Who We Are

As the Executive Director of Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA), I take great pride in welcoming you to our official website. As you know, COSCDA supports the common interest and goals of states, with major emphasis on community development, affordable housing, local economic development and state-local relations.

COSCDA advocates for the interests of states with federal policy makers. We analyze proposed legislation and budget initiatives, help states share information about best practices and produce a variety of newsletters. In addition we also offer COSCDA members technical assistance on a variety of community development and housing related issues. My desire is to provide our members and visitors with the latest information on these important issues. Additionally, we strive to take advantage of the latest technology to make constant improvements in the look and navigation of our site – resulting in greater utilization by our members. I trust that your visit will be informative.

Tess Hembree

Tess Hembree
Executive Director

Our Mission

COSCDA Vision 

COSCDA represents the leadership role of the states as the premier voice of authority to Congress, federal and state agencies in advocating and promoting community development and affordable housing, eliminating homelessness and in providing technical assistance and increasing collaboration among state partners.

The mission of COSCDA is to:

  • Advocate for the common community development goals of the states; 
  • Develop policies and recommendations on community development issues; 
  • Keep members informed on federal and state legislative and administrative developments that affect them; 
  • Enhance the capacity of states to deal effectively and comprehensively with community development issues; 
  • Ensure the availability of community development expertise to members; 
  • Encourage and assist states in the development and implementation of effective community development programs; and
  • Facilitate the exchange of information about programs and achievements among states


Member Services Committee

Training and Professional Development Subcommittee

Technology Subcommittee

Awards Review Subcommittee

Nominations & Elections Committee

Community Development Committee

Disaster Recovery Committee

Homeless Committee

Housing Committee


Director of Advocacy and Federal Programs

Operations and Office Manager

Conference Training Coordinator