Tag: community development

Where Banks and the Public Agree on CRA . . ....

It is basic aspect of human behavior that we would all like easier exams and easier jobs. Banks are no exception. Despite a CRA exam pass rate of 98 percent, the major thrust of bank comments is that they want easier exams with fewer moving parts and less uncertainty.

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Nov. 23

From hospital to housing, the toll of CA's wildfires, gerrymandering's famous enemy, Medicaid to the rescue, more.

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Nov. 9

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: Midterm election's effect on policy, renters are worse off, Amazon splits the damage, veteran homelessness down, Newark's water problem, and more.

The Fate, and Power, of Cities: A Review of The New...

The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism by Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak. Brookings Institution Press, 2018, 304 pp., $25.99 hardcover, also available on e-book. Purchase a copy at brook.gs/2LOjunA

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—July 6

Carson’s HUD Is So Out of Touch | Seattle’s Luxury Housing Surplus | Expand Housing Subsidies, Reduce Childhood Poverty | Michigan Lets Its Students Down | More...

Practical Ideas for Addressing Micro-Segregation in Mixed Income Communities

Practical lessons from long time community builders on promoting integration and interaction among residents of mixed income communities.

Regrets of an Accidental Placemaker

Had I unintentionally contributed to the gentrification of my neighborhood and other neighborhoods around Washington, D.C.?

Participatory Budgeting: Why Not Fix Everyone’s Sink?

Just like a focus group or any mechanism intended to give us a voice, participatory budgeting can offer a glimpse of how a more civically engaged society might work. But it’s also a distraction from the actual mechanisms of power, and can reinforce or even worsen existing inequalities.

Advocacy for Social Change: Coalitions and the Organizations that Lead Them

Many books discuss the corrosive effect of money in politics and lobbying organizations, but few are devoted to how those representing the have-nots organize on a national level to fight for laws and regulations that seek to empower communities.

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 27

Climate Gentrification | A Marijuana Tax for Housing? | Homeownership Alone Can't Close the Wealth Gap | Illegal ICE Raids on Farms | Keeping An Eye on Opportunity Zones | More...

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, March 23

Omnibus Bill is Good for HUD | Barbershops are Good for Black Health | Kushner Tries to Make Rent-Reg Units Disappear | The U.S. is Quicksand for Black Boys | Not a Gap, a Chasm | More...

Nun Funds: The Original Impact Investors

Rising out of a practice of shareholder activism that began in the 1970s, Women Religious made the leap from monitoring their investments on Wall Street to becoming pioneers in investing directly in the communities and social justice causes for which they cared.

The Power of Proximity: Making the Case for Living Where You...

Twenty years later, it’s hard to overstate how wise I think that group of board members was in imposing its residency requirement on me. While initially skeptical, over the years I’ve learned some powerful lessons about the benefits of proximity.

Honing the “Scale-Up” of Community Development Organizations

If specialization and regionalization are essential to being effective and getting to scale, how does the field execute a multi-pronged strategy needed to address the many factors that affect communities?

The Mysterious Art of Collaboration

Five housing organizations' effort to merge reveals both pitfalls and practical possibilities for bringing community development groups together.

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 22

Canada says housing a human right | Protecting local business | Homelessness prevention saves money | CLT milestone in Colorado

Shelter Shorts: The Week in Community Development-Dec. 15

Walmart and Ben Carson looking out for your financial health?! | Homelessness numbers up, but lowering them saves money | Rental market finally slowing down.

Why Food-Oriented Development Is Easier to Implement

You’ve heard of transit-oriented development. But food-oriented development might be easier to generate. 

Community Development Potpourri

This issue represents a great cross-section of what community development is. We have stories of organizing, housing, health, and arts. Stories of affordable housing challenges in strong and weak markets; we have pieces on policy, program, and resistance; and more.

A Crisis of Culture (Again)

From the removal of confederate statues throughout the South to the controversial actions by football players during the national anthem, we, as a nation,...

Not If But When: A Disaster Preparedness Conversation

Against the back drop of 2017's California wildfires, a quickly organized session took place to discuss disaster response and recovery from the perspective of being a housing organization.

A Partner, Not an Expert

Over the course of three decades in the development finance industry, I have learned that engaging and empowering those who have the greatest stake in their communities is the best way to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

Police and Communities: Conversations Continue, Solutions Appear

Community development corporations play an important role in community safety. As such, they are often at conflict with themselves over their relationships with the police and the communities they serve.

Measuring What Really Matters in Community-Based Development Organizations

Developing a road map for performance improvement within CBDOs can be a daunting task, and while their missions are sometimes nebulous, here are some ways to measure them.

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.

How a Risk-Averse Hospital and a Risk-Taking CDC Built a Functional...

Shelterforce recently spoke with Angela Mingo of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Rev. John Edgar of Community Development for All People to learn more about their health/housing partnership and how it came to be.

Challenges of Space and Place in Creative Placemaking

Some of us, myself included, are susceptible to the inaccurate thinking that when the arts are involved, the complications that can arise with traditional community building are lessened.

In Memoriam: Pete Garcia

The community development world lost a leader on May 3. Pete Garcia, who was the director of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) from 1984 to 2008, passed away at the age of 71.

High Cost of Affordable Housing Is Not CDCs’ Fault

You know what doesn’t help lower the cost of affordable housing? Spuriously blaming some of the organizations that are working hardest to create it in the most difficult situations.

How to Build a Case for Community Development and Affordable Housing

In the new administration, housing programs will feel the pressure of budgetary cuts and tax reform. Advocates should be careful not to put down other programs in the process of defending their own, or everyone will lose.

Vision, Not Just Critique

In the Spring 2017 issue of Shelterforce, we talk about something that comes up daily for many people working in the community development field—what does housing affordability mean? Crafting practical policies to back up our vision requires that we be thoughtful about all of the pieces.

In Troubled Times, Taking Stock of Our Community Wealth

In thinking about how to face the current federal environment, it might be helpful to take stock of where gains have occurred. Among these growth areas are:

Flipping the Script

A nonprofit forgoes the typical community meeting for a "living charrette," which leads to greater neighborhood feedback about a proposed 24-acre development in Austin, Texas.

Interview with Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation

If you look at what Rip Rapson has accomplished and the insight he brings to his current work, you'll get a much better picture of who he is and the challenging work he spearheads at the Kresge Foundation.

Universities Step Up and Commit to Challenging Inequality

Campus Compact—a group that brings together 1,100 colleges and universities to advance civic responsibility—held its 30th annual conference where it called on member campuses to develop Civic Action plans to embrace a set of five community commitments.

Earned Income Should Not Replace Public Funding for Community Development

The second article in our New Frontiers series, “Getting Beyond the Developer Fee“ has spurred some discussion. ...

Getting Beyond the Developer Fee

In tough financial times, community developers are hanging on to their developer fees despite competition, but many are also diversifying their programs and revenue streams.

Who Is It For?

A Washington, D.C. nonprofit undertakes a redevelopment project and tackles the issue of cultural displacement.

In Memoriam: Marva Smith Battle-Bey

Marva Smith Battle-Bey, director of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation in Los Angeles, which she founded in 1979,...

Harvard Planners Talk Race, Design, and St. Louis

In our recent interview with long-time urban planner and racial equity advocate Chester Hartman, he told us he thought...

Can We Build a Movement for Structural Economic Change? We Must

This July, the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a coalition of over 140 organizations from across North America, will convene in Buffalo for its biennial...

Why Are Community Development Lenders Financing Charter Schools?

The choice to support privately-operated, publicly-funded schools puts these lenders at odds with many of their usual political allies and constituencies. So what’s the motivation?

Health Care Confronts Challenge to Shift from “Volume to Value”

Health care, as we all know, is a big business. U.S. hospitals alone have $782 billion in total annual expenditures, which is roughly five...

FHFA’s Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – New Opportunities for Community...

Community housing and community development advocates could see new opportunities for financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 and beyond under a...

Fair Housing and Community Developers Can Work Together

Two organizations in New Jersey show that with a good working relationship, a balanced approach to healthy communities and housing choice for all can be more than pretty words.

Tackling Uncomfortable Issues, With Enthusiasm

We've written about the fissures that can appear when community developers and organizers of different ages, gender, or ethnic...

The Revitalization Trap

Place-based initiatives won’t address the kinds of injustice and poverty that community development was formed to fight.

With responses by Brentin Mock and Miriam Axel-Lute.

Community Development and Faith

Pope Francis begins his visit to the United States today with stops in Washington D.C., New York City, and...

Skipping “Placed-Based” Work Leaves Cities Vulnerable to Climate Change

I remember it clearly. “The Myth of Community Development,” Nicholas Lemann’s 1994 New York Times Magazine article, cracked the...

Neighborhood Investment Doesn’t Have to Mean Displacement

The word “gentrification” is a loaded one and has a host of negative implications for people in the housing...

Employee Ownership: A Solution that Preserves Retiring Owners’ Businesses

Reflecting growing enthusiasm for worker co-ops, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy—held last month in Worcester, Massachusetts—attracted a record 300-plus participants. One item on the...

A Historic Partnership in Creative Placemaking

NACEDA recently announced our selection as a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town award recipient. The award will...

Braiding Resources, Place, and Opportunity

Creating economic opportunity for people who live in distressed communities is by necessity place-based, or if you prefer, place-conscious,...

Detroit Future City’s Plan for Revitalization Pushes Job Creation

For supporters and enthusiasts of Detroit’s revitalization, the city is poised to be a “model for the future;” but...

Community Development of Tomorrow

Community development is when people join together to improve conditions and create change at the community level. It can...

Seeking Solidarity Between Place-Based and Economic Justice Work

Last week, Brentin Mock over at CityLab had an incisive response to Peter Dreier’s Shelterforce article, The Revitalization Trap....

The Revitalization Trap

The community development movement began in the 1960s as part of a crusade against social injustice,...

What If Community Developers Held a Congress and Everyone Showed Up?

The question we pose captures some of the feeling emanating from the People & Places conference, which took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this...

People and Places 2015: Not Your Average Community Development Conference

I go to a lot of conferences. I enjoy them, generally, as places to get to talk to all...

CDFIs: Bridging the Poverty Gap

Each year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday prompts people to reflect on Dr. King’s life and legacy. By achieving passage of civil rights and voting rights legislation, the actions of King and others compelled a sharp decline in the blatant discrimination and wanton violence that had permeated the nation for generations. However, today, five […]

Community Foundations Move to Adopt a New Anchor Mission

According to the Foundation Center’s 2014 Key Facts report, community foundations today have nearly $65 billion in assets, more than 9 percent of all foundation assets ($715 billion). As noted at a recent White House conference, over 700 community foundations operate nationwide. Yet while the first community foundation in Cleveland was founded in 1914, their […]

Do Good Techies Make Good Neighbors?

Everybody knows that if you want to restore integrity to your downtown business corridor or your local industrial park, if you want to create jobs and point your community toward the future of the workforce, or if you want to capture the hearts and minds of DIY makers and social entrepreneurs, you'd better have a […]

An Artful Rebirth in Columbus

In two excellent articles and a video, The Atlantic magazine profiles the good work the community development field is doing in Columbus, Ohio. As part of a larger series on reinvention and resilience in communities throughout the country, the magazine takes a close look at the Franklinton neighborhood and the Franklinton Development Association (FDA). Like […]

Finding and Fostering Entreprenuerial Spirit in Underserved Communities

A few years ago, I had what I thought was a great business idea. After much excited Googling and resource combing, I came across a seven-week small business training program being offered through my town. The training, run by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), was only open to people who were unemployed. I was […]

A Look in the Mirror: Do CDFIs (and CDCs) Reflect Their...

Last year, I wrote about the teeming conference of the Opportunity Finance Network, the trade group for community development financial institutions, with a little bit of awe at how different it was from the rest of the community development world in its growth and optimism, worrying about mission creep rather than survival. This year the […]

Residents Need to Own Community Change

To get beyond superficial “input,” involve residents in a development from start to finish, from planning to implementation to ownership.

On Board

How do you make a community development organization's board welcoming to residents and low-income members, and ensure that once there, they are more than window dressing?

Coming to Consensus

When and how can consensus decision making work for community-based organizations?

Power to the Members

Community development and planning organizations with a voting membership are rare, but the ones that do prioritize a democratic structure say it's well worth the additional work.

How to Respond When Someone Screams “But We’ll Get Sued!”

There are not a ton of things I read on the Internet that instantly make me want to hunt down the author and send him or her flowers. But Charles Marohn's post “On Liability“ on the Strong Towns blog was definitely one of them. “Liability” is increasingly sucking the joy out of life. Everywhere you […]

Does Richmond Show the Future of Community Wealth Building?

Richmond’s creation of the nation’s first Office of Community Wealth Building marks a reimagining of community economic development policy.

Moving Forward: It’s What We Do

It is with an odd combination of relief and sadness that I see that my hometown—my community—is no longer the...

CDFI Certification Helps Credit Unions Perform Better

The Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions released a report last week...

Will Co-ops Spark a New Civil Rights Movement?

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How Millennials Are Rocking the Cradle

On this blog recently there have been several posts wondering whether the millenials are going to stay in the...

Two Structured Community Development Funds: A Peek at How They Work

The details, lessons, and impact of two innovative community development funds created by Enterprise Community Partners.

Rethinking Community Economic Development Beyond “Rent or Own”

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Weaving Together the Silos of Community Development

The New Year—both 2014 and the Lunar New Year—provides a time for reflection and visioning; a time to ask:...

Landlines Turned Lifelines

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the growing hardships of people living a rural life. They tend to have...

Cause of Death: Rural Life?

Every once in a while I read that the federal government has come up with some new definitions for...

Is “Creating Community” Still the End Goal of Community Development?

This is the final part of my series on community organizing and community development. Click here for Part 1...

Can Organizing Resuscitate Community Development?

There has been a lot written about the uncertain future of community development and the way forward for community...

Can a Community Fair Save a Dying Town?

Last weekend there were two ribbon cuttings here in Louisa County. One was for an expansion of the food...

CDFIs: The Boom Sector in the Community Development Field?

Three weeks ago I went to Philadelphia to attend the annual conference of the Opportunity Finance Network, the trade association...

Will Our Universities Rekindle Their Public Purpose?

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Community Development: Let Your Mission Do the Talking

In Part 1 of this post, I discuss the issues around the term “gentrification.” Here are two other terms that have become problematic in...

5 Guiding Principles to Build Capacity and Attract Capital

In the community development and investment fields, we have traditionally looked first to local organizations to address local needs. ...

What’s in a Name?

The government leaders in Paterson, N.J., are learning the hard way about the importance of community involvement in the naming and branding of...

Is Community Development an Industry–or a Movement?

Anyone like me who’s spent more than a few years doing community development is likely to have been force-fed...

Assessing Impact at Anchor Institutions

This week, The Democracy Collaborative is releasing a new paper that seeks to create a framework for measuring the...

Let’s Turn this Old Barn into a Theater…Part III

Taking on a “fixer upper” means taking on the unexpected.  If you are a cultural organization seeking a home,...

Marketing the Farmers’ Market

After making only our second visit to the farmers' market in our county this summer, my wife and I...

Let’s Turn this Old Barn into a Theater…Part II

Turning that old barn (or firehouse, or smelting plant, or abandoned vaudeville theater) into a theater (or dance studio,...

Have CDCs Created a Dependent Poor Population?

Michael McQuarrie’s article, “What Mumbai’s Slums Do Right, And Why We Should Emulate Them,“ in the new issue of...

We Can’t Eliminate Poverty, And We Can’t Stop Fighting

“We have spent $15 trillion from the federal government fighting poverty, and look at where we are, the highest...

Let’s Turn This Old Barn into a Theater!

For many cultural organizations, buying a fixer-upper is a good strategy for acquiring a home at a reasonable price...

5 (More) Things Dividing the Government and CDCs

I was recently in a room with representatives from government, banks, private developers, and CDCs for a conversation about...

Is Community Development Failing or Succeeding?

Massive change tends to lead to massive introspection. And changed circumstances tend to lead to a need for changed tools....

The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development

The changing face of achieving equity in health, education, and housing in the United States.

What Mumbai’s Slums Do Right, And Why We Should Emulate Them

Sometimes to understand our own cities and community development practices it is helpful to understand a radically different setting. In the slums of Mumbai...