try to stabilize neighborhoods, rather than being scattered in approach, we try to buy as many properties as possible in a given...

Van Jones: The Green House, Redux

The Spring 2009 issue of Shelterforce ran a brief about Van Jones’ being named White House special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation...

How the New Market Tax Credit Program Could Actually Benefit Communities

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was created in 2000, with a goal of creating “jobs and material improvement...

How One City Is Keeping Jobs Local Using Co-ops

In 1971, the owners of The Cheese Board turned their Berkeley, California, mom-and-pop shop into a co-op, where they...