CDCs Lead the Way in Helping Families Buy, and Keep, Their First Home

CDCs Lead the Way in Helping Families Buy, and Keep, Their First Home

June 2023
Don Bianchi

On May 16, 2023, the Healey Driscoll Administration’s Division of Banks announced nearly $3 million in grants to 23 organizations across the state to fund first-time homeownership education programs and foreclosure prevention counseling centers throughout Massachusetts. The funds were awarded through the Chapter 206 Grant Program, which assists homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship and prospective homebuyers who are determining if homeownership is right for them. 

As usual, MACDC Members led the way, with 14 CDCs collectively receiving over $2.25 million, more than 75% of the funding awarded, including awards to the following CDCs: 

  • ACT Lawrence 
  • Allston Brighton CDC 
  • Asian CDC 
  • Codman Square NDC 
  • Lawrence Community Works (LCW) 
  • Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) 
  • NeighborWorks Housing Solutions 
  • NewVue Communities 
  • Somerville Community Corporation 
  • South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) 
  • Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA (SEACMA) 
  • Urban Edge 
  • Way Finders 
  • Valley CDC 

From the MACDC GOALs Survey, we know that CDCs provided homebuyer counseling to more than 7,500 households in 2022, and foreclosure prevention counseling to more than 700 households. It’s a powerful combination: sound public investment coupled with a high-capacity nonprofit program delivery system. 

MACDC’s advocacy is central to this success. MACDC played a central role in passage of Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007, which instituted regulatory oversight of previously unregulated mortgage lenders, and established funding for nonprofit counseling agencies.  Our advocacy was spurred by our own “early warning system,”- our meetings with CDCs in the summer and fall of 2006, when our members alerted us to a rise in foreclosures in their communities- months before the press picked up on it- as described in this New York Times article from December 2007. 

Each year since then, MACDC has advocated with the MA Legislature to authorize funding, and with the MA Division of Banks for awards- and the almost $3 million awarded this year is among the highest amount provided in the more than 15 years since the law’s passage. “MACDC is grateful to the Division of Banks for its unwavering support for the CDCs and other nonprofit counseling agencies which collectively have assisted more than 90,000 households since 2008,” noted Don Bianchi, MACDC’s Director of Housing. “We continue to be amazed by the skill and determination of so many of our members in providing education to help low-and moderate families buy their first home, and providing counseling to homeowners facing financial challenges so they can remain in their homes.”