On Friday, November 17th, the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) will celebrate its 35th anniversary at an event in Boston. MACDC represents the Commonwealth’s mission-driven non-profit community development organizations, who are “dedicated to working together and with others to create places of opportunity where people of diverse incomes and backgrounds access housing that is affordable, benefit from economic opportunities and fully participate in the civic life of their community.” MACDC provides the non-profit community development sector with capacity building opportunities and advocates for its needs at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
The organization has been a key, longstanding partner in CEDAC’s work over the past several decades. Community development corporations (CDCs) are the backbone of non-profit affordable housing and community development in Massachusetts, so it is no surprise that CEDAC has forged a collaborative partnership with MACDC to ensure that CDCs have the resources they need to build stronger, more equitable neighborhoods across the state. You can read more about our relationship with Massachusetts’ CDCs here.
Over the past 35 years, CEDAC and MACDC have worked together on a range of policies and programs. Below, we present just a few of the highlights of this fruitful partnership:
- CDC project support – Over the past several decades, CEDAC has provided both technical assistance and pre-development lending to almost all of the 92 CDCs throughout Massachusetts, helping those organizations move their development projects from the concept stage to occupancy and completion.
- Workforce development – In the 1990s, CEDAC and MACDC partnered on a community economic development training program that helped accelerate CDC involvement in workforce development, small business development and other economic development activity. That workforce training program eventually grew into the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition (CWC). For 14 years, CEDAC managed the CWC program, which provides trainings and professional development opportunities for the Commonwealth’s workforce development community, including the annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections conference. Last year, UMass Boston’s Center for Social Policy began administering CWC.
- The Mel King Institute for Community Building (MKI) – The Mel King Institute for Community Building was founded in 2009 to advance skills, knowledge and leadership ability among those who work in community development. MACDC co-administers MKI with LISC Boston, and CEDAC has been a core partner since its founding. Sara Barcan, our Director of Housing Development, has served on the MKI Steering Committee since inception.
- Housing Preservation – CEDAC and MACDC have a longstanding partnership to maximize the long-term preservation of existing affordable housing. We have worked together to craft affordable housing state policy, including the state’s affordable housing preservation law, Chapter 40T, which was enacted in 2009. And we have collaborated to provide on-going training and technical assistance to help CDCs acquire and preserve at-risk properties.
- Supportive Housing – As CDCs throughout Massachusetts have undertaken projects to increase the production of housing to families and individuals with special service needs, CEDAC has provided technical assistance and funding to them and other non-profit organizations looking to build supportive housing units. CEDAC administers three supportive housing programs on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – the Housing Innovations Fund (HIF), the Facilities Consolidation Fund (FCF), and the Community-Based Housing (CBH) program. All three, along with two additional initiatives that CEDAC manages – the Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) and the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund – are currently up for reauthorization by the Legislature as part of the Housing Bond Bill.
Congratulations to the MACDC Board and staff, as well as all of the member organizations! We are looking forward to celebrating MACDC’s 35th anniversary on November 17th – and to many more years of working together to create stronger neighborhoods throughout Massachusetts.