State economic development plan nets CBA $80,000
LOWELL -- The state announced $3 million in community investment tax credits to 38 community organizations across the state, including $80,000 to Coalition for a Better Acre.
Gov. Deval Patrick's office reported Tuesday the Department of Housing and Community Development awarded tax credits which will be distributed to investors in exchange for donations to community organizations. Officials said this expands on the Patrick administration's commitment to encourage new economic opportunities for low and middle income households throughout the state.
"When we invest in the community organizations that support our families, we create lasting economic and social impact that will strengthen our communities for generations to come," Patrick said at an event in Worcester Tuesday.
The tax credits are provided to increase the capacity of these community-based organizations, according to the department's undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, so they can boost housing and economic activity in their communities.
"This unique public-private partnership will help to spur economic activity and innovative projects in cities and towns across the Commonwealth," Gornstein said. "By partnering with local Community Development Corporations and private investors, we are creating greater opportunity for low and moderate income families in Massachusetts and helping to revitalize communities at the same time."
Coalition for a Better Acre received a total allocation of $80,000. The Mill City non-profit dedicates itself to resident "empowerment" and sustainable community revitalization for current and future residents of Lowell. Although most of the coalition's work for the last 30 years has been concentrated on the Acre neighborhood in the city, according to the group's website, it also works to serve the Greater Lowell region, focusing on lower-income residents an struggling neighborhoods. The coalition has a portfolio with 425 residential rental units and an additional 50 homes sold to first-time homebuyers. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations also received $80,000 each.
The state's Community Investment Grant Program is designed to enable local residents and stakeholders to work with and through community development corporations to partner with nonprofit, public and private entities to improve economic opportunities, according to a state press release. Community development corporations, like the Lowell coalition, do this through the adoption of community investment plans to undertake community development programs, policies, and activities.
"The community investment tax credit will leverage private dollars for the state's best CDCs so they can undertake high-impact, resident led community development," said Joseph Kriesberg, president of the MACDC. "What is particularly exciting about this program is the way (it) brings together the public sector, the private sector and local communities to forge creative, bottom-up solutions that yield real results. This program will help to ensure that every community and every family has a better opportunity to fully participate in our economy."
The Department of Housing and Community Development is the administering agency for CITC and is responsible for managing the process by which the credits are allocated to eligible CDCs. The program was created in 2012 through the Jobs Bill signed by Patrick in August 2012, and is available to CDCs through 2019.
Since 2009, the Patrick administration worked with the Legislature and Congress to direct over $700 million in federal and state tax credits and state housing program subsidies to projects that improve the state's affordable housing, create jobs and build stronger communities. These investments have generated more than 14,000 jobs and 10,000 homes.