Mobile Market Farms receive "Hilltown Hero" Award
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Three Hilltown farms have been recognized for their vital participation in and significant contributions to the Hilltown Mobile Market Pilot program earlier this year: Crabapple Farm of Chesterfield, Hart Farm of Conway, and Intervale Farm of Westhampton. The awards were given out at the Hilltown CDC Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 15th in Worthington. The event celebrated the growing Hilltown local food economy with a spread of delectable local foods prepared by Chef Hunt Chase at the newly reopened Rabbit Hole Restaurant in the Fiddlehead Inn.

Hilltown CDC was proud to partner with Healthy Hampshire and the Hilltown Community Health Center to launch the new Hilltown Mobile Market this summer, a 10-week “pop-up” farmers’ market in Worthington and Huntington offering fresh, affordable, Hilltown-grown produce to local residents.  “The market was not an easy program to launch with many administrative and regulatory hurdles,” explained Executive Director Dave Christopolis.  “But we have a very dedicated team of staff and community partners committed to improving access to healthy local food in our community and supporting our local agricultural economy.  Hilltown residents were incredibly supportive.  It was an inspiring success that we look forward to expanding next year.”

Kate Bavelock, Director of Community Programs, presented the awards to Maureen Dempsey of Intervale Farm, who received them on behalf of all three farms (the other two farms were unable to attend the event as regular vendors at the Northampton Tuesday Farmers’ Market). “We would not have been able to do this without our dedicated farm partners, who waited patiently even through May and June as we worked out how to set up HIP-reimbursable farm shares and enroll customers in the program,” said Bavelock. In response, Dempsey said she was was pleased to participate in the program and looked forward to future iterations.

The future of the Hilltown agricultural economy was a theme of the night, as well as larger goals around developing sound rural policy that ensures that Hilltown communities are not left out as the State works to address issues like education, transportation, and climate change.

“This year’s Mobile Market program was a very small drop in the bucket, but shows what is possible when multiple stakeholders come together to find solutions to community challenges.” said Chistopolis. “Local food touches on all of these complex issues, but it also brings us together.”

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MA Rural Policy Plan Released

Hilltown CDC Executive Director Dave Christopolis co-presented the newly released Rural Policy Plan at the State House on Tuesday as an at-large commissioner of the Rural Policy Advocacy Commission. The 108-page plan was developed after a series of meetings with rural stakeholders across the state, particularly in western Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, including the Hilltowns. It offers dozens of recommendations for infrastructure, the economy, education, housing and public health, governance and resiliency, identifying and highlighting many unique issues facing rural areas.

One of the top priorities outlined in the plan was the creation of a new Office of Rural Policy, with a dedicated executive director and staff, to advance future policy and legislation that would benefit rural communities and the economy, develop core strategies including expanding diversity and implementing strategies to boost population in rural areas, and develop a statewide land-use plan and creating a rural factor to adjust state funding formulas.

Although 60 percent of the state is rural, only 15 percent of its population live in rural areas, so state government tends to be more urban- and suburban-centric.

The commission said core strategies that should be implemented by rural areas in Massachusetts include creating a dedicated funding stream for water and sewer infrastructure, redesigning public transportation, developing targeted economic development strategies for rural sectors, ensuring equitable and quality education to children in rural areas and developing municipal capacity and incentives for service sharing.

The updated Rural Policy Plan also recommends that rural areas should address the impacts of climate change by enhancing the capacity of rural lands to provide mitigative solutions.

Members say an office of rural policy could focus on the challenges of rural communities, businesses and residents, providing consistency and helping implement the recommendations of the plan. They also suggest that rural communities are made more welcoming, comfortable and inclusive for everyone, including migrants, to increase populations, and that rural areas have to look ahead to land use issues and growth in a “responsible, proactive and conscionable manner.”

The commission recommends that a rural factor to adjust state funding formulas is necessary, citing that Chapter 70 school aid and Chapter 90 road aid need to be determined by more than just population, especially in small towns with few residents but great need.

“The funding disparity to rural areas is also revealed through state programs such as workforce training due to sparse population density,” the plan says.

According to the commission, public transportation is critical to reaching educational and health care services. It is also a mobility lifeline for many who do not own a vehicle or have a way of getting around.

Therefore, the commission says, state and regional partners should explore options for coordinating shared transportation assets, including the Franklin Regional Transit Authority in Franklin County, schools, councils on aging and private service providers to develop sustainable cross-border transportation partnerships and develop a pilot to expand on the existing practices in shared transportation.

—Anita Fritz, Staff Writer

Read the Full Article in the GREENFIELD RECORDER - October 10, 2019

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Hilltown CDC to celebrate local farms at Fall Annual Meeting
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Press Release: October 1, 2019 

Chesterfield, MA — Hilltown Community Development invites the public to RSVP for their fall annual meeting on Tuesday, October 15, 5:30-9PM, at the Rabbit Hole Restaurant located in the Fiddlehead Inn, 144 Huntington Rd, Worthington, MA.  The event will showcase new partnerships with local farms in promoting local agriculture and improving food access in the Hilltowns through the Hilltown Mobile Market, as well as many other community development projects currently supported by the organization.  Dinner and evening entertainment will be provided.  Seating is limited and attendees should RSVP online at www.hilltowncdc.org by Oct 12.

 Hilltown CDC was proud to partner with Healthy Hampshire and the Hilltown Community Health Center to launch a new Hilltown Mobile Market this summer, a 10-week “pop-up” farmers’ market in Worthington and Huntington offering fresh, affordable, Hilltown-grown produce to local residents.  “The market was not an easy program to launch with many administrative and regulatory hurdles,” explained Executive Director Dave Christopolis.  “But we have a very dedicated team of staff and community partners committed to improving access to healthy local food in our community and supporting our local agricultural economy.  Hilltown residents were incredibly supportive.  It was an inspiring success that we look forward to expanding next year.”

 This year’s Annual Meeting will honor the Hilltown producers who supplied high-quality vegetables to the pilot program and will feature Hilltown-grown ingredients on the locally-sourced dinner menu catered by the Rabbit Hole Restaurant at the Fiddlehead Inn.

 “The past year has included many highlights in working towards our mission to improve the quality of life for Hilltown residents while preserving the rural character of the area” says Christopolis.  Hilltown CDC’s partnership with the Southern Hilltown Adult Education Center continues to strengthen with the assistance of the US Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.  The CDC also partnered with two other area CDCs on a $120,000 grant to secure more training, technical assistance and professional development opportunities for small business owners in Western Mass.

 The Housing Rehabilitation program continues to thrive; this past year the program provided 17 zero-interest deferred-payment loans totaling over $479,000 to homeowners to make needed repairs to their homes.  The program also recently benefited from an increase in federal income eligibility limits allowing more moderate-income families to apply to the program.  The Housing Rehabilitation program is open to residents in the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Peru, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington.  It is funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Town of Chesterfield and has recently been renewed for another fiscal year.

 Other projects funded by the Community Development Block Grant include the Hilltown Elder Network (HEN) and Health Outreach Program for Elders (HOPE), providing in-home chore and medical services to seniors in nine towns, and the Hilltown Food Pantry in Goshen.  A new partnership with It Takes A Village will expand the Childcare Subsidy program to help offset the cost of childcare for working families as well as provide parent workshops and in-home support for new parents.  The CDBG Grant this past year also funded a feasibility study for a new Senior/Community Center in Worthington which is currently in its final stages.

 Hilltown CDC continues to provide many other services to Hilltown residents and municipalities with funding from private donors and assistance through the MA Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program.  These include offering demand-response transportation to shopping centers and medical appointments for seniors through the Hilltown Easy Ride Van, and support for a strategic partnership with the Hilltown Arts Alliance to boost the local creative economy through the annual Hilltown Open Studio Tour.  The arts event was held successfully this past June for the second year in a row showcasing 29 working artists in 24 studios across five towns, all in single weekend.  Other projects included preparing a multi-town climate change resilience plan through the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program, providing business and technical assistance to two prominent small grocery stores in the Hilltowns, and improving ADA accessibility in municipal buildings and programs through the Mass Office on Disability. 

 Hilltown Community Development looks forward to sharing more details about these projects and partnerships and sharing plans for additional economic development initiatives in the Hilltowns at their Annual Meeting this year.  Those interested in attending should RSVP by October 12 by visiting www.hilltowncdc.org or calling 413-296-4536 x 112.

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Hilltown Community Development is a private non-profit organization in rural western Massachusetts working to support rural development and prosperity in the region by improving housing, strengthening social services, leveraging funding, and stimulating the local economy.  Since 1981 we have invested over $50 million in community development projects benefiting Hilltown residents, helping over 2,000 local businesses start and grow, rehabilitating 775 homes, building 70 new affordable homes and apartments, and providing social services to families and seniors in our community.  To learn more about our work visit www.hilltowncdc.org.

 

 

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On The Ground | Fall Newsletter

The newest issue of On The Ground, our quarterly publication of current projects and news from Hilltown CDC, is here! Check out all the latest, including exciting news about our new Community Development Block Grant, information about our free fall business classes, and invitations to upcoming events. Stay connected to our work and let us know how we can best serve you and our Hilltown region!

Our newsletter comes straight to your inbox! Not on our mailing list? Sign-up below!

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Public Hearing Notice - CDGB FY18

Notice of Public Hearing

Sept 30, 2019 5:00 PM 

The Chesterfield Selectboard will hold a Public Hearing regarding the Mass. Community Development Block Grant FY18 Program implementation, a budget revision and possible program amendment.  The hearing will take place on Sept 30, ‘19 at 5:00 PM in the Selectboard meeting room in the Town Office Building, 422 Main Road. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Any persons needing special accommodations should contact HCDC (296-4536, ext. 115) at least one week prior to the meeting.  All persons or organizations wishing to be heard will be afforded the opportunity.

Public comment is invited on: 

  • Review of the implementation of activities funded under Chesterfield’s FY18 CDBG Program for the communities of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Peru, Plainfield, and Worthington: Housing Rehabilitation (HR), the Health Outreach Program for Elders run by the HCHC, Hilltown Food Pantry run by the Northampton Survival Center; Childcare Subsidy Program and the Hilltown Elder Network program.

  • A budget revision is being requested to transfer unspent Planning funds to HR.

  • A program amendment is being requested to potentially change the HR target area

The general public and representatives of participating towns and organizations with ideas or comments regarding these items should attend to present their views. The Town of Chesterfield, through its Selectboard, is the recipient of funds for this program.  HCDC is the grant administrator responsible for oversight and implementation.  For additional information or if you cannot attend the hearing, but have comments you would like to make, write Hilltown CDC, P.O. Box 17, Chesterfield, MA 01012, or email beavh@hilltowncdc.org

                                                                        

Contact:        

Bea von Hagke – CDBG Grants Manager

413-296-4536 ext 115 (phone)

413-296-4020 (fax)

Hilltown CDC, P.O. Box 17

Chesterfield, MA 01012

beavh@hilltowncdc.org

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SHAEC in the News

SHAEC obtains $87,322 grant to fund GED, adult education and more

By Amy Porter | The Reminder | Westfield News | September 3, 2019

HILLTOWNS – At the Village Enterprise Center in Chester, home base for the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC), SHAEC Program Director Michele Kenney was excited.

“We just learned that the Community Development Block Grant was fully funded,” Kenney said, meaning that the GED high school equivalency courses, basic adult education and computer literacy classes for residents of Russell, Huntington, Middlefield and Chester will continue for another year, thanks to the grant of $87,322 obtained by Erica Johnson of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC).

“The Center benefits from many local residents who provide training on a wide variety of topics, including HiSet preparation.  “A long history of high-quality and well managed programs has ensured the continued success of the  Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center as well as the other long-running social service programs supported through Community Development Block Grants,” Johnson said.

These classes are the foundation of the adult education center, but by no means the extent of its offerings.  On its 20th anniversary, the center, which was formed as an outreach of the UMASS Partnership for Worker Education (formerly the Labor Management Workplace Program), now offers classes to support small business, sustainability, health and wellness, among many other areas of interest to hilltown residents.

Read More

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Fall for the Arts | a Hilltown Arts Fundraiser!

The Hilltown Arts Alliance and Hilltown Community Development invite you to come celebrate and support the Arts in the Hilltowns!

We all know that the Hilltowns possess a well-kept secret: the creativity per capita is amazing! For a population that is spread thinly over an expansive rural geography, there are a surprising number of artists and artisans that have made their homes and studios here. The mission of the Hilltown Arts Alliance is to connect and support local Hilltown artists and makers in their creative endeavors. With the support of Hilltown Community Development, our artists have benefited from business classes, new exhibit opportunities, and greater exposure through the Hilltown Open Studio Tour.

Through our creative partnership, we are expanding opportunities for working artists to develop, create, and share their incredible work in our region and beyond. We need your support to expand our collaborations and enhance our annual Hilltown Open Studio Tour, creative place-making, and cultural district formation work.

Join us for a fantastic silent art auction, live music, art trivia, and a seasonal buffet dinner and cash bar at the Velvet Restaurant in Worthington. Fall for the arts and be a vital part of growing our creative community!

Tickets may be purchased online or by mailing a check made out to Hilltown CDC to PO Box 17, Chesterfield MA, 01012 no later than October 5th, 2019. Advance tickets only - there will not be tickets available at the door. Your donation of $1,000 or more may qualify for a 50% MA State Tax Credit - learn more about the Community Investment Tax Credit program here. Thank you for supporting the arts in the Hilltowns!

Take a FREE Business or Skill-Building Class this Fall!

The temperatures are shifting and a new school year is upon us! You can get back into the learning swing too with free classes for Hilltown residents on topics ranging from Digital Advertising, Wordpress website management, Quickbooks, Excel, Google Docs, making YouTube Videos, Photography, Herbalism, and so much more! Check out the new fall catalog of class offerings from the Southern Hilltown Adult Education Center (SHAEC) at the Village Enterprise Center in Chesterfield (VEC) and the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield! For information or to pre-register for any class, call or email Michele at 413-354-1055 or michelek@hilltowncdc.org! Classes start in September!

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COA Summer Outings on the River
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The Cummington Council On Aging recently enjoyed a beautiful passage aboard the Lady Bea at Brunelle's Marina in South Hadley, a fun summer outing made possible with the help of the Easy Ride Senior Van. Several other Hilltown COAs have organized fun trips for seniors this summer, including to the Normal Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, the Hancock Shaker Village, and the Barret Fishway in Holyoke. Upcoming COA trips planned for this fall include the Big E and Mt. Greylock. All told over 60 local seniors have participated in COA outings this summer, which continue to be popular social events that many seniors look forward to. If you are interested in planning or attending a COA trip on the van, contact your local COA and make sure you are signed up in advance to ride the van! Thanks to Easy Ride Coordinator Ed and Van Drivers Jim and Bob for making these fun trips possible for our seniors.

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Hilltown advocacy on Beacon Hill with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Dave Christopolis and Board President Susan Bronstein had the honor and pleasure of meeting with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in Boston on Thursday, August 15th. Dave spoke with the Congresswoman about the importance of federal funding programs like the Community Development Block Grant which has allowed us to rehabilitate over 600 homes in the Hilltowns through lead removal and other needed repairs, while also providing work for local contractors and supporting the supply chain in our region. CDBG has also allowed us to renovate public facilities and address municipal infrastructure needs, and supported many of our social service programs assisting elders and families with young children. We are proud of the work we do and will continue to educate our state and federal legislators on the importance of securing these resources for rural communities.

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Small Business Administration to offer fall business classes
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Hilltown CDC has joined forces with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to strengthen and expand small business development in the Hilltowns.

The mission of the SBA is to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business by providing financial, contractual and business development assistance and advocating on their behalf within the government.

This fall, our free business classes will feature popular SBA workshops and training, with a wide range of access to the extensive library of tools and resources developed by the SBA to assist small businesses from start-up through every phase of owning and operating any business.

For more information about the SBA visit www.sba.gov. The SBA Learning Center also features dozens of free courses and webinars that entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners will find useful, from marketing and accounting basics to legal requirements, financing, and growing a business.

Watch for our fall announcement of classes to take advantage of this great partnership!

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Hilltown Mobile Market Launches in Worthington & Huntington
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By FRAN RYAN

For the Daily Hampshire Gazette

THURSDAY, JULY 25—Making its debut run in Worthington on Thursday afternoon, the Hilltown Mobile Market was welcomed to town by customers who lined up early to buy farm-fresh produce brought right to town. 

“Today was fantastic!” Seva Tower of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation said. “We are very excited to be doing this and it seems like the people here were too because we already had a line at 2:55.”

For the next 10 weeks, the market will be open on Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in Worthington at The Maples, 48 Old North Road and Fridays in Huntington at Stanton Hall Green, 24 Russell Road. 

Spearheaded by the HCDC, the Hilltown Health Centers and Healthy Hampshire, and other collaborators, the mobile market pilot project was created to increase the availability of fresh produce at a good price.

“We really wanted to make this affordable to families and seniors,” Tower said noting that the location in Worthington is at the Maples Senior Housing.

The produce comes from six local farms: Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield; the Four Corners Farm in Worthington; the Hart Farm in Conway; Intervale Farm in Westhampton; and Sawyer Farm in Worthington. The produce available Thursday were kale, chard, scallions, tomatoes, zucchini cucumbers, summer squash, and fennel.

In addition to on-site sales, a farm share program was created to allow customers to pick up a small weekly share for $5 a week. The Hilltown Mobile Market accepts cash, credit, debit, SNAP, WIC, and Senior FMNP coupons.

According to Tower, the market is a sister project to the Grow Food Northampton Mobile Market.

“This program is different from others because you don't see mobile markets like this in rural areas,” she said, recalling her experience working in Springfield with the Go Fresh mobile market. “The size and scale are different.”

Fletcher Schneeflock, Hilltown Mobile Market manager, said that Thursday's sales were good, with 16 shares picked up and another 40 to 45 people buying produce.

Tower said that if all goes well the program will continue in 2020.

“We are already looking for funding sources for next year,” she said.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. For more information on the mobile market visit www.hilltownmobilemarket.info.

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Meet the Problem Solvers - Dave Christopolis on CCTV Live

Cambridge Community Television recently aired a live broadcast interview with Dave Christopolis, director of the Hilltown CDC, for a series on “Meet the Problem Solvers,” to discuss community and economic development opportunities and challenges in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Dave was grateful for the platform to share Hilltown stories and perspectives with the Cambridge community and looks forward to more opportunities to bring conversations about rural issues to more people.

For more information about Cambridge Community TV visit www.cctvcambridge.org

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On The Ground | Summer Newsletter

Check out the newest issue of On The Ground, our quarterly publication of current projects and news from Hilltown CDC. From enhancing our local food economy to planning climate resilience to expanding senior transportation options - we are busy this summer!

Our newsletter comes straight to your inbox! Not on our mailing list? Click to subscribe!

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Hilltown Mobile Market launches July 25th!
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The Hilltown Mobile Market aims to increase the availability of fresh, local, and affordable produce for Hilltown residents. In 2019 we are offering two “pop-up” locations: Thursdays from 3-5PM at the Maples, 48 Old North Rd, Worthington, and Fridays from 3-5PM at Stanton Hall Green, 24 Russell Rd, Huntington. The markets will run from July 25th through September 27th. For additional information, directions, recipes and more, visit the website, www.hilltownmobilemarket.info

There are two ways you can participate in the market. If you are eligible for SNAP (food stamps), you can sign up now for a $5 per week farm share that is 100% reimbursable through HIP (Healthy Incentives Program). The farm share is valued at $175 for 10 weeks and will include approximately five items of your choice from the abundant local produce on the market stand each week. Or, you can simply visit the market each week to purchase your favorite fresh, Hilltown-grown vegetables.

For details on how to sign-up for the farm share, contact market organizer Seva Tower at sevat@hilltowncdc.org or call 413-824-1840. There are limited spots available so don’t delay!

We are delighted to partner with several local farms including Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield, Hart Farm in Conway, Sawyer Farm and Four Corners Farm in Worthington, and Intervale Farm in Westhampton. This project is a collaboration between the Hilltown Food Council, Hilltown CDC, Healthy Hampshire, and the Hilltown Community Health Center. It is a two-year project funded through a grant from the Attorney General’s Office.

Help us support our local Hilltown farmers and provide more ways to get healthy, fresh food to our Hilltown communities. See you at the market!

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Commonwealth Magazine "Hilltowns look for a foothold"

Commonwealth Magazine, a publication addressing many of the socioeconomic and political issues in the state of Massachusetts, recently published an article featuring Hilltown CDC Executive Director Dave Christopolis along with Aaron Allen and Erin Patrick of Chester and Gateway Hilltowns Executive Director Jeanne LeClair on the contemporary challenges and opportunities for rural economic development in the Hilltowns, and what we need from State Government to make it happen. Read the full article here:

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/arts-and-culture/western-mass-hilltowns-look-for-a-foothold/

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Lt. Gov Polito Visits Hilltown CDC to Announce 2019 CITC Awards

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced $8 million in tax credit allocations to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Service Organizations (CSOs) through the state’s Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program. 

The CITC program provides eligible CDCs and CSOs with a tool to leverage support from stakeholders and local residents to increase fundraising efforts and expand organizational capacity. These organizations partner with nonprofit, public, and private entities to improve economic opportunities for low and moderate-income households and communities. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $22 million through the CITC program, and during this time, the CITC program has generated more than $34.5 million in private investments across the Commonwealth.

“Community Development Corporations undertake important work in our communities by supporting affordable housing, community development, and critical services for residents,”said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to work with these organizations to ensure all Massachusetts residents have access to affordable housing and safe neighborhoods.”

“The Community Investment Tax Credit Program is a unique tool to encourage private investment,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “From instituting new lead paint programming in Central Massachusetts, to bringing on a full-time community planner in Boston’s Chinatown, our CDCs have leveraged significant funding to bring impactful programming to communities across the Commonwealth.”

Lt. Governor Polito announced the awards at an event at the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield.  Through the CITC program, CDCs have been able to employ more staff, reach communities more effectively, and pursue new programming to the benefit of Massachusetts communities.  CDCs help families find homes, connect residents to jobs, grow small businesses, and bring communities together in rural, urban, and suburban areas.

“Hilltown CDC is grateful to host the Lieutenant Governor as she announces the state’s CITC awards to CDC’s.” Says Hilltown CDC Executive Director Dave Christopolis.  “CITC has been a successful financial and community organizing tool for our rural region. Access to capital is very limited in rural communities and this is no different in the Hilltowns of Massachusetts.  This is due to declining rural populations and decades long urbanization.   CITC provides a vehicle for people to invest in rural communities through Hilltown CDC.”  Hilltown CDC has used it’s CITC donations to expand work with local farmers and retailers, expand our senior van with a driver pool and offer marketing and organizing support to our local artists and musicians.   It has provided capital to build rural senior housing and provide technical assistance to our rural town governments.   “Rural communities are struggling to survive,” says Christopolis.   “Twenty-first century rural communities need a vision and the capacity to carry out this vision.  It requires our government and philanthropy to invest in people and to reimagine the importance of a vibrant rural economy.  CITC allows this to happen.”

“It is truly exciting to see what happens when banks, hospitals and individuals work together to make their communities a better place to live,” said Joe Kriesberg, President of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. “Today, because of their collective belief and investment in their local community development corporations, millions of Massachusetts residents, regardless of their socio-economic status in life, will see demonstrative improvements to their neighborhoods and share in the benefits of Massachusetts’ success. For those unable to participate in the CITC for this year’s tax filing, be sure to visit the MACDC website to learn about how you can get involved next year.”

The CITC program awarded the maximum $150,000 in credit allocations to the Hilltown CDC. CDCs apply for tax credits to support fundraising for the development and implementation of their community investment plan from the CITC program. Individuals, corporations, and other entities that make a qualified contribution to a CDC earn a 50 percent state tax credit. For more information on the program and how to contribute, contact Finance Director Denise LeDuc at denisel@hilltowncdc.org or call 413-296-4536 x114.

 

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JLBA Summer Destination Map
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Looking for some summer fun? Hilltown CDC and the Jacob’s Ladder Business Association (JLBA) have teamed up to send a colorful map and business directory to every Hilltown household to promote some of the great destinations, trail heads, and adventures waiting for you in your own backyard. Check it out online or pickup your copy at a participating local business today!

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Hilltown CDC to advise on Town of Holland Senior Housing Project

Hilltown Community Development is pleased to accept a consulting role to assist the Town of Holland (MA) in planning for a Senior Housing development in the town.  The project will include a survey of senior citizens, market analysis, preliminary site feasibility analysis, and a cost estimate to build.  Work will be ongoing from late May until December of this year.  Hilltown Community Development has previously developed small scale senior housing in the towns of Westhampton and Goshen and has developed expertise that may be valuable to other communities.  Building small scale developments in rural areas comes with challenges that include the need to bring infrastructure to rural sites that are not served by public utilities, compliance with wetlands regulations, adapting to site-specific topographic issues, and working with more limited funding than is available in many larger municipalities. 

The study is funded as part of a regional Community Development Block Grant distributed by the Mass Dept of Community Development (DHCD) and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) is the grant administrator.

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Hilltown CDC to Attend National Rural LISC Conference

Hilltown Community Development is pleased to announce we will send staff and board members to the 2019 Rural LISC Seminar, an annual national conference convening more than 250 rural community development experts to catalyze new opportunities in rural America. This year’s Seminar will be held in Monticello, New York June 4-7 and will provide a unique forum to learn about new rural economic development opportunities; gain valuable insight on critical issues facing rural America such as the 2020 Census; develop asset building tools and organizational development strategies; and offer a networking environment for sharing knowledge with rural development colleagues from across the country.

 LISC President and CEO Maurice Jones will welcome attendees with a keynote address. Participants will engage in three days of plenary and workshop sessions organized around:

·         Economic Development – exploring new ways to catalyze economic development through downtown revitalization efforts, innovative wealth and skill-building strategies, and Opportunity Zones.  

·         Capacity Building – discovering how to increase organizational capacity through bridging generational differences in the workplace, asset and property management, and innovative financing tools.

·         Community Development – learning about the latest rural community development trends and how to best respond to them, including the opioid crisis, transportation barriers, and fighting isolation/striving for inclusion among our LGBTQ community.

 “Hilltown CDC exemplifies the very best in bringing innovative programming to their community, and we are delighted that they are attending this year’s Seminar,” said Suzanne Anarde, LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director. 

 About Hilltown CDC

Hilltown CDC seeks to improve the quality of life for Hilltown residents by addressing economic, housing, educational, social and community needs while preserving the rural character of the area.

Over 30 years Hilltown CDC has evolved into a multiservice organization, providing affordable housing, small business assistance, social services, planning and grant management assistance to the region.  We have invested over $50 million in rural community development in the Hilltowns over the past three decades and engaged local residents in community development activities as well as local governing select boards in municipal planning and support services. 

Hilltown CDC was founded in 1981 and currently serves 22 rural towns with a combined population of 32,700 people. It remains the only community development organization based in the Hilltowns, advocating for rural policy and resources at the state and federal level on behalf of the region.

 About Rural LISC

Launched in 1995, Rural LISC is the rural component of the largest community development support organization in the country, called LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). For 24 years, Rural LISC has partnered with rural communities, helping to forge innovative solutions that lead to prosperity and opportunity. Rural LISC’s investments in rural America have totaled $1.25 billion in grants, equity and low-cost loan funds. Rural LISC has leveraged this investment resulting in $3.3 billion from public and private sources, to produce 35,000 affordable homes and apartments, create 4 million square feet of commercial and community space, assist 700 businesses, create 12,000 jobs and support 20 early childhood centers. By generating resources and investing in the grassroots efforts of its 89 partner community-based organizations, Rural LISC is committed to making rural communities good places to live, work, do business and raise children. Learn more at www.lisc.org/rural.

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