Community Empowerment Workshop Series 2020-2021

Practical Tools and Real-World Knowledge

CRN's 2020-2021 series of award-winning community development workshops

  1. Community Building  
  2. Finance Skills for Real Estate   
  3. Proforma Development   
  4. Sources of Development Financing   
  5. Single Family Housing Development   
  6. Multifamily Housing Development   
  7. Project and Construction Management   
  8. Property and Asset Management   

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 2020-2021 Community Empowerment Workshop Series is open. Workshops will be held virtually via Zoom. You will receive a link before each class. PLEASE NOTE: ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD OVER FOUR DAYS. YOU WILL NEED TO ATTEND ALL FOUR SESSIONS TO COMPLETE THE CLASS.


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

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 2020-2021 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

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Thursday September 17 9am-12pm
  • Tuesday September 22 9am-12pm
  • Tuesday September 29 1pm-4pm
  • Wednesday September 30 1pm-4pm


Finance Skills for Real Estate

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Thursday October 1 9am-12pm
  • Thursday October 8 9am-12pm
  • Thursday October 15 1pm-4pm
  • Thursday October 22 1pm-4pm


Proforma Development

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Monday November 2 9am-12pm
  • Monday November 9 9am-12pm
  • Monday November 16 9am-12pm
  • Monday November 23 9am-12pm


Sources of Development Financing

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Tuesday December 1 9am-12pm
  • Tuesday December 8 1pm-4pm
  • Tuesday December 15 9am-12pm
  • Tuesday December 22 1pm-4pm


Single Family Housing Development

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Wednesday January 20 2pm-5pm
  • Friday January 22 2pm-5pm
  • Wednesday January 27 2pm-5pm
  • Friday January 29 9am-12pm


Multifamily Housing Development

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Wednesday February 17 2pm-5pm
  • Friday February 19 2pm-5pm
  • Wednesday February 24 2pm-5pm
  • Friday February 26 9am-12pm


Project and Construction Management

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. The class will be broken into four days: 

  • Thursday March 4 9am-12pm
  • Thursday March 11 1pm-4pm
  • Thursday March 18 9am-12pm
  • Thursday March 25 9am-12pm


Property and Asset Management

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. The class will be broken into four days:

  • Wednesday April 7 1pm-4pm
  • Thursday April 8 9am-12pm
  • Wednesday April 14 1pm-4pm
  • Thursday April 15 9am-12pm


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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