Community development funding is one of the major tools that cities and towns use to improve certain sections of metropolitan, suburban, and rural areas. Community development funding is geared to improving these areas as well as restoring those areas which have deteriorated and grown into problem zones. Additionally, community development funding will focus on stimulating vital community growth, both economically and socially.
During the passage of time, many communities within urban and rural areas have begun to decline with an increase in unemployment, poverty, and crime. The goal of community development funding involves creating dynamic living environments which enhance the attraction of living within the community, a place where people can successfully and safely live their lives, work their jobs, and raise their families.
Unfortunately, many of these areas cannot afford the rehabilitation or rebuilding of their local community since they certainly lack funding. Due to this lack of community development funding, some individuals will move their families to communities which do not have the problems associated with these declining areas. With less and less financial input and communal participation, local businesses will also deteriorate and, in time, cease existing within the community. In particular, the older industrial cities have a greater proportion of deterioration within their inner communities; many sections have developed into literal slums, sections where overcrowding, poor housing, little or no public facilities, and dire economic poverty are a daily fact of life.
However, fortunately, there are organizations which do promote and assist in the betterment of the community and will help provide community development funding. The chief organization that concerns itself with improving these communities is the community development corporation (CDC). In 1966, Federal legislation created the first CDC and the CDC’s fundamental structure continues to be made up of civic organizations, community residents, small business owners, and community religious congregations. Funding originates from several sources such as the Enterprise Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Banks, corporations, donations from private philanthropists and organizations can also offer community development funding. Additionally, Federal sources such the Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as state and local government appropriations can and do offer community development funding for the CDC’s goals.
This funding focuses on one or more objectives as organized and approved by the CDC. Some of these objectives have included the goals of redeveloping and restoring housing, public facilities, and promoting commercial and retail growth. These CDCs with community development funding can transform distressed communities into neighborhoods where people can once again live, work, and raise their families safely and successfully.