Born out of a small group of community leaders who understood that housing was a critical issue of the civil rights movement in 1967, Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA)'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.
We helped create the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Law (Chapter 40B), which was developed so that families and individuals with low and moderate incomes could find safe and affordable homes in every city and town in the Commonwealth. We also helped create our own state rental subsidy programs, the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and the strongest expiring use law in the nation.
Throughout CHAPA's history, we have successfully advocated for the passage of numerous Housing Bond Bills and legislative priorities to fund affordable housing development and programs throughout Massachusetts.
At the core of our work, we believe that every person in Massachusetts should have a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home. CHAPA achieves this by advocating for opportunity, expanding access to housing, and developing the field.
Advocating for Opportunity
As the non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities, CHAPA actively engages its membership, committees, and coalitions to advocate for the amount and diverse types of housing that Massachusetts needs for people and communities to thrive. CHAPA also works collaboratively with other fields (such as child care, health, workforce development, and more) to break down silos and ensure that various systems, resources, and tools support housing stability and economic mobility for families and individuals. On the federal level, CHAPA works with national partners to affect policy.
Expanding Access to Housing
CHAPA runs programs that connect people with affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, including the Massachusetts Accessible Housing Registry (MassAccess); the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative; and Chapter 40B Monitoring.
Developing the Field
CHAPA’s trainings and forums, newsletters, young professionals networking group, and more are all designed to build the capacity of, and increase information-sharing among, diverse groups of organizations and professionals in the housing and community development field.