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Building Healthy Places: How are Community Development Organizations Contributing?

January 1, 2017

During the past 50 years, community development organizations have worked in low-income communities that face the greatest barriers to good health. While recent changes in the American healthcare system and philanthropic sector provide new opportunities to partner with community development organizations to address health disparities, knowledge of current health-focused strategies and partnerships among local community-based organizations is limited.Through a survey conducted by NeighborWorks America of 242 high-performing community development organizations across the United States, we examine health strategies, partnerships, and services delivered by community development organizations and professionals.

Smaller, Faster and Creative: Innovations in Affordable Single-Family Home Construction

November 1, 2016

Innovations in single-family home construction are badly needed. Studies show that every county in the U.S. is facing an affordable housing shortage. Homeownership is increasingly out of reach for many would-be first-time homebuyers, and if younger couples and families can afford to purchase their own home, they increasingly have to wait longer to buy or lower their expectations. Many homebuilders are emerging from the housing bust by building fewer but larger and more expensive houses for wealthier homebuyers, underscoring the lack of opportunities for low-income buyers. The excess of single-family homes built before the recession also gives pause to younger buyers that are wary of procuring a mortgage. For these reasons, community development corporations (CDCs) must explore a range of techniques to develop single-family housing that is affordable to first-time homebuyers. This paper examines current innovations in affordable single-family home construction and their associated opportunities and challenges. This paper includes lessons learned by CDCs that have experimented with these innovations and recommendations to CDCs that are interested in doing the same.