EXPERIENCE SMART DEVELOPMENT INC
Hope is Where Home is.
Smart Development Inc strives to continuously spread our message of equity and opportunity. When communities struggle, it is our duty to focus on not only short-term but long-term recovery for more diverse, equitable communities we call home. We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly transform lives.
We are committed to seizing each and every opportunity to build sustainable communities with vibrant economies filled with beautiful housing options, employment opportunities, and supporting all the residents to live in a neighborhood they desire. Restoring homes, revitalizing local neighborhoods, and investing in our neighbor’s quest to become a heard and seen residents striving for opportunities. We believe equity is truly achieved when each and every individual, especially those who face additional barriers due to their race, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status has options and opportunities in where they live, work, and play. With collaboration and partnership true change can occur, and we believe we are the leading advocates for communities of color and for those who are under-represented. Smart Development Inc works toward efforts that reduce the amount of housing vacancy in under-served neighborhoods, increase community engagement, provide services that enhance ones outcomes and ability to have opportunities for increased employment opportunity, financial freedom, and overall support to thrive in their community their way.
Smart Development Inc is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization committed to providing services, programs, and resources to meet the needs of the ever growing diverse residents of Greater Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County. We focus our efforts in the following program areas: Housing First and Communities First. Housing First focuses on providing robust affordable housing options through revitalization services in vulnerable neighborhoods. Decreasing housing vacancy in under-served neighborhoods of Cleveland, providing affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, and providing the education and resources toward becoming informed and well equip renters and homeowners is critical especially for those who face additional barriers due to their race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and similar. Our housing portfolio ranges from single family homes, to multi-family units, and apartments for low-income individuals and families, to market-rate housing for moderate and middle-income families. The way in which society views 'affordable housing' has deemed it to be seemingly negative. The reality is- affordable housing is for everyone, in all income classes regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and background. It is our true desire to bring a more holistic approach to community revitalization and building strong neighborhoods with options.
Communities First focuses on the additional needs within our communities that enable families and individuals to feel empowered and be able to lead lives with opportunities and the resources they need to survive. Providing a path to affordable housing is just one step in the process of building a stable life and future for those struggling. Oftentimes, those with housing secured still do face incredibly difficult circumstances that continue to impact their lives even in a place they call home. To help residents live healthy, secure and dignified lives, we’ve developed a full spectrum of services that foster continued growth and empowerment for our residents, their families and their communities including workforce readiness and job development services, financial literacy counseling, minor home repair, social and human service support and connecting residents to products and services they need with trusted community partners. We provide Arabic and Farsi language service assistance in conjunction with English as we serve as a trusted-voice and community representative for the Arabic-speaking, Middle Eastern, and Muslim community. Although we serve all individuals of all walks of life, Smart Development Inc as comprised of immigrants, first-generation Americans, and individuals of diverse backgrounds, ensuring communities of color are no longer under-represented is critical.
We take pride in continuing to remain a grassroots organization regardless of how large in size or impact we grow to be. By not allowing community lines hold us back from aiding all neighborhoods in need, we zone in on areas that have been left out of community revitalization and residents who traditionally are under-served and under-represented to offer our programs and services. We ensure communities are given the proper attention and time they deserve, as partnership and collaboration are key to true transformation. Our goal is to ensure we create communities of choice across Greater Cleveland and beyond. While we do not only focus our efforts on housing and development, we believe housing is a key to future success of the health and well-being of all neighborhoods.
We are committed to positively impacting communities by bringing together resources and talent in ways that make a sustainable, long-term difference. We partner with companies, community stakeholders,other nonprofit organizations, and donors that share our beliefs and have an inherent desire to invest in social change to transform communities. Social change does not happen overnight – but with the help of our corporate partners, we can bring together the people, products, education and supporters necessary to nurture and transform one family, one home, and one community at a time.
Smart Development Inc is a proud member of Ohio CDC Association.
WHAT WE DO
Identify The Areas With Most Need:
In most communities, affordable housing — or the potential to create it — already exists. We identify cities and neighborhoods in need, where multifamily rental homes or homeownership opportunities are at risk of being lost from the pool of available affordable housing and availability to purchase for first-time homebuyers, or there was never enough affordable housing to begin with. By buying and upgrading existing properties, or developing new ones, we supply long-term affordable housing opportunities to the communities that need it most.
Diversity is key- for we focus our efforts on serving diverse minority groups who voice to us they do not feel represented or heard. We help individuals and families by providing the most suitable and affordable housing, aid in achieving homeownership and or seeking affordable rent to their budget, prevent homelessness, and connect them to various employment, educational, and development opportunities to keep them engaged and aid in their future sustainability. Redeveloping abandoned businesses in blighted communities and educating current business owners what resources are available to them to thrive and grow is key- to which many small businesses suffer from. Hope begins at home- and with housing, one can feel confident to maintain their life for their families and loved ones. We connect our residents to the proper social services they need based on their unique situations. One on one mentoring services is key to ensuring we create the communities of choice as they desire.
We focus on neighborhoods that have been seemingly forgotten and seen much disinvestment and blight. Every community deserves to thrive, to which we provide comprehensive neighborhood planning and development to achieve our goals. Strong community involvement ensures residents are apart of the redevelopment of their neighborhoods. we partner with other not-for-profit organizations whom are similar to our own to ensure we cover all grounds. What makes Smart Development Inc unique is that there is no singular neighborhood in which we focus our efforts. Neighborhoods in need exist across the Cleveland region, in which we intend to improve each and every community at risk. We currently serve Cuyahoga County.
Committed to the Cause
Our dedicated team of experienced professionals as apart of our board, supportive staff, and volunteer base are always involved and working, utilizing their unique skills and passion to move the work of Smart Development. We’re always pushing ourselves to stay ahead of the curve and striving to perfect and grow our programs and services.
Executive Director and President
Mustafa has over 13 years experience within the real estate industry, enriching communities through real estate development in communities seeking market stability. As a Cleveland resident for majority of his life, understanding the needs of the communities in which he serves is critical to his success. Mustafa has owned a for-profit business for multiple years, thriving and adding to the greater Cleveland community through his successes. Alongside his business, he launched a community giving program in which he would hire individuals in need of job placement and training; offering integrated social services to ensure his employees have a chance to reach their highest potential was and still is a consistent occurrence for him. Throughout his life Mustafa has lead multiple philanthropic events and platforms to give back to the community. Now, he plans to lead Smart Development Inc to ensure all communities seemingly forgotten are no longer left behind.
Naiem Elkhatib is the program manager of both Housing First and Communities First. He leads our programs with years of leadership experience. He has over 6 years within the health and pharmaceutical field leading the Cleveland Clinic in their supply-chain, and his wish is to help bring insight into how to create and sustain healthy communities within homes. In the last few years, Naiem has been engaged in the real estate development world himself, working as a project manager on small projects alongside contractor teams. Coming into the nonprofit industry is not new to him, for working within the health industry enables him to focus on ensuring the safety and security for all in the communities they serve.
Planning and Housing
Nael brings over 15 years of real estate development and business management expertise to the organization. As a director, he leads the planning and housing department as the leading specialist. With having multiple successful for-profit businesses throughout his life-time, Nael intends to bring forth his expertise in ensuring the stakeholders in the communities Smart Development Inc serves are apart of the shift toward. Nael was first exposed to the nonprofit world through his consistent philanthropic giving and volunteer hours to various mosques and refugee organizations seeking to help those in need.
Development and Community Outreach
Melaak holds a masters in Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Cleveland State Levin College of Urban Affairs. As a Doctoral candidate, her focus is to present collaboration models for the nonprofit, public, and private sector in over to bring more inter-sectional and inclusive practices to service residents better. Bringing her expertise to Smart Development Inc, Melaak engages in community outreach, connects our residents to services they desire, and ensures Smart Development Inc. is seen for the quality of work we produce. With 5 years experience in portfolio development for leading Cleveland nonprofit organizations, and grant and fundraising experience, she intends to insure the mission and passions of our team are heard throughout the Cleveland community.
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD
"As we've launched our strategic plan for 2018-2022, we look forward to continuously working with and hearing feedback from our friends, funders, partners, and volunteers on how we plan for the future, serve the communities we plan to transform, and do right by the neighborhoods of greater Cleveland."
We are currently in the process of adding additional board members in the 2020 year within the first quarter, to which we have successfully aided new members thus far.
SMART DEVELOPMENT INC AT A GLANCE
Our mission is to create, nourish, and build sustainable and vibrant communities through community-based services, affordable housing, and wrap-around supportive services ensuring all individuals and families can thrive while maintaining and celebrating diverse cultures, values and people.
We look to transform neighborhoods into more safe, clean, healthy, diverse, and engaged places residents can call their own. By partnering with residents, community stakeholders, and those invested in ensuring future sustainability for all, shaping neighborhoods of choice is key. Providing equitable opportunities, enhancing housing options, helping businesses grow, and engaging residents is the pathway to success.
Collaboration and Innovation
CHALLENGES FACING RESIDENTS:
Little to no affordable housing availability across all income classes
Low home-ownership rates
Low financial literacy
No bank account
Lack of businesses coming into the city, and or current businesses invested in their neighborhoods.
Limited access to healthy food
Limited access to preventative care or ways to stay healthy
OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED IN COMMUNITIES WE SERVE:
Affordable housing options
Financial literacy courses
Individual support related to budgeting and money management
Job readiness support with provided transportation services
Supporting local businesses in the areas we work in- majority small and minority owned.
Connecting residents to other human and social service providers
Connecting to other housing services suited to their needs
Community building activities and events
Volunteer opportunities both at the property and within the community
Join us in making a real difference.
Making A Difference
REAL ESTATE AND COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT EXPANSION
Affordable housing and supportive programs improve the economic status of residents, revitalize neighborhoods and stabilize lives. Smart Development serves a variety of populations with housing for low-income families, seniors, and people with special needs. We partner with communities and make a long-term commitment to help them succeed, resulting in positive, measurable outcomes for residents and neighborhoods. Our housing undergoes full rehabilitation services to ensure the best options are available for the communities we serve. Futher, with a network of over 700 businesses across Cleveland, we are changing the way our businesses engage and give back to their communities. Our work ranges from single-family to multi-family affordable rental options to affordable homeownership opportunities as well as affordable to no cost home repair services to qualifying families and individuals in need to improve their ability to live safely in their homes in addition to efforts toward increased green-space and clean-up projects with our volunteers.
COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICE
Many of our efforts are designed to foster civic participation and leadership development, while others offer information and training, service providing, provide public forums, and encourage fellowship and diversity as a platform to our clients and residents who feel unheard. We provide a chance at securing their own future success. In our communities first program we provide a myriad of job development program, social services referrals, counseling, crisis intervention, group work and referral services to other workforce development
Community development is not singular, for housing and social service alone cannot ensure any individual or family has all they need. Through our combined efforts and various services, resilient communities will be build to last.
You Can Make a Difference
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
Want to join our efforts but not sure where to start? Volunteer Your Time and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to lend your support. It’s a great way to contribute to our cause, and every little bit counts towards paving the path for a better tomorrow. Get in touch with us today for more details about how you can help.
MAKE A DONATION
This is one of the simplest ways to help out our cause. We believe the best way for our initiatives to be successful is for the community to actively get involved. This is an easy and efficient way of contributing to the great work we doat Smart Development Inc. Get in touch with any questions about how you can Make a Donation today.
PARTNER WITH US
Want to join our efforts but not sure where to start? Partner with Us and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to lend your support. It’s a great way to contribute to our cause, and every little bit counts towards paving the path for a better tomorrow. Get in touch with us today for more details about how you can help.
DONATE YOUR WAY
Help us make safe, decent, and affordable housing more accessible for all.
According to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, families who pay more than 30% of their income for housing are considered cost burdened, to which over 40% on average of Cleveland residents are. This impacts their ability to afford necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. There are many ways you can give to help us achieve our goal of closing the gap of available affordable housing units to help more individuals and families in need reach home-ownership and ehance the city of Cleveland.
Each donation supports our home-rehabilitation program. Whether it be $1 to $100, it will go directly to the costs related to housing such as: paint, door knobs, smoke alarms, bathroom necessities, and beyond.
Smart Development Inc. has multiple ways for corporate groups or entire entities to give back and partner with us. Not only does it benefit the community at large, but offer a way for corporations to engage their employees in community based activities and learn more about the important work Smart Development Inc. provides across the region.
ADOPT A HOME
The adopt a home program is a way in which an individual can selectively chose which home in our organizational inventory they would like to donate to rehabilitate. As some Cleveland is so diverse and we rehabilitate homes across the region, some individuals may be more invested in a specific neighborhood and can donate specifically for a given home.
We regularly engage in community clean up days in which we minimize loitering across the city of Cleveland. Volunteer with us in our clean up efforts or donate for the supplies needed to complete our beautification projects.
We work diligently to continually enrich the lives of those we serve. Providing the housing and connecting our communities to the services we do would not be possible without dedicated volunteers and generous partners. Together everything is possible.
RESIDENT RESOURCES: COVID-19 UPDATE
The Board of Directors and President of Smart Development are recommending to all who are affiliated with us stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19: Novel Coronavirus outbreak, available on the World Health Organization website and other reputable sources along with the national and local public health authorities. COVID-19 is affecting people in our community and around the globe. We recommend that you take precautions to remain safe and healthy as we continue to do the work of Smart Development. Any adjustments to our program and services schedules will be announced on an as needed basis.
Be in the know of all the resources available to residents of Cuyahoga County here.
World Health Organization (WHO) HYPERLINK https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) HYPERLINK https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
CONTACT SMART DEVELOPMENT INC
Get in touch with Smart Development Inc to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.
Our office is currently under renovation, work with us in planning meetings until we have completed our remodel!
All organizational documents will be posted and downloaded on the website soon. Please contact us if you would like any documentation.
Cleveland, OH, USA