What is it? A community development corporation (or CDC) seeks to improve the conditions and quality of life for people in a neighborhood or area. CDCs are started and operated by, or in partnership with, local residents. Many CDCs traditionally focus on affordable housing and business opportunities. All of the organizations work to leverage monetary resources to aid in local development. Effective corporations help ensure this development is thoughtful, inclusive, and beneficial for the overall wellbeing of the neighborhood. Many community development corporations have expanded their programming in order to strengthen social infrastructure, in addition to the physical. CDCs may offer training, workshops and services that help individuals and families.
How has it been used? Southeast Neighborhood Development in Indianapolis, Indiana has a long history of working for the community. Since 1991, the organization has invested $35 million in this under-resourced area. During this period, the CDC has renovated 130 houses to use for affordable housing, planted countless trees to make the area more inviting and renovated and leased 150,000 square feet of space for businesses. Staff have also worked to help improve educational opportunities for young people and improve access to quality public space. These projects are creating a better quality of life in this neighborhood. Property values have increased, new leadership has emerged, and neighborhood amenities have expanded. (Source: Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc)