Past Policy Archive

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2014 Gubernatorial Candidates Speak at MACDC Convention

On Saturday, October 25th at the Westin Copley Hotel, Gubertnatorial Candidates Martha Coakley, Charlie Baker, Evan Falchuk, and Jeff McCormick joined MACDC for their 2014 Convention to talk about their priorities concerning comprehensive community economic development, affordable housing and small business development.

Their responses are up on YouTube, in full, for review.

  Martha Coakley   Charlie Baker
 
  Evan Falchuk   Jeff McCormick

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Strengthen the Community Development Field

1. MACDC is working to help implement the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) so it achieves its full potential for supporting high-impact, resident-led community development. The first CITC allocations were announced on March 4th. We also worked with the Department of Revenue to develop the systems and procedures for donors to claim their credits. For more information on this work, go to the CITC page on our website.

2. MACDC continues to support CDCs pursuing state certification. This program was first established in 2010 in An Act Relative to Economic Development Reorganization (Chapter 240). So far, 46 organizations are certified by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Our goal is to have 50 organizations certified by December 31, 2014. Certification as a CDC entitles an organization to certain benefits under state law, including the ability to apply for resources under the Community Investment Tax Credit. Certified CDCs also receive special recognition in the state’s allocation of rental housing subsidies through the state’s Qualified Allocation Plan, special liability protections under the state’s Brownfield’s law, and reduced fees under the state’s mortgage lending laws. MACDC will be advocating for additional benefits and resources that can support certified CDCs.

Support Small Business Development

MACDC succeeded in getting $2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Program for FY2015, more than double the $700,000 provided to the program in FY 2014.  This program assists small businesses with planning, permitting, financial management, and access to markets. The program achieves extraordinary results by using a highly competitive process to select the highest performing organizations across the state, all of whom are using the state funds to leverage other resources from local, federal and private sources.

Recapitalize the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund

The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund was recapitalized with $25 million in FY 2015.  This fund has provided more than $65 million for assessments and remediation of contaminated sites in 106 Massachusetts cities and towns to catalyze redevelopment in these communities. Over the past five years alone, the Fund supported the creation of 2,551 homes, 2,242 construction jobs, and an additional 2,191 jobs, expected to be created by fund borrowers.  The Fund was fully depleted in June of 2013, when it had a pipeline of 26 projects.  The $25 million will enable projects already in the pipeline to move forward without additional delay.

Fund Key Affordable Housing Programs in the Commonwealth’s Operating Budget & Capital Budget

  1. Advocate for Effective Implementation of the Recently-Passed Affordable Housing Bond Bill: MACDC and its allies in the Building Blocks Coalition won passage of a new $1.4 billion Affordable Housing Bond Bill to reauthorize critical housing programs that finance the renovation and maintenance of state public housing and the development of new privately-owned affordable housing. Some of the key programs funded by the bill include the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Housing Stabilization Fund, the Housing Innovation Fund, and an increase in the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit to $20 million per year through 2020. MACDC succeeded in advocating for language in the Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program (CATNHP) to allow DHCD to fund commercial space in mixed-use developments.
  2. Invest State Capital Dollars for Housing: MACDC and its allies successfully advocated that the State’s FY 2015 capital budget for privately-owned housing be increased from $89.5 million per year to $100 million per year.  We will continue to advocate for increases to meet the Commonwealth’s affordable housing needs. We will also comment on the Draft 2015 Qualified Allocation Plan and continue our advocacy with DHCD and other state agencies, so the state’s housing dollars are targeted to housing developments that advance broader community improvement.

  3. Provide Foreclosure Counseling Funds: In calendar year 2014, we were able to secure $1.5 million from the Division of Banks funding program for Foreclosure Counseling. During calendar year 2013, 22 MACDC Members provided counseling to 4,268 families to either help them avoid foreclosure or transition to stable rental housing.

Foster Sustainable Homeownership

Massachusetts needs an expanded , market-based approach to homeownership that stabilizes local housing markets, expands economic and asset building opportunities for low- and moderate-income families, and contributes to stronger neighborhoods, especially in our Gateway Cities. We support this agenda by:

  • Supporting the newly revamped One Mortgage Program administered by the Mass. Housing Partnership (formerly the Soft Second program)
  • Endorsing of the Homeownership Compact that seeks to expand access to affordable mortgage products for first-time homebuyersIn June, 2014, DHCD announced homeownership round awards, the first funds for affordable homeownership provided by DHCD in over 5 years.  MACDC Members received 4 of the 5 awards (80%) and 79 of the 122 affordable units (65%).
  • Participating in the Mortgage Lender Community Investment (MCLI) Task Force, established by the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council (MCBC).  The goals of the task force include determining how the 2007 “Mortgage Lender CRA” Law is working, and how to improve mortgage lenders compliance performance.Fund Key Affordable Housing Programs in the Commonwealth’s Operating Budget & Capital Budget

In June, 2014, DHCD announced homeownership round awards, the first funds for affordable homeownership provided by DHCD in over 5 years.  MACDC Members received 4 of the 5 awards (80%) and 79 of the 122 affordable units (65%). During 2014, we also worked with our members and partners to further test online homeownership education tools, and the Homeownership Collaborative adopted an online homebuyer education tool that expands access to homeownership education without any reduction in quality.

Implement Comprehensive Neighborhood Strategies & Smart Growth Land Use Development

MACDC will continue to advocate for policies and funding that support comprehensive neighborhood improvement strategies that will strengthen regional economies and promote smart land use development. These efforts will include advocating for transit-oriented development and comprehensive zoning reform legislation. CLICK HERE to go to the Mass Smart Growth zoning reform page for more information.

Maintain Revenues for Transportation

In July 2013, the legislature passed a financing bill that dedicates an average of $600 million per year in new revenue to transportation. The money will be spent in every corner of our Commonwealth, and be used to repair our roads and bridges, invest in regional transit, ensure the MBTA is reliable and affordable, and make walking and biking safer. An important provision in the new law pegs the gas tax to inflation. This provision will raise more than $1B over the next 10 years and will ensure that the gas tax retains its value over time. MACDC is now working to defeat a ballot question that would repeal the indexing of the gas tax to inflation.  Learn more about the Vote No on Question One Campaign.

Increase the Minimum Wage

MACDC members collected signatures to place a referendum on the ballot to raise the minimum wage. Both the strength of the broad-based Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition and the large number of signatures gathered were instrumental in the Legislature acting to raise the $8 per hour minimum wage to a U.S.-leading $11 per hour by 2017.

MACDC is supporting Ballot Question 4, which would provide 1 million Massachusetts workers with paid sick time. Learn more about the Vote Yes on Question Four Campaign.

 

For more information on MACDC’s Legislative Agenda or our public policy work in general, please contact Joseph Kriesberg at joek@macdc.org or Pam Bender at pamelab@macdc.org.

Documents:

2015/16 Comments & Letters

2015 Fact Sheets

2014 Testimony

2015 State Policy Documents

2014 State Policy Letters

2014 State Policy Fact Sheets