Earlier this year, Public Works Partners was engaged by Larisa Ortiz Associates to help our client, the Association of Neighborhood Housing Developers, to explore opportunities for local community development organizations (which typically focus on developing affordable housing) to increase their breadth of activities to include economic development. Several of ANHD’s members are already engaged in commercial or workforce development programs, recognizing that once they’ve provided housing in their community, the next steps include helping folks to find and sustain themselves economically. ANHD and its members wanted to understand how they could do this more strategically.
Larisa Ortiz Associates brought their extensive experience working in commercial districts to the project and Public Works contributed our expertise in industrial and workforce development. Together, we researched and evaluated several best-in-class examples from the national and local scene where community development organizations successfully integrated economic development into their service portfolios.
The resulting report, Roadmap for Equitable Economic Development: Expanding the Toolkit of the Community Development Movement, was released yesterday at a conference hosted by ANHD and the Ford Foundation. Larisa Ortiz and Public Works principal Mark Foggin each participated in panels describing the challenges community development organizations face in expanding their roles, as well as the opportunities to be seized to create an holistic approach to neighborhood-level economic development.
If you’re thinking of expanding your service portfolio, we can help your organization to evaluate the best ways to do so, focusing on your core strengths, and the most promising avenues for growth that will result in the most effective outcomes for your clients. Please get in touch with us.