Building assets for stable lives

NEDCO helps prevent homelessness through education, assistance and development

December 3, 2017, Register Guard Editorial Board

Homelessness is not at the heart of NEDCO’s mission, but it has been steadily moving toward the center. The progression is inevitable for an agency involved in affordable housing, given that rents have risen at double the rate of income growth over the past 15 years, while the cost of home ownership has climbed three times as fast. The result is a steep increase in the number of people in unstable or insecure housing situations — which is where NEDCO comes in.

The Neighborhood Economic Development Corp. was born in Eugene’s Whiteaker area nearly 40 years ago, with the purpose of improving the neighborhood’s housing stock and revitalizing its businesses. It’s now located in downtown Springfield, where it is engaged in the same kinds of work. Along the way NEDCO has branched out to become a financial literacy education and counseling agency, a seedbed for entrepreneurs, a provider of assistance to low-income home buyers, a source of rental-deposit loans for renters and a developer of affordable housing, among other things.