Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

HAC Hosts CHAPA's Spring Regional Meeting

Posted by Laura Reckford on Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 03:10 PM
chapa.jpgEric Shupin (left) and Brenda Clement (right) of CHAPA and William Dunn (middle) of MassHousing talk with talk to Gael Kelleher, HAC’s director of Cape Community Real Estate. 

The continuing struggle to create affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth was the focus of a meeting of regional housing advocates last month in HAC’s Hyannis office. HAC hosted the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) spring regional meeting on April 1.

“You can’t do affordable housing without subsidies,” HAC CEO Rick Presbrey said to the more than two dozen people gathered for the session. “There is no return on the investment for rental housing for even middle income levels.” That was just one of the issues discussed at the meeting, as CHAPA officials outlined their priorities for the coming year.

Each year, CHAPA officials travel across Massachusetts to meet with housing professionals, advocates, community members, elected officials and other stakeholders that want to expand access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. 

The meeting in HAC’s conference room was an opportunity to hear updates on affordable housing and to help CHAPA develop its agenda for public policy, research, and programming for the year.

Besides affordable housing, two areas of focus for CHAPA are homelessness prevention and community development. Those top the list of capital budget priorities that CHAPA is working on with legislators on Beacon Hill.

Seeking State Support

Among the state-financed programs promoted by CHAPA that HAC provides access to for its clients is the HomeBASE program, which offers families an alternative to shelter by providing stabilization funds. State funds for the program have been severely cut in the past several years, from a high of $88 million in Fiscal Year 2013, to a low of $25 million in Fiscal Year 2015, according to figures from CHAPA. This year, CHAPA is asking state legislators for $39 million for the program because of the rising need for the funds.

Another state-funded program, Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), also helps families who are at risk of homelessness remain housed. CHAPA is asking for the state to fund the RAFT program at $18.5 million, a significant increase from this year’s $12.5 million in funding.

In the area of foreclosure prevention counseling, another program HAC offers to its clients, the state has provided an average of $2.5 million over the past several years. This year, CHAPA is requesting $3.6 million.

Among the initiatives outlined by Brenda Clement, CHAPA’s Executive Director, was the National Housing Trust Fund, which CHAPA officials believe will help create lower income rental housing. The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development will be holding hearings on the fund.

Eric Shupin of CHAPA gave a legislative update on several bills that have been filed including a zoning reform bill that is a major priority of Cape & Islands Senator Dan Wolf. The bill would encourage more housing and mixed use developments, as well as promoting land conservation and incentivizing growth.

Tags: CHAPA Regional Meeting Cape Cod, affordable housing, CHAPA

Spring Welcome Home Gift Basket Drive

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 @ 09:20 AM

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Each quarter HAC teams up with a local business and holds a drive for basic home goods for clients making the transition from shelter to permanent housing.

Currently, the folks at Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers of Sandwich, will be collecting a variety of new household items (towels, silverware, canned goods, paper goods, blankets, cleaning supplies, toiletries, gift cards, hats, gloves, winter coats) that will be placed into Welcome Home Gift Baskets for our clients. The drive runs from March through Friday, April 3.

Those wanting to take part in the gift basket drive and give our clients a fresh start in their new homes can do so by bringing donations to: 

Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC
148 Route 6A
Sandwich, MA 02563
Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm

In December, The Young Professionals Network, a subcommittee of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, organized the inaugural drive as a way to show our shelter clients how much the community cares and wants them to succeed once they transition out of shelter. 

To learn how your organization can get involved or for additional information contact Julie Wake at 508-771-5400 or jwake@HAConCapeCod.org

Tags: HAC, Cape Cod, Welcome Home Gift Basket Drive, CHAPA Regional Meeting Cape Cod, volunteerism, volunteering

CHAPA Visits Hyannis

Posted by Julie Wake on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

CHAPA resized 600

Brenda Clement, the new executive director for Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), a non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities in Massachusetts, visited Hyannis last month during a series of 11 public meetings around the state. Rick Presbrey and other HAC staffers attended, along with representatives from Habitat for Humanity, the Barnstable Housing Authority and other local housing groups.

Tags: housing assistance corporation, CHAPA Regional Meeting Cape Cod

CHAPA Regional Meeting Scheduled for Cape Cod

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 03:37 PM

Join HAC at the September 19th CHAPA (Citizens Housing and Planning Association) community meetings:

  • Meet Brenda Clement, CHAPA’s new Executive Director!
  • Recap of the highlights of CHAPA’s 2011-2012 initiatives and key changes in state housing policy!
  • Share your ideas about local affordable housing and community development!

Each year, CHAPA staff travel across Massachusetts for a series of meetings with housing professionals and advocates, community members , elected officials, and other stakeholders that want to expand access to affordable housing.  We use this as an opportunity to share updates with members in each region of the state and more importantly, to hear what you would like us to focus on in our public policy advocacy, research, and programs.  Please take this opportunity to meet Brenda, share your thoughts and ideas, and help inform our collective agenda for the coming legislative session and year ahead.  Light refreshments will be served. Please select a meeting and register online at http://www.chapa.org/event?month=2012-09

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Housing on Cape Cod, CHAPA Regional Meeting Cape Cod, State budget, Affordable Development on Cape Cod