OneHolyoke CDC and MACDC Featured in Abandoned Housing Workshop

November 10th, 2020 by Don Bianchi

Originally scheduled as an in-person event last spring, the MHP Western MA Housing Conference emerged this fall as a series of seven virtual workshops, geared toward officials, volunteers, and employees in small and rural towns in Western MA.

On November 5, the workshop on Distressed and Abandoned Properties featured Mike Moriarty from OneHolyoke CDC and Don Bianchi from MACDC, along with Maja Kazmierczak from the MA Attorney General’s Neighborhood Renewal Division. More than 30 people, ranging from municipal officials to regional planning agencies to CDCs, joined the workshop.

The workshop highlighted three approaches to addressing the problems associated with distressed and abandoned properties:

  • The Attorney General’s Neighborhood Renewal Division’s use of the enforcement authority of the State Sanitary Code to turn abandoned residential properties around. (See presentation here
  • OneHolyoke CDC’s experience as a Receiver in Holyoke, bringing a community development and nonprofit housing perspective to abandoned properties. (See presentation here)
  • The Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, a multi-faceted approach to addressing vacant and distressed properties in weak market neighborhoods and communities statewide. (See presentation here
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MACDC Releases New Report on Health-Related Work Among Massachusetts CDCs

November 4th, 2020 by

Based on data collected from MACDC’s 2020 GOALs (Growing Opportunities, Assets, and Leaders) survey, MACDC published a report that details Massachusetts CDCs’ growing engagement in the health space and creates a foundation from which further develop our field’s work – as individual CDCs and as the Community Development movement overall.

The 2020 GOALs survey, which requested data on programs and projects from calendar year 2019, contained a survey specific to CDCs’ health-related work, so that MACDC can understand the depth and breadth of CDCs’ deepening engagement in this area. The survey found that the majority of Massachusetts CDCs were engaged in some explicit health-related work in 2019, although the specific nature and scale of this work varied considerably by organization. MACDC supports CDCs to continue to strengthen their engagement in the health space in several ways:

  • Provide expert Technical Assistance to CDCs looking to deepen their health-related partnerships, including working with CDCs to secure funding for this work;
  • Host MACDC’s Health Equity Committee, which is an opportunity for CDC leaders to learn from one another and Subject Matter Experts about topics related to health equity, such as hospital-CDC partnerships, food distribution efforts, and serving senior residents;
  • Issue MACDC’s Health Equity newsletter publicizes opportunities for funding, training, and advocacy in the health space;
  • Offer trainings through the Mel King Institute, which we operate, such as “The Convergence of Health Equity and Community Development;”
  • Advocate for policies at the intersection of health and community development, such as increased funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and for lead abatement loans and grants.

MACDC launched the 2020 GOALs Survey in January 2020, and the GOALs Report was released in July with a detailed Appendix of our findings shortly thereafter. The GOALs report gives MACDC a sense of what CDCs’ health-related work looks like across the state. The COVID-19 pandemic further illustrated the ways in which health equity is woven into the fabric of the Community Development movement. We will capture more information concerning our field’s response to the pandemic in next year’s GOALs Survey.


Click here for a PDF version of the Health-Related Work Among Massachusetts CDCs Report.

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