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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.