CPDC’s Formative Years (1989-2004)
Tribute #1 – Our Foundation: The Birth of CPDC
Real estate developer, operator, financier, community servant, and champion are all words used to describe Eugene F. Ford Sr., the visionary and founder of CPDC. Ford has a long, rich history of commitment to housing after successfully launching and operating multiple business ventures, including CPDC, that have transformed the industry.
- In 1965, Ford founded Mid-City Financial Corporation. As a development company, Mid-City acquired and rehabilitated more than 15,000 units of market rate and affordable housing. Currently the company manages a portfolio containing over 100 apartment communities in twelve states that serve individuals and families with a wide range of incomes.
- In 1973, Ford founded Edgewood Management Corporation to provide quality property management services for properties he developed under Mid-City. He designed Edgewood Management Corporation to fill a void in the housing industry by providing exceptional services to help him achieve his goal of quality, long-term ownership. Building on the solid reputation and success of managing properties for Mid-City, Edgewood began offering its services to outside owners in the late 1980s.
It was also in the late 80s that Ford had an epiphany. He witnessed a stark contrast in how quickly property conditions were deteriorating in low-income vs. market rate communities. Ford realized that his approach to affordable housing had to be different.
In 1989, Ford birthed CPDC, a not-for-profit real estate development corporation dedicated to providing safe, high-quality, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families in the Mid-Atlantic region. He immediately set CPDC apart from other developers in the region by adopting a model that included comprehensive resident services for those living in CPDC communities.
That same year, Ford appointed Leslie Steen as CPDC’s first President. Formerly the first Executive Director of Twin Citites Housing Development Corporation and later the Director of Portfolio Finance at the National Housing Partnership Foundation, Steen helped Ford build a solid team of professionals to fill CPDC’s real estate pipeline and build its resident services program. Among the earliest team members were: Kara B. Garraty, Janice Lee Lewis, Lessie Powell-Evans, Louvenia Williams, and Kathy Dougherty.
Acting as the organization’s governing body and providing strategic oversight, CPDC’s original Board of Directors included: Eugene Ford Sr. (chairman), Allan Oakley Hunter, H. Ralph Taylor, and I. Margaret White.
Today, over 25 communities and more than 4,500 units later, CPDC continues to lead and has established an unparalleled reputation for revitalizing communities across the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan region.