About Shelterforce

Shelterforce is the nation’s oldest continually published community development magazine. Since 1975, Shelterforce has been a primary forum for organizers, activists, advocates, and policymakers in the affordable-housing, equitable economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and community organizing movements.

Shelterforce is published by the National Housing Institute, an independent nonprofit organization that examines the issues causing the crisis in housing and community in America. These issues include poverty and racism, disinvestment and lack of employment, safety, and high-quality education. NHI examines how these and other factors affect people as they try to build safe, viable neighborhoods.

NHI/Shelterforce searches for what does and does not work in community development. In our many decades of existence, Shelterforce has become the leading publication for community-building professionals and other stakeholders in creating vibrant communities.

We are dedicated to providing the tools (information, analysis, resources) for advocates, activists, and community members to organize their communities, rebuild their neighborhoods, and create decent housing and living-wage jobs for the families who live there.

A How-To for Community Builders

In 1975, Shelterforce began as a “how-to” publication for tenant activists. Shelterforce helped tenants, tenant organizers, and tenant advocates (e.g. legal aid lawyers) learn how to be more effective in securing tenants’ rights to safe, decent homes.

Over the years, as inner-city neighborhoods experienced an onslaught of disinvestment and marginalization, our focus has expanded. During the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Shelterforce began to examine a wider range of community-building issues, always with the goal of empowering individuals and groups to take control of their communities so that they can effect real change.

Shelterforce has established itself as a vital link in policy development—providing clear and understandable analysis of important policy issues to grass-roots activists and professional while providing input from the grass-roots to local, state, and national policymakers.

Moving Toward the Future

In 2007, NHI/Shelterforce launched Rooflines, The Shelterforce Blog and our weekly e-newsletter. Reflecting the diverse needs and actors in communities, Shelterforce and Rooflines present a range of voices and ideas important to the broad field of community development. Rooflines has grown to over 12,000 unique page views a month and the weekly is distributed to over 14,0000 individuals.