Ribbon Cutting for Washington Park Apartments

November 25th, 2014 by Sarah Murphy Gray

Nuestra Comunidad recently opened their Washington Park Apartments in collaboration with Wise Urban Development and Winn Residential.  The 96 unit project will offer mixed-income rental housing for families in Roxbury and Dorchester communities.  These 96 units were a historic renovation that incorporated some of the highest rates of minority hiring, and women and minority-owned subcontractors.

John F. Barros, Chief of Economic Development, was the special guest speaker at the event.  Executive Director of Nuestra CDC, David Price, when speaking of the ribbon cutting, commented that  “Nuestra Comunidad is proud to celebrate the renovation of Washington Park Apartments for many reasons.  The most important is that 96 apartments will be stable, affordable homes for Roxbury and Dorchester families for many years to come.  We know that a platform of housing stability, security and affordability is a key to families’ success in education and work.”​

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This holiday season, why not make a donation that both Governor Patrick and Governor-elect Baker would applaud?

November 24th, 2014 by Joe Kriesberg

As we begin the Holiday Season, many of us will be taking some time to reflect on our many blessings and to give back to our community.  This year, for the first time ever, you have an opportunity to double the impact of your donations by leveraging the newly enacted Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC).  As a friend of MACDC, you have certainly heard about the CITC many times.  But did you know that this program has been enthusiastically embraced by both Governor Patrick (watch video) and Governor-elect Charlie Baker (watch VIDEO)?  Both see the power of this public-private partnership and the power of resident-led community development.

We hope that you will consider the views of both our current and future Governors and use the CITC program to increase the power of your personal donations this holiday season. 

You can participate in this program by donating on-line to the United Way’s Community Partnership Fund, which will then redistribute the gift to CDCs across the state. 

You can also give directly to one or more of the 36 CDCs across the state who are participating in the program. To see a list of participating CDCs, CLICK HERE.

Remember, a $1,000 donation will cost as little as $350 once you consider the state and federal tax benefits.  For some, the tax benefits might be even larger.

Can you think of a better way to make a difference this holiday season?

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MACDC Second Annual Photo Contest

November 24th, 2014 by



Deadline: Friday, December 5, 2014

MACDC is hosting its second annual Member Photo Contest to celebrate visual representations of the impact our members are having in the diverse communities that they serve.


Submission Details:

There are three categories for photo submissions, based on the three points in MACDC's CDC Theory of Change:

  1. Building Communities
  2. Improving Places
  3. Transforming Lives

All submitted photos must fit in one of these categories. Within each category, photos can demonstrate improvements to neighborhoods or homes (before/after shots), feature community meetings and/or group activities, or highlight a specific program or leader.

MACDC staff will evaluate the photos based on a variety of factors, including creativity, storytelling power, composition, and relevance to the submission categories. 


Who May Enter:

The photo contest is open to all MACDC Members and Associate Members.  The photos can be taken by staff, board members, residents or professional photographers.  If the photo was taken by a community resident or youth leader, please let us know. Photos from any year will be accepted.



MACDC will choose one (1) first-place winner for each of the three categories.  Each winning organization will receive a $200 gift card.  MACDC will announce the winning organizations and display their photos online Monday, December 15, 2014.


How to Enter:

  • Photos must be submitted via email to John Fitterer at MACDC ( by Friday, December 5, 2014.
  • Each entry must include a completed and signed Release Form for Photographs, permitting MACDC to reuse the photo(s) on our website and other promotional materials. Organizations can submit as many photos as they like. 
  • Photos must be high-resolution digital files, submitted electronically in a .JPG, .TIF, or .ESP format.
  • Each photo entry email must include the name of the organization submitting the photo, the name of the person who took the photo, the location of the photo subject, and a description of the project or activity shown in the photo.


Questions? Contact John Fitterer for more information - - (617) 379-5924

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MACDC President, Joe Kriesberg, Wins National Award

November 20th, 2014 by

Pictured:  Shirronda Almeida, MACDC Director of Member Services (Left); Joe Kriesberg, MACDC President (Center); Danny LeBlanc, Executive Director, Somerville CC (Right)

San Antonio, Texas - State and regional association leaders from across the country selected Massachusetts Association of Community Development Association (MACDC) President Joe Kriesberg as the winner of their top industry award. Kriesberg was presented with the Diane Sterner Award for Community Development Association Leadership at the annual summit of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) on November 14 in San Antonio, Texas. The award is named for NACEDA founder Diane Sterner, who led the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey for 23 years.
"It is an honor to be associated with Diane Sterner who has been a friend, mentor and inspiration to me and so many others over the years," said Kriesberg. "One of the great things about my job - and there are many wonderful aspects - is getting to work with so many terrific colleagues, including my many friends in the NACEDA network who have helped me so much over the years."

"Joe was selected for his long-term commitment to the community development field, which has greatly benefited Massachusetts and the community development industry as a whole," said Reymundo Ocañas, director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation for BBVA Compass, the lead summit sponsor of NACEDA. As a prominent national spokesman for community-based development, Kriesberg's leadership and commitment to the industry has been invaluable, said Ocañas, who previously served as executive director of the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations.

Kriesberg's contributions to the field include passage of Massachusetts's Community Investment Tax Credit legislation, state funding for the small business program, creation of the Mel King Institute of Community Building Leadership, and dedicated service on the NACEDA board of directors.

NACEDA Executive Director Frank Woodruff quipped, "The role that state community development associations play in the advancement of low-income neighborhoods is critical and truly unique. Our country has more NFL quarterbacks than CDC association leaders. This award demonstrates that Joe is the Tom Brady of his field. It is an honor truly earned. Massachusetts is lucky to have him."

Kriesberg was also elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board of NACEDA at the organization's November 12 annual meeting.
The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) represents 42 state and regional community development associations in 27 states. More than 3,500 community-based organizations nationwide are represented by our members. NACEDA's mission is to lead the community development field and its partners in shaping and influencing the strategies For additional information, visit and by following @NACEDAtweets and #NACEDAsummit2014.
The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) is the policy and capacity-building arm of the community development movement in Massachusetts, which fundamentally aims to work with low- and moderate-income individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth. Their mission states: MACDC is an association of mission-driven community development organizations working together and with others to create places of opportunity where people of diverse incomes and backgrounds access housing that is affordable, benefit from economic opportunities and fully participate in the civic life of their community. We achieve this by building and sustaining a high performing and adaptive community development sector that is supported by private and public investment, and sound public policies." Founded in 1982, MACDC currently has 88 members, including 60 CDC members and 28 associate members. Additional information about MACDC can be found at, by following @masscdcs on Twitter, or masscdcs on Facebook.

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 673 branches, including 342 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 77 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration and recently earned the top ranking with customers in American Banker's 2014 annual reputation survey of the top 25 largest U.S. retail banks. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting 
Editor's Note:  
BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.

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Ten Unsolicited Suggestions for our New Governor

November 13th, 2014 by Joe Kriesberg

Since Election Day, many people have asked what I think about the new Governor and what his election will mean for the Community Development Field.  My quick answer, in light of the commitments he made to us at the MACDC Convention last month (Watch VIDEO), is that I’m optimistic.  And the appointment of Jay Ash as Secretary of Housing and Economic Development is another great signal that this Administration will be a friend of community development.  My longer answer is that it is incumbent on those of us in the field to work hard to build a productive partnership with the new Administration. In that spirit, I thought I would offer a few suggestions to Governor-elect Charlie Baker:

  1. Set ambitious housing goals:  The Administration should set ambitious goals that can be used to shape policy, motivate public agencies, attract private partners, overcome bureaucratic inertia, and be used to measure progress, make adjustment and ultimately refine policies as needed.  To ensure balance, the Administration should set goals in several areas, such as: new first-time homebuyers accessing state support mortgage products, new permits for multi-family housing, affordable housing production and preservation, reductions in family and individual homelessness, a reduction in the number of households paying over 50% (or 30%) of their income for housing, and the number of towns/cities that exceed the 10% goal for affordable housing.
  2. Invest strategically to address housing market deficiencies:  I was pleased that Mr. Baker said at our Convention that he would at least maintain the current $190 million capital budget for housing and consider increases in the future. Increases in the capital budget, along with increases in state tax credits, brownfields funding and rental assistance are necessary to meet the growing demand for reasonably priced housing that the market can’t produce by itself.  We also need to invest in a balanced approach that includes housing production & preservation; rental & homeownership; new construction & rehab, large & small projects; and investments in urban, rural and suburban communities.
  3. Embrace smart growth policies:  For the past 12 years, starting with Governor Romney and continuing with Governor Patrick, the Commonwealth has embraced a smart growth framework to guide our economic development, housing, environmental and transportation policies. Adopting policies, like those outlined by the MA Smart Growth Alliance, will save money for public infrastructure, provide the scale and density necessary for sustained economic growth, address climate change, respond to the growing market demand for urban, walkable places, and protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources.  Smart growth also promotes regional equity – improving the quality-of-life in distressed neighborhoods and expanding opportunities in higher income places so we all benefit.
  4. Grow local economies: The Governor-elect has already committed to put at least $2 million in his budget for MGCC’s Small Business Technical Assistance program that provides grants to local nonprofits working to support small businesses, in particular those run by immigrants, people of color and women.  The new Administration should build on this by supporting MGCC and a network of strong local/regional CDFIs that can provide loans to new and growing small businesses who are not yet bankable.  And the Administration should embrace the newly enacted Transformative Development Initiative for Gateway Cities and look to expand it if it proves successful during its pilot stage.
  5. Leverage the power of place: In recent years, a number of exciting programs have demonstrated the power of investing in cross-sector, placed-based efforts to expand economic opportunity and improve the quality-of-life in our neighborhoods and towns – without displacing the very residents who help make those improvements possible.  The Federal Reserve Bank’s Working Cities program, the Smart Growth Alliance’s Great Neighborhoods program and LISC’s Resilient Communities/Resilient Families program offer terrific models for state government to use in crafting its own approach.
  6. Support municipal capacity: The Baker Administration should build local municipal capacity to get things done. This should include actively encouraging/helping cities and towns to enact the Community Preservation Act, to establish Business Improvement Districts, to develop long-term housing plans, to zone for smart growth, and to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances that promote equitable development for people across all income levels.
  7. Strengthen the CDC sector: The Governor-elect has enthusiastically committed to fully implement the Community Investment Tax Credit by deploying all $6 million in credits each year and helping to recruit private sector partners to the program.  The state can further help by investing directly in the myriad projects and programs offered by CDCs in partnership with local residents and stakeholders.  These investments provide taxpayers with an important “two-fer”: (1) a well-designed, community-driven project or program, and (2) increased local capacity to ensure long-term stewardship and further investment.
  8. Promote family asset building:  Income and wealth inequality are growing problems not just in Massachusetts, but across the country.  Reversing these trends will be difficult, but the state can help by supporting programs that empower families to save money, build assets, gain financial skills, avoid predatory financial products, and in some cases, become homeowners.
  9. Connect the Dots:  There is a growing body of evidence documenting that investments in strong neighborhoods and safe, affordable housing provide returns across a wide array of social goals, including public health, educational attainment, environmental protection, energy efficiency, and public safety.  We need to invest more in these up-stream measures that reduce long-term costs and improve life outcomes for children and families.
  10. Collaborate with community-based organizations – I was pleased to hear Governor-elect Baker say at our Convention last month that he would want to meet with us on a regular basis throughout his administration.  He has already demonstrated that interest during the campaign, meeting with the MACDC Board of Directors, visiting local CDCs and coming to our Convention. We look forward to building a strong partnership with the Administration.

Good luck with the transition, Mr. Governor-elect.  And please know that the CDC community is ready to help and ready to get to work.

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Community Investment Tax Credits: Time Is Running Out for 2014!

November 10th, 2014 by

Donors may contribute to individual CDCs, or they may contribute to the United Way Community Partnership fund, which was established by the Department of Housing and Community Development to raise and distribute funds to all eligible CDCs across the Commonwealth.  More information about the CITC tax credit is available by emailing or MACDC at

Less than 8 weeks remain for donors to claim the new Community Investment Tax Credits for the 2014 tax year and support the work of Community Development Corporations across the Commonwealth.  The Community Investment Tax Credit Program (CITC), which went into effect earlier this year, is a new program designed to help improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for families and neighborhoods across the Commonwealth.

The Community Investment Tax Credit offers individuals, corporations and nonprofit institutions the opportunity to obtain a 50% Massachusetts state tax credit and up to a 35% standard federal tax deduction (depending on tax bracket) while investing in the economic development of the communities that need help most. That means if someone donates $1,000, for example, they will receive both a $500 credit from the State and a $175 net reduction from their Federal taxes, leaving just $325 in out-of-pocket cost for the donor.

From now until the end of 2014, up to $3 million is available to donors and corporations that want to invest in this innovative economic development strategy and receive a tax credit.  Once the $3 million is used, donors must wait until 2015 to participate in this great opportunity to have a lasting impact on their community.

“Every day, in neighborhoods and cities across the Commonwealth, Community Development Corporations are working hard to spur affordable housing and job creation, incubate small businesses and revitalize neighborhoods,” said Michael K. Durkin, president at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.  “Now, we all have an opportunity to accelerate this work and the benefits to us all – and receive a 50% tax credit in return.”

“Over the past ten years alone, CDCs across the Commonwealth have invested $2.9 billion in our economy, created or preserved over 24,000 job opportunities and supported over 325,000 individuals and families,” said Joe Kriesberg, President of the Massachusetts Association for Community Development Corporations.  “These impressive results help drive our economy forward for everyone.”

The CITC program utilizes the tax credit incentive to leverage private contributions to seed innovation and amplify community impact. Tax credits can be used for affordable housing, job training, business development, neighborhood revitalization and other vital economic development projects.

The donations, and tax credits, will support only CDCs that are based in Massachusetts, have been carefully selected for participation in this program, and are creating programs and economic development that benefit Massachusetts residents. Thirty-six CDCs from across the state are eligible. For example:

  • In East Boston, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) will work to construct over 50 new low-to-moderate income housing units, advocate for increased green space to expand sports and recreational programs to low-income children and youth, and provide affordable housing counseling and placement.
  • In Waltham, WATCH will organize home weatherization projects to help low-income residents save on their utility bills, expand its English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and teach first-time home buyer classes.
  • In Lawrence, Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) will pursue and bolster strategic partnerships with other key organizations to strengthen the institutional fabric of the City and increase educational attainment and financial resilience for the people of Lawrence through financial education and coaching, ESL and computer classes, career and job readiness training and youth development programming.  LCW is also working to create a vibrant mixed use community in the heart of the City with 71 affordable rental homes, five home ownership properties and 25,000 square feet of new commercial space.

From now until the end of 2014, up to $3 million is available to donors and corporations that want to invest in this innovative economic development strategy and receive a tax credit.  Once the $3 million is used, donors must wait until 2015 to participate in this great opportunity to have a lasting impact on their community.

Donors may contribute to individual CDCs, or they may contribute to the United Way Community Partnership fund, which was established by the Department of Housing and Community Development to raise and distribute funds to all eligible CDCs across the Commonwealth.  More information about the CITC tax credit is available by emailing or MACDC at

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