Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges

Kalima Rose and Teddy Kỳ-Nam Miller

This paper offers a roadmap to face challenges in the housing sector and secure the nation’s future. The Obama Administration’s new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, Affordable Care Act investments in health promotion, the recent Supreme Court victory for advocates challenging exclusionary housing policies, the deepening engagement of philanthropy, the growing demand for investments that improve sustainability and climate resiliency, and robust organizing by communities—all this adds up to the best opportunity in years to transform the nation’s housing infrastructure into an engine of health, opportunity, and prosperity for all. 

Economic Distress and Resurgence in U.S. Central Cities: Concepts, Causes, and Policy Levers

Yolanda K. Kodrzycki and Ana Patricia Muñoz

This paper provides a review of the literature on U.S. central city growth and distress during the second half of the twentieth century.It finds that city growth tended to be higher in metropolitan areas with favorable weather, higher growth, and greater human capital, while distress was strongly correlated with city-level manufacturing legacy. The article affirms that distress has been highly persistent, but that some cities have achieved resurgence through a combination of strong leadership, collaboration across sectors and institutions, clear and broad-based strategies, and significant infrastructure investments. Finally, the article explores measurement issues by comparing two methodologies used to identify poorly performing central cities: comparisons across a comprehensive national cross-section of cities and comparisons within smaller samples of similar cities. It finds that these approaches have produced similar assessments of a city’s status, except in some cases where the city’s progress has been uneven across time or with respect to alternative criteria. 

Beyond Ferguson: Empowering Low-Income People to Build the Future of Their Communities

Dorothy Stoneman
George Warren Brown School of Social Work

This perspective was created from Dorothy Stoneman’s address during a Center for Social Development 20th Anniversary event at Washington University in St. Louis on February 3, 2015. The Center for Social Development invited Dr. Stoneman to tell the story of YouthBuild and how it relates to the events of Ferguson. 

Neighborhood Development Alliance

Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA) builds affordable housing and empowers communities through financial education and guidance.  Since its establishment in 1999, the nonprofit is credited with building or rehabbing 175 homes on the West Side of Saint Paul, developing real estate projects totaling $30,000,000 in the East Metro area, providing homebuyer education to 4,500 people, and helping 5,000 families avoid foreclosure.

Southeast Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1975 as Southeast Development Inc. (SDI) to serve as the development arm of the Southeast Community Organization (SECO), an umbrella community organization in Baltimore, Southeast Community Development Corporation initially focused on developing affordable housing and commercial projects.  In 2000, SDI separated from SECO and adopted a broader mission—to promote the healthy, dynamic, and diverse communities of Southeast Baltimore.  Today, the CDC offers comprehensive homeownership education services, including financial counseling, first-time homeownership counseling, and foreclosure prevention counseling. It is also the only city nonprofit offering on-line classes, evening and weekend appointments, and bi-lingual services.  Its commercial projects include the redevelopment of two theaters and a school into a performing arts center, a public library, and youth center.  Also focused on sustainable community revitalization, the CDC has a green office building, has helped “green” area schools, and has partnered with other community groups to plant hundreds of trees in the area.

Park Heights Renaissance

Established in 2007 to implement the neighborhood’s master plan, Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) is a CDC dedicated to revitalizing the 1,500 acre Park Heights community, the largest redevelopment effort in Maryland history.  Since the plan’s approval in 2008, several affordable housing developments have been created, including Renaissance Gardens, a 60-unit apartment complex for limited-income seniors.  The redevelopment’s next phase will focus on a 50-acre area, which encompasses hundreds of vacant properties.  The CDC also provides a range of community and human services for area residents.


August 29th, 2016 to August 31st, 2016
Cleveland, OH

The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) Summit is on the road again to a city with some of the most mature and innovative community development organizations in the country. They have partnered with the Ohio CDC Association and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to showcase leading-edge initiatives that improve lives and build prosperity in low- and moderate-income communities. Read more about NACEDA Summit...

Southfair CDC

Formed in 1991 to revitalize the Jeffries-Meyers neighborhood, an area with extensive blight and deterioration, Southfair CDC is credited with creating over 400 units of housing since its establishment.  With a mission to expand housing and economic development opportunities and stabilize community institutions and assets, the CDC also provides homebuyer training, credit education, and numerous programs designed to enhance the lives of senior residents. Read more about Southfair CDC...

Innercity Community Development Corporation (ICDC)

Established in 1986, Innercity Community Development Corporation (ICDC) aims to create a stable, safe, and vibrant community in the South Dallas/Fair Park area by building partnerships that provide homeownership opportunities, job training, economic development, community education, and advocacy.  Since 1995, the CDC has developed over 250 energy efficient homes in the South Dallas/Fair Park neighborhoods.  Its commercial development projects include Spring Plaza Office Complex, a 21,000 square foot, two-­story office complex that the CDC built and now owns.  In addition to retail and office space, the complex houses ICDC’s offices, its business incubator, and a classroom facility where it offers a youth entrepreneur program, homeownership education, and other trainings.

Frazier Revitalization

Frazier Revitalization aims to catalyze the transformation of Dallas’ Frazier neighborhood by coordinating and supporting economic and cultural development.  The nonprofit was established in 2005 to implement a comprehensive plan developed by neighborhood residents, which envisioned more than $270 million in new development, including housing, retail, industrial, and healthcare facilities.  In partnership with the City and several philanthropic organizations, the CDC most recently developed a primary care health clinic on a 7-acre site that was previously a hub of illicit activities.  The project’s next phase aims to develop neighborhood amenities, which may include a legal services office, pharmacy, dental clinic, and workforce training facility.

City Wide Community Development Corporation

Established in 2001, City Wide Community Development Corporation aims to revitalize neighborhoods and empower individuals and families to improve their quality of life.  To do so, the CDC focuses on developing affordable housing for women, veterans, homeless individuals, and low-income families, particularly in mixed-use, transit-oriented communities around rail stations.  City Wide is currently working on several projects in Dallas’ Lancaster Corridor, including a transit-oriented development with 193 apartment units, 14,000 square feet of office space, and a parking garage; as well as apartment homes for homeless women clustered around supportive services and a three-story, mixed-use development for veterans and seniors.


Founded in 1979, Commonwealth aims to build a connected community for all residents of Dane County.  Key program areas include affordable housing development, job training and support, business incubation, and community engagement.  The CDC runs two business incubators, one for start-ups and the other for growing businesses, which currently provide affordable space for 32 enterprises.  Other key achievements include the renovation of 135 properties, the creation of a tool lending library, and the development of Third Lake Market—a commercial development project that includes a credit union Read more about Commonwealth...

Mount Washington Community Development Corporation

The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) aims to cultivate growth, development, and investment in Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington and Duquesne Heights neighborhoods.  Since 2006, it has helped establish more than 16 new businesses in the area, creating more than 100 jobs and bringing millions of dollars into the community.  In August 2010, the MWCDC commissioned a ten-year housing strategy that is now guiding its work to create an inclusive, viable and sustainable housing stock, and has resulted in several completed residential rehab projects.  MWCDC also serves as a co-steward for Pittsburgh’s newest regional park, Emerald View Park, a 257-acre urban greenspace.  Its Emerald Trail Corps program provides at-risk adults job training opportunities while constructing park trails and performing ecological restoration.

Manchester Citizen Corporation

Established in 1965 in response to widespread blight and abandonment, Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) focuses on planning, building, promoting, and maintaining Pittsburgh's largest historic area, the thriving Manchester Historic District.  Its strategy is unique in that it relies on historic preservation to achieve economic development.  For instance, MCC is currently renovating dozens of foreclosed historic properties to create 19 new units.  Previous developments include both affordable and market-rate single dwelling, multi-family, and senior housing.

East End Community Services

Established in 1998, East End Community Services provides a range of programs that help residents of East Dayton succeed and break the cycle of generational poverty.  In 2006, it worked with the Twin Towers neighborhood (an area where about a quarter of the housing stock was vacant and deteriorating) and other local nonprofits to create a comprehensive housing strategy, which was then adopted by the City.  Subsequently, between 2010 and 2013, East End worked with local partners to actualize the community’s plan, resulting in the development of 84 new homes representing an $18 million investment in the neighborhood.  East End is now working with community members on a plan to revitalize a core thoroughfare, Xenia Avenue, with the goals of improving safety, attracting new businesses, and creating jobs.

St. Mary Development Corporation

Founded in 1989 by two social activists committed to helping the poor, St. Mary Development Corporation seeks to ensure that every person has a safe, affordable place to live.  To date it is credited with creating more than 3,500 units of affordable housing and connecting more than 800 low-income seniors and 300 families in the Dayton region to services including healthcare, food assistance, transportation, and financial education.

Community Development Corporation Resource Consortium

Established to bring together agencies and businesses located west of Dayton’s Miami River in support of economic change and grassroots community development initiatives, Community Development Corporation Resource Consortium (CDCRC) focuses on helping these groups collectively leverage resources, increase capacity, and gain access to non-traditional funding sources.  Its work has enabled more than 500 families to maintain their homes, get a new car, repair their credit, or start a business.

CityWide Development Corporation

Formed in 1972 by a coalition of local business leaders, neighborhood representatives, and the city government, CityWide Development Corporation works to help Dayton-area businesses create jobs and strengthen the city’s neighborhoods.  The nonprofit runs several loan programs, including a microloan fund, aimed at helping residents start or grow businesses.  It is also spearheading a downtown housing initiative that aims to create 2,500 housing units by 2020, primarily by redeveloping vacant buildings along main streets.