Organizing

Community development relies on policies, resources, and recognition that were won by decades of organizing—and organizing remains essential to face new threats, preserve existing wins, and continue to fight back against the big lie that the way things are is inevitable.

Philly’s 1970s Fight to Revive Rent Control

As rent control reemerges as a strategy to address an intense housing crisis, we go back 50 years to examine the lessons learned from past struggles in Philadelphia.

Idalia Rios—A Community Organizer in California

Idalia Rios began her organizing career advocating for her son, who has a speech delay. In the process, she learned that even when advocacy begins with your own family, you have to fight for the class, school, and larger community to achieve lasting change.

Donna Price—An Organizer in Detroit

Once homeless, Donna Price persevered with unshakable strength, which landed her in a position she once couldn’t imagine.

A Note From Our Publisher—Lifting Up Women’s Voices

There are countless women who are driven to turn up the volume of their voices when faced with unfair circumstances. As the publisher of Shelterforce, I am privileged to lead a publication that makes way for many of these voices to be heard.
In purple chalk, it says "Housing is a Human Right."

Housing Solutions—Centering Community in Ownership, Control, and Long-Term Affordability

How is community control of housing realized? We explore different community ownership structures, how tenants form a cooperative, and how larger housing nonprofits can incorporate residents into decision-making.

How Community Ownership Is Evolving

The latest Shelterforce series takes a closer look at community land trusts and cooperatives to see how both are evolving.

A Bolder Future for Housing Justice: ‘These Times Call for Radical Actions’

Housing advocates working at the local, state, and national levels discuss new research and policy recommendations for advancing housing justice.

Advancing Antiracism in Community Development

How can the community development field stay aligned with the movements that led to its rise in the first place?

Building Camaraderie in a Virtual Workspace

How one community development corporation's youth program flourished during the pandemic

‘Opportunity Areas’ Shouldn’t Just Be Places With A Lot of White People

Why do we think moving to white neighborhoods will solve our problems?

Homeless Mothers in California Show How Radical Housing Activism Becomes Lasting Change

Moms 4 Housing and LA Reclaimers have proven that successful grassroots organizing can turn headline-grabbing occupations into long-term affordable housing.
A view of the Chicago skyline through a rusty chain-link fence

Fighting No-Fault Evictions with a Just Cause Ordinance

Despite a state-wide eviction moratorium, thousands of people have been evicted in Chicago since March. A coalition of housing advocates is proposing a just cause ordinance that would halt no-fault evictions.

Tenants Block Evictions by Any Means

Tenant organizers across the country—in places like Virginia, Louisiana, and New York—have taken direct action against surging eviction cases through tactics like mass outreach, shutting down court hearings, and picketing lawyers who represent landlords.

Housing Organizing in the Year of the Pandemic

California housing organizers reflect on what changes, and what stays the same, during a pandemic.

Activists Win Control of Vacant Philadelphia Buildings: Now What?

The city and the activists involved have referred to the organization that will receive the properties as a community land trust, but as of late October it was not yet clear how the group will be structured.

NJ Tenant Organizing—Looking Back at the Film Techos y Derechos

A decades-old tenant organizing film—now in digital form for the first time—is still relevant today.

Crossing the Digital Divide During COVID

Flyers, phone calls, and podcasts, oh my! Organizations blend past and present strategies to stay in touch with community members.
Image of Chicago's 606 trail, which many housing advocates say contributed to local gentrification

Keeping Gentrification From Following Green Space

LA organizers work with park professionals on policies to allow green space investment in neighborhoods that have lacked it without paving the way for displacement.

It’s Time to Move On From Community Consensus

When we rethink the problem as one of political voice rather than community consensus, it opens up new, innovative techniques to determine public priorities.

Tenant Responses to the Eviction Crisis: A Roundtable Discussion

Nationally, a 10-organization research team estimates that 30 million to 40 million Americans face the possible loss of their homes. How can we avoid this horrific outcome?