Mel King Annual Breakfast A Huge Success!

June 30th, 2017 by
We hope you enjoyed the annual breakfast!
On June 22, we came together to celebrate community building, innovation, and connection in Massachusetts. There were many accomplishments and inspirational ideas shared from our partners, the poets from IBA's Youth Development and Arts Program, and our keynote speaker Jeremy Liu from PolicyLink
Major Announcements:
  • Our presenting sponsor, Eastern Bank, announced an additional $300,000 in donations available to Community Development Corporations through the Community Investment Tax Credit!
  • The Public Housing Training Program launched in March with a two-day training for residents who serve on the Board of their Local Housing Authority (LHA). Starting in the Fall, we will also offer training for any interested public housing resident, especially those involved with their Local Tenant Organization or Resident Association. 
Check out photos and videos from the event on Facebook
MKI Accomplishments 2016-2017
We are proud to announce our accomplishments from Fiscal Year 2017. Thank you to everyone who attended our trainings and events, taught, or partnered with us this year! 
  • 545 Students
  • 30 Training Courses
  • 171 Organizations
  • 13 New Courses
Watch the Annual Video Again 
A special thank you to Mel King, Vanessa Calderón Rosado, Marc Draisen, and Representative Byron Rushing for participating in the 8th Annual Video.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor:

Boston Private Bank
Massachusetts Housing Partnership
Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
Northeastern University

Needham Bank
NeighborWorks America

Kevin Martin and Associates
Klein Hornig LLP
NEI General Contracting
Tufts Health Public Plan

Ann L. Silverman Consulting
Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC)
Dedham Savings
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston
Mass Growth Capital Corp.
Munkenbeck Consulting
Third Sector New England
Maloney Properties, Inc.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute

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Development Without Displacement: Dudley Neighbors Inc. Add 527 Columbia Road Property to Land Trust

June 28th, 2017 by Juan Leyton & Tony Hernandez

We are excited to share some historic news in the movement to promote development without displacement:  Dudley Neighbors Inc. (DNI) community land trust has successfully acquired the Citizens Bank building in Upham's Corner, 572 Columbia Road, and placed it into the land trust.  With support from the City of Boston's Acquisition Opportunity Fund, DNI was for the first time able to compete and purchase a large privately-owned property and place it on the land trust.   The DSNI Board authorized the DNI Community Land Trust to acquire the property and work with the community to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a development plan that meets the neighborhood's vision and a development partner willing to implement that vision in partnership with DNI. Citizens Bank was already planning to move out of the building and will relocate to another site in Upham's Corner, leaving the property empty for future development. 

This move is part of DSNI's expanded anti-displacement strategy in response to the increasing housing costs in the neighborhood and the threat of low- and moderate-income families being forced out of the community they have helped to build.  With the designation of Upham's Corner as a Neighborhood Arts Innovation District and City-sponsored planning around the Strand Theatre, we have the opportunity to create a mixed-use project at the Citizens Bank site that will support and complement efforts to strengthen Upham's role as an affordable, vibrant center for arts, culture, and creative economic development.  Over the next several months, DSNI will be working together with the City of Boston, Upham's Corner Main Streets, and numerous neighborhood associations and community organizations to engage the residents, artists, and merchants in planning the future of this site, as part of a larger effort to implement priorities that have emerged from previous planning processes such as the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative.  We will also build on the partnerships we have developed through the Fairmount Cultural Corridor initiative and engage with our partners at Design Studio for Social Intervention and the Fairmount Innovation Lab/ArtMorpheus to directly engage artists and creative entrepreneurs in this process.  

What do you want to see in Uphams Corner? Ideas so far include new affordable housing, including artist live/work space, studio and rehearsal space, locally-owned businesses, accessible parking, and community space for local organizing. How can we make sure that the development brings resources and benefits back into the community?   How do we ensure that development in Upham's Corner reflects the priorities of residents and preserves the racial, economic and cultural diversity that makes Upham's such a special place to live, work and visit?

This represents a major step forward in DSNI's strategy to seek out opportunities to expand the DNI community land trust as a vehicle to promote community control of land and resources.  To make sure that this development truly benefits our community, we need to hear your ideas. Keep an eye out for community meetings, and contact Tony at with any questions. Together, let’s embrace this historic opportunity!

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Report from People and Places Conference

June 8th, 2017 by Richard Thal

Richard Thal, Executive Director of the Jamaica Plan Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), joined close to 20 of his colleagues from the Massachuasetts community development field in Arlington, Virginia at the 2017 People and Places Conference.  Below is his letter to "JPNDCers," which is an excellent recap of the conference.

A special thanks to Richard for granting permission for the publishing of his letter.


Dear JPNDCers:

As we plunge into JPNDC’s celebratory month of June. I am writing to report back on the national People and Places Conference that I attended in DC this past Wednesday through Friday. This conference, the second of its kind, built on the groundwork laid by the inaugural event in March 2015 and was honchoed by the same four groups that came together two years ago to build a grassroots coalition of people working in our field across the country: NACEDA, the National Association of Community Economic Development Associations; NALCAB, the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders; CAPACD, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development; and the National Urban League. In an attempt to incorporate a more spiritual element of our work, this year a fifth co-sponsor joined - the Network for Developing Conscious Communities.

As you probably won't be surprised to hear, there was a big swing in moods at different points in our gathering. We learned about the impressive work that groups like JPNDC are doing across the country and also about looming threats to policies and programs that provide resources to low- and moderate-income people and to help create a fairer and more just society.

Some of this good work entails one-on-one efforts that help improve (and sometimes transform) individuals and families' lives.  Like JPNDC, more organizations are focusing on helping people build their financial capability, for example working to help low-income people and recent arrivals understand about credit and build their credit scores. Groups are developing initiatives to provide credit builder loans for people with no (or bad) credit histories. The national Credit Builders Alliance (which we joined in early 2016) has launched a pilot program to help organizations figure out how to count rent payments toward people's credit scores.

As we learned from one of our keynote speakers, Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, changes in federal policies over the last six to eight years have had a very positive impact. Since it started operations in 2011, CFPB has recouped $12 billion dollars for 29 million consumers and has levied $600 million in fines against financial institutions guilty of deceptive and discriminatory practices. In addition, it is estimated that changes to the laws governing credit card disclosure practices have saved people $16 billion in "gotcha" fees. As they say, that ain't hay!

Unfortunately, even though Director Cordray was too polite to mention it, his agency is under attack. Numerous people in the administration and the Congress have railed against the CFPB and the US House of Representatives will be considering legislation in the coming days that could curtail or eliminate the agency's activities.

At different workshops and through conversations with our compatriots from around the country, we learned about several examples of groups building strong grassroots coalitions to win impressive policy victories at the local and state levels. The Center for Community Change tracked 39 referendum campaigns across the US last fall where voters were asked to raise revenue to increase spending on affordable housing. Our side emerged victorious in 32 of the 39 campaigns, including in different venues in California that require 2/3 of the voters to vote in favor. In the largest campaign in the country, in Santa Clara County where $950 million was at stake, the engagement of residents of affordable housing spelled the difference between success and failure in reaching the 2/3 mark.  Hundreds of residents were trained as speakers at public events and as organizers to mobilize thousands of their neighbors to go to the polls. The number of resident voters pushed the campaign over the top.
Over the last several years, people in our field have been trying to think more critically and creatively about how we can build public support for efforts to improve the lives of the people we serve. At workshops, meetings with legislative aides, and informal conversations the same theme was sounded repeatedly- while it’s important to know the facts and figures, what matters most are the stories of individual human beings. For instance, when discussing changes to immigration policy, nothing is more powerful than hearing how those changes will affect the lives of individuals and families. When advocating for more funding for creating and preserving affordable housing, it’s far better to focus on the need and the people involved than the amount of money or the number of “units”. 
Last Thursday afternoon about 15 conference attendees from Massachusetts met on Capitol Hill with staffers representing 9 of the 11 members of the Mass. Congressional delegation, all of whom are generally supportive of the work of groups like JPNDC. While they had some specific suggestions about legislative issues that we need to emphasize more, they stressed that it is particularly helpful to their bosses if we can share individual stories. Not surprisingly, the legislators have found that showing the human impact of public policies is a more effective way of persuading some of their colleagues who are not as supportive than more abstract policy arguments.
For many of us, this is not a new point, but I always find it helpful to get regrounded in remembering what our work is about. And, at a time in our nation’s capital when the value of our work is under attack, it is more important than ever to celebrate the dedicated and determined people working all over the country to create what Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to as “the beloved community”.

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Division of Banks Awards Counseling Funds, as MACDC Members Lead the Way

June 7th, 2017 by Don Bianchi

On May 31, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $1.05 Million in grants to fund first-time homeownership counseling programs and foreclosure prevention education centers throughout the Commonwealth.  Twenty awards were made to eleven regional foreclosure prevention centers and nine consumer counseling organizations. (link to award announcement)

MACDC Members play a prominent role in providing this counseling.  Of the twenty grants, thirteen were made to MACDC Members or to coalitions which include MACDC Members.  From Boston to Springfield, and from Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod, CDCs are helping homebuyers acquire their first home, and assisting homeowners at risk of foreclosure in keeping their homes.

The counseling awards were created through Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007.  Since the inception of the grant program in 2008, the MA Division of Banks (DOB) has awarded more than $10 million to organizations that have assisted over 37,000 families.  From data compiled by DOB, approximately 80% of households receiving foreclosure prevention counseling under the Chapter 206 awards have been able to successfully stay in their homes.

The funding made available this year is lower than the $1.3 million awarded each of the last couple of years, which creates challenges for the organizations which must maintain the effectiveness of their programs with reduced funding.  However, the continued funding for this program in the face of the Commonwealth’s recent revenue challenges is testament to the effectiveness of this program and the Administration’s commitment to it.  MACDC is grateful to the Administration and to the DOB for their longstanding support for this program.

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