Massachusetts Senate Approves Critical Funding to Increase High Quality Learning Environments, Boost Economic Development and Create More Affordable Housing

March 29, 2018

Housing Bond Bill passed today includes re-authorization of successful Community Investment Tax Credit and EEOST Capital Fund

BOSTON – United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley today praised the Massachusetts Senate for unanimously passing the Housing Bond Bill and taking an important stand on increasing the supply of affordable housing in Massachusetts, promoting economic and community development in cities and neighborhoods and improving the quality of early education for low-income children.  The Housing Bond Bill passed today includes two key provisions: extension and expansion of the Community Investment Tax Credit and the re-authorization of the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund.

“It’s hard to imagine a tax credit program that is generating a more significant impact today on economic and community development in Massachusetts than the Community Investment Tax Credit,” said Michael K. Durkin, President and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.  “In just three years, this tax credit has generated nearly $24 million in private donations for efforts that are fueling small business development, housing production, neighborhood revitalization and civic engagement.  We commend the Senate for its leadership today, which will enable the CITC program to continue this profound community impact in the years ahead.”

The Housing Bond Bill extends and expands the successful Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) to support critical economic and community development.  Currently set to sunset in 2019, the CITC, which provides a 50% state tax credit for private donations to support the work of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) across Massachusetts, is providing critical resources that many cities and neighborhoods would not have received, or be able to further leverage, without the tax credit. In 2017, United Way raised over $2.1 million to support the work of CDCs in low-income neighborhoods.

The Housing Bond Bill passed today also reauthorizes the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) program to help improve quality learning environments.  The 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.

“Simply put: space matters,” Durkin said.  “High-quality learning environments build the foundation for future learning.  The EEOST Fund will help improve and expand facilities to meet the demands of families across the state who are looking for convenient, high quality centers for their children, and will allow the Commonwealth to best compete and retain top tier educators.

Since its original passage in 2013, the EEOST 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
  • 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.