Today, the Chinatown Community Development Center is at the forefront of community advocacy, planning, and affordable housing development in the City of San Francisco. Some say Chinatown CDC does the work of many organizations in one. That may have to do with our beginnings as five organizations.
On April 1, 1977, five grassroots organizations came together and created the nonprofit community development organization the Chinatown Resource Center (CRC). The newly formed CRC comprised of organizations that advocated for affordable housing, tenant rights, open space, transportation and revitalization issues –
Committee for Better Parks and Recreation in Chinatown (CBP&RC), founded in 1971, advocated for open space and recreation areas in Chinatown.
Chinatown Coalition for Better Housing (CCBH), founded in 1972, advocated and organized for affordable housing.
Ping Yuen Residents Improvement Association (PYRIA), founded in 1968, advocated for tenant rights, and continues to be one of the most active public housing tenant associations in San Francisco today.
Chinatown Transportation Research and Improvement Project (Chinatown TRIP), founded in 1974, advocated and planned for Chinatown‘s transportation needs.
Chinatown Coalition for Neighborhood Facilities, founded in the 1970s, advocated for funding for a neighborhood facility in Chinatown.
By 1978, the Chinese Community Housing Corporation (CCHC) was established as a subsidiary of CRC to provide safe and decent affordable housing. CRC and CCHC worked closely to integrate housing development activities into an overall neighborhood improvement strategy.
Chinatown CDC Today
On January 1, 1998, the Chinatown Resource Center and the Chinese Community Housing Corporation merged to become the Chinatown Community Development Center. The two organizations combined into one to better serve our constituencies as a community development corporation.
We now have a single Board of Directors with 27 members. The Chinatown CDC is perhaps the closest representation of a traditional community development corporation (CDC) in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing advocacy, planning, organizing, housing development, construction, and property management for neighborhoods across the city.
Chinatown CDC in the Future
As we enter our fourth decade of service, Chinatown CDC faces a number of important questions. The evolution of our historic Chinatown community presents challenges and opportunities. The real estate market in San Francisco presents fewer opportunities for new projects, while demand for affordable housing increases. We are being asked to play leadership roles citywide. The evolving public policy and economic environments locally and nationally present equally compelling uncertainties.
The Chinatown CDC has its roots in the Chinatown neighborhood. While Chinatown over the next decade will see several major new developments such as the new Central Subway, its housing stock is aging. We must be in the forefront of shaping the future of our community, expanding our planning capacity, and developing a new Chinatown master plan and housing strategy targeted at both new construction and the rehabilitation of existing housing.
In all these ways, the Chinatown CDC will continue to build leadership, build housing and build community for the residents of Chinatown, North Beach, the Tenderloin and San Francisco.