Matthew Brian Hersh

Matthew Brian Hersh proudly served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics. He displays many of the trappings of a New Jersey sports fan: dispirited Mets fan, former Nets fan before they left the state, and normally satisfied Giants fan.

Hersh lives in Highland Park, NJ with his wife and two children.


  • Direct Action Governing

    When community developers and organizers get elected to office, how do they preserve the community-minded sensibility and ethos that got them there? What lessons can they bring back to their colleagues on the ground? Shelterforce sat down with a cadre of organizers- turned–New York City Council members to find out how to bolster the bridge between the city and City Hall.

  • Organizing for Inclusive TOD

    Large-scale and small-scale transit-oriented development projects are popping up everywhere around the country, and in many places advocates are working to include affordable housing and other community priorities in the mix from the start.

  • Taking Foreclosures to Task

    All across the country, local governments, CDCs, community groups, and housing counselors are coming together to address the foreclosure crisis.

  • PETRA, and What It Means for the “Public” in “Public Housing”


  • The (Not So) Sudden Push Against New Jersey’s Fair Share Affordable Housing Policy

    Pressure has been building for a long time against the red tape and inflexibility of the agency that implements New Jersey’s landmark fair share housing policy. Can the spirit of Mount Laurel survive the backlash against the details?

  • HUD’s New Team

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration is equipped with an impressive list of housing experts at the top.

  • Heard and Not Forgotten

    What started out as a “weird art project” in Toronto is
    providing aural illustrations into a northern New Jersey community’s past, and, organizers hope, laying the groundwork for the future.

  • George Moses: Organizing by Necessity

    Shelterforce interviews George Moses, chairman of the board of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

  • Right on Target: Reaching New Heights In DC

    Vacant land gives way to residential and commercial development is a classic urban renewal storyline, but DC’s Columbia Heights is getting more than just retail and residential: it’s reclaiming its history.

  • The Stimulus: Making Sense of it All

    Between HARP, TARP, HERA, ARRA, TALF, NSP 1, NSP 2 and the rest of the alphabet soup of stimulus funding, there’s a lot of government money circulating around the country right now. How are communities using this money, and will the stimulus provide the springboard needed for equitable, sustainable change?

  • Publisher’s Note
  • Operation Neighborhood Recovery

    Urban Essex County, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas in the state by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, could be the laboratory for a reinvention of community development. A local CDC there has completed the successful acquisition, by way of an alliance of nonprofits, of 47 mortgages expected to foreclose with an eye toward stabilizing neighborhoods in some of the oldest suburban communities in New Jersey.

  • Great Falls And The Silk City

    New Jersey’s Paterson is the nation’s oldest planned industrial city—depend on who you ask. But it has fallen on hard times since the once-booming silk industry there declined in the latter half of the 20th century. Much of the industry in this city of 150,000 has since left, but with the help of a local CDC there, as well as corporate and community partners, a geological attraction once envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as something that could be harnessed for industrial might, is fully protected, and being prepared for a makeover.

  • Operation Neighborhood Recovery and the Future of Community Development

    Urban Essex County, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas in the state by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, could be the laboratory for an ostensible reinvention of community development, as a local CDC there announced today the successful acquisition of 47 mortgages on troubled properties with an eye toward stabilizing neighborhoods in some of the oldest suburban communities in New Jersey.

  • For Brooklyn’s Starrett City, Affordability is Binding
  • Trading Bullets for a Better Future

    Youth violence scars lives, turning America’s streets into war zones. How do we transform killing fields into training grounds for stronger communities?

  • The Green New Deal

    Majora Carter saw natural beauty and economic empowerment in her South Bronx neighborhood where others saw only a dumping ground. She’s changing the urban landscape in a way that’s been an eye-opener to people around the globe.