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COalition History

coalition meeting 2009 led by Arden Shank

SFCDC was founded as a 501c3 member-led social impact organization in 2007, but its coalition-building origins stem from an organic response to multiple local, state, and federal policy events as far back as the late 80s. What began as an informal association of community development corporations (CDCs) networking in Miami eventually evolved into a lively coalition of likeminded change agents desiring to collaboratively meet the needs of low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents. Hence, SFCDC was formally founded under the leadership of Arden Shank and several other dedicated local housing advocates to create those solutions. Together, they envisioned a South Florida as a pioneer for innovative solutions and equitable policies in community and economic development to improve quality of life, build community wealth, and expand social justice for all.

Following the contentious McDuffie riots of 1980, which reportedly left over $10 million worth of property damage in Liberty City neighborhood and led to the loss of over 3,000 area jobs, the budding Magic City was riddled with growing inequality, particularly for low-income Black neighborhoods. Despite the nascent municipality’s booming population growth, many historically marginalized communities were marginalized, underinvested, and intentionally being left behind to struggle for livability and quality of life.

In 1984 the Miami-Dade County Surtax program was established, followed by the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in 1986. Soon thereafter, the National Affordable Housing Act was passed in 1990 while locally the State created the Sadowski Fund in 1992. These opportunities for reinvestment led to a small group of concerned community builders to coordinate collective efforts advocating on behalf of Miami, focused on addressing racial equity and quality of life through comprehensive community development. This became the cornerstone of the coalition to increase investments and develop assets for low-income communities.

By 2009, the coalition served as the backbone to foster the Miami-Dade NSP Consortium, featuring six of our coalition members, seeking federal funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to re-stabilize local communities in response to the 2008 market crash. SFCDC organized its members as well as policy advocacy to help secure nearly $90 million for the County to redevelop more than 1,200 units of affordable housing. This was among the first and biggest points of pride for the coalition demonstrating our efficacy in collective impact that resulted in targeted investments into our community.

Another example of successful advocacy was in 2016 when we partnered with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) to commission an Equitable Development Action Plan (EDAP) for 17th Avenue in Allapattah. This research effort led to the incubation of the Allapattah Collaborative Community Development Corporation, one of Miami’s best known place-based CDCs. By supporting the establishment of this needed community organization through technical assistance, research, and community engagement, it has become a beacon of the Allapattah community and a catalyst for economic development. Today, they continue to be a close partner and valued member of the coalition actively collaborating on campaigns such as Public Land for Public Good GSA Site Redevelopment among others.

The coalition initially focused on convening CDCs and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to offer peer-to-peer engagement and expertise on producing and preserving affordable housing in Miami-Dade county. As SFCDC's membership base grew and engaged a wider audience of stakeholders and practitioners, it began offering technical assistance and capacity building training. Housing affordability still anchors the coalition's priorities as it adapts and broaden the scope of comprehensive solutions to encompass economic opportunities, resilience, and sustainability during these unprecedented times following the pandemic. 

Today, SFCDC has established itself as the backbone of the local community and economic development ecosystem with diverse cross-sectoral membership base representing more than 40 organizations and institutions. Since the pandemic began, we have continued to virtually host community engagement to educate, equip, and empower small scale developers, lenders, government agencies, civic leaders, and local activists interested in advancing community and economic development solutions and policies. Following our 15th anniversary in 2022, we look forward to continue growing and partnering with new stakeholders who share our vision and values throughout the South Florida region.

Strategic Plans

300 NW 12th Ave., Miami, FL  33128

Office: (786) 237-2125 | Email:

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET

South Florida Community Development Coalition is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2007. © Copyright 2023.  All Rights Reserved.

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