UMass Boston to offer a new major in Community Development

April 28th, 2014 by

The College of Public of Community Service at UMass Boston was approved, by the Board of Higher Education, to launch a new undergraduate major in Community Development.  Employees of Community Development Corporations, desiring to complete a baccalaureate degree may select the major immediately and may begin studies in the fall 2014 semester.  First-time college attendees and individuals transferring credits from an accredited institution of higher education are encouraged to apply.

Students in the major will take core community development courses and choose a concentration in either community health or economic development.  The College of Public and Community Services anticipates adding more concentrations as the program develops.  The Bachelor of Arts degree combines theory and history of community development; technical skills in research and community analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS); skills in leadership and organizing; and community development principles and practices.

Graduates of the program will find employment in various fields, in the public and private sector, and in such jobs as a Community Organizer, Health Education or Economic Development Specialist.

“It was important to create a major to meet the community development demands of the 21st century that prepares students to promote and facilitate comprehensive development and community empowerment,” said Anna Madison, Dean of the College of Public and Community Service.

To see the required courses or download a fact sheet about the program, visit the CPCS website:

To apply, visit For further questions, email or call 617.287.7175.

The College of Public and Community Service is located in the Wheatley Building on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA.  The college forges partnerships with public agencies, community organizations, and labor organizations to build healthy, safe, sustainable communities.

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2014 Lobby Day: A Focus on Small Business at the State House

April 24th, 2014 by John Fitterer

On Wednesday, April 16th, MACDC held its Annual Lobby Day at the State House with over 200 CDC board members, staff and community supporters joining us for meetings with elected officials and a lunchtime speaking program. This year’s Lobby Day focused on returning the Commonwealth’s Small Business Technical Assistance program back to its pre-recession funding level of $2 million in annual support, as well as increasing funding for the Mass. Rental Voucher Program and fully recapitalizing the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund (For more information, please review MACDC’s 2014 State Policy Priorities).

The highlight of the day was hearing from House Speaker, Robert DeLeo, who talked about the important role that CDCs play in expanding economic opportunity across the Commonwealth.  He recounted recent legislation that has been enacted in support of community development, including the Housing Bond Bill, Brownfields Redevelopment funding and, of course, the Community Investment Tax Credit.  Speaker DeLeo was introduced by Rep. Sarah Peake who used the opportunity to promote her proposed amendment to the House budget that would provide $2 million for Small Business Technical Assistance.

Indeed, much of the day was focused on Small Business, so our other lunchtime speaker was the cofounder of Chequessett Chocolate and Cafe, Josiah Mayo, who talked about how his local CDC, the Community Development Partnership, helped the company get started last year in Truro.  MACDC was also pleased to welcome State Senator Jamie Eldridge as the judge of the CDC table top displays our members set up to highlight their past projects and current programs.  The winners of this year’s competition where: First Place: The Neighborhood Developers; Runners Up: North Shore CDC and NOAH.

Highlights from the day included:

  • MACDC member organizations met with 61 elected officials
  • MetroWest Collaborative Development, a placed-based CDC paired with Accion, a state-wide organization to meet with seven legislators to discuss the value of  the Small Businesses Technical Assistance Program as well as the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund
  • Speaker of the House, Robert Deleo, affirming his confidence that the Commonwealth will raise the minimum wage this year
  • State Representative Sarah Peake somewhat guiltily acknowledging that prior to a dinner party, she and her wife ate all of the chocolate they had bought at Chequessett Chocolate before they could share it with their guests!

Check out photos from the day on Facebook!

Check out tweets from the day.

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Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership Runners Look Forward To Boston Marathon

April 15th, 2014 by

Good luck to everyone running and watching the Boston Marathon next week, including our many friends who will be on the course.  Keep an eye out for the MBHP Team, which includes our President, Joe Kriesberg, as well as our friends Harry Smith from DSNI (running for the Regan Youth League), Arthur Jemison from DHCD (running for College Bound Dorchester), and Joe's son Josh (running for the Boys & Girls Club). Learn more information about MBHP team and the donations raised to date.

Let's remember and honor the victims from last year by showing the strength and unity of our community.  Boston Strong.

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MACDC Releases Preliminary GOALs Results for 2013

April 14th, 2014 by Don Bianchi

The MACDC GOALs Initiative highlights the annual achievements of our members in six categories of community development. Results are aggregated from a comprehensive annual, web-based survey, in order to record significant trends and accomplishments over time.

Preliminary Results for 2013:

  • Engaged 2,602 community leaders in building stronger neighborhoods
  • Built or preserved 849 homes, with an additional 728 homes in construction and slated for completion in 2014
  • Created or preserved 4,755 jobs
  • Helped 1,165 entrepreneurs start, grow, or stabilize their businesses
  • Supported 54,380 families with housing, jobs, and other services
  • Attracted almost $420 million worth of private and public investments for community revitalization

Check our GOALs page for more information about the program and data from prior year's reports.

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NeighborWorks Southern Mass. Executive Director receives ‘Emerging Leader Award’ from National NeighborWorks Association

April 14th, 2014 by

[Photo Caption: Robert Corley, on the right, is presented with the "Emerging Leader Award" by Chris Krehmeyer, on the left, President of the National NeighborWorks Association (NNA)]

NeighborWorks Southern Mass. Executive Director Robert Corley received the “Emerging Leader Award” from the National NeighborWorks® Association (NNA) at the Annual NeighborWorks® Executive Directors Presentation, sponsored by Citi Community Development.

Presented annually to outstanding practitioners in the field of housing and community development, the award recognizes a NeighborWorks executive director “whose energy and innovation has improved the value of his or NeighborWorks organization and the network.” The Award-winner was selected by a jury composed of three industry-related executives from outside the NeighborWorks network, as well as last year’s winners.

“Since becoming executive director, Rob has spearheaded a number of new initiatives,” said NeighborWorks Southern Mass. President Normand Grenier, who served as the agency’s director from 1986 to 2009 before becoming its board president. “He has also become a leading voice on housing issues at both the state and national level.”

Corley joined the organization in 1997, serving as director of real estate before becoming executive director in 2009. Since Corley’s appointment as executive director, the organization has grown from serving 25 cities and towns across the South Shore to being a fully regional organization. In April 2013, the agency formally changed its name from Neighborhood Housing Services of the South Shore to NeighborWorks Southern Mass.

The agency has also completed numerous development projects in that time, including Winter Gardens – an energy-efficient 24-unit apartment building in Quincy that recently won the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award – and multiple new developments for returning veterans and their families.

Corley has also played an active role in advancing housing policy. As vice chair of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), he helped create the Community Investment Tax Credit, which aims to spark public/private partnerships by awarding tax credits in exchange for qualified contributions to non-profit housing agencies.

For his efforts, Corley was recognized with a 2012 MACDC Rising Star Award and a Community Development Award from the City of Quincy.

Corley currently serves on the National Home Ownership Steering Committee for NeighborWorks America and as a board member of the National NeighborWorks Association (NNA). He also serves as a trustee of the South Shore Economic Development Corporation. 

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Viet-Aid's 14.5M Upper Washington / Four Corners Project Secures Funding to Start Construction This Year

April 9th, 2014 by Nam Pham

The community development corporation Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) received funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to create 35 units of family housing and approximately 3,000 square feet of commercial space in Dorchester's Four Corners neighborhood. Governor Deval Patrick made the funding announcement in late March that Viet-AID's project was one of sixteen projects in Massachusetts to be funded with the goal of starting construction this year.

The development plan includes two buildings: one 3-story building at 331-337 Washington Street and one 4-story building at 322-336 Washington Street. Both buildings will have first floor commercial and community space, with rental units on the upper floors. The project site includes 9 city lots for which Viet-AID has been designated as the developer by the City of Boston and one private lot that Viet-AID purchased earlier this year. "We are excited to see underutilized land in the Fairmount Corridor converted into sustainable, affordable housing," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

"The project aligns with Viet-AID's vision to build strong, vibrant, and diverse communities; to provide affordable quality housing; facilitate access to decent paying jobs; and strengthen neighborhood businesses. It also fits with Viet-AID's Transit Oriented Design strategy to building affordable, energy efficient, healthy homes close to transit options," said Nam Pham, Executive Director of Viet-AID.

The project will produce 35 new, much-needed affordable housing units; provide commercial space that will support local and minority businesses; expand the customer base for existing businesses; and contribute to the ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts undertaken by the City, the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Four Corners Main Street, and the members of the Fairmount Collaborative. "We are pleased that the State is supporting this important mixed use development in the Four Corners neighborhood," said Theresa Gallagher, Deputy Director of Housing at the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development. "Viet-AID has worked really hard with the community to come up with a great development on City-owned land that will enhance the neighborhood. We are excited to see it move forward into development."

Viet-AID's funding application to the State was accompanied by strong support from the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). Besides the 9 City-owned parcels included in the project area, the City has awarded funds to the project. In addition, CEDAC provided an acquisition loan for the purchase of the private lot and predevelopment assistance in order to bring the project to a successful and timely construction start date.

Viet-AID's team is working towards achieving a construction start date by the end of 2014 and a project completion date at the beginning of 2016.

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