In 1979, a group of neighbors in Eugene’s Whiteaker area looked around at their neighborhood. It wasn’t what they wanted to see: Deteriorating housing stock, neglected streets, people out of work and out of options.
They decided that if they worked together, they could bring positive change to their area – and they were right. They formed the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation, the first Community Development Corporation in Oregon. Since then, NEDCO has served thousands of people, helping them buy homes, stay in their homes, start small businesses and succeed financially.
NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION & DEVELOPMENT
NEDCO began with preserving and revitalizing the historic Whiteaker with projects including the East Blair Housing Cooperative, Red Barn Natural Grocery and New Day Bakery. Later projects also included business development programs, including the Buy Oregon campaign and the New Business Generator.
Some of NEDCO’s other projects in Whiteaker included the Red Apple Grocery and renovations of the Baldwin Market, and the building that now houses Pizza Research Institute.
In the 1990s, we expanded our homeownership service area beyond the Whiteaker neighborhood to all of Eugene and Springfield – and even beyond.
NEDCO has developed—through new construction, house moves, and renovation—more than 140 quality affordable homes for low-income, first time homebuyers. With our intensive home buying classes, we continue to work with more than 1200 future first time homebuyers each year.
Sometimes, especially in times of financial stress, homeownership can get rocky. Our foreclosure intervention services help people get counseling, talk with lending institutions, and figure out what to do next to keep their homes and to achieve financial stability.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SMALL BUSINESSES
At NEDCO, we know that people at every income level have great ideas for small businesses – and we help people make those ideas reality:
- In 2011 we started Hatch, a business incubator that equips entrepreneurs with the financial resources and skills necessary to achieve long-term economic stability.
- The farmers’ market in downtown Springfield, first opened in 2008, became year-round in October 2012. Sprout! Regional Food Hub is the region’s only covered, year-round farmers market and an affordable, certified and fully-equipped commercial kitchen that helps small food businesses test and prepare their products for the market. We bring local food to local people.
- We began partnering with the City of Springfield in 2008 to work on the revitalization of Downtown Springfield. Our work there spans our programs, as we support and empower local business owners.
Our Individual Development Accounts help low-income people save for a home down payment, provide microenterprise funding, support post-secondary education or transportation for career advancement by providing up to a 3 to 1 savings match.
In 2011, our affiliate Community LendingWorks incorporated to help people build better credit, start small businesses, plan to buy a vehicle and be responsible homeowners. Community LendingWorks finances community and economic development, provides healthy food access and invests in real estate projects in distressed neighborhoods – including micro and small business like Plank Town Brewery, Rainbow Garden Preschool, Umpqua Forestry, Red Wagon Creamery, Elk Horn Brewing, and Party Downtown.
Our initiatives have helped us work with diverse populations, including the growing Latino community. The Mercado Latino, an open-air Latin American marketplace, which ran from 2003-2005 in the summer season; first at Washington-Jefferson park and later at the Park Blocks in Downtown Eugene, worked to stimulate entrepreneurship and foster cultural exchange.
We stay true to our mission by listening to the community and working on varied projects. NEDCO services are provided in both Spanish and English and we will continue to diversify services and develop new projects in an effort to meet the changing needs of the communities we serve now and in the future.