Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. (BCNI) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization recently created as the result of a merger between two well-established not-for-profits based in the City of Schenectady, Better Neighborhoods Inc. and the Community Land Trust of Schenectady. BCNI has a critical role in Schenectady’s citywide and comprehensive smart growth plan as the lead organization focused on neighborhood renewal, capital development and related services including housing counseling and financial literacy. BCNI originated in response to expanding opportunities arising from the rapid economic resurgence of the downtown Schenectady’s central business district. In 2017, community leaders from existing development organizations, government, and philanthropy convened to design strategies to bolster and leverage the existing strengths of neighborhood based development efforts. A merger was carefully planned and executed resulting in the formation of a single stronger, strategically positioned organization serving the entire City of Schenectady, a rejuvenated Board of Directors, and financial commitments from local foundations.