Economic Development

Economic activity is a crucial part of a healthy community, whether it’s access to quality jobs for residents, business support, or a functioning, diverse range of retail options.

Catalysts Turned Stalemates

All too often in cities around the country, a once-clear vision of a “catalytic development project” is easily blurred...

How Much Outside Help Do Worker Co-ops Need to Get to Scale?

Though they end up as owners and decision-makers, workers in low-income communities often don't start off doing all the work...

Toward Comprehensive Approaches for Strengthening Communities

Last January, The New York Times Magazine published "The Myth of Community Development" by Nicholas Lemann. The article painted a gloomy picture of urban...

Say It Loud: Inequality is Bad for Everyone

    There is an invisible culprit in the great scandal of inequality in America: your Econ. 101 textbook. Go ahead, dig it out from that storage chest, and undoubtedly you’ll read that inequality, while we might not like it, is good for economic growth and progress. This idea has undergirded decades of policymaking, and […]
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Can We Ditch Tax Incentives and Support True Economic Development?

Because recent advocacy has succeeded in achieving a change in government accounting standards that led many cities and states to disclose the total costs of the tax abatements they provided last year for the very first time, we now are gaining a better sense of just how much these abatements take away from education and other public services.

Lighting a Spark Between Energy Advocates and Community Development

Partnerships between utility companies and affordable rental housing owners are ripe for development, when the right switch is flipped.

Building the Cars of the Future . . . in Detroit

How the nonprofit Focus: HOPE is helping to bring manufacturing jobs back to Detroit, and the Detroiters who need them.

Will The Creative Class Fly Back?

Perhaps this is a pointer to where America’s recovery will come from. Some of the less fashionable parts of the country may quietly get...

Is Your Town a Parasite?

What would you do if someone told you your town, the place you'd grown up in and where you had...

Anchoring “The Community” to the Community Building Movement

Community building has many definitions all of which capture an integrated approach to addressing poverty. For me, community...
A photo of the Rush University Medical Center.

Connecting Companies to Business

A Chicago organization is bringing together local businesses and large institutions to promote economic growth.
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Would Trump’s CRA Reform Really “Do No Harm?”

NCRC examined every single Community Reinvestment Act evaluation for mid-size banks conducted during 2016.
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We Need a Rural New Deal

COVID-19 is a combined health and economic crisis poised to further devastate rural communities already suffering severe economic stress. Already, rural health care systems...

Getting from Here to There

Transit advocates and CDCs in two parts of the greater Boston region are building cross-movement coalitions that are making equitable transit-oriented development a part of the fight for better transit access.

Chicago: Mercy Portfolio Services, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing

“How do we knit together the capacity, whether it’s the developer, lawyers, title companies, lenders, and define the deal so that we can move...

The Obama Administration’s Remarkable Week on Sustainable Cities, Smart Growth & Revitalization

Wow. Last Monday, before heading out to toss the first pitch at Tuesday’s baseball All Star Game, the president kicked off a White House...

Here’s How CDCs can Overcome the People-Based, Place-Based Gap

“Self interest generalized is community interest” — Kenneth Jones, community organizer Throughout my experience in leading NeighborWorks America's Superstorm Sandy response, two critical aspects have...

How Not To Do Economic Development

Camden is one of the most distressed cities in the United States, and if any city needs state help...
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Measuring the Right Things: “Mobility from Poverty” Is More than Finances

How would you measure someone making progress toward escaping poverty? If you've been tuned in to the asset-building movement you might look at their accumulation of assets and preparation for a financial emergency. You might also want to look at cash flow. But can poverty-fighting be solely measured by money?

Capital Markets and Neighborhood Stabilization

It’s not often that a nonprofit housing developer sits down with a hedge fund manager, or someone from an investment bank who is outside of the philanthropic or CRA departments.

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