On March 4th, MassHousing announced the launch of the DHCD/MassHousing Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), with $6.4 million available in the first funding round. The funding is available to municipalities, CDCs, and other nonprofit organizations that are working to address disinvestment and blighted conditions in their communities.
This announcement is a culmination of the vision that MACDC and MassINC had in the fall of 2018, when we brought together stakeholders across the Commonwealth to address the persistent disinvestment in areas with weak real estate markets, in Gateway Cities and in small towns. These initial convenings resulted in the release, in January 2019, of a Report, Building Communities of Promise and Possibility State and Local Blueprints for Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization.
The Massachusetts Legislature responded by provided $750,000 in funding, in the FY2020 State Budget- and in two subsequent years- for technical assistance to aid municipalities grappling with distressed and abandoned properties, leading to the formation of the Neighborhood Hub, a multi-agency partnership to support neighborhood revitalization. Under MassHousing’s capable stewardship, with the guidance of an advisory group comprised of public agencies and nonprofit organizations- among them MACDC and MassINC- the Neighborhood Hub is providing intensive technical assistance in five Gateway Cities. These locally-designed and implemented strategies to address distressed properties rely on an innovative partnership, among municipal government, community-based organizations, and MassHousing.
With this week’s launch of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, funding will now be available for the rehabilitation of distressed properties in weak market areas across the Commonwealth, in urban areas and in small towns. NSP grant funds will be awarded up to $250,000 per unit, and $2 million per project.
MassHousing has scheduled three Neighborhood Stabilization Program information sessions for interested applicants. Anyone interested can register by clicking one of the dates below:
Questions can be directed to MassHousing at email@example.com.
This is a good example of how thoughtful and inclusive engagement, good research, collective advocacy, and a responsive government can directly impact the lives of families and communities. Of course, the work is just getting started, and arguably the most challenging work- house by house, neighborhood by neighborhood- is just beginning. MACDC looks forward to being actively engaged in this work, so look forward to periodic updates.
The NSP launch complements our effort to establish the MA Healthy Homes Initiative, with $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, currently under consideration in the State Legislature. This investment of federal funds would make homes, and neighborhoods, healthier and safer. For more information on MHHI, you can reach out to Elana Brochin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Don Bianchi at email@example.com.