Author Archives: CEDAM Staff

Types of Services


Type of ServicePercentage of Providing Organizations
Financial Empowerment Services69%
Community Services65%
Housing Development62%
Housing Services41%
Youth Services37%
Agriculture and Food Services27%
Physical Development26%
Business and Commercial Development23%

The top three most popular services during the 2013 survey were financial empowerment (69%), community services (65%) and housing development (62%). Scroll down the page to see the breakdown of what each of the groups of services include. The prevalence of home rehab over new construction in the housing development category aligns with a trend in the community development industry toward restoring or repurposing buildings that already exist for various reasons, including vacancy caused by the foreclosure crisis and desire to preserve significant historical structures or implement cost-saving energy technology.

Although CDCs have always provided a fantastic array of services, Michigan’s recent economic climate had made many realize the importance of financial education, which along with homebuyer/homeowner counseling and foreclosure counseling makes up the growing prevalence of financial empowerment opportunities in Michigan.

Since the last survey in 2008, community gardening exploded. Only 2% of CDCs reported food systems activity five years ago: today that number is 27%. Some CDCs even run farmers markets. One is currently constructing a regional food hub.

A similar breakout is occurring in the area of business and commercial development. One in five CDCs were engaged in this area, from offering small business loans to providing business incubation space to giving technical assistance. Between 2011 and 2012, these CDCs created 257 full-time jobs.


Service Area


CDCs serve all types of communities. The majority of CDCs described serving an urban community (78%), though a large number classified their area as rural (41%) or suburban (35%). Many serve more than one type of community, which is logical considering half of responding CDCs have a multi-county or regional service area.

Type of Community Served2012 Data2008 Data


“Other” responses included multiple neighborhoods, national and international.

Area ServedNumber of Organizations Serving That Area


The survey asked CDCs which populations they target for services and programs. Almost all (76, or 93%) specifically intend to help low-income individuals and families. The next most frequently targeted population is actually moderate-income individuals (53 CDCs), closely followed by seniors (46), youth (35) and disabled/special needs (34).

Type of Population ServedNumber of Organizations Serving That Population
Low Income76
Moderate Income53
People with Disabilities/Special Needs34


The survey asked CDCs to write what their most important method of outreach to their intended audiences was. Half described some form of general communication like written or email newsletters, flyers, social media and websites while 32% mentioned personal contact and door-to-door. Other outreach methods such as referrals from other agencies, workshops and word of mouth were fairly evenly distributed around 20% each.

Most Important Methods of OutreachPercentage
Personal Contact and Door to Door32%
Referrals from Other Agencies26%
Events, Meetings, Workshops24%
Word of Mouth21%
Paid Advertisements10%
Press and Media Attention9%

Beyond what CDCs offer to their communities, they also identified services their communities are still in need of. Needed services ranged from a scheduled bus route in Ogemaw County to MSHDA/HUD approved homebuyer counseling in the upper peninsula.


Most Important Services Offered

CDCs listed what they believe are the three most important services they offer. The most frequent responses fit into the following categories:

Most Important Services OfferedPercentage
Housing Counseling or Education20%
Basic Needs, Supportive Services20%
Community Planning, Revitalization17%
Home Repair or Weatherization13%
Financial Counseling or Education12%

Political Relationships


Overall, most CDCs feel they have a better relationship with local elected officials than they do with non-elected policymakers (e.g. MSHDA, DLEG, DHS, etc) and state elected officials.

Relationship with Local Elected Officials and PolicymakersPercentage

Relationship with State Elected OfficialsPercentage

Relationship with non-elected policymakers (MSHDA, DLEG, DHS, etc)Percentage

Organizational Future, Change and Innovation

Skip to: Organizational Change | Innovation

Future Plans

“What do you see as the future of your organization?”

We put every CDC’s response into a program that took the most frequent words and enlarged them.



“We need to be the place where immigrants and others come to get hooked in and connected to the community.”
“We hope to develop some of our skills around development and management and services into revenue-producing enterprises.”
“This organization has been around for 34 years and we expect to be here for many more.”
“Growth.” “Change.” “No change.”

In the written responses 29% mentioned future growth, 26% indicated they would continue with their mission, 20% said they wanted to do more with an existing program, 17% talked about adding services, 16% were generally positive but did not give specifics and 15% believed their future to be uncertain or expected shrinking funding.

Expected Future of OrganizationPercentage of Organizations Reporting Given Future Expectations
Overall Growth29%
Continue with Mission26%
Focus More on an Existing Program20%
New Programs/Services17%
Uncertain or Negative15%


Examples of services CDCs were considering included veterans services, more housing programs, housing rehab, home repairs, job training and life skills, youth programs, an integrated health clinic and services for businesses.

CDCs Aspiring to Add New ServicesPercentage
Unsure or N/A19%

Organizational Change


About one in ten (15%) CDCs have recently considered consolidating or merging with another organization, but very few – one in fifty (2%) – recently considered dissolution. Both categories are down compared to 2008, perhaps because those organizations already consolidated or dissolved. The majority of CDCs considering merging stated it was for cost savings and the two organizations that considered dissolution did so out of funding concerns.

Almost all CDCs that changed their mission updated it to include a new program while keeping the core of the original mission. Some made the wording more concise and focused.

The reasons for change in audience were varied. Some CDCs were reaching out to new audiences, some saw a shift in which program had the biggest demand and others experienced middle-income populations falling into poverty: “The community service side of the business is seeing families in need who were never there – persons who are now unemployed and/or at risk of losing homes aren’t limited to ‘traditional’ populations.”

Organizational Changes ConsideredPercentage of Organizations Considering Change2008 Data
Audience Change22%N/A
Mission Change12%N/A


Only one in ten CDCs said the variety or types of programming they offer decreased over the past two years. Based on those numbers, an estimated 35% of CDCs are attempting to maintain or even increase the variety of programming despite cutbacks in staff and/or budget.

Variety of ProgrammingPercentage
No Change27%


Staff SizePercentage
No Change28%

Change in Operational Budget

Operational BudgetPercentage
No Change23%

Avalon Housing Inc: Youth Leadership Program Success Story

KG is a young teen from a family that experienced domestic violence, and was referred to the Youth Leadership Program by his Avalon Case Manager. During the family’s yearlong tenancy, KG’s behavior created a number of problems on the property. He had difficulty managing his emotions, frequent outbursts of anger, inability to resolve conflicts and was also struggling in school, unable to maintain good grades and develop positive relationships. Continue reading