12 MACDC Member Projects Among Rental Round Award Recipients

August 18th, 2017 by Don Bianchi

On August 15, Governor Baker and State officials announced the award of over $72 million in subsidy funding, as well as state and federal housing tax credits that will generate more than $180 million in subsidized private equity, for the development of affordable rental housing.  When completed, these 25 projects will create or preserve 1,978 rental units, including 1,698 affordable units, with 402 of these affordable units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness.


MACDC Members were well represented among the awardees, with 12 receiving awards, resulting in the creation or preservation of 747 rental units, including 631 affordable units:

  • Fenway CDC will preserve 52 units, including 39 affordable units, in Burbank Gardens, located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.
  • Jamaica Plain NDC will newly construct 47 units, including 40 affordable units, in General Heath Square Apartments, located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.
  • Lena Park CDC, in partnership with New Boston Fund, will construct 100 units, including 40 affordable units, on the site of the former Boston State Hospital, in Olmstead Green Mixed-Income.
  • Codman Square NDC will develop 40 affordable family units in Talbot Commons Phase 1, located in Boston’s Codman Square neighborhood.
  • Urban Edge will preserve 99 units, including 89 affordable units, in Wilshire Westminster House in Boston.
  • Just-A-Start will preserve 112 affordable units in several properties in Cambridge, including those destroyed by fire, in JAS Consolidation.
  • Berkshire Housing Development Corporation will develop 60 affordable units in Great Barrington, through a combination of rehabilitation and new construction, in Bostwick Gardens.
  • Coalition for a Better Acre will construct 44 affordable units in The Gerson Building, located in Haverhill.
  • NewVue Communities will develop Carter School, an historic rehabilitation project in Leominster consisting of 39 affordable units.
  • North Shore CDC will preserve 27 single-room-occupancy units, including 26 affordable units, in Harbor and Lafayette Homes, located in Salem.
  • Home City Housing will preserve 104 units in Springfield, including 79 affordable units, in Chestnut Crossing.
  • Domus, Inc. will develop Moseley Apartments, an historic rehab, with 23 affordable units, located in Westfield.


The strong showing by CDCs reflects the growing strength of the CDC sector in Massachusetts due in part to the Community Investment Tax Credit program, the Mel King Institute for Community Building and other capacity building efforts undertaken in recent years.  MACDC will continue to steward these programs while also advocating for for more housing resources that will enable CDCs and others to expand the production and preservation of affordable housing in the Commonwealth . 

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"Newton affordable housing group and Metro West Collaborative Development affiliate" - Metro West CDC Press Release

August 8th, 2017 by Jennifer Van Campen

Long-time Newton-based non-profit Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization (CAN-DO) announced today its affiliation, as of January 1, with Metro West Collaborative Development, Inc., also of Newton. Both organizations say that their affiliation move will help grow and support affordable housing in the area. This move is the culmination of a process commenced by CAN‑DO three years ago, in response to the growing challenges associated with developing affordable housing in Newton and the anticipated retirement of its executive director, Josephine McNeil. After consultation with its corporate and individual contributors, partner organizations, and appointed and elected officials, the CAN-DO board of directors determined that the best way forward was to affiliate with another nonprofit housing organization. 

“CAN-DO was attracted to becoming an organization with a more diverse collection of income sources and the opportunity of working in numerous towns. CAN-DO will not change its name and will continue to own its properties, but it is now an affiliate of Metro West,” said Susan Davidoff, president of the CAN-DO board of directors.

CAN-DO was founded in 1994 as a non-profit developer of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Newton. The organization has created 44 housing units in Newton, including transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, a congregate building for individuals with developmental disabilities, permanent rental apartments, and condominium units. Thirty-seven of these units are deed-restricted and will remain affordable in perpetuity.

Metro West CD is a regional non-profit community development corporation whose mission is to develop 100 units of affordable housing over the next five years in its 21 partner communities, and to encourage economic development that improves neighborhoods. Metro West has developed 57 affordable homes and apartments since 2003.

Each organization will continue to exist as an independent entity but will share an interlocked board that will govern both. Each organization will also continue to independently own its properties and to abide by the agreements pertaining to those properties. On February 1 Metro West will take over management of the CAN-DO properties through its offices on Chapel Street in Newton. The affiliation does not affect the requirements of occupancy nor impose any tenant re-screenings or new income certifications from tenants, except as regularly scheduled

“Both organizations believe that their long-term sustainability will be improved  by an affiliation,” said CAN-DO executive director Josephine McNeil. McNeil will officially retire as of February 1, but will continue to serve as CAN-DO’s executive director emeritus through June to help with the transition and organize CAN-DO’s 14th Annual Celebration. McNeil was one of the organizing members of CAN-DO and its first president of the board of directors.

“Metro West was attracted to the idea of working in the largest municipality in its catchment area,” said Jennifer Van Campen, executive director of Metro West. “Working with CAN-DO in Newton increases the opportunities for both organizations.”

Under the affiliation, the chairperson of the combined board will, for at least the first three years, be a resident of Newton. The agreement also provides that the combined board will establish a Support Services Subcommittee that will guide and oversee the combined organizations’ commitment to service-enriched housing. CAN-DO currently collaborates with local social service organizations and others to provide services to residents in several of its properties with the goal of securing more stable futures for themselves and their families. The goal of the subcommittee is to expand these services to all CAN-DO residents.

Each organization will retain the charitable contributions it raises. CAN-DO’s will continue to fund development and advocacy efforts in Newton. 

CAN-DO will sponsor its annual fundraising gala, Yes In My Backyard, on March 12 at the Marriott in Newton. Tickets can be obtained by visiting

The Metro West Collaborative Development offices are located at 79-B Chapel Street, Newton.

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"E2E, Quaboag Region Workforce Training and Community College Center" – a new resource for Community Building

August 8th, 2017 by Sheila Cuddy

In 2013 as the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation was developing its new Community Investment Plan, one of the most pressing community needs was for post secondary education. Employers were concerned about finding fully trained workers. Unemployed and underemployed residents needed educational resources to attain and update job skills. There was no educational facility beyond high school located in this 400 + square mile region with little public transportation. QVCDC research indicated education levels that were dramatically behind the Massachusetts average in several communities.

As QVCDC and the community began a series of meetings to work on solutions, important links and partnerships were built. A local community banking partner of QVCDC offered to donate 4500 ft. of Class A space in downtown Ware to house this new facility. A local community foundation utilized Community Investment Tax Credits to support the establishment of the facility. With a physical location and demonstrated community support in place, Holyoke Community College signed on to provide onsite workforce training, and online credit bearing classes at E2E. Local employers donated equipment and labor to fit out the space, and the local vocational school built a beautifully crafted podium. Additional support provided the sign, technology and computers for students to use. The Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board launched a pilot program to provide regular onsite staff support for both job seekers and employers closing a 30 mile gap to their closest office.

In addition to being a respectful space for people to access job skill and educational resources, E2E has created an eye-catching visual presence in the downtown Ware streetscape. It brings vibrancy as well as resources to downtown Ware.

Community Investment Tax Credits have been used to accomplish community building that is not just a program, but is a physical space located in the heart of the downtown.

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