MACDC Praises Gov. Baker, House of Rep. for Advancing Critical Com. Dev. Priorities

January 29th, 2018 by

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, was a very good day for Community Development in Massachusetts. 

Governor Charlie Baker submitted his FY 2019 budget to the Legislature with a recommendation of $2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program.  Over the past two years, funding for this program was reduced 62.5% to $750,000.  MACDC was thrilled that the Governor proposed to restore funding to its historic level of $2 million.  This program helps local entrepreneurs – in particular, people of color, immigrants and women located in urban and rural communities – to start and grow thriving businesses, which, in turn, provide jobs, wealth, vitality and hope to historically under-invested areas.

“Governor Baker’s budget demonstrates his commitment to expanding economic opportunity everywhere and for everyone,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President of MACDC.

MACDC members were also pleased by the Massachusetts House of Representatives passage of the $1.7 billion Housing Bond Bill that same day.  The bill, originally filed by Rep. Kevin Honan and Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry, passed overwhelmingly and ensures the continuation of the Commonwealth’s affordable housing programs by authorizing funding for housing production and preservation over the next 5 years, including the following allocations:

  • $400 million for the Commonwealth’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund;
  • $150 million for the Housing Stabilization Fund;
  • $100 million for the Housing Innovations Fund;
  • $125 million for the Capital Improvement and Preservation Fund;
  • $45 million to support early education facilities; and
  • $650 million for public housing modernization and to provide innovative financing tools.

The Housing Bond Bill also incorporates legislation to extend and expand the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC), filed earlier in the legislative session by Rep. Steve Kulik and Sen. Sal DiDomenico.  The proposal had more than seventy House and Senate co-sponsors.  We are thankful for all their support.  We are especially grateful that Rep. Sarah Peake offered an amendment to restore and expand the annual amount of tax credits available.  Rep. Peake, working with House Ways & Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez and Committee staff, offered a successful amendment to increase the annual amount of tax credits available, incrementally growing CITC from its current cap of $6 million to $12 million in taxable years 2023 through 2025, and to lift the individual CDC cap in alignment with the growth of the overall program.

“By extending and expanding the highly successful Community Investment Tax Credit, the House bill, if ultimately enacted, would draw more private investment to support high impact community economic development across the state,” said Kriesberg.

The Housing Bond Bill also extended the sunset for the Massachusetts Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, but did not include a requested $5 million increase in the program needed to offset the negative impact of the new federal tax law.  MACDC and other advocates will be working with the Senate to secure this additional authorization.

MACDC extends its appreciation to the many legislators that helped move this legislation forward.  In addition to Speaker Robert DeLeo, his leadership team and the sponsors and supporters mentioned before, MACDC thanks Rep. Carmine Gentile and Rep. Peake for sponsoring amendments to extend and to expand LIHTC and CITC, and these select members who offered their remarkable support for community development practice across the Commonwealth:

Rep. Patricia Haddad, Rep. Byron Rushing, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Rep. Paul Donato, Rep. Jay Kaufman, Rep. Antonio Cabral, Rep. Ed Coppinger, Rep. Joseph McGonagle, Rep. Chris Walsh, Rep. Liz Malia, Rep. Adrian Madaro, Rep. Timothy Whelan, Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, Rep. John Scibak, Rep. Mike Connolly, Rep. Frank Moran, Rep. Marjorie Decker, Rep. Denise Provost, Rep. Christine Barber, Rep. Jay Livingstone, Rep. Jonathan Hecht, Rep. Tackey Chan, Rep. Todd Smola, Rep. William Crocker, Rep. David Vieira, Rep. Natalie Higgins, Rep. Paul Tucker, Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Rep. Evandro Carvalho, Rep. Dan Hunt

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MACDC’s Top Legislative Priorities Advance

January 26th, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

Wednesday, January 24 was a big day at the State House for MACDC and its members, with all three of our top policy priorities taking major strides forward.

Governor Charlie Baker submitted his FY 2019 budget to the legislature and proposed fully funding the Small Business Technical Assistance program at $2 million.  This would restore the program to its prior funding level and help thousands of entrepreneurs across the state. The Governor’s budget proposal now goes to the House and Senate.

The House of Representatives passed a $1.7 billion affordable housing bond bill that fully authorizes all of the key capital budget housing programs that CDCs and others use to build and preserve affordable housing.  The bill now moves to the Senate.

The Housing Bond Bill also included language to extend and expand the Community Investment Tax Credit, pushing the program sunset to 2025 and lifting the statewide cap from $6 million to $8 million in 2019 & 2020, to $10 million in 2020 & 2021 and to $12 million from 2023 to 2025.  The cap for individual CDCs will rise proportionately.  The language is consistent with the bill that Sen. DiDomenico, Sen. Forry and Rep. Kulik filed on which MACDC testified last year.

Each of these priorities now advance to the next stage of the legislative process and MACDC will continue to push them forward.

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Ten priorities that will keep MACDC busy in 2018

January 10th, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

Now that we have celebrated the holiday season and endured the Bombogenesis storm, it is time to get serious about the business of 2018.  And for MACDC it looks to be a very busy year.  Here are Ten of the items at the top of MACDC’s agenda for this year:

  1. Housing Bond Bill – MACDC is working with many others to pass the Affordable Housing Bond Bill early in 2018 before critical housing programs run out of money.  The Bond Bill would authorize over $1.7 billion in capital spending for a wide range of housing programs used by our members and others to build and preserve affordable housing.
  2. Community Investment Tax Credit – Our legislation to extend and expand CITC has been folded into the Housing Bond Bill so we will be working even harder to make sure the full bill is signed into law.  The proposed legislation would extend the CITC sunset from 2019 to 2025 and slowly lift the annual cap from $6 million to $12 million. CITC is now generating over $11 million per year for high impact community development and the new federal tax bill makes it even more valuable for many taxpayers.
  3. Small Business Technical Assistance – We are launching a major campaign to restore full funding to this vital economic development program.  Inexplicably, this highly effective program has been cut 62.5% over the past two years to just $750,000.  Our campaign seeks to restore the program to $2 million.
  4. MACDC Lobby Day on April 24 – MACDC will host its annual Lobby Day at the State House on April 24 when community developers from around the Commonwealth will come to the State House to advocate for our shared agenda. Please join us!
  5. Mel King Institute – I could probably do a Top Ten list just for the King Institute since there is so much going on.  The highlights for this year include a full schedule of nearly 30 workshops and courses, further rollout of the Public Housing Training Program, Innovation Forum events on topics such as mortgage lending disparities, green technology and comprehensive community building, the Community Development mentoring program, and of course, our 9th Anniversary Breakfast Celebration in June.
  6. Community Health – A big focus for MACDC in 2018 will be to expand and deepen our work on the convergence of community development and community health.  We see many exciting opportunities to work with hospitals, insurance companies and others in the health sector to address the social determinants of health head-on.
  7. Suburban Housing – MACDC’s newly formed Suburban Housing Caucus will be increasingly active in 2018 as we work collectively and with our partners to expand housing opportunities throughout Greater Boston.  Governor Charlie Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative adds new urgency and new tools for these efforts and hopefully we can pass the Great Neighborhoods legislation that would update our antiquated zoning laws.
  8. Racial Equity – Racial equity has been one of MACDC’s core values from our inception and in 2018 we intend to step up our efforts to tackle the issue head-on.   Our racial equity agenda will include advocacy campaigns to expand business and homeownership opportunities for communities of color; an expanded Boston Pilot Program to increase MBE and WBE procurement on CDC sponsored construction projects; and increased attention to diversifying the community development field itself through our training and mentoring programs offered by the Mel King Institute for Community Building.
  9. Strategic Planning – MACDC has engaged Diane Gordon to assist the Board in the development of a new strategic plan.  We are specifically looking at five key areas – affordable housing, community economic development, community organizing, community health, and CDC capacity building.  MACDC is also a participant this year in Neighborworks America’s Excellence in Governance program which is helping us to strengthen our board’s ability to lead us into the future.
  10. MACDC’s Convention on October 20, 2018 – MACDC will be hosting 6th MACDC Convention on Saturday, October 20th at the Hynes Convention Center. We expect over 600 community developers to join us for a day of celebration, networking, learning and action. The highlight will be a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum (For each of the past three elections, the winner of the Governor’s race has appeared at the MACDC Convention and we fully expect that trend to continue this year!)

​We are looking forward to an exciting and impactful year.   And we look forward to working with many of you to help accomplish these goals.

Stay Warm!

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