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Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association’s mission is to encourage the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low and moderate income families and individuals and to foster diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development.
How We Work
Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is a non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities in Massachusetts. Established in 1967, CHAPA is the only statewide group that represents all interests in the housing field, including non-profit and for-profit developers, municipal officials, local housing providers and advocates, lenders, property managers, architects, consultants, homeowners, tenants, local planners, foundation and government officials, and others.
CHAPA pursues its goals through advocacy with local, state, and federal officials; research on affordable housing issues; education and training for organizations and individuals; programs to expand rental and homeownership opportunities; and coalition building among a broad array of interests in the housing and community development field.
CHAPA's Core Activities
CHAPA's core activities span four main areas - Housing Advocacy, Research, Community Education and Training, and Coalition Building.
The agency uses its contacts with local, state and federal officials to encourage housing preservation and production through new programs, incentives and regulations. CHAPA is very active in the state's annual budget process and legislative agenda to ensure adequate housing resources are available for low income people. In addition, CHAPA frequently convenes meetings and forums between housing advocates and public officials to discuss policy priorities, program design and regulations.
CHAPA produces frequent research reports on a wide variety of topics. Research findings are followed by concrete action steps, which aim toward real changes in public policy and programs. CHAPA's recent studies have covered a wide variety of topics, including: an assessment of statewide affordable housing needs; preserving the long-term affordability of subsidized housing; housing for people with disabilities and special needs; and expanding home-ownership opportunities.
Community Education and Training
CHAPA's education and training are designed to increase information-sharing among diverse sectors in the housing field and to build the capacity of organizations and agencies which develop and manage low income housing. Each year, CHAPA sponsors approximately 30 trainings which are attended by over 4,000 people.
CHAPA frequently builds coalitions among groups that rarely come together to discuss common concerns. CHAPA's office serves as a central meeting ground at which all segments of the housing community can work towards a common agenda. CHAPA has formed several active coalitions in a variety of specific areas including special needs housing, non-profit housing development, elderly housing, smart-growth development and public housing.