Thank You, David:
MACDC bids farewell to our Director of Advocacy, David Bryant, who left MACDC at the end of January. Over the pass six years, David was instrumental in leading many policy wins for the community development field, including the reauthorization and expansion of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC), increased funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance program, funding to launch the MA Food Trust program, increased state-level funding to CDFIs, and the recapitalization of the "Get the Lead Out" lead paint abatement program. We will miss David. We wish him well in his future endeavors. Read David's letter here.
MACDC Partners with LISC Boston and Resonant Energy to Launch Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) Program:The STAR Program, launched on January 28, will provide financial and technical resources to help affordable housing organizations explore solar opportunities for their buildings, with the goal of installing 1 Megawatt of solar power (2,500 solar panels) over the next 18 months, in partnership with CDCs and other mission-aligned organizations across Massachusetts. You can review the presentation slides and listen to the recording from the launch. Applications are due by February 26th for first round solar feasibility grant consideration. Learn more in this blog article.
MACDC's members are mobilizing to help business owners apply for additional relief dollars, following the launch of a new round of the Federal Payroll Protection Program for small businesses. Massachusetts SBA Director Bob Nelson joined our Community Business Network meeting on January 6 to summarize key elements of the program, so our members would be ready to go. Many CDCs, CDFIs, and business support organizations are collaborating through the Equitable PPP Initiative that is being facilitated by LISC Boston. The program is working hard to ensure that people of color, immigrants, micro business owners and others have full and equal access to this important program.
MACDC has quickly turned to mobilize for the 2021 Legislative session. One of our top priorities this year will be the Housing & Environment Revenue Options (HERO) Campaign that seeks to raise the deeds excise tax to create a new permanent funding stream for housing and climate investments. Over the past two weeks, the HERO Coalition reconvened and began planning for an aggressive campaign. We have worked on finalizing the legislation that will be filed this month by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Nika Elugardo. You will be hearing a lot more about this campaign in the coming days.
MACDC President Joe Kriesberg became Instructor Joe Kriesberg when he taught an Introduction to Community Economic Development class for the Mel King Institute on January 27. The course covers some of the core values and founding principles of the field, as well as a review of the primary activities undertaken by community developers such as affordable housing development and economic development. Watch a recording of the class.
Pam Bender facilitated a meeting of financial coaches and their supervisors for the United Way about community outreach and community engagement. It was one of their monthly Community of Practice meetings for organizations, such as housing authorities, CDC's, CAP agencies, shelter programs, and other multi-service agencies. The group discussed best practices on reaching out to community members during the pandemic as well as how to retain clients.
Sign the Eviction Diversion Pledge! In November 2020, MACDC, in partnership with the Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing, and CHAPA announced a five-point Eviction Diversion Pledge, a commitment from Massachusetts property owners and operators to working with tenants facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic and supporting housing stability during the ongoing fight against the spread of COVID-19. As of January 5th, 67 organizations, including several CDCs, signed the pledge. If you own rental housing, please join these affordable housing owners and developers
in signing this pledge to work with tenants who have fallen behind on rent.
A very warm and special thank you to all who donated through the Community Investment Tax Credit program in 2020. This past year was unquestionably the most challenging ever for the Community Development field as all of us worked to support our residents and communities. Fortunately, the CITC has helped CDCs secure significant and flexible funding to enable them to pivot their approach and help meet the immediate needs of residents. While we don't have full data yet, we believe that the CITC program generated over $12 million in 2020, and will yield the most funding ever in the history of the program. We thank everyone who donated to a CDC in 2020, with or without CITC.
MACDC released the CITC: 2020 Program Impact Report in December.
This report highlights how CDCs participating in the CITC program are applying these funds to their strengthen their organizations and expand the programs and services the offer.
MA Legislature Adopts Conference Agreement to Approve Economic Development Bond Bill: On January 6, legislators approved the conference report to advance a comprehensive economic development, housing assistance and pandemic relief bill to the Governor's desk. MACDC was very pleased that the legislature was able to enact this bill that will support small businesses, promote affordable and equitable housing opportunities, provide additional tenant protections across the Commonwealth, especially to our neighbors most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Read more in this blog article by MACDC Director of Advocacy, David Bryant.
MACDC's President Joe Kriesberg had an op-ed published in Commonwealth Magazine outlining his "holiday wish list" for housing legislation before the end of the session. Thankfully, all the recommendations included in that op-ed were approved by the Legislature on January 6, including passage of the City of Boston's Home Rule petition to strengthen its linkage program and inclusionary zoning, and passage of the Economic Development bill mentioned above.
Supporting our small business community: A story about the power of relationships, collaboration advocacy and persistence. Read this blog article by MACDC President, Joe Kriesberg, about MACDC's small business work in response to the pandemic. The article details some of the history of our small business work, what we are doing now to support small businesses, and what we envision moving forward.
MACDC hosted its first Small Business Network Zoom meeting of the year on January 6, with 66 participants from across the state in attendance. The group met with Bob Nelson, the Massachusetts Director of the SBA. Mr. Nelson provided a briefing on the new Payroll Protection Program and other small business programs in the Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill. We also heard from Larry Andrews of the Mass. Growth Capital Corporation about the rollout of the state's $668 million small business initiative.
MACDC prepared an interactive map showing the number and total amount of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans
for each zip code in Massachusetts made during 2020 (Rounds 1 and 2). The zip code 01801 (Woburn) had the most loans of any zip code in the state with 1,358 loans. By contrast, zip code 01367 (Rowe) had just 2 loans. You can also access a complete list of all 117,772 PPP loans in Massachusetts in this excel file.
You can sort the list by zip code to find the businesses in your area that received PPP loans in 2020. As the SBA prepares to launch PPP 3.0 in January, this tool might be useful to organizations that want to reach out to businesses and offer assistance in receiving more financial support.
MACDC began meeting with other housing advocates and state housing officials to discuss plans for deploying approximately $460 million in new federal housing assistance to help families impacted by COVID-19 and the economic crisis. This new funding - if efficiently and quickly deployed - could go a long way to mitigating an eviction crisis across the state.
MassHousing and the Baker-Polito Administration launched the CommonWealth Builder Program
, a $60 million fund intended to spur the construction of single-family homes and condominiums that are affordable to households with moderate incomes, particularly in communities of color. Learn more about the program in this video
, featuring many familiar faces, including MACDC President Joe Kriesberg.
MACDC Staff Update: We are thrilled to announce that Nadine Sanchara, our Communications and Operations Fellow for the past sixteen months, accepted a position with us as MACDC's Communications and Operations Specialist. From her first day with our team, she has worked to expand our organization's capacity and shown incredible talent and dedication in all her efforts. You are familiar with her work as she sends out the MACDC Notebook, is quite active on MACDC's social media accounts, and works with John Fitterer on fundraising. Congratulations, Nadine. We're excited for you to continue working with us.
Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program participants aiming to have another record year. In 2019, through the CITC program, $12.3 million was raised for community development in Massachusetts (Check out the CITC Investment Dashboard for more detailed information).
This marked, to date, the most funds raised in a single year through the program. Last year, 32% ($3,974,510) of donations came from individuals. Furthermore, in 2019, 35% ($4,342,392) of all donations were received in the month of December. There's still plenty of time to make a CITC donation before the year ends! All donations just need to be received by the organization participating in the CITC program by 12/31/2020. CLICK HERE
to view the list of organizations participating in the CITC program.
MACDC Calls on Legislature to Provide More Small Business Relief: MACDC is urging legislators to enact Governor Baker's Supplemental Budget, H.5177: An Act Making Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2021
. Read the full statement.
MACDC and Allies Weigh in on Commonwealth's 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plan: The planning process for the Commonwealth's 2022-2024 Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan is underway. The Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) has commenced its listening sessions and is soliciting input on the upcoming plan. MACDC is collaborating with LISC Boston and other allies on submitting two comment letters:
- A request for strategic changes to the LEAN Multifamily Program, to better support energy retrofits to existing multifamily buildings. These changes will ensure a pipeline of projects that more meaningfully address carbon emissions across the affordable multifamily housing sector.
- A request to allocate resources in the 2022-2024 budget for workforce development associated with Green Jobs. These investments will meet the growing needs of the green energy sector while providing sustainable, well-paying job opportunities for low-income residents and communities of color.
We will continue to monitor progress in development of the three-year plan and provide feedback as this process moves along.
MACDC's CITC Peer Group was joined by DHCD's CITC team, Mark Southard, Kathryn McNelis, and Nathan Delude on December 10th. The session focused on changes to the NOFA and any questions CDC staff may have concerning the CITC application for 2021 credit allocations. Sixty-two people attended the peer group meeting. MACDC's CITC peer group meets throughout the year. This year, MACDC augmented the peer group meetings with a series of fundraising trainings for CDC Resource Development staff.
The CDC Tech Table: MACDC launched a new Member Services program on Friday, December 11th. The monthly convening of MACDC's members on all things tech aims to help our members understand and resolve challenges they may be facing and to build I.T. and knowledge management systems that provide opportunities for growth well into the future. Twenty-six people were in attendance to share best practices and to discuss how they are addressing myriad of tech topics. Two topics dominated the conversation: Streamlining reporting to HUD on housing counseling services and how organizations have migrated to the cloud. Meetings will be convened monthly and will be hosted by John Fitterer, MACDC's Director of Operations, and Stefanie Archer, Founder of Archer Consulting, which focuses on Salesforce implementation for nonprofits.
MACDC's Senior Organizer, Pam Bender, spoke about virtual advocacy as a panelist at a brown bag lunch event held by the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition and the Community Development Network of Maryland on Friday, December 11th. The event was attended by members of the two groups, as well as a state senator and a state delegate.
MACDC President Joe Kriesberg was quoted in a few articles recently as MACDC advocates for tenants and small businesses:
MACDC applauds the Legislature and the Governor Baker for enacting an FY 21 budget that includes significant funding for small business support, including the $5.1 million for SBTA. The budget also includes $46.3M for Small Biz grants & support, including $17.5 million for grants, $17.5 million for CDFIs, $7.5 million for matching grant program and $3.8 million for a new program to close digital divide.
MACDC released a new report on health-related work among Massachusetts CDCs.
The report details Massachusetts CDCs' growing engagement in the health equity space and creates a foundation on which we can further develop our field's work - as individual CDCs and as the Community Development movement overall. Read more in this blog article
, and read the report here
MACDC is partnering with CHAPA and MassHousing to organize the Eviction Diversion Initiative Pledge in which CDCs and other affordable housing owners and market housing owners pledge to work cooperatively with tenants and rent relief agencies to prevent evictions and stabilize tenancies during the pandemic. More than 50 owners with a total of over 50,000 units have signed on to the pledge so far. Read more here.
The House of Representatives approved its proposed FY 21 Budget last week and included funding for several key MACDC priorities, including:
- $5 million for Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA);
- $46.35 million for Small Business Relief and Recover;
- $1 million for the Transformative Development Fund, including $750,000 for our Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative collaboration with MassINC, MassDevelopment and MassHousing; and
- $2.805 million Chapter 206 funding for homeownership education and foreclosure prevention counseling.
MACDC is hosting a member-only meeting with the Alliance for Racial Equity on Wednesday, December 2 on how members are working toward racial equity. The goals of this meeting are to have CDCs share their racial equity work, begin to set the context for what the work means, network and engage a diverse spectrum of CDC staff and leadership, as well as understand what people need from MKI/MACDC.
MACDC hosted a workshop for our members on November 9 about trends in the property and casualty insurance market, how COVID may be impacting insurance premiums, and how affordable housing owners can control losses. The workshop also provided information about MACDC's Partnership with Eastern Insurance that currently provides coverage for 2,500 apartments and many commercial buildings for 11 CDCs. The program offers our members an opportunity save money, achieve more stable pricing and better coverage.
MACDC submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue in support of the "HERO" bill which would generate about $300 million in new funding for climate and housing investments. Read the testimony.
MACDC President, Joe Kriesberg, took a quick tour of Western Mass in late October to visit members in Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Springfield. It was a rare opportunity to meet in person with two new CDC executive directors, Allison Marchese at the CDC of South Berkshire County and Keith Fairey at Way Finders in Springfield.
OneHolyoke CDC and MACDC participated in a workshop on Abandoned Housing at the MHP Western MA Housing Conference this fall. The workshop on Distressed and Abandoned Properties on November 5 featured Mike Moriarty from OneHolyoke CDC and Don Bianchi from MACDC, along with Maja Kazmierczak from the MA Attorney General's Neighborhood Renewal Division. The workshop highlighted three approaches to addressing the problems associated with distressed and abandoned properties. Read more in this article.
The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) released its 2020 Family Portrait, a publication about its members, which includes MACDC. Check out the report.
MACDC hosted three workshops at Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum which was held in partnership with NACEDA and eight other CDC state associations from October 13 to 23. The recordings of MACDC's sessions are now available for viewing:
MACDC has been working feverishly with our allies to prevent a wave of evictions in Massachusetts. We have called on the Governor to extend the state moratorium on evictions, and we have joined with CHAPA and many others to advocate for over $200 million in eviction prevention relief funding. Ultimately, the Governor declined to extend the moratorium and announced a $171 million Eviction Diversion Initiative that included most of the elements for which we had been advocating (albeit at lower funding levels) such as additional RAFT funding, increased capacity for mediation, more legal representation for tenants and resources to rapidly rehouse families. The Initiative also seeks to preserve tenancies for families through the school year, a goal that we argued was essential.
On Friday, October 16, MACDC hosted a briefing for our members with DHCD Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox, so our members can work with their tenants and community members to help them access the resources they need. Check out the presentation made by Undersecretary Maddox. We will continue to fight for resources and legal protections to ensure that everyone can remain stably housed.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, MACDC has been advocating for resources that will help small businesses survive and recover
from the recession so we were very pleased on Wednesday, October 14 when Governor Baker proposed $100 million in new small business relief
as part of his revised FY 21 Budget. The proposal includes:
- Increase in FY 2021 Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program line item from $3 million to $6 million;
- $35 million for grants for small businesses, particularly businesses in underserved markets, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, and those who have not yet received federal aid.
- $35 million for community development financial institutions (CDFI) grants and loans.
- $15 million for matching grants for capital investments by businesses with twenty or fewer employees.
- $7.7 million for technical assistance and grants, including for small business online and digital tools.
This proposal must be approved by the Legislature, so MACDC will be campaigning to make that happen in the coming days. On October 21, we sent a letter to Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo
on behalf of a statewide coalition of 79 community-based organizations, community lenders and advocates, requesting their support for the Small Business Relief and Recovery Programs proposed by Governor Baker. Read more in this Boston Globe article
The Housing and Environment Revenue Opportunities (HERO) Coalition, which MACDC co-chairs, initiated legislation that would double the Deeds Excise Fee on home purchases from $4.56 per $1000 to $9.12 per $1000. The bill, filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Nika Elugardo, proposes that half of the new revenue would be dedicated to climate mitigation and resiliency. The other half of the revenue would go to aid working-class homeowners, and low-income renters and the homeless. Read more in this press release, and check out the HERO Coalition website.
MACDC hosted its regular Small Business COVID-19 Response Network meeting on October 7 with over 50 attendees. The focus of the meeting was a presentation by the Boston Impact Initiative - our newest associate member - about their innovative model for revenue based lending to small businesses.
MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg visited new CDC Executive Directors in Worcester and Northampton. The Pandemic has prevented MACDC staff from visiting our members as frequently as we normally do, but Joe took advantage of some great fall weather to visit two of our newest CDC Executive Directors last week. He made a stop in Worcester to visit Jennifer Schanck-Bolwell at Worcester Community Housing Resources, and to Northampton to visit Jane Loechler at Valley CDC. MACDC Senior Policy Advocate, Don Bianchi, who lives in Northampton also participated in the visit with Jane. It's great to see these new leaders hitting the ground running despite the challenges of starting a new job at this time.
MACDC held a special meeting for CDC Executive Directors who have started in that role since the beginning of the year.
Five such executive directors met at our first meeting over the summer and the group now includes seven people, with Teronda Ellis from Jamaica Plain NDC and Allison Marchese from the CDC of South Berkshire being the latest to assume leadership of a CDC and join our group. MACDC is committed to doing everything we can to help these leaders get off to a great start.
MACDC's Member Services program continues to be very busy. During the first quarter of FY 21 (July - September) we held 34 peer group meetings attended by 818 people on a range of topics from small business development to housing, to resident services and health equity.
Last month, The Neighborhood Hub, a multi-agency partnership that includes MACDC, hosted a Housing in Gateway Cities Webinar.
The webinar included a presentation by Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Progress, statements from State legislators and officials, and a conversation with local practitioners, including Marc Dohan from NewVue Communities. View the presentation slides, and watch the video of the webinar here
Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum:
MACDC teamed up with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and eight other CDC associations from around the country to host Strengthening Resilient Communities: The National Forum. The forum started on October 13 and will conclude this Friday, October 23. It featured workshops presented by MACDC and other CDC associations, national plenaries, and keynote speeches by Deanna Van Buren of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
, and Ibram X. Kendi
, New York Times #1 Bestselling Author.
CDC elder and youth programs collectively served more than 10,400 people in 2019
- The MACDC GOALs Report has documented that CDCs across the state are providing critical services to thousands of seniors. Read more in this article
by Don Bianchi, which highlights the work of two CDCs, in particular, One Holyoke CDC and Hilltown CDC.
MACDC's Boston Committee met with representatives from the Boston Housing Authority, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and City Councilor Kenzie Bok to discuss how the BHA and CDCs can collaborate to leverage available federal resources under the Faircloth Initiative to expand deeply affordable housing across the city.
MACDC has been working feverishly with our partners in the nonprofit, government, and private sector to identify programs, policies and initiatives that can prevent a wave of evictions when current eviction moratoria expire. We believe a combination of strategies are needed including a targeted extension of the moratorium, substantial funding for rent relief programs, mediation, legal representation and an education campaign to make sure tenants understand their rights. MACDC believes it is especially critical to ensure that school-aged children who are attending school at home are not evicted from both their home and their "school."
The Energy Cohort
, co-organized by MACDC, LISC Boston, and New Ecology, met on September 10th, to discuss opportunities and challenges associated with the electrification of heating and cooling - a timely topic as a hot summer comes to a close. Lauren Baumann from New Ecology and Beverly Craig from the MA Clean Energy Center made a timely presentation
MACDC's Operations Peer Group met on September 15 to learn about MACDC's tech build out and Microsoft Office 365. Director of Operations, John Fitterer, reviewed MACDC's IT build out that includes full cloud integration, including our phone system, and data visualization tools, as well as the nonprofit pricing for Microsoft's Office 365.
MACDC hosted a meeting on September 23 with EOHED Secretary Michael Kennealy and over 50 small business development organizations from across the state to discuss the state's efforts to help businesses survive and recover from the crisis. We discussed the need for streamlined and simple grant programs along with more funding for technical assistance.