The goal of Community Economic Development (CED) is to improve the quality of life in communities by developing and managing affordable housing, attracting investments, and creating jobs.
Through community economic development, local governments and private sector organizations can address the needs of communities by developing projects that are designed to address various economic problems, such as unemployment and lack of affordable housing. These projects are then implemented by boards composed of community members. In this blog, we’ll talk a little about some of the key strategies used to push Community Economic Development.
When discussing CED, many people typically equate “real estate” to only affordable housing, but it actually covers a much bigger umbrella. Aside from affordable housing, various types of real estate projects are often considered for community economic development such as retail, mixed-use, industrial, and community service projects. They all share the common goal of creating a community asset that can be used to address a specific need. When discussing CED, many people typically equate “real estate” to only affordable housing, but it actually covers a much bigger umbrella.
While there’s a lot of affordable housing that local nonprofit organizations can provide, they also have a lot of other real estate to develop. According to a study, over 1.6 million units of housing have been created by nonprofits in the last 12 years. That same study also reported that over 21 million square feet of industrial and commercial space were developed by local nonprofit organizations from 2005 to 2008.
Another important strategy of CED includes business development, which typically involves creating or supporting small businesses. This often comes in the form of lending finances to local entrepreneurs in order to form or expand a business, or sometimes providing more technical help. These businesses can provide a variety of services and employment opportunities to the community. Developing local businesses not only helps CED thrive, but it puts the power back into the hands of the citizens, allowing them to support one another and not be stuck at the mercy of larger corporations
Finally, we have the last strategy, financial services. Financial services are extremely important, as the other two strategies can be difficult to implement without some sort of capital. These financial services often include providing loans in order to invest in the communities future via the other two strategies, real estate, and business development. Aside from lending out finances in order to help build businesses and the like, financial services can also include helping individuals or groups purchase or improve their homes, as well as carrying out financial literacy programs so members of the community can ultimately make better financial decisions.