News

MACDC collaborates with Massachusetts Community-Based Organizations to call for Small Business Relief and Recovery Program

April 23rd, 2020 by

MACDC has partnered with community-based organizations, community lenders and advocates to form a statewide Small Business Coalition, which is calling on state leaders to adopt a Small Business Relief and Recovery Program to address urgent and unmet needs in the small business community. 

Seventy-nine organizations, including dozens of organizations that work every day at the local level with entrepreneurs impacted by this crisis, made this request in a letter to Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

MACDC has been convening weekly discussions with community-based organizations that work with small businesses from across the commonwealth on strategies and best practices to support small businesses in this time of crisis, as well as collaborating on advocacy for state policies that would help these businesses weather the pandemic.

“We are heartbroken watching hard working men and women fight to save their business and their families from economic ruin – a situation that has nothing to do with their skills as business owners, but is entirely due to COVID-19, and the public health necessity to close their businesses. They are suffering immense economic harm to help keep all of us safe, so we believe all of us have a shared responsibility through our state government to help keep them in business,” the letter states.

The proposed Small Business Relief and Recovery Program is particularly focused on those small businesses that are most vulnerable during this economic crisis, including those from historically underserved communities, such as African American, Latinx, Asian, people of color, immigrant, and women, as well as businesses located in rural towns, Gateway Cities, and other low-income areas. 

The letter recognizes that the federal government is providing significant resources to small businesses through the Payroll Protection Program, but points out that many small businesses, especially very small business, and those owned by people of color, are not benefiting equitably from that program.  In a survey of nearly 500 small and micro businesses released by the groups with the letter, 58% said they did not think the Federal CARES Act would meet their needs over the next three months.  Further, “42% said they were surviving on personal savings, an unsustainable strategy, especially for many people of color who, on average, have significantly less accumulated wealth than their white counterparts”. 

The letter calls for a “state-level strategy that is focused on reaching those who continue to be left behind” both to better access federal dollars and to strategically use state resources to plug gaps in the federal response.  Segun Idowu, Executive Director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts and one of the signatories of the letter, noted “If Washington can’t get it right, our leadership needs to.”

The Coalition includes many organizations from rural communities, which are struggling. “Our economy is built on small businesses, including many very small enterprises, that have trouble accessing federal resources,” said Amy Shapiro from Franklin County CDC.  “By providing customized technical assistance at the local level, flexible financing, and small grants, we can help more of our rural businesses access federal dollars, survive the shutdown and recover in the months to come.”

The coalition offers the following recommendations for programs and policies that should be part of the state’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Program:  

  1. $10 million in funding to support community-based organizations that deliver culturally competent and multi-lingual technical assistance and coaching to small businesses;
  2. $30 Million in emergency relief grants to help businesses cover rent, mortgages, and other fixed costs;
  3. $35 million to Community Development Financial Institutions, Community Development Corporations, and other community-based lending programs to help them offer grants, zero/low interest loans, loan deferments, and other assistance to small businesses;
  4. $75 million to the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation for a revolving loan fund to help businesses unable to access SBA financing, with a focus on communities of color, immigrant communities, rural towns, and Gateway Cities;
  5. A statewide Small Business Assistance Task Force charged with ensuring the effective delivery of support to small businesses during the economic shutdown and through the recovery; the task force should have a laser focus on equity and inclusion.

Read the full letter to Governor Baker and Leaders of the General Court

Commenting Closed

MACDC News

April 7th, 2020 by

February 2021

Thank You, David: MACDC bids farewell to our Director of Advocacy, David Bryant, who left MACDC at the end of January. Over the pass six years, David was instrumental in leading many policy wins for the community development field, including the reauthorization and expansion of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC), increased funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance program, funding to launch the MA Food Trust program, increased state-level funding to CDFIs, and the recapitalization of the "Get the Lead Out" lead paint abatement program. We will miss David. We wish him well in his future endeavors. Read David's letter here.
 
MACDC Partners with LISC Boston and Resonant Energy to Launch Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) Program:The STAR Program, launched on January 28, will provide financial and technical resources to help affordable housing organizations explore solar opportunities for their buildings, with the goal of installing 1 Megawatt of solar power (2,500 solar panels) over the next 18 months, in partnership with CDCs and other mission-aligned organizations across Massachusetts. You can review the presentation slides and listen to the recording from the launch. Applications are due by February 26th for first round solar feasibility grant consideration. Learn more in this blog article.
 
MACDC's members are mobilizing to help business owners apply for additional relief dollars, following the launch of a new round of the Federal Payroll Protection Program for small businesses. Massachusetts SBA Director Bob Nelson joined our Community Business Network meeting on January 6 to summarize key elements of the program, so our members would be ready to go. Many CDCs, CDFIs, and business support organizations are collaborating through the Equitable PPP Initiative that is being facilitated by LISC Boston. The program is working hard to ensure that people of color, immigrants, micro business owners and others have full and equal access to this important program.
 
MACDC has quickly turned to mobilize for the 2021 Legislative session. One of our top priorities this year will be the Housing & Environment Revenue Options (HERO) Campaign that seeks to raise the deeds excise tax to create a new permanent funding stream for housing and climate investments. Over the past two weeks, the HERO Coalition reconvened and began planning for an aggressive campaign. We have worked on finalizing the legislation that will be filed this month by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Nika Elugardo. You will be hearing a lot more about this campaign in the coming days.
 
MACDC President Joe Kriesberg became Instructor Joe Kriesberg when he taught an Introduction to Community Economic Development class for the Mel King Institute on January 27. The course covers some of the core values and founding principles of the field, as well as a review of the primary activities undertaken by community developers such as affordable housing development and economic development. Watch a recording of the class.
Pam Bender facilitated a meeting of financial coaches and their supervisors for the United Way about community outreach and community engagement. It was one of their monthly Community of Practice meetings for organizations, such as housing authorities, CDC's, CAP agencies, shelter programs, and other multi-service agencies. The group discussed best practices on reaching out to community members during the pandemic as well as how to retain clients.
 

January 2021

Sign the Eviction Diversion Pledge! In November 2020, MACDC, in partnership with the Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing, and CHAPA announced a five-point Eviction Diversion Pledge, a commitment from Massachusetts property owners and operators to working with tenants facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic and supporting housing stability during the ongoing fight against the spread of COVID-19. As of January 5th, 67 organizations, including several CDCs, signed the pledge.  If you own rental housing, please join these affordable housing owners and developers in signing this pledge to work with tenants who have fallen behind on rent.

 

A very warm and special thank you to all who donated through the Community Investment Tax Credit program in 2020. This past year was unquestionably the most challenging ever for the Community Development field as all of us worked to support our residents and communities. Fortunately, the CITC has helped CDCs secure significant and flexible funding to enable them to pivot their approach and help meet the immediate needs of residents. While we don't have full data yet, we believe  that the CITC program generated over $12 million in 2020, and will yield the most funding ever in the history of the program. We thank everyone who donated to a CDC in 2020, with or without CITC.
 
MACDC released the CITC: 2020 Program Impact Report in December. This report highlights how CDCs participating in the CITC program are applying these funds to their strengthen their organizations and expand the programs and services the offer.

 

MA Legislature Adopts Conference Agreement to Approve Economic Development Bond Bill: On January 6, legislators approved the conference report to advance a comprehensive economic development, housing assistance and pandemic relief bill to the Governor's desk. MACDC was very pleased that the legislature was able to enact this bill that will support small businesses, promote affordable and equitable housing opportunities, provide additional tenant protections across the Commonwealth, especially to our neighbors most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Read more in this blog article by MACDC Director of Advocacy, David Bryant.
 
MACDC's President Joe Kriesberg had an op-ed published in Commonwealth Magazine outlining his "holiday wish list" for housing legislation before the end of the session. Thankfully, all the recommendations included in that op-ed were approved by the Legislature on January 6, including passage of the City of Boston's Home Rule petition to strengthen its linkage program and inclusionary zoning, and passage of the Economic Development bill mentioned above.
 
Supporting our small business community: A story about the power of relationships, collaboration advocacy and persistence. Read this blog article by MACDC President, Joe Kriesberg, about MACDC's small business work in response to the pandemic. The article details some of the history of our small business work, what we are doing now to support small businesses, and what we envision moving forward.
 
MACDC hosted its first Small Business Network Zoom meeting of the year on January 6, with 66 participants from across the state in attendance. The group met with Bob Nelson, the Massachusetts Director of the SBA. Mr. Nelson provided a briefing on the new Payroll Protection Program and other small business programs in the Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill. We also heard from Larry Andrews of the Mass. Growth Capital Corporation about the rollout of the state's $668 million small business initiative.

 

MACDC prepared an interactive map showing the number and total amount of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans for each zip code in Massachusetts made during 2020 (Rounds 1 and 2). The zip code 01801 (Woburn) had the most loans of any zip code in the state with 1,358 loans. By contrast, zip code 01367 (Rowe) had just 2 loans. You can also access a complete list of all 117,772 PPP loans in Massachusetts in this excel file. You can sort the list by zip code to find the businesses in your area that received PPP loans in 2020. As the SBA prepares to launch PPP 3.0 in January, this tool might be useful to organizations that want to reach out to businesses and offer assistance in receiving more financial support.

 

MACDC began meeting with other housing advocates and state housing officials to discuss plans for deploying approximately $460 million in new federal housing assistance to help families impacted by COVID-19 and the economic crisis. This new funding - if efficiently and quickly deployed - could go a long way to mitigating an eviction crisis across the state.
 
MassHousing and the Baker-Polito Administration launched the CommonWealth Builder Program, a $60 million fund  intended to spur the construction of single-family homes and condominiums that are affordable to households with moderate incomes, particularly in communities of color. Learn more about the program in this video, featuring many familiar faces, including MACDC President Joe Kriesberg.
 
MACDC Staff Update: We are thrilled to announce that Nadine Sanchara, our Communications and Operations Fellow for the past sixteen months, accepted a position with us as MACDC's Communications and Operations Specialist. From her first day with our team, she has worked to expand our organization's capacity and shown incredible talent and dedication in all her efforts. You are familiar with her work as she sends out the MACDC Notebook, is quite active on MACDC's social media accounts, and works with John Fitterer on fundraising. Congratulations, Nadine. We're excited for you to continue working with us.

 

MACDC welcomes new CDCs: Congratulations to the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA (SEACMA), the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE), and the Latino Support Network](LSN) on becoming Certified CDCs!

 

December 2020

Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program participants aiming to have another record year.  In 2019, through the CITC program, $12.3 million was raised for community development in Massachusetts (Check out the CITC Investment Dashboard for more detailed information). This marked, to date, the most funds raised in a single year through the program. Last year, 32% ($3,974,510) of donations came from individuals. Furthermore, in 2019, 35% ($4,342,392) of all donations were received in the month of December. There's still plenty of time to make a CITC donation before the year ends! All donations just need to be received by the organization participating in the CITC program by 12/31/2020. CLICK HERE to view the list of organizations participating in the CITC program.
 
MACDC Calls on Legislature to Provide More Small Business Relief: MACDC is urging legislators to enact Governor Baker's Supplemental Budget, H.5177: An Act Making Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2021Read the full statement.

 

MACDC and Allies Weigh in on Commonwealth's 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plan: The planning process for the Commonwealth's 2022-2024 Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan is underway. The Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) has commenced its listening sessions and is soliciting input on the upcoming plan. MACDC is collaborating with LISC Boston and other allies on submitting two comment letters:
 
  • request for strategic changes to the LEAN Multifamily Program, to better support energy retrofits to existing multifamily buildings.  These changes will ensure a pipeline of projects that more meaningfully address carbon emissions across the affordable multifamily housing sector. 
  • request to allocate resources in the 2022-2024 budget for workforce development associated with Green Jobs. These investments will meet the growing needs of the green energy sector while providing sustainable, well-paying job opportunities for low-income residents and communities of color. 
We will continue to monitor progress in development of the three-year plan and provide feedback as this process moves along.
 
MACDC's CITC Peer Group was joined by DHCD's CITC team, Mark Southard, Kathryn McNelis, and Nathan Delude on December 10th. The session focused on changes to the NOFA and any questions CDC staff may have concerning the CITC application for 2021 credit allocations. Sixty-two people attended the peer group meeting. MACDC's CITC peer group meets throughout the year. This year, MACDC augmented the peer group meetings with a series of fundraising trainings for CDC Resource Development staff. 

 

The CDC Tech Table: MACDC launched a new Member Services program on Friday, December 11th. The monthly convening of MACDC's members on all things tech aims to help our members understand and resolve challenges they may be facing and to build I.T. and knowledge management systems that provide opportunities for growth well into the future. Twenty-six people were in attendance to share best practices and to discuss how they are addressing myriad of tech topics. Two topics dominated the conversation: Streamlining reporting to HUD on housing counseling services and how organizations have migrated to the cloud. Meetings will be convened monthly and will be hosted by John Fitterer, MACDC's Director of Operations, and Stefanie Archer, Founder of Archer Consulting, which focuses on Salesforce implementation for nonprofits.
MACDC's Senior Organizer, Pam Bender, spoke about virtual advocacy as a panelist at a brown bag lunch event held by the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition and the Community Development Network of Maryland on Friday, December 11th. The event was attended by members of the two groups, as well as a state senator and a state delegate. 
 
MACDC President Joe Kriesberg was quoted in a few articles recently as MACDC advocates for tenants and small businesses:
MACDC's Program Director for Health Equity, Elana Brochin, was quoted in this article on the Build Healthy Places Network blog: Interconnected: Public Health and Community Development Fit Together like Pieces of a Puzzle

 

MACDC applauds the Legislature and the Governor Baker for enacting  an FY 21 budget that includes significant funding for small business support, including the $5.1 million for SBTA. The budget also includes $46.3M for Small Biz grants & support, including $17.5 million for grants, $17.5 million for CDFIs, $7.5 million for matching grant program and $3.8 million for a new program to close digital divide. 

 

November 2020

MACDC released a new report on health-related work among Massachusetts CDCs. The report details Massachusetts CDCs' growing engagement in the health equity space and creates a foundation on which we can further develop our field's work - as individual CDCs and as the Community Development movement overall. Read more in this blog article, and read the report here.
 

MACDC is partnering with CHAPA and MassHousing to organize the Eviction Diversion Initiative Pledge in which CDCs and other affordable housing owners and market housing owners pledge to work cooperatively with tenants and rent relief agencies to prevent evictions and stabilize tenancies during the pandemic. More than 50 owners with a total of over 50,000 units have signed on to the pledge so far. Read more here.

 
The House of Representatives approved its proposed FY 21 Budget last week and included funding for several key MACDC priorities, including: 
  • $5 million for Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA);
  • $46.35 million for Small Business Relief and Recover; 
  • $1 million for the Transformative Development Fund, including $750,000 for our Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative collaboration with MassINC, MassDevelopment and MassHousing; and
  • $2.805 million Chapter 206 funding for homeownership education and foreclosure prevention counseling.
MACDC is hosting a member-only meeting with the Alliance for Racial Equity on Wednesday, December 2 on how members are working toward racial equity. The goals of this meeting are to have CDCs share their racial equity work, begin to set the context for what the work means, network and engage a diverse spectrum of CDC staff and leadership, as well as understand what people need from MKI/MACDC
 
MACDC hosted a workshop for our members on November 9 about trends in the property and casualty insurance market, how COVID may be impacting insurance premiums, and how affordable housing owners can control losses.  The workshop also provided information about MACDC's Partnership with Eastern Insurance that currently provides coverage for 2,500 apartments and many commercial buildings for 11 CDCs.  The program offers our members an opportunity save money, achieve more stable pricing and better coverage. 
 
MACDC submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue in support of the "HERO" bill which would generate about $300 million in new funding for climate and housing investments. Read the testimony.  
 
MACDC President, Joe Kriesberg, took a quick tour of Western Mass in late October to visit members in Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Springfield.  It was a rare opportunity to meet in person with two new CDC executive directors, Allison Marchese at the CDC of South Berkshire County and Keith Fairey at Way Finders in Springfield.
 
OneHolyoke CDC and MACDC participated in a workshop on Abandoned Housing at the MHP Western MA Housing Conference this fall. The workshop on Distressed and Abandoned Properties on November 5 featured Mike Moriarty from OneHolyoke CDC and Don Bianchi from MACDC, along with Maja Kazmierczak from the MA Attorney General's Neighborhood Renewal Division. The workshop highlighted three approaches to addressing the problems associated with distressed and abandoned properties. Read more in this article.
 

The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) released its 2020 Family Portrait, a publication about its members, which includes MACDC. Check out the report.

 

MACDC hosted three workshops at Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum which was held in partnership with NACEDA and eight other CDC state associations from October 13 to 23. The recordings of MACDC's sessions are now available for viewing:

 

October 2020

MACDC has been working feverishly with our allies to prevent a wave of evictions in Massachusetts. We have called on the Governor to extend the state moratorium on evictions, and we have joined with CHAPA and many others to advocate for over $200 million in eviction prevention relief funding. Ultimately, the Governor declined to extend the moratorium and announced a $171 million Eviction Diversion Initiative that included most of the elements for which we had been advocating (albeit at lower funding levels) such as additional RAFT funding, increased capacity for mediation, more legal representation for tenants and resources to rapidly rehouse families. The Initiative also seeks to preserve tenancies for families through the school year, a goal that we argued was essential.
 
On Friday, October 16, MACDC hosted a briefing for our members with DHCD Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox, so our members can work with their tenants and community members to help them access the resources they need. Check out the presentation made by Undersecretary Maddox. We will continue to fight for resources and legal protections to ensure that everyone can remain stably housed.
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic, MACDC has been advocating for resources that will help small businesses survive and recover from the recession so we were very pleased on Wednesday, October 14 when Governor Baker proposed $100 million in new small business relief as part of his revised FY 21 Budget. The proposal includes:
  • Increase in FY 2021 Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program line item from $3 million to $6 million;
  • $35 million for grants for small businesses, particularly businesses in underserved markets, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, and those who have not yet received federal aid. 
  • $35 million for community development financial institutions (CDFI) grants and loans. 
  • $15 million for matching grants for capital investments by businesses with twenty or fewer employees. 
  • $7.7 million for technical assistance and grants, including for small business online and digital tools.
This proposal must be approved by the Legislature, so MACDC will be campaigning to make that happen in the coming days. On October 21, we sent a letter to Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo on behalf of a statewide coalition of 79 community-based organizations, community lenders and advocates, requesting their support for the Small Business Relief and Recovery Programs proposed by Governor Baker. Read more in this Boston Globe article.
 
The Housing and Environment Revenue Opportunities (HERO) Coalition, which MACDC co-chairs, initiated legislation that would double the Deeds Excise Fee on home purchases from $4.56 per $1000 to $9.12 per $1000. The bill, filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Nika Elugardo, proposes that half of the new revenue would be dedicated to climate mitigation and resiliency. The other half of the revenue would go to aid working-class homeowners, and low-income renters and the homeless. Read more in this press release, and check out the HERO Coalition website.

 

MACDC hosted its regular Small Business COVID-19 Response Network meeting on October 7 with over 50 attendees. The focus of the meeting was a presentation by the Boston Impact Initiative - our newest associate member - about their innovative model for revenue based lending to small businesses.
 
MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg visited new CDC Executive Directors in Worcester and Northampton. The Pandemic has prevented MACDC staff from visiting our members as frequently as we normally do, but Joe took advantage of some great fall weather to visit two of our newest CDC Executive Directors last week. He made a stop in Worcester to visit Jennifer Schanck-Bolwell at Worcester Community Housing Resources, and to Northampton to visit Jane Loechler at Valley CDC. MACDC Senior Policy Advocate, Don Bianchi, who lives in Northampton also participated in the visit with Jane. It's great to see these new leaders hitting the ground running despite the challenges of starting a new job at this time.
 
MACDC held a special meeting for CDC Executive Directors who have started in that role since the beginning of the year. Five such executive directors met at our first meeting over the summer and the group now includes seven people, with Teronda Ellis from Jamaica Plain NDC and Allison Marchese from the CDC of South Berkshire being the latest to assume leadership of a CDC and join our group. MACDC is committed to doing everything we can to help these leaders get off to a great start.
 
MACDC's Member Services program continues to be very busy. During the first quarter of FY 21 (July - September) we held 34 peer group meetings attended by 818 people on a range of topics from small business development to housing, to resident services and health equity.
 
Last month, The Neighborhood Hub, a multi-agency partnership that includes MACDC, hosted a Housing in Gateway Cities Webinar. The webinar included a presentation by Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Progress, statements from State legislators and officials, and a conversation with local practitioners, including Marc Dohan from NewVue Communities. View the presentation slides, and watch the video of the webinar here.
 
Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum: MACDC teamed up with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and eight other CDC associations from around the country to host Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum. The forum started on October 13 and will conclude this Friday, October 23. It featured workshops presented by MACDC and other CDC associations, national plenaries, and keynote speeches by Deanna Van Buren of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, and Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times #1 Bestselling Author.

 

September 2020

CDC elder and youth programs collectively served more than 10,400 people in 2019 - The MACDC GOALs Report has documented that CDCs across the state are providing critical services to thousands of seniors. Read more in this article by Don Bianchi, which highlights the work of two CDCs, in particular, One Holyoke CDC and Hilltown CDC. 
 
MACDC's Boston Committee met with representatives from the Boston Housing Authority, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and City Councilor Kenzie Bok to discuss how the BHA and CDCs can collaborate to leverage available federal resources under the Faircloth Initiative to expand deeply affordable housing across the city.
 
MACDC has been working feverishly with our partners in the nonprofit, government, and private sector to identify programs, policies and initiatives that can prevent a wave of evictions when current eviction moratoria expire. We believe a combination of strategies are needed including a targeted extension of the moratorium, substantial funding for rent relief programs, mediation, legal representation and an education campaign to make sure tenants understand their rights. MACDC believes it is especially critical to ensure that school-aged children who are attending school at home are not evicted from both their home and their "school."
The Energy Cohort, co-organized by MACDC, LISC Boston, and New Ecology, met on September 10th, to discuss opportunities and challenges associated with the electrification of heating and cooling - a timely topic as a hot summer comes to a close. Lauren Baumann from New Ecology and Beverly Craig from the MA Clean Energy Center made a timely presentation
 
MACDC's Operations Peer Group met on September 15 to learn about MACDC's tech build out and Microsoft Office 365. Director of Operations, John Fitterer, reviewed MACDC's IT build out that includes full cloud integration, including our phone system, and data visualization tools, as well as the nonprofit pricing for Microsoft's Office 365.
 
MACDC hosted a meeting on September 23 with EOHED Secretary Michael Kennealy and over 50 small business development organizations from across the state to discuss the state's efforts to help businesses survive and recover from the crisis.  We discussed the need for streamlined and simple grant programs along with more funding for technical assistance. 
Commenting Closed

Community Developers Call for Immediate Action

March 24th, 2020 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Economic Fall Out from Pandemic Requires Large Scale and Equitable Response

Investments Needed for Small Business, Housing and Non-Profit Sectors

March 24, 2020

CONTACT: Joseph Kriesberg, 617-721-7250 / joek@macdc.org

A statewide association of Community Development Corporations is calling upon state leaders to take immediate action to address growing and urgent needs for small businesses, tenants, homeowners and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) represents 88 community-based nonprofits across the state that work to advance economic opportunity, affordable housing and thriving neighborhoods across the state. MACDC is calling for the following actions:

  • $150 million investment in loans, grants, and technical assistance to help small businesses survive and recover from this economic crisis, especially those businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, women, and low- or moderate-income people;

  • Creation of a Massachusetts COVID-19 Small Business Response Task Force to guide the on-going response to this crisis and consider other initiatives to help small businesses through this crisis;

  • Expanded unemployment insurance criteria to cover currently ineligible business owners, such as sole proprietors, independent contractors and micro businesses;

  • Short-term eviction moratorium to keep people housed during this public health crisis;

  • At least $25 million in emergency funding to help tenants impacted by the COVID-19 crisis pay their rent;

  • Special initiatives to help nonprofit organizations, including community-based cultural organizations, youth programs, CDCs, and other critical local organizations.

(Read, MACDC's full Initial Policy Recommendations in Response to the Public Health and Economic Crisis)

“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 public health emergency is likely to hurt just about everyone, but it will have a particularly significant impact on lower-income communities, communities of color, Gateway Cities, and distressed rural areas,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President of MACDC. “We need the state to step up immediately with significant and equitable investments to help our small businesses survive and recover from this unprecedented crisis.”

“We know this pandemic will have a particularly significant impact on the most vulnerable among us.  It will reveal and exacerbate the persistent racial and economic inequities in our society,” noted Kriesberg. “That is why we need a strategy based on equity that targets resources to the businesses, families and communities that most need assistance”.

MACDC recommends that much of the small business development assistance be deployed through the highly effective network of community-based organizations already working with the state through the Small Business Technical Assistance program.  These organizations are working with over 3,000 small businesses across the state, with 88% of the clients coming from underserved communities such as people of color, immigrants, or lower-income communities.  Additional support can be deployed by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with a proven record of leveraging federal and private funding to deliver capital to small businesses.  MACDC is also urging an expansion of the Mass Growth Capital Corporation’s Small Business Recovery Loan fund which is already oversubscribed. Given the scale of this crisis, we recommend that businesses be able to access both loans and/or grants to ensure their long-term survival and to avoid new debt obligations that will burden their recovery.

MACDC’s policy statement calls on the legislature and the Governor to use the state’s Rainy Day Fund and General Obligation Bonds to help cover the costs of these emergency investments.

(Read, MACDC's full Initial Policy Recommendations in Response to the Public Health and Economic Crisis)

Commenting Closed

Are CDCs Racially Diverse?

November 4th, 2019 by

A critical question when it comes to addressing racial equity is the diversity of the board, senior staff and staff of an organization.  To help provide some insight into whether Certified CDCs in Massachusetts are led by and comprised of diverse boards and staff, MACDC, as a part of the annual state of the sector survey we conduct, the GOALs Report, asks about board and staff diversity.  Below are the results from this year’s survey, which was conducted in early 2019 and captures data from calendar year 2018. We plan to collect this data every year so we can track progress. 

 

CDC Organizational Diversity 

 

Geographical Area 

AVG. POC Board Members 

AVG. POC Senior Staff 

AVG. POC Staff - * 

Statewide 

37.99% 

30.33% 

44.90% 

Gateway 

35.21% 

31.47% 

43.89% 

Rural 

43.89% 

2.38% 

9.57% 

Greater Boston Suburban Communities 

28.64% 

21.52% 

29.49% 

Greater Boston Urban Communities 

55.03% 

44.40% 

66.78% 

Boston 

61.63% 

50.03% 

78.79% 

 

*  Average People of Color (POC) Staff data is rough percentage as MACDC asks for the number of FTEs on staff to the tenth, whereas the POC staff question does not allow any decimalization. 

 

Notes: 

  • 59 state-Certified CDCs reporting out of 61 organizations 

  • Reporting period: 2018 

Commenting Closed

The Mel King Institute’s Public Housing Training Program is taking steps to ensure racial equity is intertwined in its trainings/activities

October 30th, 2019 by

After two years of trainings, the Public Housing Training Program is updating its Resident Leader Training curriculumA group of residents, trainers and partners has come together to make the curriculum more interactive and more grounded in resident experiences, and to add a stronger racial equity lens.

The Mel King Institute for Community Building launched the Public Housing Tenant Training Program in 2016 with the purpose of increasing the voice of residents as stakeholders in decision-making in public housing management and administration. Trainings are conducted by Sarah Byrnes, Manager of the MKI Public Housing Training Program, along with co-trainers and residents. Since its first training in 2017, across the Commonwealth, the Public Housing Training Program (PHTP) has trained more than 250 residents, equipping them with the knowledge they need to fully participate in the oversight of their housing authorities. 

The current Resident Leader curriculum focuses on skills such as outreach, conflict resolution, and running meetings in order to help tenants start or sustain tenant groups. “After two years of conducting trainings, it became clear that we needed to be more explicit about our values around racial inclusion,” says Sarah. “Public housing communities are often wonderfully diverse, and many residents are looking for tools to make sure that their tenant groups include everyone. This will impact the way they do everything from outreach to running meetings.”

The first step in the process was a Racial Equity Train-the-Trainer session, so that the curriculum committee could seek shared understanding around race and racism in the United States. With participants from a variety of cultures, races and nationalities, the conversation was spirited, informative, and sometimes challenging. The group learned about racism as a manifestation of both prejudice and power, about the four levels of racism, and about the history of white supremacy. The two-day session included time for race-based affinity groups, which the residents enjoyed so much that they decided to keep meeting monthly in online affinity groups!

While the group is still defining what a “racial equity lens” means to them, these conversations laid the groundwork for a shared definition. Sarah believes that in addition to centering inclusion, as mentioned above, “A goal for the curriculum is that it will also empower facilitators to confront implicit biases when they show up, and to convey our lessons about race, racism and white supremacy as needed.” More residents will also be invited to participate in the online affinity groups as follow up to the trainings.

Currently, the team is making plans to offer a training based on the “spiral” framework. This framework centers resident experiences and helps residents see common patterns in those experiences as a basis for building inclusive networks. After testing out this framework, the group will return to the conversation about racial equity in order to adapt the spiral framework and other materials into a cohesive whole. They expect to start using the new curriculum early in 2020.

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MACDC's top priorities supported in FY 2020 State Budget

July 25th, 2019 by
This past weekend, the FY 2020 Budget Conference Committee came to an agreement on a $43.1 billion budget proposal, which the House and the Senate subsequently approved on Monday, July 22. With the support of many members of the House and Senate, MACDC is thrilled that the following programs received funding:
  • The Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program's funding increased by 50% from $2 million in FY19 to $3 million in FY20. Additional funding will support new businesses, new jobs and the overall increased economic stability in neighborhoods and towns across the Commonwealth. To learn more about the program and the powerful results for which it's noted, go to MGCC's website;
  • Chapter 206 funding available to the Division of Banks was increased by 40% to $2.805 million. This program supports nonprofit housing counseling services that provide homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling;
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative: A new $750,000 capacity-building program through MassHousing and MassDevelopment, in coordination with MACDC and MassINC. This program will help local governments and community partners implement neighborhood-level revitalization efforts to address vacant and abandoned properties in Gateway cities and rural areas and convert these buildings into homeownership opportunities and rental housing.  Check out the study released this past January by MassINC and MACDC "Building Communities of Promise and Possibility" upon which this recommendation was drawn;
  • CPA Trust Fund: Most recording fees at the Registries of Deeds will be increased from $20 to $50, which would raise an estimated $36 million in additional annual revenue for CPA beginning in 2020, and increase the CPA match for all 175 CPA communities to approximately 30%. The Conference Committee also agreed to language that will authorize up to $20 million from the state's budget surplus to expand the November 2019 distribution. CPA exclusively supports the creation of affordable housing, preservation of historical sites, open space preservation, and development of recreational facilities.
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State Funds Workforce Housing and Narrowing the Racial Homeownership Gap

July 25th, 2019 by

On July 9, Governor Baker, joined by Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan, and MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay, announced $86 million in new funding to expand the Administration's Workforce Housing Initiative, including $60 million to support homeownership and help to narrow the racial homeownership gap. About 500 new workforce homes, i.e. affordable housing that would be in close proximity to the workplace, for moderate-income, first-time homebuyers will be created, along with an additional 260 new workforce rental units. 

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ONE Mortgage program made more affordable in Boston

July 25th, 2019 by

On July 18, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the Barriers to Homeownership Working Group, in a partnership with the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), worked to create the ONE+Boston mortgage program, which will be launched this fall. The new program, offered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), is intended to make progress on the original ONE Mortgage program and aims to permanently buy down interest rates for first-time home buyers earning less than $90,000 in a two-person household, which in turn will create more opportunities for low- to middle-income families to buy a home.

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MACDC Announces Eastern Bank to Award $250,000 in Grants for CDCs Through the Community Investment Tax Credit Program

July 1st, 2019 by

 

The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) has announced that Eastern Bank has renewed its commitment to the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program by pledging $250,000 in grants to participating Massachusetts Community Development Corporations (CDCs). The announcement was made by Quincy Miller, Vice Chair and President of Eastern Bank, at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Mel King Institute on June 25th at the Boston Park Plaza. Eastern Bank was the Presenting Sponsor of the event. This is the fourth consecutive year the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is awarding grant funding to the CITC program. Since the inception of Eastern Bank’s participation in the program in 2016, the bank will have contributed more than $1 million in grants to organizations participating in the CITC program.

In 2018, Certified CDCs in Massachusetts, which include all organizations participating in the CITC program, accomplished the following:

  • Homes Built or Preserved: 1,535
  • Job Opportunities Created or Preserved: 4,305
  • Entrepreneurs Provided Technical Assistance: 1,369
  • Families Supported with Housing, Jobs or Other Services: 84,224
  • Community Leaders Engaged: 1,910
  • Investment in Local Communities: $801.5 million.

“Affordable housing and community development create pathways to prosperity, and Eastern Bank is committed to standing alongside the leaders and organizations advocating for these issues,” said Miller. “Thank you to the CDCs who are doing incredible work in Boston and across the Commonwealth in creating new opportunities for all, and congratulations to the Mel King Institute on celebrating 10 years of leading our neighborhoods in community building.”

The CITC program provides a 50% refundable state tax credit for donations of $1,000 or more to participating CDCs.  Because the donation is refundable, organizations, such as foundations and donor advised funds, can support CDCs across Massachusetts through the program as well as individuals and businesses. CDCs can apply for an Eastern Bank grant at www.easternbank.com/foundation.

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MACDC Lobby Day Draws Largest Crowd in Years

April 30th, 2019 by

On April 25, more than 200 community developers representing 43 CDCs from across the Commonwealth came together for MACDC’s Annual Lobby Day at the State House.  CDC leaders met with dozens of legislators to push for our shared agenda, including increased funding for Small Business Technical Assistance, legislation to strengthen the Community Preservation Trust Fund, and a Four-Step Agenda for addressing our housing crisis.  At noon, these leaders were joined by dozens of friends, allies and legislators in the Great Hall to hear from Senator Brendan Crighton who thanked the leaders for their advocacy and their local leadership.  CDC leaders also heard from Edison Ribeiro of Erise Builder’s Inc., a small business owner from Jamaica Plain who talked about his journey from Madison Park Vocational School High School, to working for a company whose CEO mentored him, to starting his own construction company, to getting help from JPNDC and now hiring and mentoring young people who work for him.  His inspiring story and leadership reminded us that everyone needs help, and everyone can pay it forward.

In the afternoon, the MACDC Board of Directors meet with Governor Baker for over an hour.  This was the fifth year in a row that we have had the opportunity to meet with the Governor on Lobby Day. Each of these conversations has been substantive and productive, but this year’s meeting might have been the most important.  We dedicated over half the time to talking about the book Color of Law, which we had given to the Governor at our Convention last October.  At the time, the Governor said he would read the book and discuss it with us at our next meeting. True to his word, we did just that, having a fascinating and at times emotional, conversation about racism, segregation, and what each of us can do to redress the harm caused by decades of racist federal, state, and local housing policies.

“This was one of our largest and most impactful Lobby Days in years,” said MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg.  “We thank everyone who came – especially the dozens of people who were attending their first MACDC Lobby Day.”

To see pictures from the event, go to our Facebook Page.

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