Description & History

The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) has worked for twenty years to build a more beautiful, equitable and economically vibrant Bronx. We reach over 35,000 people annually through energy-efficient, healthy and affordable homes; early childhood education and youth development; home-based childcare microenterprise and food business incubation; and family support.


WHEDco builds energy-saving, affordable homes for low-income families in the South Bronx.These include:

Urban Horizons, our first housing and economic development project, which has 132 apartments and was completed in 1997.
Intervale Green, the nation's largest Energy Star certified, multi-family affordable housing development, which has 128 apartments and was completed in 2009.
Bronx Commons, our third development expected to break ground in 2013, which will have 293 affordable apartments, including apartments set-aside for elder musicians; the Bronx Music Heritage Center an archive and community performance space; the WHEDco Bard Academy, an arts-based school for grades 6-12; a hydroponic roof garden and open green space.


Because the physical environment and quality of life in communities have a profound effect on people, WHEDco fosters safer, healthier and more vibrant neighborhoods surrounding our housing. We work with South Bronx residents to improve safety, commercial development and access to green space in their communities. And because health and wellness are critical to helping people reach their potential and achieve success, we educate residents of our communities about good nutrition and physical fitness.


Early Childhood: Our nationally accredited and award-winning Urban Horizons Early Childhood Discovery Center, a Head Start program, serves 104 pre-school children from 18 countries. The program offers a nurturing environment that prepares children for school and engages parents in their education. Our family support services include adult literacy classes, counseling and access to job opportunities.
Youth Development: WHEDco provides opportunities for 1,000 students annually to have the kinds of life experiences that prepare them for success as adults.  Our award-winning After School Program serves students in Kindergarten through 8th grade with arts and academic enrichment, our Project STEP program helps middle school students become community leaders and attend competitive high schools and our student-led JAM Program empowers teens to teach sexual education to their peers.


WHEDco assists over 5,000 families every year in becoming more emotionally and economically secure. Through family support, we offer one-on-one benefits advocacy, financial and legal counseling, emergency assistance, crisis intervention and mental counseling. Through our community food pantry, we offer free fresh food and groceries to families in need.


Home-based Childcare Microenterprise: WHEDco helps women to start and grow successful home-based childcare businesses. This provides children with nurturing environments in which to learn and grow and enables parents to seek and maintain employment. Our newest initiative, the Childcare Improvement Project (CIP), provides training and technical assistance to unlicensed caregivers throughout New York City to increase their revenues and create their own home-based childcare businesses.
Food Business Incubation: WHEDco makes affordable commercial kitchen space available to emerging food companies. We also provide hands-on business development support, including help with marketing and sales, to further empower our kitchen tenants to grow their businesses.
Green Carts: WHEDco nurtures entrepreneurship by assisting residents in opening Green Cart businesses.  


WHEDco prizes inquiry, learning and capacity building, and we are committed to continuously tracking and evaluating our work. We share our impact with the media, policymakers, government, funders and colleagues in the field of community development through various resources.

About the organization

Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)

Akila Shenoy, Community Development Program Manager
Executive Director
718-839-1100 ext: 197
Charles Krause
Healthy Living Coordinator
718-839-1100 ext: 147
Organization’s website: