Support Community Development Corporations
All states are interested in strengthening their communities and promoting vitality and prosperity for their citizens. The work of government can be enhanced when it collaborates with not-for-profits, faith-based groups, or Community Development Corporations (CDCs). These organizations have generally demonstrated an ability to develop affordable housing and to provide services to community residents. States can assist these organizations by providing funding, education, and technical assistance that can enhance their capacity.
Community organizations often know what needs to be done to catalyze neighborhood revitalization but lack the financial resources to do it. States have several options for building the capacity of CDCs. They can create a funding stream that can be accessed directly by community organizations. They also can encourage private companies to become involved in helping fund local CDCs. Area corporations often have a desire to contribute to neighborhood improvement, but need guidance for effective investment in community organizations.
Programs directed at the state level can provide the financial incentive and infrastructure needed to bring local stakeholders together as partners in neighborhood revitalization. When funding is made available directly to CDCs, it can be done through tax-exempt bonds or via a grant program. Incentives for private corporations to engage in community development can include state tax credits in exchange for their contributions to community-based organizations.
- The California Communities Program
The California Statewide Communities Development Authority or "California Communities" provides local governments and private entities access to low-cost, tax-exempt project financing. At least 495 cities, counties, and special districts are program participants.
The California Communities program has awarded more than $9.9 billion to local agency participants, including $147 million of community infrastructure bonds to plan future growth, to 59 agencies; and $481 million for water/wastewater treatment facility upgrades in 98 water and sanitation districts. California Communities also funds public benefits projects, including more than 51,000 affordable housing units, 131 educational facilities, and 16 solid waste disposal and alternative energy facilities.
— California Communities program