The Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, Inc. (MHCDO) is a community-based organization engaged in economic and housing development, job placement, senior services, and health and human services in the District of Columbia's Ward 7. MHCDO’s unique mission is to promote and expand economic opportunities for citizens 'East of the Anacostia River' and to attract human and financial resources to the Ward 7 community.

We meet our mission by pursuing an integrated approach to community building. We leverage public and private resources to undertake housing and economic development projects and to provide employment, education, emergency and other services that increase self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life for residents.

MHCDO has partnered with private sector investors, government agencies and foundations, and has an extensive history of working with small organizations. MHCDO has an experienced staff, access to a team of skilled consultants and outside vendors, and is governed by a broad community-based board of directors. The organization's success stems from its community governance, collaborations and partnerships, and holistic approach to community development.

Areas of specialization:

  • Community Engagement & Facilitation
  • Economic Development 
  • Housing Production
  • Housing & Financial Counseling
  • Career Training & Counseling


Community Engagement and Facilitation

Rebuilding Communities Initiative


Neighborhood Planning


Public Policy Advocacy


Neighborhood Merchants & Business Leaders’ Forums


Economic Literacy and Homeownership Counseling


"One Stop Shop" & first point of contact for data on Ward 7


Economic Development

Commercial Development

Coordination of the improvement of 48 commercial facades along the Minnesota Avenue-Benning Road business district, the ‘Downtown’ of Ward 7.


MHCDO has a history of facilitating redevelopment in Ward 7. For example, MHCDO facilitated a repositioning of the Northeast Business Park, a partnership between MHCDO and Kenilworth Industrial Park, LLC. The Park includes the small business center that provides below-market office space to small business tenants, and the local headquarters for VMS, Inc.

Community Lending Program and Services

MHCDO assisted in identifying and recruiting the franchisee, and securing the sites and financing to bring the only sit-down restaurants located in the East Washington area of the City -- Denny’s Restaurant and the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery. MHCDO has also administered a successful micro-loan program for small business owners who did not have access to traditional capital markets.  

Housing Production


Chaplin Woods Townhomes

22-unit townhome development designed as an impact project to attract new buyers to the community.


Banneker Ridge

27 units of single family detached “for sale” homes, and the first ‘new home’ development that had been built in Ward 7 in nearly 40 years.


Hilltop Terrace

20 newly-constructed single-family detached for sale homes adjacent to the Marshall Heights neighborhood.

Career Training and Counseling


MHCDO provides a variety of services that expand economic opportunities and promote self-sufficiency. Job search assistance targets persons seeking first-time job opportunities, new job opportunities or career changes. Employment services and opportunities are also available for clients transitioning from welfare, school or incarceration to work. MHCDO has experience operating Adult Education Programs that target single female heads of households, TANF recipients, low-income or non-working parents, and ex-offenders who do not possess a GED or high school diploma and who may test at or below the 10th grade level. 


The Black Male Employment and Training Program – targeted young men residing in Ward 7 with a history of joblessness, and provided job readiness and basic skills training in preparation for placement in businesses. Assessment and counseling formed the basis for structuring a training plan to teach the range of skills needed for successful employment. Eighty-five percent of the participants completed the training, were successfully placed, and sustained employment for at least eight months to one year. 


The Life Skills Development Network – engaged Ward 7 residents who were dependent upon social systems and provided counseling and assistance to stabilize their personal and familial situations, increase job readiness and employment preparation, computer training, and job placement based on negotiated agreements with businesses throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. Ninety-two percent of the participants successfully completed training, and 87 percent were placed in positions retained for a minimum of one year.