MACDC Members Stand Tall in State’s Rental Round Awards

October 26th, 2020 by Don Bianchi

On October 21st, Governor Baker announced the 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards- 28 projects in 19 communities, which will result in more than 2,400 housing units, including 2,166 affordable rental units. These projects will collectively receive more than $105 million in direct subsidy funds, as well as federal and state tax credits that will result in $370 million in equity for these projects.

As always, MACDC’s Members will play a prominent role in developing these homes.  Sixteen of the 28 projects were sponsored, or co-sponsored, by MACDC Members. When completed, these 16 projects will provide 882 units, including 811 affordable rental units:

  • Anchor Point 1, the first phase of a two-phase new construction project in Beverly, will provide 38 affordable units. It is sponsored by Harborlight Community Partners.
  • Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood will benefit from the new construction of 3368 Washington Street, a transit-oriented, mixed-income project sponsored by our associate member Pine Street Inn and The Community Builders. The project will provide 202 total units, with 156 of the units restricted for extremely low-income individuals, many of them transitioning from homelessness.
  • Boston’s historic North End will host 41 North Margin Street, sponsored by East Boston CDC. This new construction project will provide 23 affordable homes for seniors.
  • Nuestra Comunidad is partnering with Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) on Bartlett Station D, a new construction project near Nubian Square in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. It will provide 50 units for seniors, including 44 affordable units.
  • J.J. Carroll is a new construction project for seniors, in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. The project, sponsored by associate member 2Life Communities, will provide 142 units, all but 1 affordable.
  • Codman Square NDC was awarded funding for two projects, both in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood! Four Corners Plaza will provide 35 newly constructed affordable homes. At Walando Homes, CSNDC will rehabilitate and preserve another 59 units, including 58 affordable units, in two properties on separate streets- Waldeck Street and Orlando Street.
  • Brewster Woods will provide 30 new affordable homes. Housing Assistance Corporation will partner with POAH on this new construction project in Brewster.
  • The Neighborhood Developers will convert 181 Chestnut in Chelsea from an existing market-rate project to 32 units of mixed-income rental housing. Over time, 22 of the 32 units will be converted to affordable units.
  • Cleghorn Preservation Project consists of three separate, occupied buildings in Fitchburg in need of rehabilitation. NewVue Communities will undertake this scattered-site substantial rehab, and provide 29 units, including 26 affordable units.
  • NeighborWorks Housing Solutions will newly construct Holbrook Center Senior Housing. The project will provide 72 units in Holbrook for seniors, 70 of them affordable.
  • Island Parkside Phase 1, sponsored by Lawrence CommunityWorks, will provide 40 affordable, newly constructed units, in Lawrence.
  • The former Brookings School in Springfield will be converted to Elias Brookings School Apartments, 42 affordable homes sponsored by associate member Home City Development.
  • Rural Development, Inc., aided by Valley CDC, will newly construct 33 affordable homes in Sunderland at Sunderland Senior Housing.
  • Island Housing Trust is sponsoring Perlman House Apartments, an adaptive reuse of a former inn into 7 affordable units in Tisbury, on Martha’s Vineyard.
  • Grand Street Commons will provide 48 homes in Worcester, including 46 affordable units. This new construction project, which will include a mix of townhouses and flats, is sponsored by Main South CDC.

In the midst of a global pandemic, so many activities have proven challenging, and affordable housing development is no exception. Kudos to the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development- and to the MACDC Members and other project sponsors- for managing to move essential affordable homes forward in a difficult year!



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Six Massachusetts CDCs funded through the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds

October 6th, 2020 by Elana Brochin

In the context of progressive health policy, Massachusetts is an exciting place to live and work. It is well-known that in 2006, Massachusetts was the first state to mandate that each resident have health insurance – predating the Affordable Care Act by three years. Massachusetts’ role as a frontrunner in the health policy space, however, is far from limited to this one landmark achievement. Massachusetts is a thought-leader in hospital payment oversight, in addressing social determinants of health, and in hospital Community Benefits guidance. A recent Massachusetts innovation was the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) creation of the Determination of Need Statewide Fund as part of DPH’s update to its Determination of Need Regulations.

Determination of Need, or DoN, is the process by which hospitals gain approval for large capital expenditures. DoN approval requires a hospital devote funds toward programs that improve health in the community in which it is located (“Community Health Initiatives”). While this process results in much needed funding for community health programs, prior to 2017, it also meant that this influx of funding was limited to areas in which, often well-resourced hospitals, were undertaking major projects. As part of the updated regulations, DPH created the Statewide Fund into which hospitals embarking on large projects would contribute (this contribution represents a portion of the overall Community Health Initiative dollars committed by the hospital). The Statewide fund would then re-distribute to communities that had not recently benefited Community Health Initiative dollars associated with a large hospital project.

Following the 2017 update, the Department of Public Health convened an Advisory Committee to advise DPH regarding the type of programs that these contributions should fund. Along with individuals representing fourteen organizations, Joe Kriesberg, MACDC’s Executive Director, served on DPH’s Advisory council which ultimately created three funds:

  • Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Fund
  • Community Health Improvement Planning Processes Fund
  • Healthy Aging Fund

Because the goal of the fund is to distribute funding to areas of the state that have not recently benefited from Determination of Need investments, the funds prioritized projects that benefited communities outside of Boston that have high rates of health inequities. The following six Massachusetts CDCs received funding through this innovative fund: Lawrence CommunityWorks, VietAID, Franklin County CDC, Hilltown CDC, Quaboag Valley CDC, and Harborlight Community Partners. These CDCs, which have relationships in communities across Massachusetts, are in many ways, ideal organizations to partner with DPH in addressing health.

Check out our press release to learn more about the funds CDC projects that DPH will be funding in our press release.

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