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A CHDO, or Community Housing Development Organization, is a type of non-profit organization that plays a crucial role in the field of affordable housing and community development in the United States. CHDOs are recognized and defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as organizations that meet specific criteria and are eligible for certain federal funding and resources to develop affordable housing and support community revitalization efforts.

Community Housing Development Organization

Key Characteristics

Non-Profit Status

A CHDO is a non-profit organization, typically registered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity under the Internal Revenue Code. This status allows them to receive donations, grants, and tax benefits.

Legal Definition

To be considered a CHDO by HUD, an organization must meet specific legal requirements, including having a governing board with broad community representation, not being controlled by a for-profit entity, and having a primary purpose of developing affordable housing.

Community Engagement

CHDOs are deeply involved in the communities they serve. They engage with local residents, public officials, and other stakeholders to identify housing needs and develop projects that address these needs while enhancing the overall quality of life in the community.

Capacity Building

CHDOs receive technical assistance and capacity-building support to help them effectively carry out their housing and community development initiatives. This may include training on financial management, legal compliance, and project management.

Long-Term Stewardship

CHDOs often play a role in the long-term stewardship of affordable housing units they create. They may own, manage, or ensure the affordability of these units over time, preventing displacement and preserving affordable options.

Mission and Focus

CHDOs are primarily dedicated to addressing the shortage of affordable housing and promoting community development. Their mission is to create, preserve, and enhance affordable housing options for low and moderate-income individuals and families.

Federal Funding

CHDOs are eligible for federal funding, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds, which are provided by HUD. These funds help CHDOs finance affordable housing projects and community development initiatives.

Housing Development

CHDOs are actively involved in the development of affordable housing, which may include building new homes, rehabilitating existing properties, or managing rental units. They often work with various partners, including local governments, banks, and other non-profit organizations.


CHDOs are typically subject to monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that they use federal funds in accordance with regulations and to achieve the intended outcomes. This accountability helps maintain transparency and integrity in their operations.


CHDOs often collaborate with other local organizations, government agencies, and stakeholders to create a holistic approach to community development. These partnerships can lead to more comprehensive and effective solutions to housing and community challenges.

CHDOs are essential components of the affordable housing and community development landscape, working to address the ongoing need for decent and affordable housing for vulnerable populations and contributing to the overall well-being and vitality of communities across the United States


Striving to become a Community Development Financial Institution.

A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a specialized financial institution that is dedicated to providing financial services and support to underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. CDFIs play a crucial role in promoting economic and community development by offering a range of financial products and services to individuals, businesses, and organizations that may not have easy access to traditional banking and lending institutions.

Community Development Financial Institution

Key Characteristics


CDFIs have a primary mission of addressing economic disparities and fostering community development. They are often organized as non-profit organizations or community development banks, and their main focus is on serving the needs of low-income and marginalized communities.

Targeted Communities

CDFIs typically work in economically distressed or underserved areas, including rural and urban communities, Native American reservations, and low-income neighborhoods. They aim to provide financial resources where they are needed most.

Capital Sources

CDFIs often rely on a combination of capital sources, which may include grants, low-cost loans, and investments from the federal government, philanthropic organizations, private investors, and deposits from the communities they serve.


CDFIs often collaborate with other community organizations, local governments, and nonprofits to maximize their impact. These partnerships can include affordable housing developers, small business development centers, and community organizations working on various aspects of community development.

Community Involvement

CDFIs engage with the communities they serve and involve community members in decision-making processes. This helps ensure that their services align with the specific needs and priorities of the community.

Financial Services

CDFIs provide a variety of financial services, including affordable loans, credit counseling, savings accounts, and more. These services help individuals and businesses build financial stability and access capital to support their economic growth.


CDFIs may be certified and regulated by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), which is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Certification as a CDFI allows these institutions to access grants, technical assistance, and other resources to support their mission.

Social Impact

Beyond financial returns, CDFIs measure their success by their social impact. They aim to create jobs, stimulate economic development, promote affordable housing, and improve the overall well-being of the communities they serve.

Risk Tolerance

CDFIs may have a higher risk tolerance than traditional financial institutions, as they are often willing to make loans to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or in situations that conventional banks might consider too risky.

Overall, CDFIs play a critical role in bridging financial gaps and fostering economic development in underserved areas. They are an essential part of the effort to reduce economic inequality and improve the quality of life in disadvantaged communities.