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Congressman Richard Neal, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash Participate in Roundtable Conversation on Affordable Housing

April 10, 2018
Press Release

Easthampton, MA —Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), the leading statewide housing policy organization in Massachusetts, today hosted a roundtable discussion on affordable housing with Congressman Richard Neal, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, other state and local officials, and Western Mass housing advocates.


During the roundtable conversation at the Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow apartment community, Congressman Neal, Secretary Ash, and other participants discussed the federal Housing Credit, also known as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the impact of the recently-passed 2018 federal spending bill on housing programs, and the specific housing challenges in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester Counties.


“I’ve been a long time champion of tax incentives for economic development and affordable housing because of the amazing results we’ve seen here in Massachusetts in terms of job creation and transformation of neighborhoods,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “Since the credit was first enacted the Housing Credit has provided critical financing for the development or preservation of over 48,000 affordable homes across Massachusetts – almost 10,000 in my district alone. Affordable housing had a big win in the Omnibus spending bill a couple of weeks ago and I am proud to have been the lead Democratic sponsor of the Housing Credit legislation that was enacted. The Housing Credit program has a strong track record preserving thousands of affordable rental homes each year through public-private partnerships and I’m very pleased that we were able to increase allocations for this important program.”


“Thank you, Congressman Neal, for your consistent leadership on the critical issue of affordable housing and your effort to protect and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in the Omnibus legislation,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to increasing the production of affordable housing in every region of the Commonwealth. We look forward to continuing our work together and ensuring ongoing support for this vital tool, which provides stability for families and strengthens communities.”


“Over the last decade, Easthampton has specifically benefited from Congressman Neal’s steadfast championing of affordable housing in the creation of apartment homes here at Easthampton Meadows, as well as Parsons Village and Cottage Square Station,” said Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. “His understanding of the vital connection between housing and smart economic growth is clearly evident in recently passed 2018 omnibus bill passed which ensures expanded support for Easthampton’s families and local job creation.”


“As a dedicated advocate for housing programs and the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Neal was instrumental in securing an increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and increases to numerous critical housing programs in the 2018 federal spending bill,” said Rachel Heller, CEO of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. “It was great to spend time with him today discussing the critical housing needs of communities in Western and Central Massachusetts.”


"On behalf of Beacon Communities, I want to thank Congressman Neal for his leadership role in passing legislation that increases the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and also provides permanent authorization on income averaging in LIHTC developments," said Pamela Goodman, CEO of Beacon Communities, which developed Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow. "Treehouse is a perfect example of the breadth of what can be created when people work together and when critical financial resources are available. "We thank Congressman Neal as well as our other elected officials for recognizing that stable, affordable housing is the platform for healthy families and communities, and for taking action."




Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is the leading statewide housing policy and research organization in Massachusetts.  Established in 1967, CHAPA represents all interests in the housing field, including non-profit and for-profit developers, advocates, homeowners, tenants, lenders, property managers, government officials, and others.