Community Empowerment Workshop Series 2020

COVID-19 Update: Due to the current stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, we are postponing the first several workshops of the Community Development and Empowerment Series. We are reworking the Empowerment Series actively to make sure this critical knowledge reaches you as soon as possible. We value your support for our mission of development without displacement--it reinforces our sense of community and the value of equitable development.

If you are already registered for Empowerment Series, you should have received an email regarding postponement. Please reach out at (312) 663-3936 if you have any questions. 

Empowerment Series students touring a construction site

Practical Tools and Real-World Knowledge

CRN's 2020 series of award-winning community development workshops

  1. Community Building  April 29-30, 2020
  2. Finance Skills for Real Estate   May 7-8, 2020
  3. Proforma Development   June 18-19, 2020
  4. Sources of Development Financing   July 16-17, 2020
  5. Single Family Housing Development   September 10-11, 2020
  6. Multifamily Housing Development   October 15-16, 2020
  7. Project and Construction Management   November 19-20, 2020
  8. Property and Asset Management   December 3-4, 2020

Learn to be a leader in improving the quality of life in your community. CRN's Community Empowerment Workshop Series uses practical tools and real-world knowledge of practitioners to teach you how to effect positive change in communities through housing development. Offered annually, the training series is designed for staff and board members of community-based affordable housing development organizations, government employees, community bankers, small neighborhood developers, and elected officials and their staff.

Graduates of the series receive a certificate of completion that is well-known and respected by community development and affordable housing practitioners and advocates.

Registration for the 2020 Community Empowerment Workshop Series is still open. If conditions change, the Chicago Rehab Network will be in contact with registrants. 

One two-day workshop is held every month, April-July and September-December, 8:30 am–4:30 pm at CRN's training facility, 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1420 (unless otherwise noted).


Register for the full series or individual workshops.

Full series (eight workshops)
$1,400 nonprofit  /  $1,800 for-profit

Individual workshops
$200 nonprofit  /  $250 for-profit

Register now

Workshop enrollment is limited and CRN reserves the right to prioritize slots for nonprofit organizations. If you have difficulty with online registration, please call 312-663-3936 or email Rachel Johnston:

About the 2020 Workshops

Property taxes, high housing cost burden, gentrification, vacancy, abandonment, homelessness—all are issues community developers work to overcome. Using a value-based approach to learning development fundamentals, you can learn to be a leader in improving the quality of life in your community for renters and owners through housing. You'll learn technical development skills, discuss strategies for community empowerment and reinvestment, and share your experiences with others in the field.

Community Building

April 29-30, 2020
Instructor: Joy Aruguete, Chief Executive Officer, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation

The first in the series, this workshop will present the community assets perspective as a model for community planning. Through looking at strategies employed by community-based development organizations, we will discuss the elements beyond bricks and mortar that community building requires. Day two includes a tour of affordable housing developed and operated by CRN members.


Finance Skills for Real Estate

May 7-8, 2020
Instructor: Maurice Williams, Vice President of Economic Development, Chicago Community Loan Fund

Technology can enhance your organization’s ability to operate efficiently in today’s challenging market. Learn housing finance concepts, how to compute financial calculations on the HP-12c, and how to use spreadsheets to create development proformas.


Proforma Development

June 18-19, 2020
Instructor: Maurice Williams, SVP at Chicago Community Loan Fund 

Understanding principles of real estate development and finance is critical to maintaining the long-term affordability of your project. In this session, learn to create development proformas, income and expense statements, and cash flow analyses. Emphasis will be placed on structuring projects with tax credits, grant funding, and public funds.


Sources of Development Financing

July 16-17, 2020
Instructor: Yittayih Zelalem, Co-Director and Research Assistant Professor, Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement

Developing affordable housing is a challenging process that requires the layering of financing to achieve the goal of affordability. This workshop will familiarize participants with the mechanics of securing development capital, debt and equity financing, grants and subsidies.


Single Family Housing Development

September 10-11, 2020
Instructors: Teresa Prim, President, Prim Lawrence Group; Linda Greene, Lucas Greene Associates

The process of developing single family housing will be discussed both in terms of the technical skills involved, and in terms of maximizing production to meet community needs. Assembling the development team, acquiring property, securing financing, and marketing will be examined in detail.


Multifamily Housing Development

October 15-16, 2020
Instructors: Teresa Prim, President, Prim Lawrence Group; Linda Greene, Lucas Greene Associates

Multifamily housing development will be discussed as one tool for creating community-based affordable housing. The development process, acquisition, sources of financing, development team, and legal issues will all be discussed.


Project and Construction Management

November 19-20, 2020
Instructor: Angela Hurlock, Executive Director, Claretian Associates

Creating quality affordable housing requires knowledge of construction that includes knowing how to choose a project team, how to manage contracts, and how to closeout the project. Day two includes a tour of active affordable housing construction sites to test concepts in the field.


Property and Asset Management

December 3-4, 2020
Instructor: Eleazar Vazquez, Property Supervisor, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation

This course will review the key aspects of the property management of subsidized housing. Focus will be given to marketing and lease up, accounting, asset management, fair housing laws, maintenance, capital improvements, and resident services.


Revitalize your community

CMAP logo”Any mission-driven organization in the city or metro counties should take this series if they care about revitalizing communities.”
—Kendra Smith, CMAP

Practical skills and training

LUCHA logo”I believe the CRN Community Development + Empowerment Series training is the best training that I have taken in development. I was able to take what was taught back to the office and apply it right away.”
—Charlene Andreas, LUCHA

The Community Development and Empowerment Series is underwritten by the Illinois Housing Development Authority






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