There aren’t many good books about the community development movement. There’s a new one out, just in time for the holidays, and it features Nuestra Comunidad and our Roxbury neighborhood. It’s called “NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network” and highlights innovative solutions to affordable housing and community development challenges from the NeighborWorks America network of local nonprofits.
It will soon be available for purchase in Boston at Frugal Bookstore in Dudley Square. (Join us at Frugal Bookstore on December 20th for a book launch; click here for more details and to RSVP.)
“Community-based nonprofits are creating economic opportunity for more Americans through cross-sector collaborations, complementary investments and collective problem-solving,” says Paul Weech, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. “This book will allow us to share what works, as well as what doesn’t work – an important part of innovation.”
Nuestra Comunidad is featured in the book for its economic development strategies to combat displacement resulting from gentrification in our neighborhoods. One chapter discusses our plans for Bartlett Place, which will create opportunities for longtime residents and neighborhood entrepreneurs to remain and invest in Roxbury’s success. Bartlett Place will build over 300 new homes for Roxbury families earning a range of incomes, including 100 new homeownership opportunities anticipated to create $20 million in equity. Bartlett Place will also be a retail and commercial hub for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The first buildings in the transformative development will break ground soon, bringing 60 apartments, a grocery store specializing in local and organic produce, and 16 homeownership opportunities. In a second chapter, the book highlights successes resulting from Accelerate Boston, the business plan training program and pitch competition Nuestra Comunidad runs with its partners Epicenter Community and LISC Boston. The program works with entrepreneurs who are starting and growing businesses – and creating wealth – in Boston neighborhoods.
Nuestra Comunidad is a member of the NeighborWorks network—more than 240 nonprofit organizations based in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks America in order to create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. As a member of the NeighborWorks network, Nuestra Comunidad has been rigorously assessed for high standards of performance and operation. Members are regularly audited and evaluated to ensure the excellence of the network.
“NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network” features a variety of success stories that illustrate how to facilitate affordable housing, whether owned or rented; supportive housing for senior citizens or the disabled; engage residents of varying ages, cultures and races; revitalize declining neighborhoods; measure outcomes; and much more. The essays also demonstrate how housing can be a platform for advancing health, education, workforce development and youth leadership.
Audiences ranging from policymakers, to funders, to journalists will find it a rich source of ideas related to community development trends, challenges and solutions.
The book may be purchased at Frugal Books, 57 Warren Street in Dudley Square, or on Amazon starting Dec. 12; general information is available at http://NeighborWorks.org/book.
To talk about this book, community development or why Home Matters!, follow and tweet me @nuestradavid
Here’s my short list of other excellent books on the history and practice of community development, some with a Boston focus. Tweet me with the great book(s) that I left off this list.
Peter Medoff & Holly Sklar, Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood (1994)
Mel King, Chain of Change: Struggles for Black Community Development (1981, 2016)
Paul Grogan & Tony Proscio, Comeback Cities: A Blueprint For Urban Neighborhood Revival (2001)
Lance Freeman, There Goes The ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification From the Group Up (2012)