On July 2, 5:30pm, the City Council Ordinance Committee will begin debating the details of the proposed 100% Affordable Housing overlay ordinance. The overlay is designed to help affordable housing developers, using public funds, create new affordable units more quickly, more cost effectively, and in areas where there are fewer affordable housing options for residents. Learn more about the proposal here.
Earlier this year 93-99 Bishop Allen Drive, otherwise known as nonprofit row and home to many nonprofits, went up for sale. Rather than let market forces determine the outcome, the Cambridge Community Foundation stepped in and worked with Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to make an offer that would allow the current nonprofit tenants to stay. As of this week, the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority has a purchase and sale agreement in place for the building. CNC applauds the Cambridge Community Foundation for its lead role in facilitating the many discussions that helped achieve this outcome, and the CRA for supporting the local nonprofit field in such a critical way. Learn more here.
At the end of April, the City Manager approved the Community Benefits Advisory Committee's planning grant recommendations. The partnerships, each headed by a Lead Organization, are as follows:
In addition, the City has entered into a contract with Health Resources in Action (HRiA) to provide evaluation support for each partnership as well as the Community Benefits process on a whole. Stay tuned for opportunities to provide feedback on the process and learn more here.
A recent survey commissioned by the US Census Bureau found that just over 40% of survey respondents did not feel it matters whether they are personally counted in the 2020 Census. In addition, nearly 1 in 4 respondents fear that their answers to the 2020 Census will be used against them. Leveraging partnerships between nonprofits and government is one strategy to help overcome these difficulties, and is more important than ever as Census data drives the distribution of billions of federal dollars to Massachusetts in addition to political representation. Review the Mass Nonprofit Network Census 2020 resource page and stay tuned for opportunities to engage in this work in Cambridge.
At 6 pm tonight, the Cambridge City Council Housing Committee will convene and ultimately vote on whether to advance the 100% Affordable Housing Overlay proposal to the next step in the process.The proposal, which would help create more low and middle income homes in Cambridge, is one piece of a larger approach addressing to Cambridge's housing challenges. Learn more here.
The Community Benefits Advisory Committee is recommending four collaborative applications for Community Benefits planning grants of $30,000 each. Combined, the proposals represent the work of over 15 nonprofits. The lead applicants on these proposals are Cambridge Community Center, Community Art Center, De Novo and Just-A-Start, and the applicants propose a variety of approaches to addressing the three top tier needs previously identified in the Community Needs Assessment: 1) affordable housing and homelessness, 2) financial security and 3) mental health: behavioral health and substance abuse. The full proposals are now posted on the Cambridge Community Development Department website, under the Request for Proposals (RFP) tab. Congratulations to the grantees! Learn more here.
The Community Benefits Advisory Committee received five applications for planning grants. Interviews for the applications will take place during the first week of April, and planning grant awards will be announced in April. Up to five (5) planning grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded. Learn more here.
Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) is continuing to move forward towards extending the day for elementary and upper schools. The CNC Out of School Time (OST) subcommittee has been deeply engaged in these discussions in an effort to raise the voice of the OST provider community and the children and families who benefit from their programs. The CNC Steering Committee submitted testimony at the school committee meeting on March 5, and urged the CPS to standardize start and end times with no school release time after 3pm, and to create an Elementary School Network in the model of the Middle School Network. Read the CNC Steering Committee letter, and learn more about the CPS decision making process.
Community Benefits Resources and Information Session Two
Last week the Community Benefits Advisory Committee (CBAC) held a second information session about the guidelines and application process for applying for Community Benefits Funding. During the session, members of the CBAC walked through application requirements and answered applicant questions. The deadline for proposals is February 15. Read the FAQs and access application materials here.
Last week CPS Superintendent Salim hosted a meeting for Out of School Time (OST) leaders to share two options that the district is proposing to add additional time to the school day. Meeting participants, which included staff from nonprofit and City of Cambridge OST programs, provided feedback on the proposals and raised questions on the specific steps CPS will take to support further coordination between the OST system and Cambridge schools. Read the proposals here.