Community development corporations : can local government do more towards building the capacity of their CDCs?

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Fortner, Stephanie R.
Mitchell, J. Paul
Issue Date
Thesis (M.U.R.P.)
Department of Urban Planning
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This thesis examines a comprehensive planning model to determine the level of citizen participation The purpose of this thesis was to document ways in which a local government can be a partner with its community development corporations (CDCs) rather than an obstacle. The paper used Indianapolis' CDCs and their support network as a case study. The research identified four needs of a CDC to build capacity: funding, technical assistance, political networking, and internal management. This document intended to find the sources of support to meet these needs in Indianapolis. In the end, the primary focus was not necessarily what local government gave to the CDCs, but how they delivered the needed resources.Interviews were conducted with several individuals in Indianapolis to explore the support network available to CDCs. Members of the Indianapolis support network included the Department of Metropolitan Development--Division of Community Development and Financial Services, the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), and the Indianapolis Coalition for Neighborhood Development (ICND). The questions asked of these individuals focused on how they fulfill the needs of the CDCs, and their perspective on the efforts of the local government.There are several characteristics and components to this support network in which another city could learn from or replicate. For instance, the local government should not be a reluctant supporter of it's CDCs. Building trust and long term relationships benefits the partnership between the city and CDCs. It is in the best interest of the CDCs if a local government encouraged a charitable environment. The local government needs to realize that the partnership with a CDC only works if there is a shared vision between the two. Finally, each member of the support network for the CDCs need to define what is really meant by the concept of partnership.