Tag: Economic Development

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—Aug. 3

Addressing Hunger on Campus | Redesigning the Homeless Shelter | Holding Landlords Accountable | NYC Says No To Uber & Lyft | Protecting Voucher Holders | More...

Shelter Shorts, The Week in Community Development—June 22

U.S. Increases Numbers of Families in Crisis | Hooray-Lots of People Have (Low Wage) Jobs! | Arts + Public Health | Seattle Caves to Corporate Interests | Converting Motels Into Supportive Housing

In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Seeks to Be a Good Neighbor

The current HopkinsLocal effort, a three-year program launched in September 2015, is also clearly a response to the death of Freddie Gray and the events that followed.

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?

Panacea or Problem? The Possibilities in Opportunity Zones

With Opportunity Zones, the potential is there for great benefit, but it is not yet clear where, how, and to whom any benefits will accrue. People who care about connecting residents and businesses in distressed communities with opportunities need to act now so they fulfill their promise.

New York City Needs to Stop Negotiating Rezonings From an Uneven...

What is the underlying dynamic that leads so many council members in low-income communities of color to approve neighborhood rezonings, despite community opposition and the likelihood of increased displacement pressure on existing residents?

CRA “Reform” Under Trump Threatens Communities of Color and the 99...

Banks enjoy consumer and taxpayer-funded privileges, such as deposit insurance, and not too long ago, subsidized trillion-dollar bailouts. It’s not too much to insist that they invest a fair share of those dollars back into all of our communities.

The Important Deadline Coming Up for All Governors

States have a deadline to submit their Opportunity Zones nominations. What factors will be weighed in the decision process, and what will federal designation mean to distressed neighborhoods?

The Displacement Crisis of Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses

Growth of new business is a sign of a robust economy, but New York City’s true success hinges on ensuring that all residents have access to opportunity and community resources.

Duty to Serve: A Boon for Shared Equity Homeownership

Shared equity homeownership programs just had a big win.

Nun Funds: The Original Impact Investors

Rising out of a practice of shareholder activism that began in the 1970s, Women Religious made the leap from monitoring their investments on Wall Street to becoming pioneers in investing directly in the communities and social justice causes for which they cared.

Would Trump’s CRA Reform Really “Do No Harm?”

NCRC examined every single Community Reinvestment Act evaluation for mid-size banks conducted during 2016.

Persistently Poor Regions Would Welcome a Little Gentrification

It is often said that you get what you pay for. Clearly, too little is being paid to create positive change in America’s most vulnerable places.

In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew

For equitable development activists, Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance may seem like major progress. And it is—just not how they may imagine it to be.

A Partner, Not an Expert

Over the course of three decades in the development finance industry, I have learned that engaging and empowering those who have the greatest stake in their communities is the best way to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

Defending DACA Is a Moral and Economic Imperative

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants. Over the course of its five-year history,...

Entrenched Poverty, Juxtaposed Against Occasional Pockets of Progress

Recently, more than 150 people from across the nation rolled along the backroads of the iconic Mississippi Delta, peering through bus windows at scene after scene of entrenched poverty juxtaposed against occasional pockets of progress that had been achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds. While there were signs of advancement, they were set against the backdrop of conditions that disproportionately plague these places—substandard housing, underperforming schools, inadequate access to quality health care, and limited private and philanthropic investment. 

The Hidden Threat of Tax Cuts to Equitable Economic Development

Although the Trump administration’s recent budget proposal offers only a look at expenses, with no numbers on revenue, it...

Tax Credits Play A Critical Role in Economic Development

In his recent speech to Congress, President Trump included this pledge: “Every American child should be able to grow...

Worker Co-ops: Hope in the Desert

“Political democracy requires economic democracy.” I spent Election Day in—of all places—Las Vegas, Nevada....

CDFIs “Rethink” Systems, But (Hopefully) Not Identity

Last week I attended the Opportunity Finance Network conference, the annual gathering of Community Development Financial Institutions and those who work with them. As usual,...

New Lenses on Economic Development

Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent every year to stimulate economic development. Is it going where we think it’s going?

Making a Success of Local Hire

Local hire policies are among the strongest strategies for bringing good job opportunities to disadvantaged communities, but adding more provisions to specifically target those with the most barriers to employment can make local hiring practices even more effective.

Why Your Community Should Kick the Subsidy Habit

Corporate incentives won't help communities thrive, even distressed ones. But nurturing local businesses will save municipalities money and promote the growth of income, wealth, and jobs.

In the World of Community Wealth-Building, Ownership Has Its Privileges

What local government can do to support new, more inclusive economic models.

Who Will Benefit from Port Covington?

Advocates, city leaders, and Under Armour's real estate arm negotiate a $660 million tax deal and a vision for economic development in Baltimore.

Making Community Benefits Agreements Count

CBAs can be extremely difficult to implement and enforce, which is why a detailed agreement in the early stages of the community-developer relationship is so important.

Connecting Companies to Business

A Chicago organization is bringing together local businesses and large institutions to promote economic growth.

Using Business as a Force For Good

B Corps are for-profit businesses that focus strongly on their social and environmental impact. The movement has grown to 1,800-plus worldwide and now cities, economic authorities, and activists are trying to attract more of these mission-driven and worker-friendly companies to help spur economic growth.

Continuing the Dream

New Communities Inc. was the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the United States the late 1960s. For more than 15 years, it survived attempts at sabotage and other challenges thanks to the collective efforts of as many as 500 families.

Keeping Everyone Afloat: Is Universal Basic Income the Answer?

Advocates and organizers who deal with the needs of the poor often say it's not really a housing/food/training issue, it's an income issue. So what would happen if we just addressed income?

A New Way to Finance Equitable Economic Development?

Big companies discovered the long-stagnant Immigrant Investor Program EB-5 after the 2008 financial crisis. Can community developers bend the program toward their goals too?

Interview with Michael Rubinger, former CEO of the Local Initiatives Support...

Rubinger was at LISC's founding and from 1999 to June 2016, he headed the organization, steering it most recently on a path toward comprehensive community development rather than just housing work.

Q: Do economic development incentives support small businesses?

A. Not very much. Despite the claims of many states, when you look at the numbers, the vast majority of taxpayer dollars directed to economic development go to big corporations.

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...

Embedding Equity Into Economic Development

It is another summer in which America’s deep racial fault lines are being painfully exposed. Following the horrific violence...

Putting the Impact in Impact Investing

Impact investing is a popular idea that promises to channel the power of market capitalism into serving the common...

Q: What’s the difference between community economic development and traditional economic...

A: A lot! In fact, they are so different that the Democracy Collaborative, which made the chart below, has coined the term “community wealth building” to set apart the truly community-oriented practitioners of economic development.

The Next Boom for Worker Co-ops?

Baby boomers are the largest percentage of business owners, and they’re headed toward retirement. The worker cooperative movement wants to keep the jobs they’ve created from disappearing.

Developing Economic, Along with Physical, Health

Sue Joss and Jason Barbosa might seem to be unlikely economic development partners. She is the veteran CEO of a major nonprofit health care...

A Gem for New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization

'A dollar and a dream,' was the phrase I read in a brochure about the starting point for revitalizing neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Revitalization...

New Jersey Divests from Payday Lending

Advocates in New Jersey mobilize to make a state pension fund put its money where its state regulations are.

For Cities, Industrial Land Matters

In a recent blog post, Tarry Hum, a professor of urban studies at Queens College, profiled the failure of the De Blasio administration to...

More Bang for the Buck?

Austin, with prodding from advocates, pushes its economic development policy to go beyond big deal chasing.

A Response to ‘A New Gospel of Wealth,’ Part Two

In my last blog post, I responded to Ford Foundation president Darren Walker’s essay in which he outlines a new direction for the foundation ...

Equitable Development in Shaw

A recent New York Times article on the revitalization of Washington, DC’s Shaw neighborhood highlighted how real estate developers have rebranded the area to...

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...

Can Community Wealth Building Redefine City Economic Development?

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Uber-noxious

At the PolicyLink Equity Summit the last week of October, Orson Aguilar of the Greenlining Institute was taking a...

Response to Darren Walker’s New Gospel of Wealth

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker recently circulated a thought-provoking piece declaring the foundation’s commitment to tackling the worldwide problem of inequality. In the piece, Walker...

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.

Why CDFIs Should Go To College

              During three decades of working to close the financial gaps that confront a disproportionate number of low-income, minority...

Not Just Any Job

Community lenders and local governments wrestle with how to encourage—or simply require—that jobs created with their support provide real pathways to opportunity for those who need them most.

Community Groups’ Role Vanishes Under New Federal Workforce Legislation

On July 22, 2014, after it passed by wide bipartisan margins earlier in the year, the Workforce Innovation and...

Capital Catch-up

Community lenders try to address the capital crunch faced by small businesses of color.

Local Hire: Popular and Controversial

In March, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx began moving toward fully implementing “Local Hire,” a new, year long model program...

Not Just Any Job

 Community lenders and local governments wrestle with how to encourage—or simply require—that jobs created with their support provide...

Making Sense of the New Economy: Rethinking Community Economic Development

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An Industrial Revolution Comes to Indianapolis

Abandoned factories have been an economic albatross for Midwestern cities since the 1990s, when American manufacturers moved overseas or...

The Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

Across America—in inner city neighborhoods and rural towns alike—the level of economic and social distress is rising. Although these...

A Bigger, Better Vision for the Left

What would full employment look like? Minority contractors, pastors, and faith leaders flew to the Capitol last week to...

Cut the Red Tape – Local Hire Needed

Last month, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a new, year long model program to test innovative local hire policies....

Local Leaders Just Gained a New Tool to Address Inequality

A new Brookings Institution analysis confirms what we are feeling: inequality continues to climb in cities, and large income...

Carrots, Sticks, and Economic Justice

Once upon a time, I saw the problem of providing responsible financial services as purely a policy problem. We...

“Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses” Is a Meaningless Category

How many times have you seen the phrase “women- and minority-owned businesses” or seen an organization list a single...

Can We Bend the Sharing Economy Toward Equity?

We’ve all heard the stories. Homeless Homejoy cleaners. Uber drivers on food stamps. Grad students Airbnb-ing their extra rooms...

Clearing a Path to Employment for Veterans

Veterans tend to have many job skills—but translating that into civilian employment is often harder than it should be.

Sprawl vs. Unions

The three very different stories of the building trades in Atlanta, Denver, and Portland, Ore., show just how much urban development patterns affect workers.

Forget Red and Blue States: Go Green for Better Jobs, Health,...

The following op-ed is an expanded version of “Green States Better for Jobs,” that appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal on October 20, 2014. How do you win an election in any red Southern state? If you are running as a senator the conventional wisdom is you condemn government as an enemy of working families […]

Jobs and More Jobs: Organizing’s Economic Impact

In the report, “Jobs and More Jobs: The Economic Impact of Community Organizing,” Gamaliel community organizers add up $13 billion worth of public and private programs that faith, community, and labor leaders worked to create or save through their advocacy efforts in 2012-13, employing nearly 460,000 people. Using commonly accepted economic formulas to measure the […]

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 […]

How Much Money Is Your City or State Losing to “Economic...

Have you ever wondered how much money your city or state is actually losing when it gives a 20-year tax break to a developer in exchange for a handful of jobs? You might soon be able to find out. As Shawn Escoffery of the Surdna Foundation and Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First explain in […]

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year. The amounts are modest, but the trend is clear—mayors and economic development leaders are beginning to add cooperatives and community wealth building to the economic development toolbox. In […]

Want a Stronger Economy? Focus More on Racial Inclusion

  As housing and community development practitioners, you need little convincing that dismantling racial barriers to economic opportunity—from policing practices to exclusionary zoning—is critical to building stronger, more cohesive communities. But what about the economic cost of these persistent racial inequities? Might segregated regions not just undermine the country’s moral fabric, but also hinder its […]

Advancing Economic Opportunity Through Diversity

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in an important and powerful conversation about the importance of diversity and inclusion in achieving economic equity at the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) conference in Denver, Colorado. This is a topic that hits close to home for me. Before I joined JPMorgan Chase, I spent 10 years at […]

The Benefits of Having Everyone at the Table

How might we better engage the families we work with and provide them access to larger opportunities? Last month, CFED held their bi-annual Assets Learning Conference. It featured a range of topics that touched on an array of asset-building issues and included networking opportunities, mobilized conversations with policymakers, and celebrations of the progress of the […]

Out from Under the Table

An enterpreneurial training program in Detroit has an unexpected side benefit—legitimizing existing but unofficial businesses, and poising them for growth.

Forging a Transformative Vision

Building economic power through community ownership is the antidote to the systemic failures of our current system.

Thinking Outside the Big Box

Urban centers need to come up with creative solutions to keep their local economies safe from the crushing force of big-box retailers.

The Cooperative Solution

Cooperatives align closely with the goals and values of community developers and deserve more attention as an economic development strategy.

To Build a Community Economy, Start With Solidarity

How residents who can't afford to buy in can still get the benefits of co-op work and housing.

Focus on Scale Up, Not Start-up

To truly transform local neighborhoods, we must shift our attention to invest in enterprise scale, not start-ups, as a long-lasting solution for creating good jobs.

Keeping the Jobs in House

Humboldt Construction Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Chicago CDC, has been providing local employment and high-quality work for over 30 years.

Lifting the Fog on Section 3

When it's more appealing to circumvent the law requiring that jobs in public housing construction go to qualified residents than to follow it, something needs to change.

Hitting Construction Hiring Goals

How do you ensure that the jobs a new development is supposed to bring to a community actually go to underrepresented populations?

Building Bridges, Building Muscle, Building Momentum

Two cities show how community-based organizations and labor can overcome their historical divide to work together.

We Should Be Working Less

Changing our assumptions about what constitutes "normal" full time work could help address all sorts of social problems, from unemployment to civic disengagement.

Put Your Spending Where Your Goals Are

Local procurement policies take money already being spent and direct it to local businesses to get more economic development benefit for the buck.

Are You Subsidizing Big Business?

Massive corporations, not start-ups or local job creators, get the lion's share of state and local development incentives.

Manufactured Locally

While there is much debate about the state of large-scale domestic manufacturing, a few places are quietly supporting local manufacturing for items that have been made overseas for some time, from jewelry to jeans.

Time for Worker Cooperatives to Go Mainstream

Cities are at the crosswalk of talent and density, and they have a lot to lose by not thinking...

A Victory for Local Control re: Fracking

Localities in New York State appear to have won the right to ban fracking, thanks to a decision by the...

Outside Investment or Self-Reliance for Rural Success?

Recently I came across a couple articles that questioned the economic viability of rural areas in large parts of...

Casinos are Parasites

It is not news that communities desperate for jobs and economic development often make terrible long-term decisions, welcoming in...

Letting the Dollars Land

To realize the promise of community investment, the capacity of specific places to absorb available capital needs to grow.

Maybe Money Really Can Grow On Trees

Guess what? The local food movement is actually good for your local economy! At least that seems to be...

In the South, Politics and Tourism Don’t Mix

The Civil War is big business in Virginia, which saw more than its share of big battles during the...

How the New Market Tax Credit Program Could Actually Benefit Communities

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was created in 2000, with a goal of creating “jobs and material improvement...

Easing into Investment?

Joe Kriesberg of Mass. Assoc. of CDCs recently took a trip to Cuba with a group of community development colleagues....

Eds and Meds and the Three-Legged Stool of Economic Development

My first reactions to Richard Florida's recent attempt to tip the sacred cow of “eds and meds” (universities and hospitals)...