Resident participation has been an area of community development aimed at increasing involvement of tenants in housing development, management and community-building. The precise roles and mechanisms of resident participation are not well understood, however. This paper explores the role of resident participation and its interaction with other factors that drive community revitalization. By understanding the necessary conditions, factors and other variables that strengthen resident participation, public policies can help low-income populations manifest their power and make a difference in their communities. The research presented here (1) describes the challenges and benefits of resident participation; (2) identifies examples of residents successfully contributing to the development and management of their homes; (3) details the conditions necessary for success; and (4) addresses the issue of assessing effectiveness. For those seeking to encourage resident participation, the are three major challenges include time and money; limited options due to economics; and limited community capacity. Examples of successful resident participation are presented, such as the Demonstration Disposition in Boston -- one of the most notable examples of resident participation in development in the past 10 years. Building management has also been an arena for various levels and types of resident participation, and many community development corporations have developed creative ways of involving residents in community-building efforts. The interplay of external and internal factors together creates conditions for resident participation. This paper identifies four major factors: impetus, politics, resources and values, describing the internal and external resources affected by each. To connect these external and internal resources, bridging resources of trust, community organizing, strategic partnerships and organizational capacity are necessary. Community planning and education make up a noteworthy bridging resource that allows for the necessary learning process to take place. Community education and planning happen in three phases: building a foundation, teaching skills, and following through. While there is general support for resident participation in housing development, management and community-building, measuring its effectiveness has received limited research attention. This paper describes the effectiveness of resident participation looking at the individual, building and community levels. These testimonials will be strengthened if hard measures of resident participation are developed and used to study its effects.