Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) was founded in the midst of crisis in the 1960s.
The survival of the Lower Roxbury community was at risk. Bulldozers were demolishing hundreds of homes, churches, and businesses through the City of Boston’s urban renewal program. A small, but determined, group of activists fought back. Led by community members including Ralph Smith and C. Vincent Haynes, the group mobilized residents against the further destruction of their neighborhood. They created their own vision for the area and procured the resources they needed to rebuild their once-thriving community. This effort resulted in the creation of the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation in 1966 – with Ralph Smith as its founder and first Executive Director. The organization was a community-based, non-profit that independently developed affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents – making it one of the country’s first Community Development Corporations.