What do CDC's do?

A CDC helps a community address poverty and its symptoms. It is a tool the community can use to decide what and how to improve living conditions.

For example, many CDCs build affordable housing and create jobs for area residents. Jobs are often created through small-business loans or commercial business projects. Some CDCs also create programs that: tutor children after school, care for senior citizens, organize neighborhood watches, mobilize residents to affect local, state, or national laws.

Much of a CDC's strength comes from its community-based focus. The term community-based means that people who do not live in the neighborhood will not control the work that occurs there. When used, this term is a commitment to justice and a promise to community residents.

A CDC is located in the community it serves, and staffed by residents. At least half of CDC Boards of Directors must be area residents. This model means that CDCs tailor projects and programs to the communities needs, not their own.