A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

About the Center

The Center for Community Economic Development Assistance is a centralized national resource center for nonprofit organizations engaged in community economic development. Resources provided by the Center are How To Manuals, Exemplary Practices Case Studies, and Direct Technical Assistance and Training. The Center is a program of the California Community Economic Development Association.  The Center’s website has been funded in part by the California/Nevada Community Action Partnership.

How To Manuals

These manuals were produced by the California Community Economic Development Association, in partnership with the Community Action Partnership National Office.  Additional tools and resources are available through the Partnership's Community Economic Development web page.

The “Community Economic Development” publication series is designed to increase the knowledge of processes for community economic development projects nationwide.

Real Estate Series

- Single Family For Sale
This guide is intended for use by community development practitioners interested in developing affordable single family homeownership projects. Projects may vary and include single family subdivisions, multi-unit condominiums and single family acquisition rehabilitation projects.

- Multi-Unit New Affordable Rental Housing: New Construction - Using 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits
- Multi-Unit Acquisition-Rehabilitation Affordable Rental Housing: 4% Tax Credits and Tax Exempt Bond Financing
These guides are intended for use by community development practitioners considering becoming developers of multi-unit affordable rental housing projects. Multi-unit projects are built to serve specific populations including seniors, families, homeless, transitional and housing for mentally or physically disabled.

- Mixed Use/Mixed Income Development
This guide is intended for use by community development practitioners considering development of mixed use and/or mixed income projects. Mixed use projects incorporate different real estate uses within one project.  This mix may include affordable for sale, rental, commercial retail and office, and community facilities (such as child care, health care or space for community use).  Mixed income refers to properties that include housing units targeted for above moderate income buyers and tenants.

- Community Facility Development
This guide is intended for use by community development practitioners considering becoming developers of a community development facility. It is similar to the Commercial (Office and Retail) and Industrial Facility Guide. The key difference is that community facilities are financially structured to have very little to no debt. Many of the projects will fall between the two categories and this guide will help you if you are undertaking debt free projects or projects with a very small amount of debt. In most community facilities the tenant cannot afford to pay much or their cash flow is not reliable. This guide will focus will be on equity sources to make up the majority of the development costs. Much of the equity raised for these projects are achieved through capital campaigns or through large public or private grants focused on meeting a very important community need.

- Commercial (Office and Retail) and Industrial Facility Development
This guide is intended for use by community development practitioners considering becoming developers of commercial (office and/or retail) and industrial facilities. Commercial/industrial facility projects may vary in terms of the use, size and scope of the intended use; however your role will not change. You are the developer, owner and manager of the physical structure whether or not your organization or programs locate in the facility. Your organization will be responsible to ensure that debt payments are being made and building operates reliably and successfully.

Community Development Series

- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
This 
guide 
is 
intended 
for 
use 
by
 community
 development
 organizations 
for 
the 
following 
purposes: (1) Organizations 
wanting
 to learn about CDFIs, (2) Organizations considering becoming a certified CDFI that have an existing loan program, and (3) Organizations considering becoming a certified CDFI and have not operated a loan program, and (4) Organizations looking for CDFI services for their own use or for their community.

- New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs)
This
 guide 
is
 intended
 for
 use
 by
 community 
development
 organizations 
for 
the 
following 
purposes: (1) Organizations 
wanting
 to learn about NMTCs, (2) Organizations considering applying for a NMTC allocation from Treasury, and (3) Organizations looking to use NMTCs in their projects.

- Community
 Development
 Micro 
Loan
 Funds
This guide 
is 
intended 
for
 use
 by
 community
 development
 organizations
 for 
the following
 purposes: (1) Organizations 
wanting
 to learn about Micro Loan Funds, (2) Organizations creating alternative lending and investment programs, and (3) Organizations seeking services and capital from Micro Loan Funds.

- Community
 Development
 Loan 
Funds
This guide
 is 
intended
 for 
use 
by 
community
 development
 organizations
 for 
the 
following 
purposes: (1) Organizations
 wanting
 to
 learn about Community Development Loan Funds, (2) Organizations creating alternative lending and investment programs, and (3) Organizations seeking services and capital from loan funds.

- Community 
Development 
Equity 
Investment 
Funds
This guide
 is 
intended 
for 
use 
by
 community
 development
 organizations
 for 
the 
following 
purposes: (1) Organizations
 wanting
 to
 learn about Equity Investment Funds, (2) Organizations creating alternative lending and investment programs, and (3) Organizations seeking services and capital from loan funds.

- Community 
Development
 Credit 
Unions
This guide
 is 
intended
 for 
use 
by 
community
 development
 organizations
 for
 the 
following 
purposes: (1) Organizations
 wanting
 to
 learn about Credit Unions, (2) Organizations creating alternative lending and investment programs, and (3) Organizations seeking services and capital from loan funds.

Business Development Series

- Small Business Technical Assistance
This guide is intended for use by organizations that are considering providing small business technical assistance services. Small business technical assistance encompasses diverse topical areas that can serve a range of business sizes and needs. Business sizes include micro businesses, start ups, and small business expansion. Services can include assistance in areas such as marketing, management, finance and strategic planning.

Services Series

- Social Enterprises
A growing number of not-for-profit organizations are seeking opportunities to start or expand ventures that fulfill their mission and provide earned revenue. A social enterprise is an organization or venture that accomplishes these dual objectives.  By selling mission-related products or services, social enterprises apply market-based strategies to build a more just, sustainable world [source: Social Enterprise Alliance].  The earned revenue strategies used by social enterprises help them to pursue a double or triple bottom line; double bottom line meaning the simultaneous creation of both a financial and social return on investment or in the case of a triple bottom line financial, social and environmental returns [source: Academies for Social Entrepreneurship].

- Financial Education
This guide is intended for use by organizations that are considering providing financial education services. Financial education programs encompass diverse topical areas, which can range from personal finance management to small business technical assistance.

- Alternative Financial Services
The 
Alternative 
Financial
 Services Guide
 is
 intended 
for 
use
 by 
community 
development
 organizations
 for 
the
 following
 purposes: (1) Organizations
 wanting to 
learn
 about alternative financial services and (2) Organizations considering development of alternative financial services for their community.

- Service Centers and Shelters
How can we develop a community facility? Who can help us in local government? How can should we approach oppositional neighbors? What resources are out there? Where do we start?