Affordable Housing Program

The production and preservation of affordable housing is critical for families, neighborhoods, and the Commonwealth.  Since MACDC’s founding in 1982, we have supported our members in the development of affordable housing and other community-focused real estate development, in the preservation of existing affordable housing, and in assisting families to acquire and maintain their own housing through homeownership education, home improvement lending, and foreclosure prevention. 

MACDC Members manage over 17,000 rental housing units developed in prior years.  Additionally, during 2015, MACDC Members:

  • Created or preserved 2,055 homes;
  • Generated more than 2,200 construction jobs and investment of almost $490 million from construction of housing, commercial, mixed use and open space real estate;
  • Provided assistance to more than 9,000 families trying to buy a home or keep their home.

MACDC supports the affordable housing efforts of its members in numerous ways:

Policy and Resource Development: We focus our policy and advocacy work on statewide issues in several areas: real estate development, energy efficiency, lead paint abatement, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention.  We work with various state agencies, other private and public entities, and the state legislature.  In 2017, MACDC is playing a significant leadership role in advocating for changes in how the State prioritizes its housing subsidy funding, pushing for a separate funding stream for community-scale rental projects of fewer than 20 units, and advocating for a scoring system that better rewards projects that are part of broad-based community development efforts (see the link to written comments submitted by MACDC on the State’s 2017 Draft Qualified Allocation Plan.

We are active in several state-level coalitions, including the Building Blocks Coalition, the CHAPA Homelessness Committee, the CHAPA Production and Preservation Committee, and the Commonwealth’s Preservation Advisory Committee.  A key part of our advocacy work is ensuring increased funding for affordable housing in the State’s Capital and Operating Budgets.  We are advocating for passage of the Housing Bond Bill, which would authorize funding for numerous affordable housing programs for five years.  We are also advocating for increased funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, and for funding for grants to nonprofit organizations that provide homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling (READ MORE).

Last year, we played a leadership role in passing the Community Preservation Act in Boston and now we are helping to implement the program so that it generates millions of dollars in new flexible funding for affordable housing.

Collaboration with Intermediaries: MACDC works closely with the State’s Housing Intermediaries, including the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), Mass Housing, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), and MassDevelopment.  For example, we worked successfully with MassHousing and DHCD to amend the guidelines for the Get the Lead Out Program, which will result in lead abatement for more homes and safer living conditions for children. We also work with the Massachusetts Division of Banks and the Massachusetts Attorney General to secure resources for foreclosure prevention and strengthen the hand of nonprofit counseling agencies in dealing with recalcitrant loan servicers.

In general, we work with all of these agencies to identify needs and gaps, design programs, prioritize resources, and help our members access these resources.

Research: MACDC conducts research on housing policy issues and on the work of our members.  Annually our GOALs Survey measures the collective accomplishments of our Members.  We also conduct more targeted research, including:

  • Ongoing research into the allocation of state housing dollars;
  • A 2010 report on green strategies employed by CDCs through their projects, programs and initiatives; and
  • A 2008 MACDC study to identify the overall track record of its members in the area of minority, women and union hiring in their real estate projects.

Professional Training: In collaboration with the Mel King Institute we provide training to housing practitioners. Some of our recent courses have included:

  • an overview of real estate taxation of affordable housing;
  • in-depth training on the factors to consider in hiring a general contractor;
  • training on how to improve asset management capabilities. 

Peer Networks: Our Housing and Real Estate Peer Group meets five to six times per year, to supplement formal training opportunities and provide a support network of practitioners to share information, engage in problem solving, build knowledge and skills, and offer peer support.  The peer group also offers a regular and structured vehicle for meeting with potential partners and funders who are interested in connecting with CDCs. We also hold periodic conference calls among foreclosure prevention counselors for the same purposes, and manage a Housing List Serv where practitioners can share information directly with other practitioners.   

Technical Assistance: When requested, we provide technical assistance to individual members to help them succeed with their housing projects.