Many different initiatives make use of community development resources, and the types of programs they support vary depending on the needs of the communities they aim to improve. Community development resources are often focused on housing, business, environmental, and educational initiatives that work together for the betterment and advancement of the community they serve. Investments of this type are designed to keep communities vibrant and sustainable, and provide opportunities for residents to start businesses or find quality employment locally.
Housing development initiatives are generally one of the more popular types of community development resources. The quality of housing in a community can have a huge effect on its character. Housing initiatives, therefore, generally revolve around revitalizing neighborhoods by updating dilapidated houses and buildings. This alone can counteract the negative effects of declining property values and help to improve and stabilize a neighborhood. Other housing initiatives may be aimed at promoting home ownership and home affordability.
Often, many community development resources will be focused on business development initiatives that are designed to spark economic growth within the community. These programs often focus on attracting and retaining new business investment that will contribute to the community's economic base. This can take the form of new jobs for residents or new commercial retail locations that serve the needs of the community. Support for entrepreneurs is another form of business development that can assist in accomplishing the overall community development goals of a neighborhood.
Securing the environmental stability of a community is also a very important initiative that attracts a variety of community development resources. Communities often have sustainability programs that promote recycling, community gardens, and energy conservation. The issues underlying environmental initiatives can vary depending upon the community, from clean water and sanitation, to reducing energy consumption and pollution. As the population continues to grow, environmental initiatives will be even more important as resources become scarce throughout the world.
In many communities, there is a huge need for educational development programs, which often require significant community development resources. These educational initiatives may specialize in providing various forms of job training to the residents of the community, as well as providing after-school programs for the children within that community. Educational development programs can enhance the sustainability of a community, empowering residents by teaching them new marketable skills that can lead to increased employment opportunities.