The Network for Social Justice is pleased to announce it has been selected as a Municipal Engagement Initiative (MEI) Lite 2022 grantee by the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA). MEI Lite provides technical assistance to support communities advancing affordable housing initiatives, including forming coalitions and building campaigns. With local expertise at the forefront, MEI Lite seeks to support groups as they develop unique, actionable strategies that work within the context of their own community.
“Housing is critical to resilient, vibrant communities,” said Rachel Heller, CHAPA’s chief executive officer. “We are excited to support this cohort in actualizing their vision for their communities and bringing together different voices towards one goal: to create the equitable, healthy, and sustainable future we all want and deserve through affordable housing.”
“The Network is so excited about being chosen for this CHAPA initiative,” said Liora Norwich, executive director of the NFSJ. “We are seeking to find new ways to build community engagement and support for the goal of diversifying Winchester’s housing stock. Through this work we want to build a strong grassroots coalition of people who are informed about the historical and present-day rationale for increasing affordable housing in our town, and are able to work with us to advance a strategy to build bridges around this issue.”
Since its inception in 2018, MEI has partnered with fifteen communities over four cohorts using CHAPA’s statewide collaborative model. Past successes of the local coalitions who participated in MEI include Medford’s first Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, the creation of a Revere Affordable Housing Trust, and in Newton the defeat of a ballot referendum to withdraw approval of a multi-family housing development with significant affordable units. We hope that Winchester’s partnership with CHAPA will result in many such successes.
If you are interested in joining an affordable housing coalition or in receiving periodic updates on the coalition’s efforts, please email our coordinator, Zeina Marchant, at email@example.com. We look forward to working with all of our community partners to say “yes to housing!”