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.

Organizing for Hospital Community Benefits

Community development corporations need to become more educated about hospital community benefits. This is what can be done to get the process started.
Members of Boston Liberation Health hold a banner that reads, "Capitalism, racism, and heteropatriachy are making us sick. Join Liberation Health."

How Organizing for Justice Helps Your Mental Health

How do social justice, organizing, and mental health interact? Shelterforce chats with clinical social worker Dawn Belkin Martinez to find out.
Large group photo, black and white.

Empowering Human Development Across the Globe, Locally

One blessing of my job as CEO of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is being able to tap into the wealth of human...

In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew

For equitable development activists, Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance may seem like major progress. And it is—just not how they may imagine it to be.
A car and truck submerged on a flooded road.

Rules for Radicals to Demand a Fair and Transformative Disaster Recovery

At Texas Housers, we've confronted a series of natural disasters over the past decade that forced us to develop new approaches for our housing advocacy. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we find ourselves back at it. Here are seven lessons we have learned.
Photo courtesy of Right to the City Alliance.

Block by Block, the Renters Movement is Growing

“The string of victories in 2017 are a direct product of renters building power on the ground. Renters, faced with a historic housing crisis, are getting organized to change immediate conditions on the ground and build a movement to transform the way land and housing are treated in the country.”

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.
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Renter Week of Action in Pictures

This past week, renter advocacy groups staged coordinated demonstrations in over 45 states to disrupt business as usual, including stand-ins at the personal residences of corporate landlords, banner drops, neighborhood tours of the housing crisis, and creative actions at city halls. With the help of #RenterWeekofAction convener Right to the City, Shelterforce has compiled photos from several such demonstrations throughout the country to highlight their scope.
Three women sitting on chairs on a sidewalk.

Hurricane Evacuees are Forcibly Evicted in Miami

More than 60 Miami families, many undocumented, have been homeless since last week’s hurricane and were forcibly removed last night by local officials.
Photo by charlene mcbride via flickr, CC BY 2.0

Industry versus Movement – Redux

Three years ago, I posted a blog in which I wrestled with the question of whether community development is an “industry” or a “movement.”...
Mural on wall with faces of girls looking into the distance.

Art in the Face of Gentrification

Four representatives of New York City organizations discuss their employment of art and artists to empower residents in the face of gentrification.
Illustration of muscular hand lifting scales of justice.

Trump Era a Time to Build Power, Not Buildings

This is a time that calls for us to start thinking a little less like an “industry” and more like a movement.
Neon sign in window reads "Real Estate Home Loans."

Despite What Bankers Say, Data Is Indispensable

The American Bankers Association (ABA) issued a white paper maintaining that the CFPB exceeded its mandate under Dodd-Frank. Full of rhetoric, the white paper makes a number of unfounded allegations about HMDA data and the CFPB final rule.

Developers: Organize Your Residents for 2018

On May 4, we applauded Congress’ dismissal of the Trump administration’s request for $18 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary programs. It firmly rejected the administration’s proposals and (finally) approved a bipartisan spending bill for 2017, funding the government through Sept. 30. The lights will stay on in the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, and our worst fears that low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled might be literally left out in the cold are allayed … for now.

Failing The Equitable Development Test

I wondered whether the Americans who suffered the injustice of our most recent Great Recession haven’t already been not only forgotten but abandoned by the White House and Congress, despite their votes. 

CRA Should be Becoming Less Partisan. Instead, It’s More.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a law that requires banks to serve the credit needs, consistent with safety and soundness, of all communities,...

10 Ways to Speak Truth to Powerful Lies

How to engage, inform, and fight back against falsehoods.     In an era of fake news, alternative facts, and downright lies, it’s a daily struggle to...

Local Contracting–Cost Cutting, Economic Development, Or Both?

We recently published both an article and an Answer column that shows how one group in Philadelphia, WPRE/NR, is challenging the conventional wisdom that...

Homeownership Equity Depends on Racially Equitable Policy

Once again, we hear rumblings that housing finance reform, the wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the retooling of the mortgage marketplace...

Who Counts as a “Homeless” Child? It Matters

Are children in foster care homeless? It might sound like semantics, but it really makes a big difference. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the...