Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Lao Family Community Development

Started in a 3-bedroom apartment in 1980 by Southeast Asian refugees to help fellow refugees rebuild their lives after escaping countries suffering from political and social upheaval, Lao Family Community Development now has a 45-person staff, an Oakland headquarters, and two satellite offices.  Today, it aims to assist diverse refugee, immigrant, limited English, and low-income U.S. Read more about Lao Family Community Development...

Menomonee Valley Partners

Incorporated in 1999, Menomonee Valley Partners (MVP) promotes the sustainable redevelopment of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, an area left with several hundred acres of vacant buildings and abandoned, contaminated land after its strong industrial base moved to areas outside of the central city. MVP’s programs include business recruitment, technical assistance to area businesses, and environmental enhancements. Since MVP’s inception, the Valley has attracted more than $600 million in private investment. Read more about Menomonee Valley Partners...

United Community Center

Based in Milwaukee, the United Community Center (UCC) provides education, cultural arts, recreation, community development, and health and human services to 15,000 near south side residents, largely Hispanic, on an annual basis. Aiming to increase neighborhood stability, in 1994 UCC initiated its Walker Square Neighborhood Development Initiative, which provides support and resources to help families purchase and stay in homes. Read more about United Community Center...

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc.

The Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) was founded in 1995 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, which has anchored the neighborhood for more than a century. LBWN uses a three-pronged approach to comprehensive neighborhood revitalization: grassroots leadership development, economic development, and home rehabilitation and ownership. Since its establishment, LBWE is credited with facilitating $34.6 of investment in its focus area, which includes Milwaukee’s Silver City, Burnham Park, and Layton Park Neighborhoods. Read more about Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc....

Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC)

Founded in 1983 to enhance the standard of living of Milwaukee’s northwest side, NWSCDC helps foster collaborative projects that aim to create jobs and spur economic development. Its most recent project is Villard Square, an $11 million, mixed-use development that combines a Milwaukee Public Library branch with 47 units of mixed-income housing for families where grandparents are serving as primary caregivers. Read more about Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC)...

The Long Road from C.J. Peete to Harmony Oaks

Kerry Reckdahl
National Housing Institute

Destruction brought by Hurricane Katrina presented the opportunity ­— and the challenge — for New Orleans to revive its troubled public housing and integrate residents into the planning processes. This case study from the National Housing Institute describes one community development organization's efforts to build trust between displaced residents and local social service providers, and offers lessons learned for other cities struggling to revitalize their public housing. 

Thai CDC

Thai CDC was established in 1994 to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate social and human services for economically disadvantaged Thai immigrants.  Today, the CDC aims to create a thriving community by creating businesses and jobs, developing decent and affordable housing, and revitalizing public space.  Its achievements include the development of 106 housing units for low-income people and a $1.3 million streetscape project in “Thai Town,” a designation that the CDC helped win for a depressed, neglected section of East Hollywood as a way to promote neighborhood pride, economic development, cultural exchanges, and tourism.  The CDC is currently working to develop Thai Town Marketplace, a social enterprise business incubator that aims to create living-wage jobs and economic self-sufficiency for ethnic entrepreneurs in the East Hollywood area.  The project is expected to provide 19 business start-up opportunities and create at least 38 permanent jobs.

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)

Founded in 1979, the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) serves Los Angeles County’s Asian and Pacific Islander populations experiencing language or cultural gaps, financial need, physical disabilities, or other challenges.  To do so, it sponsors over a dozen different community and social service programs and partners with other nonprofit organizations on community-serving real estate projects.  Through such collaborations, LTSC has helped develop 800 units of affordable housing and approximately 125,000 square feet of community space, totaling more than $200 million in investment.  It is also working in partnership with over 100 organizations to create “Sustainable Little Tokyo,” a cultural eco-district that will sustain LA’s Little Tokyo for future generations by embracing green technologies and infrastructure, growing small businesses, and supporting Japanese and Japanese-American arts and culture.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago)

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.  Its flagship program is the New Communities Program (NCP) Network, a partnership with 16 community-based "lead agencies" that coordinate the work of more than 70 partners across 28 community areas. The NCP methodology centers on the development of “Quality-of-Life Plans” under the supervision of a local lead agency selected by LISC in each participating neighborhood.  Seed funding, technical assistance, and other forms of support are then provided to the lead agency and partner organizations to execute the plan, which typically involves housing, commercial and retail development, employment, health care, parks and recreation, child care, educational quality, the arts, and community security.  In 2014, LISC made 180 grants totaling $8.2 million to 53 partner organizations and provided six loans totaling $7.8 million.

North Lawndale Employment Network

Founded in 1999, the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN) provides employment services and transitional jobs to North Lawndale residents, many of whom face significant employment barriers.  In 2004, NLEN launched Sweet Beginnings, a social enterprise that produces and sells all-natural skin care products featuring its own urban honey and provides full-time transitional jobs to formerly incarcerated individuals and others NLEN clients.  In 2016, NLEN served a total of 2,200 people, of which 347 found employment.

Quad Communities Development Corporation

Focused on the South Side communities of North Kenwood, Oakland, and portions of Douglas and Grand Boulevard, Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) convenes residents, organizations, businesses and institutions to plan, guide, support, and monitor human infrastructure and community development activities.  As a lead agency for LISC Chicago’s New Communities Program, QCDC led an 18-month planning process, bringing together over 400 community residents and stakeholders to develop a 10-year Quality of Life Plan, and now implements and supports other groups in implementing community development projects outlined in the plan.  Moreover, as one of Chicago’s Neighborhood Business Development Centers, QCDC connects businesses to city incentive programs, financial resources, networking opportunities, and technical assistance.

The Resurrection Project

Aiming to build relationships and challenge people to act on their faith and values to create healthy communities through organizing, education, and community development, The Resurrection Project (TRP) works to revitalize the predominantly low-income Latino communities on Chicago’s Southwest side.  Its core programs include financial education and counseling, property and asset management, real estate development, community engagement and education, and economic development.  In 2013, it worked with several partners to convert a failed bank into Second Federal Credit Union, helping preserve an estimated $141 million in community assets.  Since 1990, TRP has leveraged $346 million in community investments, empowered more than 57,000 people, and developed 733 affordable homes and 264,292 square feet of community facilities.

The Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC)

Aiming to revitalize the low-to-moderate income communities of Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing and West Chatham, GAGDC focuses on designing and implementing programs that improve community economic viability; increasing the availability of quality housing; maintaining and improving existing affordable housing; and enhancing the delivery of social services, particularly to senior citizens.  As the lead service provider to Special Service Areas 32—a designation created in 2001 to boost investment within the 79th Street Business District and funded through a special property tax levy—it also provides targeted marketing, maintenance and beautification, economic development, facade enhancement, and safety programs to businesses in the Auburn Gresham Business District.

Near West Side Community Development Corporation

The Near West Side Community Development Corporation (Near West) was founded in 1988 to create a viable, mixed-income community in West Haven without displacing low and moderate-income residents.  It not only maintains and helps develop the area’s commercial corridor but also offers a range programs focused on job preparation, life skills training, and financial literacy; social services to public housing residents; permanent housing to residents facing homelessness; and diverse youth programming.  Moreover, as a lead agency for LISC Chicago’s New Communities Program, Near West works directly with residents to develop, design, and execute sustainable community development strategies.

Lawndale Christian Development Corporation

Established in 1987 by Lawndale Community Church to help revitalize the Lawndale neighborhood, the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) aims to promote holistic revitalization through economic empowerment, housing and commercial development, youth and adult education, and community advocacy. To date, LCDC’s work has resulted in more than $100 million in commercial and residential development, including more than 360 units of affordable housing.

Eighteenth Street Development Corporation

The Eighteenth Street Development Corporation focuses on providing capacity building services, technical assistance, guidance, and advocacy to local businesses and entrepreneurs.  Since its establishment in 1976, it has assisted over 1,000 businesses and entrepreneurs, which has resulted in the creation of more than 500 new jobs and the retention of an additional 1,000 jobs. Read more about Eighteenth Street Development Corporation...

Building the Case for Racial Equity in the Food System

Anthony Giancatarino and Simran Noor
The Center for Social Inclusion

This report from The Center for Social Inclusion examines the effects of housing, school, land, and wage policies on access to healthy food in communities of color. It offers recommendations to surmount these challenges, such as investing in cooperatively owned food enterprises and leveraging dollars from the Affordable Care Act’s community benefit requirements for nonprofit hospitals. The report also includes several reference guides to help community groups identify and confront the particular institutions, policies, and practices that promote structural racial inequity in their food systems.