United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

Advocate

Help Ensure our Neighborhoods and Communities Thrive!

United Way works to ensure individuals and families have access to safe housing, quality child care and jobs that allow them to support themselves. But high housing costs, a lack of affordable housing production, and low wages create significant barriers to opportunity and jeopardize our future workforce and economy.

On Thursday, March 29, the Massachusetts Senate will debate and vote on the Housing Bond Bill, S.2368, which is essential to providing critical affordable housing and economic development. 

The Housing Bond Bill is a comprehensive approach to address the Commonwealth’s housing needs by authorizing $1.8 billion in investments for the production, preservation, and modernization of public and affordable housing in communities across the state. This bill will also:

  • Reauthorize the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) program to help improve quality learning environments.
  • Extend and expand the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) to support critical economic and community development.  

S.2368 – A Comprehensive Approach

An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents (S.2368) provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the Commonwealth’s housing needs by providing critical funding for the production, preservation, and modernization of public and affordable housing in communities across the state by authorizing $1.8B in investments over the next five years and reauthorizing successful bond-funding programs that serve diverse populations, including working families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and the homeless.

Ensure High-Quality Learning Environments  

The EEOST Capital Fund is a unique source of funding that supports major renovation and construction projects for facilities serving low-income children. The EEOST Capital Fund has:

  •  Distributed over $15M to 21 projects since 2013 to help organizations modernize their spaces and improve the quality of the learning environments for children.
  • Primarily served children from primarily low-income families (more than 86%) and added 448 slots to the early education and care system.
  • Improved the quality of learning for 2,036 children.
  • Created an estimated 34 full-time educator jobs and 360 construction jobs.
  • Leveraged $44M in additional investment from foundations, banks, and other sources.

There is a strong demand for additional capital, with new projects emerging every year. Since 2014, 24 organizations, which collectively serve 3,500 low-income children, have applied to EEOST but were not funded.

Promote Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization

The Community Investment Tax Credit provides a 50% state tax credit for private donations to support the work of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) across Massachusetts. It is providing critical resources that many cities and neighborhoods would not have received, or be able to further leverage, without the tax credit. The CITC program has:

  • Created 600 new affordable housing units.
  • Prevented more than 1300 foreclosures.
  • Provided more than 11,600 individuals with financial coaching and education.
  • Generated $1.2B over the past two years in economic activity while using about $9.3M in tax credits to raise $18.6M – a leverage ratio of 130-1.

S. 2368 extends the CITC program through 2025, and expands the cap on available tax credits to $12M.  Without this legislation, the CITC program is set to sunset in 2019 . However, demand for and interest in the CITC continues to increase.  Extending and expanding the CITC program will help to further grow local economies and expand access to opportunity by encouraging even more individuals and corporations to provide the financial capital needed to make positive lasting change for people in need.

To learn more, please contact Khushbu Webber, Director of Public Policy at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, at kwebber@supportunitedway.org.

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