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Citizens' Housing and Planning Association: Committees


CHAPA Committees for 2013

We encourage you to become involved in one or more of our committees. Committees generally meet on a quarterly basis. If you signed up for a committee last year and want to remain on this committee, there is no need to sign up again.

1. Public Housing Committee

The public housing committee plays an important role in convening diverse interests in the public housing community to develop a common agenda. The committee includes members from Mass. Union of Public Housing Tenants, MassNAHRO, DHCD, and many other groups. This year, we will focus on proposed legislation regarding public housing reform; mixed financing for state public housing; adequate funding for operating subsidies and modernization; the new federal Rental Assistance Demonstration Program; a study on public housing rent reform options; and implementation of other committee recommendations.

2. Tenant-Based Section 8 Committee (Housing Choice Voucher Program)

Over the past few years, this committee has focused extensively on ensuring adequate funding for the federal Section 8 voucher program in the HUD budget, advocating for passage of the Section Eight Voucher Reform Act (now called Section 8 Savings Act), assessing the impact of the foreclosure crisis on voucher holders, and training activities.  In 2013, our activities will include: conducting research, advocating for program and policy changes with HUD and Congress, advocating for passage AHSSIA, and encouraging effective use of project-based vouchers.

3. Homelessness Committee

This committee has advocated for more permanent affordable housing for homeless and formerly homeless people and increased access to rental assistance; expansion of homeless prevention programs; interaction with the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness; revisions to the HomeBase program to increase success for families utilizing this resource; supportive housing for families and individuals at risk of homelessness; greater knowledge of veterans homelessness and resources available to veterans;  and sponsorship of forums and trainings for policymakers on homelessness issues.  In the coming year, the committee will continue our training and advocacy efforts, continued coordination housing assistance and homeless services through regional networks and other avenues, greater focus on unaccompanied homeless youth, revisions to the HomeBase program, and increasing permanent supportive housing opportunities.

4.  Chapter 40B Committee

Over the past several years, this committee focused extensively on new guidelines, regulations, research, training and technical assistance. This year, the committee will continue to focus on implementation of the 2008 regulations and guidelines, monitor proposed legislation, conduct ongoing research, and sponsor additional training programs.  Most of the work occurs in subcommittees, including an education and training subcommittee, which are formed as specific issues arise.

5.  Homeownership Collaborative Advisory Committee

This advisory committee directs and oversees CHAPA's Homeownership Collaborative, which provides comprehensive training and support approximately 55 homebuyer counseling agencies in Massachusetts. The Advisory committee meets twice each year, but various subcommittees meet more frequently.

6.  Access Code Committee

This committee, which was formed in 2008, is focusing on the present and planned supply of affordable housing units for people with disabilities and how it can better meet the regulatory mandates of both state and federal fair housing laws.  In 2009 and 2010, the committee completed a major study on comparing state and federal accessibility codes.  In the coming year, the committee will continue working on implementing the recommendations contained in the report, advocating for new accessibility legislation, and conducting outreach to key stakeholders regarding accessibility issues.

7.  Multifamily Finance Committee

In light of the crisis in the financial markets, CHAPA formed a new committee in 2009 to address the immediate crisis in the low income housing tax credit program as well as longer term issues such as the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The committee played a major role in the implementation of TCAP and Exchange Program in Massachusetts.  In 2011, the committee led the effort to double the amount of funding for the state housing tax credit program over the next two years.  In 2013, the committee will be developing recommendations to the state housing agencies on possible changes to the Qualified Allocation Plan and advocating for federal legislation to improve the tax credit program. Subcommittees will be focusing on preserving the existing stock of multifamily assisted housing and forthcoming reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

8. Smart Growth and Affordable Housing

This committee grew out of CHAPA’s original Smart Growth Committee, which has worked on policies and strategies to make affordable housing a greater focus of smart growth initiatives and community planning activities across the state. It has recently taken on a more specific focus on energy conservation and efficiency issues for multifamily properties, particularly in regards to the feasibility and upfront costs of retrofitting the existing affordable housing stock. 

9.  Foreclosure Committee

This committee, formed in 2008, has been working on a range of foreclosure issues, including acquisition and redevelopment of foreclosed properties, foreclosure prevention counseling, tenant protections, and information and training.  Under the committee’s direction, we established a foreclosure clearinghouse on CHAPA’s web site, started an online database of foreclosed properties in partnership with The Warren Group, sponsored a statewide conference, advocated for enactment and implementation of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, advocated successfully for new state legislation, and launched a new program to acquire foreclosed properties.  In 2013, we will continue our focus on putting foreclosed properties back to productive use, including identifying new funding sources to replace NSP, foreclosure prevention activities, sponsoring trainings, and other priority activities as determined by the committee.

10.  Committee on Housing for People With Disabilities

In 2009, CHAPA reactivated its committee to advocate for more affordable housing for people with disabilities.  This year, the committee’s agenda will include:  providing advice on the Mass Access Housing Registry; advocating for key state and federal programs, such as the Alternative Housing Voucher Program and the Section 811 Program; advocating for a bond bill to recapitalize the Facilities Consolidation Fund, Housing Innovations Fund, and the Community Based Housing Program, and coordinating with the Access Code Committee and other disability groups on housing and service policies.

Download the committee application form here