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United Community Development, Inc. (UCDINC) a non-profit corporation was charted April 15, 1996, to provide assistance and services to the community - especially the economically disenfranchised, and other "At Risk" individuals and families. We have a commitment to dedicate our resources to improve the lives of the low to moderate-income families. The corporation was formed for revitalizing targeted deteriorating urban and rural areas (empowerment zones and enterprise communities) especially those composed of disintegrating families living in inadequate, substandard housing and with a lack of economic opportunities. 1. Facilitate affordable housing, community revitalization and economic development for individuals and families without regard to age, income, status or physical limitations. 2. Respond to the housing needs of the underserved, as they are identified, and to advocate and empower individuals and families through our network of collaboration and partnership. 3. Provide technical assistance in designated targeted areas in order to promote affordable housing, community revitalization, and economic development and to eliminate the conditions that inhibit desirable communities. 4. Provide ongoing monitoring and evaluation that ensure measurable outcome and to serve as a clearinghouse for affordable housing, community revitalization and economic development. 5. Eliminate barriers that inhibit movement toward self-sufficiency and provide mentoring that not only promotes the building and developing of communities, but also enhances the comprehensive "village / community" dynamics.
For a number of years the public sector has been moving toward "public-private partnerships" needed to jump start development and leverage private sector investments in low-income neighborhoods. A new paradigm for community-based development is needed, new types of collaborative partnerships based on market opportunities need to be formed. Such collaborations are already beginning to emerge; community-based organizations are coming together around a new strategic vision - to form an innovative real estate development partnership and "Neighborhood Development Zones" be created in the targeted communities. There are many barriers to venture development activities in these neighborhoods. As a result normal market incentives do not work effectively. The purpose of the Initiative would be to focus efforts on the elimination of barriers that presently inhibit normal market driven investment, the barriers are numerous and complex. They include an old and decrepit infrastructure, low appraised value on real estate (making it difficult to collateralize bank financing), lack of "extended family" support systems, and the difficulty of land assembly (patchwork ownership patterns, relocation requirements, inappropriate "suburban style zoning, etc.). Low-income neighborhoods suffer a continual downward spiral of social and economic conditions. The causes are complicated. A major contributing factor however has been the continual lack of new investments in infrastructure and business development ventures. The vision is to assist the extremely low, low and moderate-income individuals and families to develop their full potential as follows.
- Thomas Alston
- (407) 629-1202
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