In 1996, Alabama A&M University received a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to form a community-based development organization to address crime, blight, and deteriorating conditions in neighborhoods near and surrounding the campus.
Joseph A. Lee, the HUD project director worked with neighborhood residents, civic groups, and governmental entities to identify critical issues and to formulate an organizational structure. Also, he assisted the founding board in drafting the articles of incorporation and bylaws.
The HUD grant supported the formation of two neighborhood organizations: Meadow Hills Initiative (MHI) and the Northeast Huntsville Community Improvement Organization (NHCIO), which preceded the Edmonton Heights Neighborhood Association.
The AAMU Community Development Corporation (CDC) was incorporated as a private (501c3) not-for-profit organization in 1999. The initial board of directors included neighborhood leaders, Alabama A&M University, Drake State Technical College, the Greater Huntsville Ministerial Alliance, the North Alabama Railroad Museum Authority, Regions Bank, Coca Cola, and representatives of city, county, and state government.
As a result of the pandemic, in May 2022, the AAMU CDC was re-organized as the W.H. Councill Community Development Corporation (CDC). The Councill CDC continues the goals and objectives of the original nonprofit corporation.