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Promoting Economic Development




Nov 30, 2000


Leslie Steen

Good morning everyone,

I am Leslie Steen, President of Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), a non profit that acquires and redevelops housing in Washington, Maryland and Virginia to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents. CPDC joins in partnership with the residents and becomes deeply involved with the community to understand and build on its strengthens and address its needs. CPDC combines physical rehabilitation, resident involvement, and ongoing community programs, such as youth development and employment programs, to ensure that affordable housing communities become sustainable and part of the social and economic mainstream.

For the past six years, CPDC has been at the forefront of efforts to bring technology to affordable housing communities to empower, and thereby create, strong and sustainable communities. CPDC has identified technology as the most powerful community development tool we have ever seen and serves to provide substantial opportunity for educational and economic growth. This very opportunity serves as a catalyst for community organizing and empowerment.

CPDC is well know for Edgewood Terrace, a severely deteriorated community of 884 HUD subsidized apartments currently undergoing community revitalization, which is the first of several apartment complexes that CPDC is wiring for a thin client server network to provide computing power and high speed internet access to apartments in combination with extensive teaching and community organization efforts. CPDC also runs computer learning centers at six other properties throughout the Washington, DC metro region. CPDC has started working with a national network of housing non-profits to further these efforts in bringing technology to affordable housing communities.

CPDC has worked with the Morino Institute over the past two years as part of the Youth Development Collaborative Pilot. I am looking forward to opportunity to grow our knowledge through conversing with this group.

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