The Communities Group

TCG Consultants, LLC (TCGC)

Previous Projects:

Global: Municipal Development and Management
India: Financial Institutions Reform and Expansion Project
Poland: Local Government Partnership Program
Morocco: Urban and Environmental Services
Tanzania: Housing Privatization and Housing Assistance to the National Housing Corporation
South Africa: Goldfields Metropolitan Community Development Corporation
Mongolia: Housing Privatization Training

Municipal Development and Management
USAID's Office of Environment and Urban Programs

CCI is a sub-contractor to the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) in its renewed 5-year contract with the Office of Environment and Urban Programs for training and technical assistance in support of municipal development programs. CCI provides a variety of support services as well as managing Urban Development Associates who are funded by ICMA and work as interns for ICMA and the USAID Office of Environment and Urban Programs.

CCI is responsible for monitoring and reviewing International Development Associate performance and periodically assessing the Office's staffing needs. In addition to the Associates based in Washington, D.C., CCI has also recruited, placed, and supervised short-term and long-term International Development Associates in USAID's Regional Urban Development Offices and in the field in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Financial Institutions Reform and Expansion Project
U.S. Agency for International Development/India (USAID/India)

Community Consulting International (CCI), in association with lead sub-contractor Technical Support Services, Inc., is implementing a 4-year, $5.3 million contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in India (USAID/India) for Management Support Services to the Debt and Infrastructure Component of USAID's Financial Institutions Reform and Expansion (FIRE) Project. The FIRE Project is designed to foster the development of a commercially viable debt market and infrastructure finance system in India by channeling USAID Housing Guaranty loan funds to finance urban infrastructure projects. Indian financial institutions serve as financial intermediaries to match and channel the loan funds to those municipalities or private sector enterprises responsible for implementing eligible infrastructure projects such as water and sewerage systems, solid waste disposal, and comprehensive shelter development schemes.

CCI provides long-term project management as well as technical assistance in the form of short-term, on-site consultants, who are selected from a specialized professional talent bank from CCI's proposed consortium of sub-contractors. CCI's talent bank also includes independent consultants, both U.S. and Indian, with professional expertise in relevant subject areas. Training consists of long-term and short-term participant training and both U.S. and third-country study tours.

Local Government Partnership Program
U.S. Agency for International Development/Poland (USAID/Warsaw)

The Local Government Partnership Program (LGPP) is working to support the efforts of local governments to be more effective, responsive and accountable on a sustainable basis. The program supports the -
(a) development of models of good practice for municipal governance through working with 40 - 50 partner municipalities
(b) dissemination of those models throughout the country
(c) building and strengthening Polish institutions who adopt, disseminate and carry the work forward into the future
(d) promotion of strategic management principles integrating sectors with municipal administration and incorporating input from and responsiveness to its constituents
(e) influencing national policy to support an enhanced role for local governments.

During this three-year project, which began in 1998, Community Consulting International is responsible for the Housing and Management Development Module.

Urban and Environmental Services Project
U.S. Agency for International Development/Morocco (USAID/Morocco)

The Morocco Urban and Environmental Services Project works to improve the quality of life for Morocco's urban poor by improving the management of urban water resources and expanding housing opportunities for below-median income families. The project works, in part, through USAID's Housing Guaranty Program to support the National Shelter Upgrading Agency and the Fond d'Equipment Communal (the national-level municipal finance agency) to strengthen and build capacity of these key institutions.

As a subcontractor to Technical Support Services, Inc., CCI provides technical consultation and procurement assistance as part of the Morocco Urban and Environmental Services Project. CCI assistance focuses on information technology and management information systems that are targeted to build the capacity of the Moroccan public sector to manage information and communicate with its citizens. CCI advises the project's prime contractor on the design of assistance in information technology. CCI's procurement services built the capacity of the National Shelter Upgrading Agency (l'Agence Nationale de lutte contre l'Habitat Insalubre) and as well as three Moroccan municipalities. CCI joined the project team in 1996, and in 1998, CCI continues assistance targeted toward a dozen central and regional offices of the National Shelter Upgrading Agency.

Housing Privatization and Housing Assistance to the National Housing Corporation
USAID Tanzania and Office of Environment and Urban Programs

Community Consulting International (CCI) is providing assistance in property database and management information systems and the development of basic accounting programs as a subcontractor to PADCO, Inc. under a project of the USAID Mission in Tanzania and the USAID Office of Environment and Urban Programs. CCI's experience in Tanzania illustrates the applicability of its U.S.-based approach to the privatization of both the management and development of publicly owned housing in developing countries. Prior to CCI's intervention, NHC served as landlord and management agent to approximately 23,000 residential and commercial units. CCI began with the computerization of NHC's central operations, and within a six month period the operations were brought current for the first time in years, if not decades. Because the Authority was then able to charge interest and late fees at its better properties, the results was a substantial improvement in cash flow and income.

As part of a multi-organizational team, CCI also assisted the NHC in designing and implementing a sales program to sell approximately one-third of its units. This program is now generating working capital for NHC to capitalize new development, and it is also creating a private market for ownership of single family and multi-family housing. The third and final stage of assistance to NHC will focus on the development of public-private partnerships for new construction projects, and greatly improving management operations, especially maintenance, telecommunications, and the computerization of remote areas.

Capacity-Building for Housing and Community Development
Goldfields Metropolitan Community Development Corporation

In December 1997, CCI and New Community Corporation of Newark, New Jersey, the largest nonprofit development corporation in the U.S., coordinated a USAID-funded study tour for Goldfields Metropolitan Community Development Corporation to visit the United States and learn first-hand about sustainable, community-based housing, economic development and social services. As a result of the study tour and with technical assistance from CCI, the Goldfields board developed the strategic and action plans needed to begin the first phase of 2,000 houses.

With plans in hand, the community development corporation held meetings with 2,500 potential beneficiaries and raised about 100,000 Rand in good faith deposits. Goldfields executed an agreement with the City of Welkom to transfer 100 acres of land to a development corporation jointly managed by Goldfields and the municipality. Goldfields applied to the National Housing Finance Corporation for start-up funding and received approval for a 75,000 Rand grant from a major South African Bank.

Goldfields is a new South African community development corporation established to increase the supply of housing in affordable and self-reliant communities in partnership with municipalities in the Provinces of Orange Free State and North-West. The CDC has set out to foster and serve as a model for the nonprofit development approach to housing development.

Housing is a fundamental concern of South Africa's majority disadvantaged population. Estimates place the need at more than 2 million houses. More than 40% of all households have monthly incomes below 800 Rand ($165). The situation is exceptionally distressing for black women: About 35% of black households are female headed with household incomes, on average, 18% less that male-headed Black households.

Housing Privatization Training
USAID Mongolia and USAID Thailand

In November 1992, as a sub-contractor to Abt Associates, Inc., Community Consulting International (CCI) designed, organized and conducted a series of training workshops as part of a technical assistance package for a USAID-sponsored housing privatization project in Mongolia, administered by the USAID Mission in Mongolia and USAID's Regional Housing and Urban Development Office in Thailand. Participants included staff from 12 housing authorities, the Mayor's Office of Ulaanbaatar, and the State Privatization Commission. CCI performed all stages of training coordination while in-country, including 1) a needs assessment to determine the level and type of training appropriate for the participants; 2) training materials development; and 3) conducting training sessions, which included the use of computer-generated and computer-run slide shows.

CCI developed three workshops for the Mongolia Housing Privatization Project: Housing Privatization provided participants with an overview of the principles and characteristics of private ownership and of the practical considerations and necessary steps for implementation of a privatization program.

Community Associations introduced participants to the basic types of private ownership of housing property and offered general information on all aspects of community associations.

Management and Maintenance introduced participants to the basics of private property management, including the financial and organizational strategies that a company can use to ensure that it meets its goals. The course also covered general asset management and included information on insurance, the investment of reserves and long-range financial planning.