The History of Polk CDC

For over twenty years, Polk Community Development Corporation has helped County residents build healthy communities – one household at a time.

In 1989, Polk CDC was organized as a private 501c3 non-profit corporation by the Polk County Housing Authority (Now West Valley Housing Authority). Like many Oregon Community Development Corporations founded during the same era, Polk CDC grew out of the recognition that a private non-profit could help the community meet housing needs not filled by the government and the private market. At the time, the organization was comprised only of a five-person Board of Directors who contracted with the Housing Authority to complete its projects which included group homes for the developmentally-disabled adults, a foreclosure “buy-back” program, and single-family lease-to-own homes.

In 2001, driven by an increasing resident population and by a desire to expand its services, Polk CDC began hiring staff and moved into its current offices in a 100-year old house on Main Street in downtown Dallas. In 2004 Polk CDC joined with four other local non-profits to found MERIT (MicroEnterprise Resources, Initiatives, and Training), a training program for aspiring small business owners, and in 2005 it became a founding member of the Valley Individual Development Account (VIDA) collaborative, which, with over 60 member organizations, has since become the largest IDA network in the country. Polk CDC also manages the Carol Hensley Memorial Children’s Fund and – in partnership with West Valley Housing Authority, the Housing Authority of Yamhill County, and Yamhill County Affordable Housing Corporation – has been designated as a Regional Housing Center by Oregon

Since its founding, Polk CDC has developed 186 units of affordable rental and lease-to-own housing and has brought over $18 million to Polk County communities. Its Revolving Loan Fund has also helped over 800 families make $8.5 million in necessary home repairs. Today, Polk CDC is still committed to helping Polk County residents improve their lives and their communities through affordable rental housing, home repair loans, homeownership classes, and counseling, asset-building opportunities, and more.

Explore the timeline on our Looking Back page to learn more about Polk CDC’s history or visit the Coming Soon page to see how Polk CDC continues to serve our communities.