The Southeast Community Development Corporation is one of the oldest community development corporations in Baltimore. Founded in 1975 as Southeast Development, Inc. (SDI), it was the development arm of the Southeast Community Organization (SECO), an umbrella community organization in Baltimore founded by community activists that included Barbara Mikulski. During its history SDI produced hundreds of units of affordable housing as well as a number of commercial projects. In 2000, SDI separated from SECO and became the Southeast Community Development Corporation (SECDC).
Since 2000, SECDC has focused on commercial real estate projects in the Highlandtown area. Two theaters, a school and the Dominic “Mimi” Democratic Club were redeveloped as a performing arts center, a public library, a youth center and a private residence respectively. In most of these cases the organization was not the ultimate developer, but addressed community priorities through acquisition and site control.
The CDC operates a number of community revitalization programs in the Highlandtown area such as the Highlandtown Main Street District and the Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District, and we partner with Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. on four neighborhoods in SE Baltimore, including Greektown, Highlandtown and Patterson Park. Recently, with the assistance of the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, we have begun working in the CARE, McElderry Park, and Madison East-End neighborhoods.
In addition to its community revitalization work, the CDC is one of the most comprehensive HUD-certified housing counseling agencies in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The CDC offers financial counseling, first time homeownership counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and all other aspects of buying a home. We are the only counseling service to offer online classes and bi-lingual services. We have also worked with Baltimore Housing, Maryland DHCD and Baltimore County to increase homeownership among immigrants.
In 2012, we were selected by the Baltimore Community Foundation’s “Target Neighborhoods Initiative” to develop a new, inclusive model of community development work with residents of all ages, ethnicities, nationalities and races in the neighborhoods of Baltimore Highland, Highlandtown and Patterson Park. We partner with the Family League as the lead agency for two Community Schools–Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School #237 and John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School. This partnership with schools has increased parent involvement, created “green schools” and brought in new community resources . The Southeast CDC has also partnered with a wide variety of environmental organizations, including Blue Water Baltimore, the Parks and People Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to reduce storm water run-off and increase the tree canopy in southeast Baltimore. We value our partnerships with the community-based organizations of Southeast Baltimore, such as the Friends of Patterson Park, Banner Neighborhoods, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition and numerous community and business associations.
Our real estate holdings include 17 units of low income tax credit rental housing and 2 commercial buildings in Highlandtown, including our new “green” office building.
Our mission is to promote the healthy, dynamic and diverse communities of Southeast Baltimore.
To achieve the mission, The Southeast CDC is governed by a Board of Directors, formerly chaired by lifelong resident and retired State Delegate Carolyn Krysiak and now chaired by Douglas E. Schmidt, Principle of Workshop Development.