BOSTON – United Way praised the Joint Committee on Housing for including two key provisions in the Housing Bond Bill that advanced today on Beacon Hill that would strengthen neighborhoods and early education programs. The Housing Bond Bill, a comprehensive package aimed at helping more individuals and families secure safe, affordable housing, included reauthorizations of two successful programs: the Community Investment Tax Credit and the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund.
“The legislation reported out favorably today by the Joint Committee on Housing recognizes the comprehensive approach needed to ensure neighborhoods and communities thrive,” said Michael K. Durkin, President and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “More affordable housing is critical, but communities also need high-quality affordable child care and healthy economies. Reauthorization of the Community Investment Tax Credit and the EEOST Capital Fund are positive steps toward advancing economic and neighborhood development in low-income communities.”
The Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund (EEOST) program is a unique source of funding for early education and care and afterschool programs throughout the Commonwealth. It supports major renovation and construction projects for facilities serving low-income children. Since the passage of the Housing Bond Bill in 2013, legislation that included a $45 million bond authorization to create the fund to improve the quality of center-based facilities, the EEOST Capital Fund has distributed over $15 million to help organizations modernize their space and improve the quality of the learning environments for children.
“The Commonwealth needs an improved and expanded supply of facilities to meet the demands of families across the state who are looking for convenient, high quality centers for their children,” said Durkin. “High quality, professional facilities, projects that better utilize existing facilities, and those that add additional space for planning and professional development, will allow the Commonwealth to best compete and retain top tier educators.”
The Housing Bond Bill reported out today also includes reauthorization of the Community Investment Tax Credit, which provides a 50% state tax credit for private donations to support the work of community development corporations across Massachusetts. Since the program’s inception in 2014, United Way has raised over $4 million from donors to support CDCs across the state through the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC). Nearly $24 million has been raised to support CDCs statewide.
“Every day, in neighborhoods and cities across the Commonwealth, Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are working hard to spur affordable housing and job creation, incubate small businesses and revitalize neighborhoods,” Durkin said. “CDC’s are an important source of innovation. The CITC Program is helping to greatly accelerate and deepen their work, as well as provide new and sustainable sources of funding.”
The Housing Bond bill will now advance to the House Committee on Bonding.