Community Development

Community Development is a local empowerment process that involves leaders who build organizations and alliances that partner businesses with other areas in a city, town, township or local unit of government for the betterment of the community, especially to assure quality, affordable housing. It is a process that involves a comprehensive approach that factors economic and social goals, a base of operating principles, a strategic planning and analysis process, sound financial management, and an organizational format. Regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations support local leaders in their community efforts and provide a regional framework for achieving community objectives.

Community Development Policy Brief

Community Development is a central issue for regions around the country, which NARC recognizes, and supports the sufficient and sustained funding for programs within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that support housing and sustainable community development for urban, suburban and rural areas. Community Development has important roots in the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Act of 1974, which changed prevailing practice, wherein under separate categorical programs, the Federal Government made the decisions about every community development project undertaken by cities.  The HCD Act created the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities, urban counties and states to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

Another important federal legislative effort in the Community Development arena occurred in 2009 when U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the goal to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to promote livability and smart growth principles and goals into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.

However, numerous federal, state and local policy initiatives aim to promote local Community Development.

NARC Member Case Studies

Community Development Resources

NARC Resources

Federal Resources

Interagency partnership between HUD, DOT and EPA

U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

U. S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

U. S. Department of the Transportation (DOT)

U. S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Non-Profit Resources

  • Enterprise Community Partners: This is a national, nonprofit housing and community development organization dedicated to bringing lasting improvements to distressed communities. Through a network of more than 1,100 nonprofit, community-based organizations in more than 400 locations, Enterprise is helping build a national movement to promote housing and community development in low-income neighborhoods.
  • is a project of the Democracy Collaborative. The aims to bring together information about the broad range of community wealth strategies, policies, models, and innovations. The site is built upon the idea that practitioners,policy makers, academics and the media need solid, cross-cutting information and tools that can help them to understand and support the expansion of these community and economic development strategies and institutions.

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