Neighborhood Change

As community demographics shift and there’s neighborhood change, what are the issues affecting longstanding and new residents alike? When is change desirable, and when is it undesirable, and how can it be turned to the benefit of those who need it most?

Kennetha Patterson of Homes for All in Nashville speaks on a megaphone during Renter’s Week of Action.

Tenant Power: Organizing for Rent Strikes and Landlord Negotiations

In the face of high rent increases and substandard housing, many tenants are realizing they are not alone in their landlord troubles and are joining together to push for building-level wins, and policy change.

Building Communities From the Inside Out

In distressed communities across the United States, savvy organizers and leaders are rediscovering ancient wisdom about what builds strong communities, and then developing new...

The Value of a Visit: Community Schools Learn from Each Other

Oakland Unified School District is one of the few full-service community school districts in the country.  What does that mean?  Let’s start with a...

Myths and Realities About Cycles: Avoiding the Inevitability Trap

About a year ago I wrote a post about Paul Krugman and whether building luxury housing could mitigate the...

Cory Booker’s #Neighborhood

If there was some radio silence on Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker's Twitter feed on Tuesday, it was only because...
farm stand in lot.

(The Urgent Case for) Middle Neighborhoods, One of the Most Overlooked Assets in America

Middle neighborhoods are places where home prices are generally affordable to the average household. But, these neighborhoods are often on the edge between growth and decline.

How We Connect: Bridging the Gap Between Neighborhoods Through Public Land

When I worked as a local newspaper reporter, it was frustrating to see community members with ideas of how to transform or beautify their...

Revitalizing Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine (Series Conclusion – Making It Green)

This is the final installment of my miniseries (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) about Cincinnati’s remarkable Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, potentially a national model...
One-pager showing differences between municipal land banks and community land trusts. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Is a Land Bank the Same As a Land Trust?

A: Nope. They are totally different, though complementary tools. This chart will walk you through the differences.

How Immigrants Are Revitalizing America’s Fading Suburbs

The Urbanophile, Aaron Renn, has an interesting new post about how American suburbs, particularly inner-ring suburbs, are being revitalized by immigrant populations. His...
A female dentist cleans a young boy's teeth.

The Place-Based Charter School?

What is the relationship between charter schools and neighborhoods—and what could it be?

Modern Community Development for a Modern Crisis

A story about a nonprofit organization that achieved a large-scale bulk purchase of mortgages. The properties, all vacant and abandoned, and many deteriorated, are located primarily in the New Jersey municipalities of Newark, Orange, East Orange, and Irvington.

Author Roundtable

Shelterforce authors discuss the roles of place, mobility, and displacement on health and neighborhoods.
row of dark brick houses

What is the Future of the Black Urban Middle Neighborhood?

What does the future hold for urban Black middle and working class neighborhoods in cities, and is there any way to shape it?

Public Land Should be Used for Public Good

When a vacant lot in Oakland was close to becoming the home of a 24-story, market-rate development, local activists worked together to prevent it from happening.
A once-vacant lot in Philadelphia that has been cleaned.

Greening Vacant Lots: Low Cost, Big Effect in Philly

A Philadelphia program is cleaning up abandoned lots, helping formerly incarcerated residents get jobs, and improving the overall health and well-being of neighborhoods.

Can You Have Revitalization Without Displacement?

Derek Avery is providing middle- and low-income housing in struggling neighborhoods. And his company doesn’t stop at housing. It's building education resources and investing in community.

Data Systems for Social Change

Throughout Chinatown Community Development Center’s 39-year history in San Francisco, we have grown to encompass multiple strategies in our quest for comprehensive community development....
"Coming Soon, Very Sad" painted on border wall outside of new development.

We Are All NIMBYs…Sometimes

If we built enough housing, we would still need subsidized housing for many people, but market prices would be low enough that most people could afford them. But we’ve chosen not to. And the reason we give for that choice, more than any other, is that we are trying to preserve or improve the character of our communities.

20 Years Later, What HOPE VI Can Teach Us

Affordable housing programs are at great risk of elimination under the current administration. In this uncertain climate, what can we learn from a program that leveraged private interest while aspiring to be a protector of affordable housing?