Cape leader in affordable housing joins in dynamic roundtable with fellow, regional honorees to exchange ideas and solutions on persistent housing challenges
Eastern Bank Foundation today announced that it has recognized Alisa Magnotta, CEO of the Housing Assistance Corporation with a 2023 Community Advocacy Award and award grant for her organization’s pivotal role in creating more affordable housing for low- and mid-income workers on the Cape & Islands. Twelve honorees in total, from Cape Cod, Greater Boston and the South & North Shores to New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley, came together at Eastern Bank headquarters for a dynamic afternoon of celebration and a roundtable.
Each year the Foundation honors a few of the many inspirational people and nonprofits working to address the most critical needs across the communities Eastern serves. This year’s focus is on affordable housing, one of the core strategy areas of the Foundation’s commitment to expanding economic inclusion and mobility.
The dynamic roundtable covered many aspects of the affordable housing picture including zoning, access to capital, the key role of grassroots organizations, the importance of business leaders advocating for change, and the significance of philanthropy in partnering for innovative solutions for today’s complex challenges. Honorees also discussed how systemic inequities such as high childcare costs, low wages, gaps in education, and racial injustice intersect with the affordable housing issue as a whole.
See full honoree information here.
Housing Assistance Corporation is the leading Cape & Islands agency addressing the area’s protracted and escalating housing crisis. Steep home prices, scarce rentals and high second-home demand require innovative solutions to narrow the affordability gap for low- and moderate-income people, increase inventory, and engage residents in speaking up for housing. Some examples include a financial stability program for childcare and disability workers, and a mapping tool developed with local environmental leaders to pinpoint natural habitats and areas that can support multi-family housing. Serving 6,200 clients last year, the organization has 200+ new housing units in the pipeline and is initiating their first-ever endowment to ensure operation in perpetuity.
Commenting on the award, grant and conversation with her peers, Magnotta said, “The Cape is losing nearly 1,000 households annually that make under $100,000. In addition to assisting residents at risk of losing their housing or who have become homeless, we are also building community awareness and collaborative action to help stem the housing crisis. Recognition from the Eastern Bank Foundation and the opportunity to connect with fellow nonprofit housing leaders helps us continue our advocacy work and gain new insights on addressing common challenges across Massachusetts and beyond.”
Nancy Huntington Stager, President & CEO of Eastern Bank Foundation, added, “Affordable housing is essential for full participation in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods but is unfortunately out of reach or insecure for far too many people in our region as the housing crisis worsens. It’s more important than ever to spotlight work that is making a difference and to collaborate on solutions. We applaud Alisa, Housing Assistance Corporation and all our 2023 Community Advocacy Awards honorees for their innovative, barrier-breaking work.”