Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Housing/Community Development: Administration

J1 Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

J2 Department of Housing and Community Development

J1 Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED)
One Ashburton Place, Room 2101
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-788-3601
Fax: 617-788-3605

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is the administrative office overseeing the following departments and offices: the Department of Housing and Communities and Development; Department of Business Development, the Permit Regulatory Office, and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

J2 Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02114
Main Number: 617-573-1100
Administration: 617-573-1250
TTY:(617) 573-1140
Fax: 617-573-1285

The Department of Housing and Community Development oversees state programs relating to the concerns of the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns addressing their municipal management and community development agendas. It has direct management responsibility for over 70 different housing and community development programs. The focus of its long-term goals is to provide decent, affordable housing, to revitalize residential, commercial, and industrial areas, and to promote sound economic development at both the neighborhood and municipal levels. It oversees management and development of public housing; it provides direct assistance to meet the needs of low-income people for housing and heat; and it supervises the distribution of funds for energy programs. It aims to solve local problems by working through locally-based agencies, municipal community development departments, housing authorities, neighborhood-based community development corporations, community action agencies, and other non-profit organizations. Through its grants programs and the provision of technical assistance, it actively intervenes and offers ongoing management follow through in aiding communities to develop workable plans and to implement their goals. In addition the agency reviews all requests for federal assistance which are generated by cities, towns, or other state government departments and divisions to ensure that requests are appropriate, comprehensive, and not duplicative. The Division of Community Services, and the Division of Housing Development are its functional units. Several independent agencies are in, but not part of, the office. These include: Massachusetts Housing Partnership, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, Community Development Finance Agency, the Manufactured Home Commission, the Housing Appeals Committee, the Commission on Indian Affairs, and the American and French Canadian Cultural Exchange Commission. Additionally, the office is involved with infrastructure development and improvement, municipal government capacity building, land use planning, local economic development, housing rehabilitation and social services. Sustainable Development also provides direct consultation, information and training services programs for all local government officials. The office also provides referrals to help communities access the services they need both inside and outside of the department. The office addresses all municipal programs such as Planning and Municipal Management, Regionalism, Zoning, Community and Economic Development, Relocations, and 121A Corporations. The Chapter 108 Loan Guarantee Program is designed to support local economic development projects within smaller communities. Chapter 121A Urban Redevelopment Corporations is the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes Program, which provides tax relief. It is used to set predictable property taxes for development projects for a period of 15 to 40 years and to assist in the operation and maintenance of the development after construction. Chapter 121B Urban Renewal Program provides state assistance to municipalities for complex land assembly projects, which will restore blighted areas to productive use. Communities use the Urban Renewal Program assistance to develop revitalization plans, acquire property, clear the property of any substandard buildings, make necessary public improvements, and sell the land to private entities for redevelopment under an approved plan. Chapter 121C Economic Development Industrial Commission enables communities with decadent or blighted areas to create Economic Development Industrial Corporations (EDICs). Chapter 79A Relocation Program is provided to all persons and certain businesses displaced by state and local public actions such as land takings by eminent domain or enforcement of local housing, building, and public health codes. The Department of Housing and Community Development approves local relocation plans, provides technical assistance to relocation agencies, and monitors grievance procedures. Community Development Action Grants support improvements including construction or repair of publicly owned or managed amenities such as roadways, sidewalks, water and sewer lines, and off-street parking, as well as infrastructure work for private housing development programs. Massachusetts Community Capital Fund provides flexible, low-interest financing to private businesses, which create permanent jobs in distressed areas of the Commonwealth. It also works with commercial lenders and other sources of public financing to provide low-interest, fixed asset loans to businesses seeking to locate, expand, or start-up in eligible communities. Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant is a federally funded program in which resources are targeted to distressed parts of the state in communities with populations under 50,000 for projects which benefit low and moderate-income citizens and provide assistance in the areas of housing rehabilitation, commercial revitalization, economic development, public improvements, and social services. Massachusetts Downtown Initiative is a program in which eligible communities must have populations of fewer than 50,000 in order to seek aid on a competitive basis to improve the appearance of their downtown areas and strengthen their local economies. The Ready Resource Fund supports cities and towns, which are not entitlement communities with less than 50,000 in population for their development activities.

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