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Title:Community development for whom?: the role of community development corporations in the neoliberal city
Author(s):Heil, Melissa
Advisor(s):Wilson, David
Contributor(s):Harwood, Stacy Anne; Jefferson, Brian J
Department / Program:Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):community development, community development corporations, neoliberalism
Abstract:Community development corporations (CDCs) emerged in the 1960s as grassroots neighborhood organizations which called for investment of government resources in marginalized neighborhoods. Beginning in the 1980s, CDCs became viewed as a market solution to the administration of affordable housing. This thesis examines the role of CDCs today. Particularly, whose interests are being served by CDCs—marginalized residents or other constituencies in the city? Based on interviews with Detroit CDC executive directors, residents, foundation program officers, and city officials, this project considers whose preferences are represented in the strategic initiatives of CDCs, who can hold these organizations accountable, and who benefits from the outputs of the organizations' work. The results suggest that CDCs may easily be coopted and used to legitimize neoliberal redevelopment agendas. CDCs today are being positioned as neighborhood representatives which are well-suited to bring financial and programmatic resources into neighborhoods and advocate on behalf of residents. The supposed resident-controlled character of CDCs is central to this positioning, but CDCs often fail to maintain majority resident boards, and funders expect CDCs to advance their own neoliberal redevelopment priorities for Detroit neighborhoods.
Issue Date:2016-06-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Melissa Heil
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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