CHAPA 39th Annual Dinner Breaks Record
CHAPA's 39th Annual Dinner saw record attendance last night with 1,400 registrants. The dinner was held at the Boston Convention Center. The 2006 Community Service Award was presented to Clark Ziegler, executive director of Massachusetts Housing Partnership. The Municipal Leadership Awards (given each year to one city and one town) were presented to the City of Newton and the Town of Bedford. The evening also included a memorial slide show for CHAPA President, Bob Kuehn, who passed away over the summer.
The keynote speaker, Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report, provided (in an entertaining fashion) his predictions and insights regarding the November 7 national elections and the 2008 presidential election.
Data Collection Bill Reaches Governor
On Thursday, October 19, the Massachusetts Senate enacted An Act Relative to Data Collection for Government Assisted Housing in Massachusetts (H.4978). That cleared the way for the bill to be sent to Governor Romney for his signature. CHAPA supports the compromise legislation, reached after negotiations with the Department of Housing and Community Development, and has urged the governor to sign the bill. The bill received bipartisan support and would not have advanced without the ongoing commitment and support it received from the lead sponsors and from House and Senate leadership.
State Auditor Releases Report on Public Housing
On October 5 the State Auditor released a Comprehensive Report on the Physical Condition of and Resources Allocated for the Operation and Upkeep of State-Aided Public Housing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Auditor's report found that state-aided developments are "in need of significant improvement" and that "poor fiscal conditions and inadequate resources are affecting the ability of local housing authorities to provide safe, sanitary, and affordable housing." You can view the entire report, including DHCD's response, by clicking here.
Draft Expedited Permitting Regulations Issued
Draft regulations for the new expedited permitting process (Mass. Gen. L. ch. 43D) have been released. You can access them by clicking here.
The draft does not include provisions to clarify language regarding smart growth for priority development site locations, and CHAPA has signed onto a letter prepared by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance asking the administration to remedy this problem.
Governors Race Website on Housing and Homelessness
The Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School, CHAPA, and a variety of other organizations have partnered to launch the 2006 Massachusetts Governor's Race: Affordable Housing and Homelessness Website. This non-partisan resource will be updated daily through Election Day, November 7, 2006. Each campaign was notified of the site and asked to identify content for consideration. The site, www.mccormack.umb.edu/csp/govrace06, will serve as an indispensable tool for voters, advocates, and reporters interested in the candidates' positions. The website tracks candidates' prepared statements on housing and homelessness, forum responses, and statements made in the press on these issues.
Thursday, November 2, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Building Strong Communities Using Affordable Homeownership, Marriott Springhill, Devens.
Friday, November 17, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Chapter 40B: Trends and Innovations, Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center, Shrewsbury.
Tuesday, December 5, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Energy Assistance and Conservation Strategies for Affordable Housing, One Financial Center, 2nd Floor.
Tuesday, December 12, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., The State of the Cities: Revitalization Strategies for Smaller Cities in Massachusetts, Holy Cross, Worcester.