Executive Message

Fenway Groundbreaking

In 2023, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts achieved historic milestones in the expansion of our policy and leadership infrastructure devoted exclusively to housing. The Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) joined other state agencies, housing advocates and our non-profit community development partners in supporting this achievement by Governor Maura Healey’s administration.

CEDAC also continued to deliver on its mission of providing project financing and technical expertise for CDCs and other non-profit organizations dedicated to building stronger communities in every region of Massachusetts.

You will learn in this annual report about our most exciting and impactful projects of 2023. These include the Yawkey Housing Resource Center in Quincy, which co-locates emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness; the St. Therese in Everett, a property for seniors that combines quality affordable housing with on-site access to health care services; and the Dr. Thomas S. Perrault Childcare Center in Lawrence - upgraded with new preschool, toddler and pre-k classrooms, play spaces, and a commercial kitchen for early education programs across the region; plus many other projects.

Our talented staff – guided by the CEDAC Board of Directors – worked diligently with thirty-four community-based non-profits and our network of more than 20 funders to provide $60.8 million in early-stage financing for projects that will create or preserve more than 2,100 units of affordable and supportive housing. Through the Children’s Investment Fund, we helped finance six early education and child care facilities by arranging loans and grants totaling $1.2 million.

The year 2023 marked a new era for the Commonwealth’s commitment to meeting the state’s ever-growing demand for new housing, as the Healey Administration appointed former Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. to be the first Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities. The creation of a new Secretariat demonstrates the focus and priority Governor Healey has placed on the expansion of housing supply in Massachusetts.

CEDAC was honored to participate in the Healey Administration’s announcement of the Affordable Homes Act – a proposed $4.1 billion legislative package to accelerate the production of homes and make housing more affordable across Massachusetts. If approved by the Legislature and enacted it will be the largest public investment in housing by the Commonwealth in history, supporting the creation of 40,000 new housing units and the preservation or rehabilitation of 25,000 more.

CEDAC is particularly eager and ready to play an important role in this comprehensive approach through the bond programs it manages to produce supportive housing for our most vulnerable residents and child care facilities. The AHA authorizes a combined $435 million for these types of projects.

Finally, in 2023 CEDAC celebrated the remarkable career of Lionel G. Romain – our former longtime Director of Housing for Central & Western Massachusetts. After 15 years furthering CEDAC’s mission of building strong communities through affordable housing and community economic development, Lionel is shifting his time and focus to consulting work and teaching.

As we continue our mission, CEDAC is optimistic and energized. The Healey Administration has given the Commonwealth important new tools for addressing our housing needs. The community development organizations and other non-profits we serve continue to be strong partners with CEDAC. And our network of both private and public sources of financing is robust and ready to close deals in 2024.

In this report, you will learn about 19 housing, child care, and home modification projects completed in 2023 that are highlighted to showcase the variety of assistance we have provided and the diversity of the communities we have served.

We hope you will enjoy learning more about our organization’s ongoing work.

  • Roger Herzog signature

    Roger Herzog

    CEDAC Executive Director

  • Jennifer Maddo signature

    Jennifer Maddox

    CEDAC Board Chair
    Deputy Secretary, Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities

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Honoring Mel King

Mel King at podium

The Commonwealth set a historic new course in 2023 for the creation of affordable housing and the building of strong communities. It was also a year in which CEDAC reflected on our own history as we observed the passing of legendary community leader Mel King.

The late Boston political leader and activist, who passed away in the spring of 2023 at the age of 94, had as much influence on the City of Boston as any other political figure during the past century. He was a leader of Boston’s Black community during periods of racial tension and unease, and his campaign for mayor in 1983 was a catalyst to advance the movement for racial justice in the city.

But the legacy of Mel King and the impact of his advocacy extends far beyond Boston. One of his greatest accomplishments is the movement he initiated to create an infrastructure to support community development and deliver economic empowerment that has improved life for people in every corner of Massachusetts, and which continues to this day.

Mel was a founding father of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. In the 1970s he convened a series of weekly working group sessions of community activists and planners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – the "Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club." These discussions led to pragmatic plans, which Mel was able to turn into legislative victories. It was legislation he sponsored as a member of the House of Representatives that established CEDAC and our sister quasi-public agency, now known as the Growth Capital Corporation, in 1978. The Massachusetts system now serves as a national model of community development.

As Mel wrote in his 1981 book, CHAIN OF CHANGE: Struggles for Black Community Development, "CDFC and CEDAC provide clear examples of how to use the legislative process to set up institutions which can provide ongoing assistance for community development through community control."

The impact of Mel King’s work can be seen and felt in housing, community organizing and planning, and youth programs across the entire state of Massachusetts. We at CEDAC will always remain true to his vision for strengthening communities by providing financial and technical assistance for affordable housing and child care development.

Mel King