Contents | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | References & Notes
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1 The National Congress for Community and Economic Development (NCCED) monitors the growth of CDCs in the United States. Its most recent census of CDCs suggests that the population is approximately 3,600. Of this number, 52 percent service urban areas and 26 percent serve rural areas. The remainder (22 percent) service mixed urban-rural areas (NCCED 1999, 5). (back to text)
2 Historically black religious denominations are administratively independent of predominantly white denominations. There are eight denominations: African Methodist Episcopal; African Methodist Episcopal Zion; Christian Methodist Episcopal; National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.; National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.; and Church of God in Christ. CDCs affiliated with a church or coalitions of churches that belong to white-led denominations such as Roman Catholic, Episcopal, or Presbyterian are not black church-associated CDCs. (back to text)
3 Afforded nonprofit tax status, black church-associated CDCs may receive tax-deductible contributions; there is no federal gift tax on contributions to them. (back to text)
4 No national statistics exist on the number of black church-associated CDCs operating in American cities. As I have remarked elsewhere (Owens 1998, 1999), researchers can expect the number will increase. Five factors will be the cause. One, commercial financial institutions such as Chase Manhattan Bank and Fleet Bank are heavily invested in faith-associated lending, both for sanctuary construction and community-based development projects. Two, technical assistance providers like the Faith Center for Community Development, Inc. and the National Congress for Community Economic Development are experiencing a growth in the number of black churches seeking them out to incorporate CDCs. Three, national philanthropies like the Ford Foundation, as well as community foundations, are increasing their financial commitments black church-associated community development. Four, courses on faith-associated community development are becoming standard at universities, colleges, and seminaries like Harvard University, Michigan State University, New Hampshire College, New School for Social Research, University of Michigan, Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Five, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development established a Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships that promotes faith-based community development via public resources. (back to text)
5 The ten churches are Abyssinian Baptist Church; Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church; Bethany Baptist Church; Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church; Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church; Canaan Baptist Church of Christ; Concord Baptist Church of Christ; Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church; Memorial Baptist Church; and Saint Paul Community Baptist Church. (back to text)
6 Nearly all of the research on the CDC examines it with closed eyes toward politics. It tends to look at CDCs solely through the lenses of physical changes and economic outputs. For example, researchers focus on the number of housing units built and the number of jobs created or retained in a community (Vidal 1992). Some address the efficiency and effectiveness of the CDC as a vehicle for delivering community services (Cowan, Rohe, and Baku 1999). Others seek out its social effects on individuals and neighborhoods (Sullivan 1993). Many focus on the technical difficulties CDCs experience in their physical and economic activities (Bratt 1989; Clay 1990). (back to text)
7 Mercer Sullivan (1993, 104) notes that CDCs may be equally likely to have full-time community organizers, as they do full-time housing developers and social workers. This is the case with Boston's Urban Edge Corporation, whose staff includes full-time organizers that, not only organize the tenants of the CDC's housing, but also practice community-wide organizing (Briggs and Mueller 1997). (back to text)
8 The New York State legislature created the Neighborhood Preservation Development Companies program in 1977. Its purpose is to preserve and build low- and moderate-income housing throughout New York State. It pursues this purpose by providing planning and administrative funds to community-based nonprofit housing corporations. (back to text)
9 The use of public dollars (along with other government resources) black church-associated CDCs may surprise some. The rhetoric of black church-led community development is conservative in tone, expressing the notion that urban black church-associated CDCs can and do compete against government. A sober review of black church-associated community development, especially the political philosophy behind its organizations, along with its sources of governmental funding, belies its conservative nature. Despite what conservative commentators (e.g., Woodson 1998) may think or say about them, black church-associated CDCs are more progressive in character and action than not. Black churches do not intend their affiliated CDCs to replace urban municipal government as the provider of public goods in urban black neighborhoods. Even if they did, the financial barrier is too high for black church-associated CDCs to overcome. A director of a Harlem-based CDC clarifies:
Our success gives or allows some public agencies to think that, 'O.K. then they can do more.' But, ours is never to replace government . . . As much as we are seen as a model and a leading [CDC] we are barely surviving and that is just the operational costs. The needs and demands of a faith-based development corporation are, maybe not greater [than a secular one], but its something that -- the resources to support it are not equal to the demand and the level of services that are required by the people in the neighborhoods we serve. (back to text)
10 The HOME and CDBG programs provide flexible grants from the federal government to state and local governments for housing construction and rehabilitation. HOME mandates that municipalities allocate a minimum of 15 percent of their HOME funds to housing developed, sponsored, or owned by nonprofit housing organizations such as black church-associated CDCs. Both CDBG and HOME give wide discretion to local governments in formulating their responses to housing problems. (back to text)
11 The LIHTC program gives private investors who provide equity capital for new construction or the cost of substantially rehabilitated affordable housing units an annual federal income tax credit of 9 percent for ten years. Tax credits solely go toward the proportion of units occupied by low-income households, as defined by the federal government. (back to text)
12 Funding for the organizers comes from external grants. The case of a Harlem-based black church-associated CDC: "We got a Community Trusts grant, from the New York Community Trust, to look at the impact and mobilize the people who are our residents to be able to deal with and get information sharing, education about welfare-to-work, and what their responses are to it." The same CDC also received a grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. (back to text)
Contents | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | References & Notes