Category Archives: Massachusetts

Federal Housing Finance Agency worsening foreclosures by violating Massachusetts law, AG Coakley says

Coakley said mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, currently under the control of the agency, have refused to comply with a 2012 Massachusetts law that allows the sale of homes in foreclosure to nonprofit organizations whose goal is to keep homeowners in their homes.

The state law explicitly forbids banks and lenders from refusing to consider offers from legitimate buyback programs merely because the property will be resold to the former homeowner.

[Boston Community Capital’s CEO Elyse Cherry] said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are significant lenders and their refusal to work with nonprofits seeking to keep homeowners in their homes is a problem.

MassLive

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MA State Senator: Whole Foods must provide housing fund

Whole Foods must fund affordable housing or stay out of Jamaica Plain. That’s the position Massachusetts state senator Sonia Chang-Diaz is taking after Whole Foods signed a lease to take over the Hyde Square space most recently occupied by Hi-Lo Foods. Chang-Diaz is concerned that the Whole Foods will not serve the existing Latino community, but instead will spur gentrification that will drive her constituents out of their homes. The full text of Chang-Diaz’s letter is available on the Jamaica Plain Gazette website. Excerpts below:

While praising Whole Foods for economic opportunity and quality food, Chang-Díaz said the “disadvantages outweigh the advantages” of the chain’s move into JP.

Whole Foods’ normal corporate donations are not enough, Chang-Díaz said. The chain must “set up and endow a community preservation fund” that would buy residential properties to keep them affordable, she said, without suggesting a dollar amount.

“Endowing a fund that could buy available property in the Hyde/Jackson area with a commitment to keeping it affordable will require a serious financial commitment—no doubt,” Chang-Díaz wrote. “But Whole Foods’ detrimental impact on the neighborhood in the absence of such an investment would be of a far greater magnitude.”

People Moves: Urban Edge brings on Hillel Korin

Hillel Korin, Chief Development Officer, Urban Edge Hillel J. Korin is the new chief development officer for Boston-based Urban Edge. Korin joins the nonprofit community development corporation from Korin Development Associates,. Prior to running his own firm, Korin was EVP for The Ostroff Group where he managed a capital campaign for an independent school in Maryland and closed contributions in excess of $3 million. He also led feasibility studies for independent schools and other organizations.

Urban Edge is beefing up its development capabilities at a time of change for the organization. The organization was just awarded one of Boston’s Mayor’s Green Awards, and is about to launch the first phase of the $225 million Jackson Square mixed use development in Jamaica Plain. “As Urban Edge looks to redefine the scope of services currently provided and as it considers new lines of business and new models of service delivery, new sources of philanthropic support will be required to support Urban Edge’s mission,” Korin said. Added Chrystal Kornegay, Urban Edge President and Chief Executive Officer, “Hillel is perfectly suited to the needs of Urban Edge as it expands its revenue base and moves into new and collaborative relationships that will help fulfill its missions of creating affordable housing and building community.”

Nicole Contois: Assistant Executive Director of Management, Springfield Housing Authority

Springfield (MA) Housing Authority’s Asst ED, Nicole Contois is profiled by Business West. Contois, 29, started as a temp at the Housing Authority, but rose quickly within the ranks. Now, seven years later, she oversees the management of more than 1,400 units and the Housing Authority’s HR, Finance and Resident Services groups. From Business West:

“Once I started at this organization, I knew I wanted to play a bigger role and interact with our residents by making decisions and creating programs that will enhance their futures,” said [Contois]. “We are able to help families advance and move forward toward success through all the services we provide,” she added. “We empower them, because many don’t think they can move past their situation.”

Job of the Day: Affordable Housing and/or Homelessness Associates, Training and Development Associates

Affordable Housing and/or Homelessness Associates, Training & Development Associates, Inc., positions available across the country.

TDA, Inc. (www.tdainc.org) – a national government contractor that provides community development training and technical assistance to federal, state and local governments nationwide – is seeking junior and senior-level affordable housing and/or homelessness consultants. These positions will support TDA, Inc. in the following ways:
– Design and deliver workshops, clinics, conferences, facilitations, and other training courses related to affordable housing and homelessness, cross-cutting federal requirements, and program operations
– Undertake assessments, surveys, and discussions to identify barriers to program performance and provide recommendations for improvement, training, and/or technical assistance to address deficiencies
– Prepare written documents in response to training and technical assistance assignments including slide presentations, lectures, exercises, case studies, checklists, flowcharts, reports, guidebooks, policies, procedures, plans, and other materials

See our job board for more great affordable housing jobs. With hundreds of openings, perhaps there’s a right job for you.

Rebuilding Downtown From the Ground Up

Quincy, MA is pioneering real estate development financing. More than just an ethnoburb, Quincy has mass transit assets, population growth, and a mayor / city government looking to push Quincy toward a more sustainable, transit-oriented future.

“We couldn’t afford to do this on our own, this quickly,” Mayor Thomas P. Koch said. But after 30 years of wanting to revitalize a downtown drained of businesses, shopping and housing by outlying neighborhoods, he said, “we’ve established a relationship of trust with Street-Works.” In 2005 the developer started planning what is to be called New Quincy Center. In January it signed a master agreement with the city to codify the plan and set milestones it must meet before Quincy floats the bonds.

“The underlying premise is that Quincy is a great location,” Mr. Narva said. “Its mass transit is a main driver of value creation.” Quincy Center has a Red Line subway stop, six stops from downtown Boston and 10 from Cambridge. The city is on a main highway, Interstate 93, and has 27 miles of waterfront. “The developer is here because of the T stop,” said Mayor Koch, referring to the transit system, who said he was impressed when he visited Street-Works’ Blue Back Square project in West Hartford, Conn. He said he hoped to secure another $50 million in state and federal grants for infrastructure work.

Job of the Day: Insurance Analyst – Asset Management, Boston Capital

Insurance Analyst – Asset Management, Boston Capital, Boston, MA. Posted 4/7.

Responsibilities include reviewing insurance certificates for compliance with partnership agreements, following up with management companies and general partners regarding insurance issues and maintaining an insurance database.

Compliance insurance is an interesting niche. Plus, you get to work at the firm ranked #1 in NMHC’s top 50 last year.

There are lots more affordable housing jobs on our job board. Take a moment and see what else is out there.

Boston Mayor Menino Names Peter Meade New Redevelopment Authority Chief

A big company exec will head the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Peter Meade, former EVP of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, has been named the BRA’s new leader by Mayor Tom Menino. Meade comes most recently from the Edward Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, where he was President and CEO. Said Menino:

“I am confident that Peter will be a tremendous leader and asset to the Boston Redevelopment Authority and to the City of Boston as we move out of this recession and build on the successes of the last several years. Peter’s unique experiences as a civic and business leader make him the right person to advance the BRA’s central mission of job creation, smart and innovative planning, and cultivating strong neighborhoods.”

Meade’s skills as a deal-maker and organizer will be tested. The BRA’s key initiatives over the next several years are all multi-sector projects, including the redevelopment of Dudley Square, where the city is focusing on public-private partnerships; the Innovation District on the waterfront, where open collaboration is becoming commonplace; and in new job training and creation efforts to match the evolving economy.


Scott Brown needs to explain himself on HUD

MA Sen. Brown supports HUD programs. Except when it’s time to vote. According to the Boston Herald, Sen. Brown sent a letter to President Obama calling the programs, "vital to Massachusetts," and saying that they "should be protected at a time when (the state’s) unemployment rate is above 8 percent." Fast forward to this week when Senator Brown had the opportunity to vote on bill’s that would either gut or protect HUD funding:

A few weeks ago, the Senate took a pair of straw votes on the fiscal 2011 budget. The first was on the H.R. 1 bill, otherwise known as the Tea Party’s version of the budget, and it called for gutting HUD.

Brown voted YES.

When it came to the Senate Appropriations Committee bill, which had the support of a HUD tenants’ group, Brown voted NO.

People Moves: Recap Real Estate Advisors

Gina Martinez, VP Transactions Group, Recap Real Estate AdvisorsGina Martinez joins Recap Advisors as VP, Transactions Group. Prior to joining Recap, she was Executive Director of ETC Development Corporation.

Over her career, Ms. Martinez has worked with and for a wide range of investment institutions, public agencies, and for- and non-profit owners to develop, restructure, and preserve affordable housing. She has developed multifamily properties for organizations including The Community Builders and Beacon Residential Properties (now known as Beacon Communities LLC), and financed affordable rental and home ownership developments for the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, and John Hancock Realty Advisors.