The Building Blocks

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In this section:

Building Block Challenges

The Building Blocks for Local Change

Countless challenges arise as community development professionals work on projects and deals. This interactive table of typical community development challenges is designed to introduce you to the many ways you can use the four building blocks to advance change in community development practices. The interactive table below is a sampler, not a comprehensive list, but if you’re lucky, it may point you toward a solution to your specific challenge!

Other resources to dig into are the Local Housing Solutions guides, the Center for Community Progress publications and resources, the Grounded Solutions Network Tools for Success, and the Homes Guarantee Briefing Book.

A few notes about the interactive table. The challenges outlined below are meant to apply to different community development project types including housing, small business support, workforce development, and food systems. Second, we use the clunky term “impacted communities” to talk about the people who are in most need of resources and support but least likely to get it. Longstanding patterns of racism and discrimination mean that in most communities, white, middle-class, and wealthy people are most likely to benefit from existing systems and the people least likely to benefit are people of color, particularly Black, Latinx, and Native people, women or people with gender expansive identities, LGBTQ people, people with low incomes, formerly incarcerated people, undocumented people, children, and elders. To ensure that your policy interventions will advance equity and benefit the people who most need them, you will need to understand who in your community is most impacted by poverty and intersectional oppressions.

Type of Challenge

Existing resources are hard to access.

Laws and regulations impede project progress.

Public funding is insufficient to meet local development needs.

Land and property laws are creating inequitable outcomes.


Equity Analysis

Building Block Solutions