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HDDC is one of Atlanta’s oldest surviving community development corporations and the only non-profit organization specifically dedicated to preserving the availability of affordable housing in the Old Fourth Ward district. For nearly four decades, HDDC has been a catalyst for equitable urban revitalization in Atlanta.


Our Mission

To passionately set the standard for strengthening, revitalizing and preserving the identity and history of our communities through equitable and inclusive development.

Our Vision

Creating the standard for how an historic community preserves its cultural integrity and maintains an equitable quality of life.

Our Mission
Our Vision
Background & History
Our Approach
Historic Preservation
Equitable Economic Growth

Background & History 


HDDC is one of Atlanta’s oldest surviving community development corporations and the only non-profit organization specifically dedicated to preserving the availability of affordable housing in the Old Fourth Ward district. For nearly four decades, HDDC has been a catalyst for equitable urban revitalization in Atlanta. HDDC is proud to serve as the bridge between Sweet Auburn’s storied past and the Old Fourth Ward’s bright future. Founded to protect the residential assets surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth site on Auburn Avenue, HDDC has demonstrated a concrete track record of success.


HDDC was founded in 1980 by Coretta Scott King, Christine King Farris and John Cox, with an original goal of restoring Martin Luther King Jr.'s National Historic District to the proud, economically diverse and viable neighborhood it once was. The challenge was to revitalize while maintaining the community’s character, celebrating its history, and preventing the displacement of long-term residents.


HDDC has always employed innovative approaches to revitalization. In the late 1990’s it pioneered the “block-by-block” development strategy by building new homes on vacant lots on the same streets where it rehabilitated existing dilapidated structures. The strategy became the catalyst for the revitalization of the entire neighborhood. The organization has continued to build on its successes and has expanded its reach to work throughout the entire Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.


In 1992, Mtamanika Youngblood, a former BellSouth executive with an MBA from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), became the founding executive director of the nonprofit HDDC.   


In her work with HDDC, she partnered with banks, developers, and community agencies to aid the neighborhood without displacing residents or sacrificing historic integrity. Salvageable homes were preserved and industrial spaces repurposed.  


Today, we continue to carry on the mission established by our founders and leadership.  

Our Approach


Sweet Auburn Historic District started as a thriving economic community for African-Americans.  Our focus is to ensure that African-Americans always can consider Sweet Auburn a destination for continued support.  


The HDDC model of preservation focuses on three key components: Non-Displacement, Historic Preservation, and Sustainability.

These three principles guide our work:


Non-Displacement: We prevent displacement, particularly of our historically strong African-American community, by intervening and improving life opportunities for very low, low-to-moderate income communities, and legacy existing residents.

Historic Preservation: Retaining the historic fabric and cultural character of the existing community.

Sustainability: Linking mixed-income, mixed-use development to sustainable economic growth, thereby creating an environment where families can be self-sufficient.

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Given the current issues regarding racial inequity in housing, job opportunities and other systemic and institutional practices that limit African-American wealth building, we believe that HDDC must fill a critical role of providing residential options that mitigate the risk of displacing current African-American residents. Auburn Glenn and Dynamic Metal Lofts are just two examples of projects in our portfolio that support our non-displacement strategy, while our current projects (Front Porch, Flats at The Indie, and the redevelopment of Henderson Place) seek to not only add to the affordable housing available in Atlanta, but also provide housing and retail options for long-time residents and business owners.

Historic Preservation

At HDDC, we believe that every effort should be made to preserve architectural, cultural, and community assets. Our track record includes the renovation of 32 original single-family homes built between 1895 and 1935. We have also taken on adaptive reuse projects to preserve historic landmarks such as Studioplex, The Herndon Plaza and Sweet Auburn Water Tower. We view our role as stewards of the history and assets that characterize the neighborhoods we serve and strive to maintain their prominence through preservation and site-activation.


Our belief is that we must play a key role in leading the historic preservation in the following ways: 

  • Repurpose and preserve targeted properties that drive the historic architectural landscape of the neighborhood; and

  • Routinely convene the community for meetings and events that align with our cultural, economic and political goals.

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Through initiatives like SAGE and Front Porch, HDDC leverages a variety of projects meant to act as a catalyst for sustained economic success for all but with a keen focus on African-American residents and business owners.  


A few of the specific areas of focus: 


  • Sustaining Business Programs: Throughout our portfolio of commercial properties, we offer attractive amenities for select business owners that help maintain the historic culture of the neighborhood and are experiencing financial hardships. 

  • Entrepreneur Workshops: We leverage a robust platform of partners to provide technical assistance in finance, marketing, environmental sustainability and operations in support of our business owners.  

  • Catalyzing Initiatives: Development of holistic projects that incorporate sustainability, urban agriculture and community wealth building  components that support our community while showcasing the historical significance of the corridor.

Our Team


Cheneé Joseph

President and CEO

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Pamela Lightcap Domínguez

Executive Assistant


Ron Kirkpatrick

Director of Real Estate Programs


1025 Advisors, Inc.

Financial & Development Consultants

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Nasim Fluker, Thrd Space



Marshall Jones

Accounting Consultants

Our Team

Board of Directors

LeRonne Riddick-Seals


Principal, RiddickSeals Legal Group, PLLC

Calinda Lee


Head of Programs and Exhibitions at National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Economy Jackson


Associate Director Income, United Way of Greater Atlanta

Julia Neighbors


Director, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia

Constance Barkley-Lewis


Director of Business/Philanthropic Development, CMII, GSU

Melanie Jablonski


Owner and Master Stylist, J Miles Salon

Kyna Jackson


Associate General Counsel, Georgia Power

Our Partners

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