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Scallop Lease Lottery... and the Winner is??

July 3rd, 2018 by Britt Beedenbender

Meet Glen LeGeyt Captain of the FV Tricia Lynn, a Cape Cod fisherman, and father of a 16-year-old son. For years, Glen was primarily a groundfisherman. But when the groundfishing regulations changed 10 to 15 years ago, it forced him to diversify his business and fish for other catch. He started with a scalloping license for state waters, but even that has been over-regulated and now the catch has been reduced to 200 pounds a day. According to LeGeyt, “On most days, I catch half that if I’m lucky.” 

This spring LeGeyt was lucky – when the CDP held a lottery to sell one of its extra Federal scallop permits and he won. 

How did the CDP secure a Federal Scallop permit in the first place? Several years ago federal fishing regulations changed so that scallopers had to own scallop quota, often referred to as shares. In an effort to ensure that the Cape’s day boat fishing fleet would have access to quota, the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance (CCCFA) and the CDP purchased quota to create a permit bank. With the quota came more permits than were needed, so the CDP decided to sell an extra permit but in a way that would ensure it helped create a new business and would stay on the Cape. 

Unlike LeGeyt’s state permit, this federal permit allows scallop fishermen to fish in federal waters— three miles beyond the coastline. Federal permits are highly coveted as the scallops in federal waters are far more bountiful. In order to purchase or lease a quota, however, a permit is required. 

When the CDP held the lottery, applicants were required to meet the eligibility requirements which include proof of residence on Cape Cod for five or more years, proof that you own a boat or will purchase one within 12 months of getting the permit. Applicants also had to have previous experience as a scallop fisherman. LeGeyt learned about the lottery through CCCFA. Federal licenses are hard to find and very rarely make it to the open market. When a fisherman gets out of the business their permit is quickly sold or passed on to another fisherman. 

Fishing regulations have put a great strain on fishermen and required them to become much more sophisticated business people. Many fishing businesses have not survived due to the decrease in stocks and the complicated regulatory environment.
“I can tell you the names of every single fisherman on Cape Cod - that is how few are left,” says LeGeyt. 

This permit, which triples the quota to 600 pounds, would essentially double LeGeyt’s income. “If I fish half as hard as I fish now, my yearly income should double with any luck,” notes LeGeyt. He has a day boat with three guys and says “It’s going to help my family tremendously. I’ll be able to make a profit rather than just survive.”

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MACDC announces Eastern Bank to award $300k in grants for third year through Community Investment Tax Credit Program

July 2nd, 2018 by

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) has announced that Eastern Bank will award $300,000 in grants for the third consecutive year to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in Massachusetts participating in the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program.  The announcement was made at the 9th annual Mel King Institute for Community Building Celebration held on June 21 at the Benjamin Franklin Institute in Boston.

“Eastern Bank’s consistent support of CDCs in Massachusetts is incredible,” noted Joseph Kriesberg, MACDC’s President.  “This is an ideal example of how the Community Investment Tax Credit should work with a local business supporting programs that benefit residents in the communities in which they work.”

In 2017, Certified CDCs in Massachusetts, which include all organizations participating in the CITC program, accomplished the following:

  • Homes Built or Preserved:  1,990
  • Job Opportunities Created or Preserved:  5,086
  • Entrepreneurs Provided Technical Assistance: 858
  • Families Served with Housing, Jobs, or Other Services:  79,218
  • Investment in Local Communities:  $803.8 million

“Eastern Bank’s continued involvement in the CITC program is very much aligned to our purpose of doing good things to help people prosper,” commented Pamela Feingold, Senior Vice President and Director of Community Development Lending at Eastern Bank.  “CDCs do so much more than develop affordable housing, by also providing housing counseling services, support to small businesses, and more.  At Eastern, we are committed to helping accelerate growth and opportunity in our neighborhoods and communities.  Our support of CDCs is helping to do just that.”

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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Governor Baker Signs Legislation Extending & Expanding the Community Investment Tax Credit

May 31st, 2018 by

Leaders from the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and United Way praised Governor Charlie Baker today for signing the Affordable Housing Bond Bill into law. The legislation, officially known as An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents, authorizes $1.8 billion in capital funds for the preservation and production of affordable housing, while also extending and expanding several highly successful tax credit programs.

"By signing this bill into law, Governor Baker assures that the Commonwealth will have the capital authorizations it needs to fully implement the Governor's five-year capital plan for housing, with the flexibility to adapt and expand those plans as needed to meet evolving circumstances and opportunities," noted Joseph Kriesberg, President of MACDC. "We are particularly excited that the Legislature and the Governor enacted legislation to extend and expand the Community Investment Tax Credit program, which is a gamechanger for the Commonwealth by spurring millions of dollars of private philanthropy aimed at high impact, resident-led community economic development."

The Community Investment Tax Credit provides a 50% refundable tax credit for qualifying donations to participating Community Development Corporations. With this tool, CDCs attracted over $34 million since the program was enacted in 2014 to fund community engagement, affordable housing, small business development, family asset building and other high impact programs that expand economic opportunity. This program was limited to $6 million per year and it was scheduled to end in 2019, so this legislation extends the sunset until 2025 and increases the statewide cap to $8 million in 2019 and eventually up to $12 million by 2023. 

"With high housing costs, a lack of affordable housing, and low-wages, too many individuals and families can't make ends meet and do not have the opportunity for upward economic mobility," said Michael K. Durkin, President and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. "The Community Investment Tax Credit is generating millions of new dollars to build affordable housing, prevent foreclosures, provide financial counseling, jump-start small businesses, and revitalize neighborhoods. We applaud Governor Baker, the Massachusetts Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives for their support of this tax credit and for helping to create financial opportunity for people in need." 

MACDC also noted that the legislation extends and expands other vital tax credit programs, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Historic Preservation Credit. These programs have proven themselves to be cost-effective programs worthy of expansion.


For more information, contact Joe Kriesberg: (617) 721-7250

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MACDC Urges Boston City Council to Adopt Strong Short Term Rental Ordinance

May 30th, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations which represents 20 CDCs in the City of Boston calls on the Boston City Council to support strong regulations for the short-term rental industry.  We believe the compromise ordinance put forth by Mayor Marty Walsh and several members of the Council is a solid proposal that balances the need to protect our rental housing stock and the desire of local homeowners to earn extra money.  We urge the Council to approve this proposal when it comes before the City Council.

Everyone knows that Boston is in the middle of a housing crisis.  Rents and home prices have been increasing for several years and thousands of Bostonians can no longer afford to live here.  MACDC and its members are working closely with residents, the City, and other stakeholders to help mitigate this housing crisis by producing as much affordable housing as we possibly can.  The City has adopted numerous strategies for expanding our housing supply, preserving existing affordable homes, acquiring more apartments that can be protected for the long term, strengthening tenant protections, and of course, building new affordable apartments and homes.  These efforts are undermined when private developers and investors convert rental housing into de facto hotels.

We believe that Mayor Walsh's proposal strikes the right balance.  It would slow displacement of renters while enabling homeowners to earn extra cash.  We urge the Council to support this common-sense proposal.

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Legislative News: Housing Bond Bill Approved, Senate Budget Nears Completion

May 25th, 2018 by David Bryant

The Massachusetts Senate is nearing the end of its week-long debate on its $41.4 billion budget, and, on balance, it has been a strong week for CDCs and our partners that serve small businesses and bring economic and housing opportunities to underserved families in communities across the Commonwealth.  Before jumping into the budget thicket, I’m excited to report that – during those intense deliberations – the conference committee completed its negotiations on the Housing Bond Bill, which was approved subsequently by both branches!  The $1.8 billion Bond Bill is on its way to Governor Baker, and, yes, it includes the extension and expansion of CITC through 2025!

 

Special thanks to Rep. Kevin Honan and Sen. Joseph Boncore, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing and the conference committee, the lead conferees – Reps. Joe McGonagle and Brad Hill, Sens. John Keenan and Patrick O’Connor – and House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House Ways & Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez and Senate President Harriette Chandler and Senate Ways & Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka.  (See the attached summary of the final bill for more details.)

 

As to the Budget debate, here are a few highlights for MACDCs’ community and economic development priorities that have been addressed by further amendments and are in the final Senate Budget:

 

Small Business Technical Assistance (Sen. Julian Cyr, #796)

We were pleased to see that Governor Baker’s FY 2019 budget submission proposed to restore funding for SBTA to $2 million.  The House budget also would provide $2 million to this program.  As many of you know, our main FY 2019 budget priority has been to restore funding the SBTA program (line item 7002-0040) to at least $2 million.  Sen. Julian Cyr reintroduced his amendment from last year, to fund the Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program at $2.5 million.  (The Senate Committee on Ways and Means had proposed $1.25 million for this program.)  The Senate adopted a “redraft” of Sen. Cyr’s amendment to provide $1.5 million.  We are extremely grateful to Sen. Cyr and his 12 colleagues who joined him as cosponsors (Sens. DiDomenico, Hinds, Gobi, Eldridge, Moore, Fattman, Welch, L’Italien, Collins, Tran, O’Connor and Brownsberger), and further encouraged by his commitment to help us secure greater funding in the Budget conference committee.

 

Chapter 206 – Homeownership Education and Foreclosure Prevention Counseling (Sen. Eldridge, #684)

We are pleased to report that the Senate adopted an amendment by Sen. Jamie Eldridge to add an additional $500,000, for Chapter 206 funding from the MA Division of Banks (DOB) (line item 7006-0011), to enable nonprofit counseling agencies to provide homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling.  (The Administration has proposed $1.55 million – and the House concurred – which they say is sufficient to enable DOB to cover their own administrative costs and provide $1.3 million in grants to non-profit organizations, essentially level funding. Funding is possible through administrative fees associated with the licensure of loan originators, according to Chapter 255F of the Massachusetts General Laws, under which DOB may use retained revenue to fund this program.  Grants are awarded through a competitive application process under criteria determined by DOB. The Eldridge amendment (redraft #864) will increase funding to $2.05 million.  Please express your compliments and gratitude to Sen. Eldridge and his cosponsors:  Sens. Hinds, L’Italien, Collins, O’Connor, and Welch.

 

Community Preservation Trust Fund (Sen. Cynthia Creem, #3)

Cities and towns that adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) draw funds from two sources – a local property tax surcharge and an annual distribution from the statewide CPA Trust Fund.  State matching funds are projected to decline to 11% in 2018.  MACDC supported the amendment and is grateful that the Senate unanimously adopted Sen. Creem’s proposal for a $30 increase to the recording fees at State Registries of Deeds – unadjusted since it was established 18 years ago – to provide a 30% (estimate) CPA Trust Fund first round distribution for all CPA communities across the Commonwealth.

 

[Note:  When the Senate completes its budget, a conference committee of House and Senate members will be convened to reconcile the differences between each chamber's bill and to send a consolidated budget agreement to the Governor, ideally by June 30th.]

 

We appreciate the support CDCs receive from so many of the members in the Legislature, including many of its leaders who aren’t direct cosponsors listed above, and have offered tremendous guidance and support to shape other important legislation in addition to the budget.  CDC members work to help prepare families and small businesses to meet economic challenges in every corner of the Commonwealth.  The important initiatives we have outlined above are helping families and businesses to succeed, and we couldn’t do it without them, or you, so be sure to say, “thanks.”

 

And, thank you for your advocacy.

 

 

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MACDC Board Meets with Gov. Charlie Baker

April 30th, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

For the fourth year in a row, MACDC's Board of Directors met with Governor Charlie Baker as part of our annual Lobby Day.  MACDC Board Chair, Vanessa Calderon Rosado thanked the Governor for his support of key MACDC priorities including the Housing Bond Bill, the Community Investment Tax Credit and the Small Business Technical Assistance program.  A number of board members then shared some of the innovative work they are doing locally to support small businesses, help working families buy their first home, and partner with hospitals to advance health equity initiatives. The Board also pressed the Governor to support an increase in state matching funds for the Community Preservation Act and to allocate a portion of the forthcoming gaming industry tax revenue to support small businesses from under-invested communities.

"Our conversation with the Governor was substantive and productive," said MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg.  "We deeply appreciate the Governor's keen interest in our work and his willingness to engage in a detailed conversation about how we can work together toward shared goals."

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MACDC Lobby Day: Hit Me with Your Best Shot!

April 30th, 2018 by David Bryant

By any objective measure, MACDC’s 2018 Lobby Day was a tremendous success.  On April 24, more than 150 community development practitioners and patrons filled the MA State House, with passion and vigor, both to thank the Governor and legislators who have supported important community economic development priorities this past year and to urge decisive action for completing important legislation before the end of the session on July 31st. 

Lobby Day coincided with the beginning of the House of Representatives’ week of formal budget debate.  Because of months of planning, outreach and engagement – primarily through State House meetings, committee hearings and in-district “Doughnuts” meetings – CDCs had secured broad support from Governor Baker, legislators and the House Committee on Ways and Means for several important budget priorities. In January, the Governor had proposed to restore funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program to $2 million in FY 2019, and to provide sufficient funding through the Division of Banks to provide at least $1.3 million for the State’s Chapter 206 grant program, which allows nonprofit partners to offer homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling in communities across the Commonwealth.  Chairman Jeff Sanchez and the House Committee on Ways and Means adopted these recommendations and the full House of Representatives passed in its budget late last week.  (We encouraged senators to support these same policy initiatives through its budget process beginning in May.)

Fortunately, at this time the legislature already has advanced two of our most important priorities to a conference committee – the extension and expansion of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program and a five-year extension of a $1.7 billion Housing Bond Bill – and should complete its compromise deliberations and send a bill to Governor Baker in the next few weeks.

Thus, MACDC members and its partners fanned out around the State House to thank legislators for this support and to encourage them to complete action on statewide zoning reform and restored state funding for the Community Preservation Trust Fund before the end of the legislative session July 31st.

MACDC’s Board met with Governor Baker to express our gratitude for his support and to highlight several key CDC member initiatives, to address community health disparities and low-income homeownership challenges, which may foretell important state - community partnership opportunities in the years ahead.

At the noon luncheon, a boost of encouragement was offered in remarks made by retiring Rep. Steve Kulik of Worthington, a longtime champion for our community economic development priorities (e.g., zoning reform, SBTA, CPA, CITC, Rural Policy Commission, etc.) who vowed to make a strong push through the end of his term.  Senate President Harriette Chandler was the keynote speaker and she reiterated her commitment to housing affordability and her full-throated support of CDCs (see, prepared text of her remarks) offered a power chord for a chorus of activists to take heart from the rest of this session.

Fire away!

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Read Senate President Chandler's Remarks at MACDC's 2018 Lobby Day

April 27th, 2018 by John Fitterer

On Tuesday, April 24th, Senate President Harriette Chandler spoke at MACDC's 2018 Lobby Day.  Her powerful remarks addressed the affordable housing crisis, how we must do more to address this challenge, and how zoning statutues need to be revisited.

"If just one family cannot afford to live in Massachusetts, then we have failed our collective responsibility to fairness, and have failed in our pursuit for economic prosperity," Senate President Chandler.

Here are her remarks in PDF format.

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Valley CDC Celebrates 30 Years of Serving its Neighbors

April 26th, 2018 by Don Bianchi

Joined by more than 200 of its closest friends and supporters, Valley CDC celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 12.  Valley CDC primarily serves four communities in Western Massachusetts: Northampton, Easthampton, Amherst, and Hadley.  Through affordable housing development, services to homebuyers and homeowners, and small business development services, Valley CDC demonstrates its commitment to economic justice every day.

In her remarks, CDC Executive Director Joanne Campbell said that she moved to Northampton in 1997, and joined Valley CDC to run the CDC’s affordable housing initiatives, thinking that work in Western MA would be slower-paced than what she left in the New York City area.  She soon realized that affordable housing work is by its nature difficult anywhere.  Undeterred, in less than a year, Joanne became Valley CDC’s Director, and led the CDC out of difficult times.  More than one speaker noted how fortunate we are that Joanne is leading the organization, along with other skilled and dedicated staff.

The highlight of the evening was a keynote speech by Charles M. Blow, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, CNN commentator, and author of his best-selling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones.  Mr. Blow spoke for 30 minutes, and then answered questions submitted by the audience for another 40 minutes.

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Blow provided counter-points to a number of widespread talking points about poverty and the black community.  He noted how President Trump, in his campaign, described life in the inner cities as “hell”, and rhetorically asked those living there what they had to lose.  Mr. Blow replied that the answer was, and is, “everything.”  He went on to speak about the “othering” of communities, and that “more law and order is simply code for organized state oppression in many of these communities.”  He concluded his prepared remarks by using a metaphor of life being a hill; some people start at the bottom while others start halfway up or at the top, and finished by declaring “For God’s sake, stop pretending there’s no damn hill.”  In response to one of the audience questions, he pushed back against the belief that racism is only a southern thing, with “No, it’s your thing,” citing segregation in New York’s schools and how Martin Luther King Jr. fought for fair housing in Chicago toward the end of his life.  He added, “Liberal cities cannot lecture anybody else until they take a long hard stare in the mirror.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, attendees bid their good-byes and ventured out into the night.  And, no doubt, Valley CDC’s staff went home for a night’s sleep before returning to work the next day to start the CDC’s 31st year of service to the community.

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State Awards $1.5 Million for Sustainable Homeownership Counseling

April 11th, 2018 by Don Bianchi

 

On April 9, state officials visited two CDCs to announce $1.5 million in awards for eleven regional foreclosure prevention centers and ten organizations that provide consumer and homeownership counseling.   EOHED Secretary Jay Ash traveled to the Neighbor Works Homeownership Center of Central MA in Worcester and to Wayfinders in Springfield to announce these important grants.

CDCs continue to be among the leaders in providing these essential services, with thirteen of the twenty-one awards made to MACDC Members or coalitions which include MACDC Members.  CDCs serving urban, rural, and suburban areas across the Commonwealth are helping homebuyers acquire their first homes and assisting homeowners at risk of foreclosure in keeping their homes.

The counseling awards were created through Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007 – a law that MACDC helped enact through our advocacy with CHAPA and MAHA.  They are funded by fees associated with the licensing of mortgage loan originators. These grants have enabled Regional Foreclosure Education Centers and Consumer Counseling Agencies to serve more than 4,700 Massachusetts consumers in 2017. More than 85 percent of the families receiving foreclosure prevention counseling were able to avoid foreclosure and successfully remain in their homes.  Since the inception of the Grant program in 2008, the Division of Banks (DOB) has awarded more than $12 million to organizations to assist over 41,000 consumers.

In his remarks, Secretary Ash noted that he and Governor Baker know that “without a stable roof over your head, nothing else is possible.”  Undersecretary John Chapman of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation acknowledged the role of the Division of Banks in administering and advocating for the program, and DOB Commissioner Terence McGinnis closed the event by noting the Division’s rigorous review of applications and thanking the counseling organizations for accomplishing their mission in a fiscally responsible manner.

The $1.5 million awarded is higher than in recent years.  MACDC appreciates the Baker-Polito Administration’s recognition of the importance of these funds to organizations that so many families rely on to acquire and keep their homes.  We are particularly grateful to the Division of Banks for its continued advocacy for the program and for its thoughtful and effective oversight.

 

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