© 2017

Community Economic Development in the United States

The CDFI Industry and America’s Distressed Communities


  • Offers a groundbreaking study of the investment and lending activities of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in contrast to both the American mainstream financial industry and other federal economic development programs

  • Presents a chronological overview of the historical development of the American community development movement

  • Analyzes of the contribution of the CDFI industry to creating opportunities in highly distressed communities and improving the lives of thousands of citizens


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. James L. Greer, Oscar Gonzales
    Pages 67-109
  3. James L. Greer, Oscar Gonzales
    Pages 111-138
  4. James L. Greer, Oscar Gonzales
    Pages 139-183
  5. James L. Greer, Oscar Gonzales
    Pages 185-205
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 207-213

About this book


This is the first scholarly analysis that examines the development and achievements of the American community development movement. Community development is now a multi-billion industry in the US. Hundreds of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), located in all regions of the country, have successfully forged locally-based strategies that provide affordable housing, foster business development, and provide much needed community facilities, including innumerable charter schools, in highly distressed communities in inner city neighborhoods, rural communities, and also in American Indian areas. In many areas of the US, CDFIs represent a viable alternative to the mainstream banking industry. This volume documents the positive impact the CDFI industry has had in distressed urban and rural areas in the US.


development economic development economics institutions labor policy political economy political science politics research service social science stress urban development welfare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.SwarthmoreUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandMarylandUSA

About the authors

James L. Greer is an independent scholar with a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago, USA. His research interests include, along with American community economic development, early New Deal housing and banking policies, home mortgage redlining, and the patterning of economic growth in the American metropolitan areas.

Oscar Gonzales is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Maryland, USA. He holds a BA and MA from Yale University, USA. His research focuses on economic and community development in low-income communities. Previously, he held positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Congressional Research Service.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Throughout the six chapters, the authors intimately detail the significance and impact of the American community development movement to create initiatives and alternatives to the traditional resources in which the private market system cannot or does not participate. … the book is a comprehensive compendium and a valuable resource guide filled with significant substantive statistical data as well as an excellent critical analysis and evaluation of programs … . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (S. R. Kahn, Choice, Vol. 54 (10), June, 2017)