3 Detroit neighborhood revitalization leaders discuss evolution of CDCs

Community Development Corporations, or CDCs, are nonprofits formed to meet specific needs in their neighborhoods.

Here in Detroit, Michigan, where development has until recently been a risky proposition, CDCs were the entities preserving and developing neighborhoods when no one else saw the potential.

Now those organizations are facing new challenges and opportunities of a revitalizing city.

We talked with the executive directors of three longstanding CDCs — Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, Vanguard Community Development Corporation, and U-SNAP-BAC — about how the work of their organizations is evolving in 21st-century Detroit.

Tom Goddeeris, executive director, Grandmont-Rosedale Development Corporation:The housing market remains one of the biggest challenges and needs in our community. In the wake of the major national housing crisis, we saw vacancies shoot up and prices drop. We have been working to revitalize the housing market and help people stay in their homes. We’re also trying to revitalize the commercial district; we think remaining a viable residential neighborhood means we need to have the kind of businesses people are looking for, as well as other things we address, such as public safety, parks and other amenities.

Pamela Martin-Turner, executive director, Vanguard CDC:We are the neighborhood most immediately near to Midtown. As Detroit is being revitalized, it’s really important for us that the people who have been here in the neighborhood are able to stay and people like them are able to come here.

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