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February 15, 2010; Durango Herald | This little article in a Colorado paper tells the story of a local CDC closing its doors. Its lead sentence is “A local housing group has done so well at providing affordable homes that it put itself out of business.” But as you read on, of course, into not only the article but the comments, the real story begins to peek out from behind the curtain. It turns out that one of the two aging founders who the organization—the La Plata County Community Development Corporation—had become dependent on, died recently. The CDC decided to call it quits after 14 years, when the younger of the two founders passed away at age 87. During its tenure it “purchased enough land to construct 120 affordable units,” a task that was accomplished in collaboration with “Habitat for Humanity, Housing Solutions of the Southwest, Colorado Housing Inc., and a number of professionals who contributed work pro-bono or at discounted rates.” Comments under the article rightfully point out that the mission is nowhere near completed of course – need for affordable housing still being high – but there is no doubt that the organization served a great purpose. So why do we report on this? There is so much about the story and the commentary that follows it that speaks to the unique value of local nonprofits that are fueled and informed by local people and conditions. We don’t talk enough on a national basis about valuing and preserving the richness of our mostly very local sector as an important legacy for our children.—Ruth McCambridge

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