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This report is based on dozens of interviews with practitioners, academics, and community members, as well as a review of various reports, studies, and surveys. It shares the resulting findings through key research insights, a review of best practices, and relevant examples. It seeks to broaden awareness, discourse, and adoption of community control of land and housing strategies among various stakeholders who have a genuine desire to see stable, healthy, equitable, and sustainable local communities flourish. These stakeholders include community activists, municipal officials, economic development professionals, community development practitioners, anchor institution leaders, and social investors.
Data from states and municipalities across the country suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color in the United States. This report analyzes emerging data on deaths, unemployment, failing businesses, and wealth inequality to assess the links between racial and ethnic economic inequities, structural racism, and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on people of color.
Due to structural economic and social inequality, low-income communities and communities of color continue to face many challenges in the economic-development process. Through eleven examples of community wealth building initiatives, the first section of this report offers low-income individuals and communities a number of strategies that revolve around comprehensive development, anchor-institution partnerships, community organizing, and technical assistance that can aid them in advancing economically and building their wealth. In the next section, this report outlines both historical and emerging trends in efforts to build skills and empower low-income community members.