The Mel King Institute Celebrates its 12th year with a Virtual Breakfast Event

June 24th, 2021 by Ian Sloan

At the Mel King Institute's 12th Anniversary Virtual Breakfast, stories of community resilience were on the menu. About 150 leaders from across the Bay State came together on Zoom to celebrate what has been a tremendously challenging year. MACDC Board Member and Main South CDC’s Casey Starr led the program, helping us highlight the many different ways community organizations have stepped up during the pandemic. After having all of the interesting presentations and discussions, it is clear that this past year can be summed up in two general yet very powerful words: resiliency and leadership.

One central point during the Breakfast event was the announcement of the Mel King Institute’s Resident Leadership Academy, which will be officially launched this fall. Through this new program, the Mel King Insitute’s training sessions and helpful events will reach residents directly in CDCs and other kinds of subsidized housing. By expanding the availability of our resources, we can help foster resident power and engagement. Taking from our 2021 Yearbook, “the training helps residents build networks of shared power, as well as build key skills such as running meetings, communications, issue identification and taking action.” Our impact is clear and over the past year, we have:

  • Trained 120 residents;
  • Offered 82 training sessions;
  • Offered 8 open roundtables;
  • Engaged 52 housing authorities across the Commonwealth.

In all, we have trained 361 residents all time, allowing communities to harness and effectively utilize both their individual and collective power.

Also on the menu was a fascinating and enriching conversation with Marietta Rodriguez, President and CEO of NeighborWorks America. Throughout the discussion, Marietta further introduced ways for community leaders to lift up the residents around them. As we all looked back on a year dominated by public health and emergency action plans, Marietta explained how communities can become stronger now more than ever, especially as old challenges persist and new ones begin as the Commonwealth recovers.

Through engaging pieces of poetry, Mah Camara and Maria Luisa Arroyo helped us bring context to the challenges facing Massachusetts and every corner of the world. As we look ahead to steadily reopening in-person sessions and trainings, and as we prepare to face these future challenges head on, Maria Luisa Arroyo’s “Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn” sums it up best: “According to Mel King, it is all about access.” You can read the poems in the 2021 Yearbook.

Watch the full breakfast video.

Watch our annual video series:

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Governor’s FY22 Capital Budget Includes New Funding for Key MACDC Priorities

June 21st, 2021 by Don Bianchi

On June 14th, the Governor announced the release of his Administration’s FY22 Capital Spending Plan.  The FY22 Capital Budget funds new programs authorized in the recently enacted Economic Development law, while level-funding most longstanding affordable housing programs. 


MACDC’s Analysis of the FY22 spending plan for all of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) housing programs, and for selected Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) community development programs of interest to CDCs, is attached. It includes a comparison to FY21 spending. 


With the spending on newly authorized programs, overall spending on affordable housing increased by more than $18 million when compared to FY21 spending, to more than $255 million.  MACDC is particularly pleased about the spending on DHCD housing programs authorized by the Economic Development legislation, including $6.5 million for Neighborhood Stabilization, $2 million for a Rural and Small Town Development Fund, and $1.7 million for climate-resilient affordable housing. For EOHED programs, the FY22 Capital Budget includes level funding for Brownfields Redevelopment and the MA Food Trust Program, an increase of $1.75 million in grants for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and $8 million in new funding to support the redevelopment of underutilized or vacant properties into active commercial, housing, or green civic space. 


MACDC is thankful to the Baker-Polito Administration for its funding of critical affordable housing and community development programs, and to the MA Legislature for its authorization of these programs. MACDC is also grateful to its members for the great work they do every day to ensure that the funding provided will result in projects and programs that benefit residents in every corner of the Commonwealth. 

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Division of Banks Provides Unprecedented Funding for Financial Counseling- CDCs in Central Role

June 21st, 2021 by Don Bianchi

On June 16th, the MA Division of Banks (“The Division”) announced $2.25 million in grants for a Pilot Program to fund financial literacy and debt resolution education programs.  The grants are supported by the Division’s Banks Mortgage Loan Settlement Trust, established to accept settlement funds related to mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. 


Impressively, all but one of the 18 nonprofits awarded funds are MACDC Members, demonstrating the crucial role that CDCs play in the Commonwealth’s infrastructure for empowering residents with the knowledge they need to obtain and keep a home, save and pay for a college education, and better understand maintaining their overall finances. 


These awards come just weeks after the Division awarded over $2.5 million in grants to fund first-time homeownership education programs and foreclosure prevention counseling centers throughout the Commonwealth. The 21 awards, through this “Chapter 206 Grant Program” went to 10 foreclosure prevention regional centers and 11 consumer counseling organizations, with the majority of awards going to MACDC Members.  The more than $2.5 in awards was the most ever awarded by the Division in the 13 years of the Chapter 206 program, an increase of $1 million over the $1.5 million awarded each of the prior three years. 


Taken together, in just the past few weeks, the Division has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to support essential financial counseling and education.  MACDC is thankful to the Division of Banks, and to the Baker-Polito Administration. They have responded to the needs of the Commonwealth’s families, who have endured the economic fallout from the pandemic, by tripling the amount of grants awarded for financial counseling. We are also grateful for the key role that CDCs play in educating and empowering these families- and proud of our association with them. 

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An Update on MACDC’s Racial Equity Work

June 9th, 2021 by Tiana Lawrence

After the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor in the spring of 2020, a national and global uprising and fight towards racial justice, equity and peace was reignited. As a response to the collective action, many Massachusetts based Community Development Corporations expressed the necessity of increasing and strengthening their commitment to racial equity work. Consequently, MACDC has been engaging members since, leading in racial equity initiatives and supporting the membership in their journeys. Here’s a timeline of action steps taken so far: 

Summer 2020  

  • MACDC’s 2020 Member Survey collects data on the various racial equity efforts being taken by the membership. 
  • The Organizer's Peer group decides to work together on Racial Equity.  
  • The Organizer's Peer group develops a racial equity pledge and asks MACDC members to sign on. 
  • Organizers meet with the Alliance Steering Committee.  
  • A working group of organizers and one Mel King Alliance Steering Committee member further develop the pledge including discussions with their executive directors and organizations’ racial equity/diversity/inclusion committee members. 

Winter 2020 

  • MACDC hosts their 2020 Member Meeting: Venturing Towards Racial Equity. 
  • The Organizers Peer group presents the racial equity pledge at the MACDC member meeting on racial equity. 
  • The MACDC Board agrees to include the pledge as part of MACDC's racial equity work. 

Winter 2021 

  • MACDC develops a Racial Equity Advisory Committee to discuss racial equity work being done, where it is headed, and further develop and distribute the racial equity pledge to the larger membership. 

Racial Equity Advisory Committee Members  

  • Joseph Kriesberg, Executive Director; MACDC 
  • Shirronda Almeida, Director; MKI 
  • Pamela Bender, Senior Organizer; MACDC 
  • Tiana Lawrence, Community Engagement Fellow; MKI 
  • Kimberly Lyle, Director of Strategy and Development; Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation 
  • Emilio Dorcely, Chief Executive Officer; Urban Edge 
  • Jennifer Van Campen, Executive Director; Metro West Collaborative Development 
  • Samantha Montano, Senior Community Organizer; JPNDC 
  • Sharon Fosbury, Director of Community Building; TNDINC 
  • Francisco Ramos, Director of Community Organizing; New Vue Communities


  • MACDC and the Racial Equity Advisory Committee begins to work with All Aces, Inc. for guidance and support with the process and distribution of the racial equity pledge and next steps. 
  • MACDC distributes a Diversity, Inclusion, Equity Transformation (DIET) assessment and holds focus groups for members in partnership with All Aces. 

Spring 2021 

  • MACDC staff and the Racial Equity Advisory Committee reviews the data summary from the DIET Assessment. 
  • The Racial Equity Advisory Committee continues to meet, discuss and develop the racial equity pledge and avenues for the process of having the MACDC membership sign on. 
  • The Mel King Institute holds its largest virtual Stand Against Racism Event. Check out the blog post about the event.
  • Members of the Racial Equity Advisory Committee attend All Aces workshops.  

Summer 2021 

  • MACDC staff and the Racial Equity Advisory Committee continues to discuss and finalize the racial equity pledge and work with All Aces to roll out the pledge and All Aces workshops to the larger memberships. 

Next Steps 

  • Finalize and launch the racial equity pledge. 
  • Provide activities and trainings to support those committing to the pledge. 

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Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit Program Receives Phase Two Award

June 7th, 2021 by Don Bianchi

Through the Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) Program, LISC Boston is partnering with MACDC and Resonant Energy to remove barriers and dramatically increase the adoption of solar PV for affordable housing developments across the Commonwealth. In Phase One15 organizations, primarily CDCs, received staff time support grants and free technical analysis services to analyze the solar potential and financing options for their portfolios. 


LISC has just been awarded $67,000 from the JAMPART Charitable Foundation to support the second phase of the STAR Program.  This will allow the Program to support an additional 15 Massachusetts affordable housing organizations (with a specific focus on CDCs and other affordable housing organizations located in Gateway Cities) with solar feasibility portfolio analyses in the first half of 2022. MACDC will play an important role in program outreach to CDCs. 


If you have questions or are interested in participating in Phase Two of the STAR Program, please reach out to Emily Jones at LISC, at 

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