September 1, 2010 | Working Papers

Revitalizing American Cities: Do Community Development Corporations Matter?

Authors: Nathaniel S. Wright

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Policy makers have been faced with identifying solutions to address poverty and other social problems facing U.S. cities. Community development corporations have emerged as major players in the rebuilding of cities across America. Research has shown that CDCs have been successful in their quest in the revitalization of neighborhoods and communities (Vidal, 1992). However, little research has focused on the success of their efforts on a city level. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature. Using data collected from the American Community Survey and Guidestar on U.S. cities and CDCs, this paper examines to what extent are CDCs revitalizing U.S. cities by developing three models of city revitalization. The study finds a negative relationship between the amount of monies spent by CDCs on programs and administration, and the amount of people living below poverty. Additionally, a negative relationship is also found between CDC expenditures and the percentage of vacant housing in U.S. cities.

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