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.

Fighting Injustice With Love

On Valentine’s Day, job seekers and organizers will deliver candy and flowers to local and state officials, contractors associations,...

Seizing the Moment to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing

Housing and community development issues do not get the attention they deserve in the national media, but our field is having a moment. Last...

I’m a Tenant and I Vote!

New York's Republican legislators learned a lesson in June: Hell hath no fury like a New York City tenant scorned. Just when it seemed...

Disclosure Remains Our Right

I was interviewed last month for a book on redlining that took me back to the ‘70s. Going through my file of the national...

When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably will Not Be a First Responder

Social scientists reviewed all the recent research on disaster recovery and tell us that before the coordinated help arrives, before the Red Cross and all the other recovery groups descend with legions of volunteers, there are neighbors.
decade of fire

Out of the Flames

A review of a documentary about the decade-long period in the South Bronx when 80 percent of its housing, home to around a quarter of a million people, was lost to fire.

Interview with Gordon Chin, Founding Executive Director of the Chinatown Community Development Center

Gordon Chin started San Francisco Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), a longstanding CDC well-known in the field, in the mid-1970s. In June 2015, he released Building Community, Chinatown Style, a book about his professional life, the founding and evolution of CCDC, and the future of community development. Josh Ishimatsu, director of Research and Capacity Building at the National Coalition for Asian-Pacific American Community Development, and a regular Shelterforce contributor, spoke with Chin about where community development is going, and where it should go.

Disappearing Ink: Why No Coverage of the Demonstrations?

CNN this morning reported that grass-roots groups are organizing demonstrations across the country against what they’re calling the Bush administration’s “cash for trash” bailout...

Join Shelterforce, NHI, and Rooflines on Facebook!

Do you dabble around on Facebook? Of course you do! So why not become a fan of the National Housing Institute for a streamlined,...

Politics the Wellstone Way

A few years ago, Dave Beckwith, executive director of the Needmor Fund, wrote in Shelterforce about The ABCs of Organizing that offered an overview...

Starting All Over Again: Your New Dance Partners in Congress

A lot is going on at the federal level right now. The sequester that we...

Future CDCs Should Be Organizers, Not Developers

October is Filipino History Month. It won’t have its official grand opening before the end of the month, but Larry Itliong Village in Los Angeles’s...

Embracing Affirmative Action, Imperfections And All

In a piece on my personal blog, I referenced a bigger politics of social and economic justice vs. a...

EPA Should Make Environmental Justice Job One

The EPA is making news lately.  Unfortunately, it’s not for protecting the environment or victims of pollution. Activist groups,...

Jane Jacobs: Defender of Cities and their People

On April 10, 1968, New York state officials scheduled a public hearing to discuss their plans for an expressway that would have sliced across...

Return to the Roots: Solidarity Networks and Housing Justice

On January 20, two Portland, Oregon women visited their former property managers with several dozen of their friends in tow. Becky and Aubrey Cook were evicted from their apartments, run by Fox Management, after complaining about slum conditions including raw sewage spilling into their apartments. In a bizarre turn, Fox then charged the women $437.00 […]
participatory budgeting fliers

Participatory Budgeting: Why Not Fix Everyone’s Sink?

Participatory budgeting offers a glimpse of how a more civically engaged society might work, but it’s also a distraction.

‘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?