In 2014, the Commonwealth rolled out the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) Program awarding $3 million in credits to 38 participating organizations from across the Commonwealth. At Valley CDC, we raised approximately 87% of our goal that first year. In 2015, the Commonwealth doubled our award and we raised 150% more in 2015 than 2014. While this is not all new money (it includes existing donors who increased their giving level), it has made a significant impact on the work that we undertake.
We were successful in utilizing all of its 2015 credits as well as the remaining 2014 credits, raising a total of $213,672.
Increasing capacity is vital to ensuring that underserved populations in our service area have access to all levels of homeownership assistance, small business assistance as many people seek self-employment, and affordable housing both for families and individuals, including homes for individuals/families experiencing homelessness.
The success and impact of our 2015 CITC campaign has increased our cash on hand which helps to eliminate stress on the day-to-day operation of the agency. Additionally, we were able to recruit a real estate project manager this spring, which allows us to increase our housing development capacity.
We successfully completed our 38-unit family development – Parsons Village in Easthampton – in August 2015 and all families were in their new homes by mid-October. We are now poised to get funded for the redevelopment of the Northampton Lumber Yard into 55 units of family housing in downtown Northampton.
The success of our CITC campaign has also allowed us to utilize a highly skilled consultant to bring us through a robust strategic alliance and strategic planning process that includes a commitment both to expanded community engagement activities and a real focus on diversity and inclusion. Our July 2016 board retreat focused on diversity and inclusion.
The legislature and the Commonwealth are already seeing the results that the community development field projected would come of this generous tax credit as MACDC aggregates data from the CITC participants. It is truly making an impact on the lives of low- and moderate-income people and other underserved populations in Hampshire County.