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Homes at 242 Spencer

Homes are the cornerstone of health and opportunity. 2018 marks The Neighborhood Developers’ (TND) 40th year bringing homes to Chelsea. Under Construction at 242 Spencer, the framework for  high-quality, well-managed homes is being erected. TND’s newest affordable rental housing development, consisting of 34 units, all at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with 11 units restricted to extremely low-income households at or below 30 percent of AMI.

242 Spencer is located in a mixed-use neighborhood that provides excellent access to Chelsea’s four public elementary schools and public transportation, including two MBTA bus routes that connect residents to the MBTA Blue Line and other points in Chelsea, Revere and East Boston. Within a five-minute walk of the development site are local shopping options, public parks, and Beth Israel Deaconness’ Chelsea medical facilities. The City of Chelsea has demonstrated support for the development of affordable apartments at 242 Spencer as a means to create lasting affordability for current Chelsea residents and for those from neighboring communities that are facing the regional pressure of rapidly growing housing costs.

TND will partner with Housing Families to provide services to families in eight units reserved for formerly homeless or at-risk families.

In The Press

 

A special thanks to our funders:

  • Equity: RBC Tax Credit Equity Group

  • Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Tax-Exempt Bond Financing: MassDevelopment

  • Construction and Permanent Financing: Boston Private Bank

  • Subordinate Debt: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; and North Suburban HOME Program

  • Predevelopment, Acquisition and Construction Financing: The Life Initiative

 

Bank of America Investing in Safety

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The  Bank of America is partnering with TND to support community vitality and economic opportunity for all. Alicia Verity, Massachusetts Market Manager for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation shares that the Foundation’s Economic Mobility grant-making is based on a core vision: “We believe that one’s zip code should not define an individual or family’s economic well-being. Economic opportunity begins with the ability to live and work in vibrant communities, with access to safe, decent housing, strong business corridors, and access to arts and culture.”  

The Bank of America provided a $25,000 grant in support of TND’s leadership of the Chelsea Thrives program, a holistic initiative that seeks to improve community safety in Chelsea.  Melissa Walsh, who manages the Chelsea Thrives program, completed a year-long professional development course sponsored by the Bank of America. “The training was a fantastic opportunity to meet emerging leaders from around the country and to build my skills for new program development.”  Melissa and many Chelsea Thrives partners recognize that despite notable reductions in crime, perceptions of safety inhibit pedestrian use of downtown Chelsea, especially in the evenings. The partners – including the City of Chelsea, non-profits, residents and businesses -- are coordinating efforts to further reduce crime and improve community vitality.
 

Break bread, build community!

Back in March,  we held a resident meeting at one of our properties in Revere. It was a joint effort of The Neighborhood Developers(TND) and our property management team Winn Residential, to share building and community updates to our residents . At the end of the meeting a few of our Muslim residents, Fatima and Nadia in particular, approached me about having an Iftar- a breaking of the Ramadan fast within our building.  Immediately, excitement was in the air and other residents were interested in taking part in this event. Over the last 2 weeks, I reached out to those same residents and ask them to help organize an Iftar for the building. In preparation of the event, I myself tried to fast for the Iftar and that is an experience I will have to  share at another time.

This past Saturday, some of our residents at 525 Beach Street pulled together an amazing spread that included chocolate croissants, dates, hard boiled eggs, small meat pies, and harira, - a traditional soup served during Ramadan made up of tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, onions, rice, herbs, meat and spices,  And to wash it all down, we had milk, coffee and Moroccan sweet spearmint tea. Over 15 kids and 12 residents came together to break the Ramadan fast at a little past 8:15pm. The meal was over in less than 20 minutes but we all lingered a few more hours chatting, slowly savoring what remains on our plate and laughing with one another. Here is what Carol Palermo, one of our newest building resident had to say:

“I had a wonderful experience at the Ramadan iftar, I learned a lot about the history of the Ramadan and how the families fast all day. I could not believe all the different foods that were brought by the Moroccan families in the building that prepared the food for the evening. My other thought was how wonderful the parents interact with their children.

I also enjoyed trying the soup.

Thanks for the experience.

Newly energized by the breaking of our fast, we decided to take advantage of living close to the beach, cleaned up our meals, packed up the kids and took a close to midnight stroll to Revere Beach. And that was our first Iftar at 525 Beach. Stay tuned for guest bloggers from our buildings.

Diversity in action

This afternoon, I went to pick up my books for a guest reading opportunity with The Chelsea Public Library’ Diversity In Action(DIA) program. The program’s main goal is to celebrate all of the wonderful languages spoken and cultures represented in Chelsea. Next week, I’ll be reading the bilingual edition, English-Khmerof “In here, out there!” by Phillipp Winterberg. I also hope to teach the students a few words of Khmer, the primary language of Cambodia. I’m excited to continue to contribute to the celebration of our community’s diversity and to strengthen our social fabric.  For more information about the DIA national program and the resources at Chelsea Public Library, stop by to visit them at 569 Broadway, Chelsea MA, 02150, (617)466-4352http://www.chelseama.gov/public-library.  Be sure to join me next week for the community event, Diversity in Action Chelsea Community Night on Wednesday, May 10th at 6pm. 

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Community Investment Tax Credits to 48 Community Development Corporations

 

Community Investment Tax Credits allow non-profit CDCs to leverage private investments for housing and services

BOSTON – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced a total of $6 million in tax credit allocations to 46 Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and two Community Support Organizations under the state’s Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program.

The CITC program allows local residents and stakeholders to work with community development corporations, which partner with nonprofit, public and private entities to improve economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income households and communities. Since the program’s inception in 2014, CDCs across the Commonwealth have significantly increased their ability to raise funding from private investment: the CITC program has generated over $22.8 million in private investments across Massachusetts in the last three years.

“We are committed to working closely with local leaders and advocates to build stronger communities across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This program will enable Community Development Corporations to address important local issues, build foundations for economic growth and opportunities to support those who need it most in their regions and neighborhoods.”

“Encouraging community and private partnerships can spur local investment and solutions in Massachusetts’ cities and towns,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The increased community development capacity this program creates will drive growth across all zip codes in the Commonwealth.”

“Our municipalities have tremendous potential that Community Development Corporations help to leverage for sustained growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “This work, done across the Commonwealth, creates thriving communities with opportunities for all to participate in, and benefit from a growing economy.”

“Supporting our Community Development Corporations through the Community Investment Tax Credit helps them to help families find homes and jobs, grow businesses, and bring communities together,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “This work helps our residents, supports our businesses, and grows our statewide economy.”

“We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for its strong commitment to the community development field, as evidenced by this remarkable investment in Community Development Corporations across the state,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President & CEO of MACDC.  “These tax credit allocations are going to empower locally-driven, public-private partnerships that will expand economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in every corner of our state.”

The CITC program awards up to $150,000 in credit allocations to certified CDCs. CDCs apply for tax credits to support fundraising for the development and implementation of their community investment plan from the CITC program. Individuals, corporations and other entities that make a cash contribution resulting in a qualified investment to an awarded CDC will earn tax credits equal to fifty percent of the total qualified investment made by the taxpayer. CDCs were awarded credits based on the CDC’s demonstrated progress implementing its CIP and past utilization of previous credit allocations. 

 

2017 Community Investment Tax Credit Recipients:

ACT Lawrence: $50,000

Allston Brighton CDC: $150,000

Asian CDC (Boston): $135,000

Codman Square NDC (Dorchester): $150,000

Community Development Partnership (Eastham): $120,000

Community Teamwork Inc. (Lowell) : $129,615

Dorchester Bay EDC: $79,615

Downtown Taunton Foundation: $50,000

Fenway CDC (Boston): $150,000

Franklin County CDC (Greenfield): $129,615

Groundwork Lawrence: $150,000

Harborlight Community Partners (Beverly): $150,000

HAP Housing (Springfield): $150,000

Hilltown CDC (Chesterfield): $150,000

Housing Assistance Corp. Cape Cod: $150,000

Housing Corp. of Arlington: $129,615

Housing Nantucket: $150,000

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) (Boston): $129,615

Island Housing Trust (Martha’s Vineyard): $150,000

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp: $150,000

Just-A-Start (Cambridge): $125,000

Lawrence Community Works: $150,000

Lena Park CDC (Dorchester): $50,000

Local Initiatives Support Coalition Boston: $129,615

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (Boston): $150,000

Madison Park CDC (Roxbury): $150,000

Main South CDC (Worcester): $125,000

NeighborWorks (Quincy): $129,615

NewVue Communities (Fitchburg): $150,000

Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (East Boston): $150,000

North Shore CDC (Salem): $129,615

Nuestra Comunidad (Roxbury): $150,000

Oak Hill CDC (Worcester): $129,615

Quaboag Valley CDC (Ware): $129,615

Revitalize CDC (Springfield): $150,000

Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council (Framingham): $150,000

Somerville Community Corp.: $150,000

South Boston NDC: $79,615

Southwest Boston CDC (Hyde Park): $60,000

The Neighborhood Developers (Chelsea): $150,000

Urban Edge (Roxbury): $150,000

Valley CDC (Holyoke): $150,000

WATCH CDC (Waltham): $129,615

WHALE (New Bedford): $129,615

Worcester Common Ground: $150,000

Worcester East Side CDC: $100,000

A release from governor's office

Re-imagining Broadway

Thank you to everyone who attended Re-imagining Broadway’s community workshop on April 5 at the Williams School. The City of Chelsea and its project team received great input from attendees on how to improve and revitalize Broadway.

The presentation is now available in English and in Spanish on the Documents section of the project website.

Feedback on Ideas
All of the meeting boards with ideas for improving downtown circulation (street direction, enhanced squares) are also available online for your review and feedback.

If you would like to send the project team feedback on these ideas, please click on the link here: https://qplus.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_diLDe7ffuLQDPaB

Parking Survey
We also want to remind you that the project’s parking survey is still open. If you have not completed it yet, please do so now. Your input will help us develop a deeper understanding of how well our existing parking supplies, policies, and management approach are serving the needs and expectations of our Downtown Chelsea business owners, employees, residents, and visitors.

This survey (available in English and Spanish) should take 5-7 minutes to complete. All responses will remain confidential and only be reported in the aggregate.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ChelseaParking
Spanish: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/ChelseaEstacionamiento

Visit Re-imagining Broadway's website at www.ReimaginingBroadway.net to learn more about the project and to sign up for emails.

Thank you,
The Re-imagining Broadway Project Team
 
Re-imagining Broadway is a planning effort, led by the City of Chelsea, to develop strategies to improve access and mobility for all users to downtown. The plan will focus not just on a redesign of downtown circulation, but also how that redesign will support businesses, residents, shoppers, workers, students, and all other travelers.

The goals of this effort are to:

  • Enhance how public space is used and accessed downtown
  • Support existing businesses and encourage new growth
  • Beautify the area and create a consistent, vibrant look
  • Improve overall safety for all users
  • Establish a circulation pattern that works for cars, buses, pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists

Thanks to the foresight and diligence of the Chelsea City Council and City Manager Thomas G. Ambrosino, the City of Chelsea continues to invest in Chelsea’s infrastructure to make transformative change. This plan is not an independent effort; it is one piece of the larger ongoing improvements being made in downtown and throughout Chelsea.

Celebrating 10 Years of VITA

Revere and Chelsea, MA -- In the world of upside-down tax programs, for every dollar of homeownership tax benefits a low-income family gets, a multi-millionaire will get $15,450 (The Topic Policy Center). But there is one tax program that actually has a positive impact on the working families that need the assistance: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

And The Neighborhood Developers (TND) is having its 10th anniversary of providing VITA services to Chelsea and Revere.  On average, the tax-credit refund amount for TND's VITA clients is 9% of their annual income. So coming to TND for just one service gets them almost a 10th of their income for the whole year. This means they really rely on this service being available to them.

Across the nation, each year VITA volunteers prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide. “In 2014, the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] lifted 6.7 million people out of poverty. The same year, the Child Tax Credit protected approximately 3.1 million people from poverty, including about 1.6 million children.” (Results.org) Here is a moment to multiply 6.7 million and 3.1 million by 10 years.

Organizations like The Neighborhood Developers open their doors to residents and guide them through the tax system to life-changing tax credits, including: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); Child Tax Credit (CTC); and The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

The late Senator Edward Kennedy said, “If you work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, in the richest nation in the world, you should not have to live in poverty.” For millions of families, VITA made that a reality.

The Neighborhood Developers and the other VITA organizations around the country provide this service with the help of volunteers. Volunteers are the core of VITA. Many come with no experience working with taxes, and they are trained by organizations like The Neighborhood Developers on how to provide this direct service, to participate in the national movement that collectively pulls millions of people out of poverty.

4 Ways to Save Your Tax Refund

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance ProgramTND has a financial services advocate volunteer position that is staffed by various banks when we're open for taxes. They can help people open bank accounts. Before you
Savings Account

The classic -- maybe the most basic and common way to set money aside for savings. This is a bank account that you can get at almost any bank. The difference between it your checking account and a savings account is that you earn interest.

myRA

Retirement savings account for low income folks

myRA is a simple, safe, affordable way to start saving for retirement. Open a myRA, build up savings, then move on to other investments. myRA® is designed to make saving for retirement easy for people who need it most – workers who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at their job or lack other options to save.

 

529 college savings

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Savings Bonds

U.S. Savings bonds are debt securities issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help pay for the U.S. government’s borrowing needs. U.S. savings bonds are considered one of the safest investments because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

We hope at a minimum people are learning that these types of accounts exist  even if they aren't ready to open one that day. Within the tax software they can purchase savings bonds with their refunds and hopefully put some of that refund into a savings account.

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)

Just because you know that there are options, doesn’t mean you can navigate the US tax system. That’s where VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) comes in. If you have low- or moderate income and you live in the Boston Metro area, call the Neighborhood Developers:

6 TAX CREDITS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR TAX RETURN

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The most notable, noteworthy, and noted

This is the biggest tax credit for working families — the third-largest social welfare program in the United States. EITC pulls almost 10 million working people who have low to moderate income out of poverty.

“If you work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, in the richest nation in the world, you should not have to live in poverty.” — late Senator Edward Kennedy

For millions of families, EITC makes that possible. More money in your pocket, EITC reduces your taxes and may also give you a refund. If you have children and make less than $50,000, you might qualify — probably qualify.

 

Child Tax Credit

For the kids

Another important tax credit, the Child Tax Credit can be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income.

 

Credit for child and dependent care expenses

For child care

If you paid someone to care for your child, spouse, or dependent last year, you may be able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your federal income tax return. Below are 10 things the IRS wants you to know about claiming a credit for child and dependent care expenses.

 

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit

For your future

Are you saving for your retirement? Why not? You could missing out on free money in the form of tax credits. The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit may be able to reduce your taxes for making eligible contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan.

 

American Opportunity credit or lifetime learning credit

(these are education credits and people can only claim one)

The American opportunity tax credit (AOTC)

Considering university? But you wonder how we can afford to take classes with rents rising and expenses growing. AOTC might lighten that load. It is a credit for expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education. It has a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student.

lifetime learning credit

Considering university again? For any given tax year, you might be able claim a lifetime learning credit for your education expenses. Unlike AOTC, you can claim this credit for an unlimited number of years.

 

Circuit Breaker Credit

(this is MA only for people 65 or older — get this instead of EITC based on housing costs)

If you are older than 65 and own or rent residential property located in Massachusetts, you’re allowed a credit to help cover your taxes or the amount of your rent that would go to taxes. The amount has limitation based on your income. But the category of people that own or rent includes most people, so check this one out.

VITA: FREE TAX PREP

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Just because you know that there are options, doesn’t mean you can navigate the US tax system. That’s where VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) comes in. If you have low- or moderate income and you live in the Boston Metro area, call the Neighborhood Developers:

Make and Appointment:
617.884.8406 x 126

Make an appointment for free tax prep from our skilled tax assistants. If you don’t live in the metro area, search for VITA in your area. It’s a national program!

The Neighborhood Builders Grant Press Release from Bank of America

Press Release from Bank of America

Bank of America and Loving Spoonfuls and The Neighborhood Developers Partner in Greater Boston

Neighborhood Builders® helps nonprofits to focus on their impact through leadership development and $200,000 in flexible funding

BOSTON- Bank of America has named Lovin’ Spoonfuls and The Neighborhood Developers as 2015 Neighborhood Builders. The nonprofits are being recognized for their work in Greater Boston. Neighborhood Builders combines leadership development resources with $200,000 of flexible funding intended to help increase their capacity and impact in the Greater Boston community. “We recognize that nonprofits such as Lovin’ Spoonfulls and The Neighborhood Developers are on the frontlines as they tackle tough community issues that impact Greater Boston,” said Miceal Chamberlain, Massachusetts President, Bank of America. “These organizations have each taken transformative and successful approaches to providing vital services that help individuals and families in our area. Through Neighborhood Builders, we hope to help these organizations do even more for those they serve.”

The Neighborhood Developers (TND) began as a developer of affordable housing in Chelsea, Mass., and in 2006 broadened their services to take a more integrated approach to neighborhood revitalization. TND will use the Neighborhood Builders grant to launch a new inhouse Resident Services program that connects low-income families living in TND properties with social workers who are trained in community engagement and financial stability methods.

“Bridging the gap between abundance and need,” Lovin’ Spoonfuls rescues food that would otherwise be thrown away and distributes it to non-profits that feed the hungry in Greater Boston. Lovin’ Spoonfuls will use the Neighborhood Builders grant to increase the weekly collection and delivery of healthy, fresh food by 20 percent, resulting in a projected total of 1.3 million pounds of food handled by the organization in 2016.

“Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders grant will kick start bringing TND’s essential services into the homes of our residents in Chelsea and Revere. The foundations of any family’s success - sound financial planning, gainful employment, and a sense of community, are realized through this work,” said Ann Houston, Executive Director, The Neighborhood Developers.

“There is an abundance of food donors in the Greater Boston area, but our donations are limited by how much food we can handle in a given day,” said Ashley Stanley, Founder and Executive Director, Lovin’ Spoonfuls. “The Neighborhood Builders grant will allow us to increase our food collection and delivery so we can serve more people throughout Boston every week.”

Since 2004, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has invested $183 million in more than 900 nonprofit organizations and provided leadership resources to nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders through Neighborhood Builders and the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program® . This long-term investment in nonprofit leadership development and capacity building is the largest philanthropic investment of its kind.

Neighborhood Builders is just one example of our broader corporate social responsibility efforts to build vibrant communities and economies. By advancing partnerships with nonprofits addressing needs related to community development, basic human services and workforce development and education, we are working to increase financial stability and help individuals and families find the pathways out of poverty.

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