The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) is the only national organization that represents the unique needs of state community development agencies and shapes national policy, offering COSCDA members a voice in Washington, access to comprehensive training opportunities and critical program information. COSCDA is dedicated to the advocacy, professional development and information needs of state agencies administering community development, economic development housing and homelessness programs. Founded in 1974, COSCDA remains dedicated to promoting the common interests of its state agency members and enhancing their leadership role in community development and housing. COSCDA is governed by a 15 Member Board of Directors that shaping the organizational policy.
What’s in it for you?
COSCDA serves as a liaison between its members and Congress, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and related federal agencies advocating on a host of key issues-from preserving funding for the CDBG and HOME programs to providing input on program changes. COSCDA members play a significant role in shaping the organization’s advocacy agenda each year. COSCDA also offers its members access to leaders from the national level in the administration, congressional, business and not for profit sectors who participate in COSCDA events.
Member Services Committee
COSCDA has designated a Member Services committee to ensure that COSCDA membership services are aligned with the priorities of the COSCDA membership. All COSCDA Members are welcomed to participate on the Member Services Committee.
COSCDA has three policy committees that play an integral part in shaping its policy positions; Community Development, Housing and Homelessness. Membership on these committees is open to all COSCDA members. All COSCDA Members are encouraged to join a Program Committee. Committee meetings are held twice a year at Program Managers Meeting and Annual Training Conference and Committee Conference Calls are scheduled in June and December.
COSCDA holds several national conferences each year-the Annual Training Conference in the fall, the Community Development, Housing and Homelessness Program Managers Training conferences held each Spring. COSCDA also offers regular training on CDBG program administration and HOME-related topics and frequently conducts workshops and conferences on topics of interest to state agency members, such as disaster recovery, economic development and homelessness. The COSCDA Training Academy, under the auspices of the Training and Professional Development Committee, was created to develop a comprehensive national training program that addresses issues identified as priorities by states in the areas of community development, affordable housing, and homeless programs. Membership on the committee reflects representation from the each of the three program areas and the 4 COSCDA regions.
The goals of the COSCDA Academy are to enhance the capacity of participants for program compliance and management and to build skills in strategic visioning to maximize measurable improvements in results and program efficiency using best practices. In addition, specialized training workshops on topics of current interest, innovative or strategic approaches, or specific regulatory issues, will be offered at national or regional conferences, or on demand by specific states.
Currently the COSCDA Academy has developed the following courses:
- CDBG Bootcamp
- Advanced CDBG
- Housing 101
- HEARTH Act: Strategic Planning and Implementation Training
The Academy also offers Peer-to-Peer technical assistance from a bank of skilled state-level professionals to provide on-site support to work with states to improve their performance or program efficiency, start new programs, or explore solutions to the problems of specific neighborhoods or communities. COSCDA can provide these trainings to your state (available to COSCDA members only).
Information and Publications
COSCDA provides comprehensive and timely information to its members through direct contact with the COSCDA staff in Washington and through its website, www.coscda.org and its regular and special publications. COSCDA publications, which are transmitted electronically to members, include:
Member Updates ensure that COSCDA members have access to the most current information on critical legislative, policy, regulatory and advocacy issues.
Issue Alerts or Program Bulletins are provided periodically on specific policy, funding or regulatory issues that impact the administration of HUD and other Federal programs.
COSCDA Listservs are maintained in three program areas-community development, affordable housing and homelessness as well as a separate listserv specifically to exchange information and input regarding the modernization of the HUD IDIS system. The listservs have allowed members to quickly receive assistance from their peers on issues facing their agencies and to simply exchange information on a range of topics.
COSCDA Web Page provides up to the minute or “real time” information on what’s happening with Community Development, Housing, and Homelessness Programs; upcoming COSCDA training and events, a COSCDA membership directory, and job announcements from COSCDA member agencies.
COSCDA bestows three awards annually:
James E. Reeves Member Contribution Award is named in recognition of long time COSCDA member, James Reeves from the State of Mississippi. This award recognizes the individual member of COSCDA who has made the most significant and sustained contribution to the work and mission of COSCDA during the last five years.
The Sterling Achievement Award recognizes state agency programs that have demonstrated, over a sustained period of time, positive results in improving the lives of low- and moderate-income households.
The President’s Award recognizes a member agency for its development and implementation of innovative policies and programs that have demonstrated success in solving community needs. These awards are presented during the COSCDA Annual Training Conference each year.
COSCDA offers four categories of membership:
State Full Membership is open to any state agency whose primary functions are administering housing, community and economic development, and homeless assistance programs and/or providing technical assistance to local government. COSCDA State Full Membership dues are passed on a state’s population, ranging in size from small to large and are assessed annually covering the period I July – 30 June.
Associate Membership category is open to state agencies located in states which have one full state membership in COSCDA. Any number of state government agencies, which are not State Full members but are located in states which already have a COSCDA State Full member, are eligible to become associate members.
Non-Profit Agencies duly incorporated national, state, or local nonprofit organizations that have as their objective the enhancement of the quality of life of urban or rural areas through the development, redevelopment or preservation of communities that provide residents with adequate resources necessary for their well-being, are eligible for membership under Non-Profit Agencies category.
Corporate Member membership is open to national and state corporations, both public and private, that seek to enhance the quality of life of urban and rural areas through the development, redevelopment or preservation of communities that provide residents with adequate resources necessary for their well-being; including national banks and other financial institutions, and may also include utility and telecommunications companies. Corporate members will be linked to COSCDA’s website to allow for direct access to COSCDA members.
Benefits of Membership
- Advocacy for your federal programs
- Network with peers
- Access to key national policy decision makers
- Serve on COSCDA’s committees
- Receive all COSCDA publications
- Receive the discount member rates for all COSCDA’s conferences and Trainings
- Participate in the COSCDA Listserv
- Post jobs on COSCDA Web Site
*Contact COSCDA for information regarding membership fees for all four categorties.*