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First Community Community Development Corporation Launch Party scheduled for February 26-27

The Greater Duval Neighborhood Association Is introducing the 1st
Community, 
Community Development Corporation (CDC). Below you can read what a CDC does and how we got to this point.

The Launch Party consists of a live stream at noon on February 26 and a drive-thru celebration at Citizen’s Field from noon to 3:00 p.m. on February 27. More information is available here.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that are created to support and revitalize communities, especially those that are impoverished or struggling. CDCs often deal with the development of affordable housing. They can also be involved in a wide range of community services that meet local needs such as education, job training, healthcare, commercial development, and other social programs.

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This is our Timeline of the creation of the CDC

2011: Alachua Habitat for Humanity begins Neighborhood Revitalization (NR), Starts NR committee with other stakeholders from The Community such as GRU, City, CWC, CAA, GPD, Churches, and Realtors who worked together to engage residents in Neighborhood Revitalization. This group still meets monthly and is now known and referred to as the Habitat NR Committee.

2013: Resident Association created, starts to meet monthly to engage in planning for revitalization. Does neighborhood clean-ups and other events to engage residents.

2016: Greater Duval Neighborhood Association incorporated as 501c3, completes door-to-door survey to assess the needs of the community. Resident Association begins strategic planning with residents and Neighborhood Revitalization Committee.

2017: Residents create a 9-initiative strategic plan that addresses health, housing, adult education, safety, food accessibility, Elderly Care, youth services, and economic stability.

2018: Housing crisis, gentrification, food accessibility, educational disparities, rise in crime, and inequity highlighted, GDNA looks for ways to address issues for neighbors outside of the community, creates a goal of restoring community wealth and improving the quality of life for all underserved communities in Alachua County, and starts to explore tools used in other metropolitan cities to address similar issues. Researched Community Land Trusts (CLT), Land Bank Authorities, CDFIs, and CDCs.

CLTs: Would not help with the goal of restoring community wealth for residents. CLTs are most beneficial in communities where land acquisition is too expensive to keep a house affordable. Other measures and policy changes can be used to keep land affordable. CLTs are a good tool but have limited impact as they primarily focus on affordable housing development. If a CLT is created, it is suggested that the CLT is more of a community-based organization and could be done as an arm of the CDC.

Land Bank Authorities (LBA): Most land banks are only allowed to hold parcels for a period for the purpose of working with the community and developers to develop the parcel and place it on the tax roll. Like CLTs, LBAs are a good tool, but only serve as a temporary solution. This would be a good tool to use if we already had a CDC to assure equity and work on the community engagement process. This tool can be created within the housing and development division of a CDC.

CDFIs: Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. They use their own funds, as well as private and government funding, to strengthen local economies, spur job growth, and improve the overall quality of life in distressed areas.

CDC: Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are nonprofit, community-based organizations focused on revitalizing the areas in which they are located, typically low-income, underserved neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment. While they are most celebrated for developing affordable housing, they are usually involved in a range of initiatives critical to community health such as economic development, sanitation, streetscaping, and neighborhood planning projects, and oftentimes even provide education and social services to neighborhood residents. CDCs play a critical role in building community wealth for several key reasons:

They anchor capital in communities by developing residential and commercial property, ranging from affordable housing to shopping centers and even businesses.

At least one-third of a CDC’s board is typically composed of community residents, allowing for the possibility of direct, grass-roots participation in decision-making.

CDCs’ work to enhance community conditions oftentimes involves neighborhood organizing, a process critical for empowering residents and gaining political power.

2019: The Community First Summit with Marion Cheeks Jackson Center explores the creation of CDC and CDFI from an implementation standpoint. Habitat for Humanity begins Cost of Home Advocacy campaign aimed at improving supply and preservation of housing, equitable land use policies, equal access to credit, and creating communities of opportunity. Committee continues efforts for SELF HELP CREDIT UNION CDFI branch in Gainesville and creating a vehicle to address social issues collaboratively. Using information and examples we developed a WORK PLAN 2020

Mission

To address social issues, improve quality of life for disadvantaged communities, and create equity through programs focused on improving environmental management, affordable housing development, food systems, economic vitality, and land use policies.

Vision

Create a process led by residents to work collaboratively with institutions, nonprofits, and organized community groups to prioritize improving the quality of life for underserved communities in Alachua County.

VALUES

Respect. We will include and honor leadership and contributions from diverse stakeholders so that our work is authentically grounded in the community.

Credibility. We will set feasible and realistic goals at the intersection of community needs and organizational capacity, and we hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders to do the things we promise.

Learning. We will improve our work by applying recognized, innovative, and data-driven practices and by a regular rigorous evaluation of our work.

Collaboration. We will work in partnership with residents and community leaders building from that base to develop coalitions with non-profit partners, funders, business leaders, and public officials.

Persistence. We will be committed to the people and communities of Alachua County and to programs with sustainable, long-term, and measurable impact.

Equity. We engage communities in a way that means better outcomes for all residents in economically, ethnically, and racially diverse communities.

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