Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) December 10, 2013
A report on the work of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) was released today. The 2013 CDC report, “Stories of Community Impact,” details the work being done in urban and rural communities across America with federal community development funding. Rapoza Associates represents the CDCs and produced the report, which includes data and case studies from 31 projects.
“The projects featured in this report resulted in over 1,800 units affordable housing, several community facilities, healthcare facilities, and weatherization projects and critical business lending and investments, totaling more than $2 billion and resulting in some 6,000 jobs, entirely in communities with poverty rates in double digits,” said Bob Rapoza, president and principal of Rapoza Associates.
The case studies highlight projects employing federal program funding, including resources such as the Office of Community Services’ Community Economic Development grant, Community Development Block Grants, rural development funding from the Department of Agriculture, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, the New Markets Tax Credit and other programs targeted toward the revitalization of economically distressed communities and neighborhoods. The report documents the impact of 19 CDCs in communities nationwide, despite a 75 percent reduction in federal investments for community development programs over the last 30 years, as measured as a share of GDP.
“CDCs have been working their quiet magic for decades,” Rapoza shares. “Back in the 1960s, when the idea of public-private partnerships was new, CDCs were a novel experiment. Today, they are a proven success and are widely applauded for their ability to achieve results where other economic revitalization strategies have come up short.”
The foundation for CDCs is the notion that local communities should launch their own revitalization efforts. CDCs work in many of the nation’s poorest communities, attracting private capital to underserved, investment-starved neighborhoods and creating jobs in areas with stubbornly high unemployment rates. With moderate public support from federal, state and local government agencies, CDCs increase capacity by successfully and effectively leveraging private capital. As a result, the federal government—and taxpayers—receive a high rate of return for investments made in CDCs.
CDCs are professionally managed, applying rigorous standards to the community investments they make. Although they take risks that more conventional funders might avoid, they look for projects with a high potential for long-term self-sustainability—and then supply the guidance and technical assistance that can markedly improve the prospects for success. Because CDCs are community-controlled, they are highly accountable, not just to their funding sources, but to the people they serve.
The release of the report comes on the eve of a meeting in Washington, D.C. that will draw community development stakeholders for a strategic conversation on the future of federal community development funding. For more information on CDCs, visit http://www.jobsandcommunities.com.
About Rapoza Associates
RAPOZA ASSOCIATES is a lobbying and government relations firm specializing in federal community development policy. Our clients work to build stronger communities across the nation – and we support their work by providing them a range of key services, including representation before Congress and federal agencies and consultation on federal policy and programs. We have more than 30 years of experience in legislative strategy, public policy analysis and action-oriented research.