EOHED_Report_Card-July-Sept_2008 by shimeiyan

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									THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Deval Patrick
Governor

Executive Office of Housing Economic Development

Tim Murray
Lt. Governor

Daniel O'Connell
Secretary

Executive Office of Housing
Economic Development

Report card for July – September 2008

Daniel O’Connell
S E C R ETARY

Table of Contents
E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHT
Report Card By Division

4 10 17

PERMITTING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Business Development Domestic Operations (p.18) Business Development International Operations (p.21) Business Development Small Business Operations (p.24) Business Development Travel and Tourism Operations (p.29)

HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Community Assistance (p.33) Homelessness (p.38) Housing Development (p.44) Public Housing (p.48) Rental Assistance (p. 53)

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CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND BUSINESS REGULATIONS 56
Division of Insurance (p.57) Division of Banks (p.59) Division of Standards (p.61) Division of Professional Licensure (p.62) State Racing Commission (p.63) Department of Telecommunications and Cable (p.64) Consumer Hotline Services (p.65) OCA Consumer Dispute Resolution Services (p.66) Outreach and Education (p.68)

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E.O.H.E.D
QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
Employment Highlights
The Massachusetts unemployment rate in September 2008 was below the national average for the sixteenth consecutive month. The unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent from 5.2 percent in August. The national unemployment rate for September was 6.1 percent.

Massachusetts lost 3,800 jobs in September, following an increase of 1,800 jobs in August.
For the month, the state lost jobs in Financial Services, Construction, Leisure & Hospitality, Education and Healthcare, and Manufacturing. Employment increased in Information and the subsector of Professional, Scientific and Technical Services. Overall, the employment data shows that the state is outperforming the nation despite the clear and negative effects of the downturn on the Massachusetts economy.

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E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
Foreclosure Initiatives
Workshops The Patrick administration and local governmental officials continue to host foreclosure prevention workshops in the state’s hardest hit regions. These workshops connect homeowners directly with their lenders to achieve solutions that keep people in their homes and help to stabilize neighborhoods. Workshops in Springfield, Brockton, Worcester and Lawrence have helped more than 1,000 borrowers. A future workshop is also scheduled for Revere.
Grant Awards The Patrick administration awarded grants totaling $2 million to support 11 regional foreclosure education centers, statewide foreclosure prevention efforts and first-time homebuyer programs, funded through licensing fees collected from mortgage loan originators. These grants have already supported counseling for 2,700 homeowners.

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E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance with home heating for low-income households in Massachusetts, is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. At the height of summer, Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, and House Speaker DiMasi launched the Winter Energy Costs Task Force in response to record home heating oil prices and the looming energy burden facing Massachusetts residents.
The task force was chaired by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, with substantial leadership and support from DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks and her staff. The task force convened public hearings in Springfield, Fall River, Haverhill, and Boston. The testimony received raised public awareness and will produce recommendations that will assist and help all residents, particularly elderly and low-income during the upcoming heating season. In response to the crisis, the Massachusetts Legislature approved an additional $10 million in funding to LIHEAP. As a result of intense federal lobbying by the Patrick Administration and Congressional delegation, the FY09 LIHEAP program was funded by Congress at the fully authorized appropriation of $5.1 billion for the first time. Massachusetts’ share is $163,137,000. The Weatherization Program will also double its funding from DOE to $13 million in FY09. As a result of DPU legislation, the utility low income discount rate will be increased and will result in a $300 to $500 savings during the heating season for these households.

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E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
Broadband Initiative
On August 4, 2008, Governor Patrick signed the broadband bond bill into law. The new law will bridge the digital divide that persists predominantly in western Massachusetts by providing $40 million in bonds from the newlycreated Broadband Incentive Fund to construct fiber, wireless towers and other critical and long-lived broadband infrastructure. Targeted state investments will attract and complement private sector investment, making it more cost-effective for private providers to deliver solutions for customers in regions without broadband coverage.
Since the bill signing on August 4, there has been sustained engagement and forward momentum: •Ramp-up of MBI activities and staffing. •Transition of programmatic activities from within John Adams Innovation Institute/MTC to new Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) within MTC. •Bi-weekly team meetings and development of interagency working group. •Drafting and finalization of Call for Solutions (formally released on October 6, 2008). •MBI Director job specification finalized and preparations for job posting executed.

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E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
The Life Sciences Initiative
The first quarter of FY2009 was very busy for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), which is CoChaired by Secretary Dan O’Connell and led by its newly constituted Board of Directors and President and CEO, Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister. Quarterly highlights of the implementation of the Life Sciences Initiative include: • The launch of the International Stem Cell Registry (ISCR) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The ISCR provides an online resource of information on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to the academic and private sector biomedical research community and to the public. •The release of the Life Sciences Talent Initiative (LSTI) study jointly sponsored by the MLSC and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, in close collaboration with EOHED and dozens of stakeholders from industry, academia and state government.

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E.O.H.E.D QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
Growth District Initiative (GDI)
EOHED continued to advance the Governor’s agenda to create new development ready districts, similar to Devens, in communities across the state. The GDI designation is a formal recognition that a municipality has advanced planning and development sufficiently to be considered primed for significant commercial residential or mixed-use development. The Legislature recently authorized a $50 million bond allocation to support infrastructure investments in the Growth Districts. In the first quarter of FY2009, new Growth Districts were designated in the Cities of Springfield and Lowell.

Industry Spotlight on Maritime Commerce
In September, EOHED held roundtables with business and community leaders and other events in Massachusetts communities with maritime industries. Meetings were held in Gloucester, New Bedford, Salem, Boston and on Cape Cod. Maritime commerce includes businesses linked to industries dependent on coastal and offshore waters use. Industries like commercial fishing including harvesting, processing and distribution; coastal tourism and recreation; shipbuilding; transportation, and waterway transportation are typical activities that comprise this industry sector. The Patrick Administration brought together these groups of businesses to look at their collective needs and unique characteristics.

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PERMITTING
April Anderson Lamoureux, Ombudsman
The Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office, created by the legislature, works with new and existing businesses to help foster job creation efforts by
1 Ashburton Place, Suite 2101 Boston, MA 02108 617-788-3670 april.a.anderson@state.ma.us

assisting with permitting, licensing, and regulatory processes. The Director of the Office serves as the

state permit ombudsman to municipalities and
businesses, and Chair of the Interagency Permitting Board, which administers the Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting Program. The Office works in partnership with MassDevelopment, Regional Planning Agencies, and the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic

Development to accomplish its core mission.

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Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
Expedited Permitting Program - Chapter 43D As of September 30, 2008
• 51 communities across the state have adopted one or more Priority Development Sites • 7 new communities added this quarter • 85 Priority Development Sites have been ratified by the Interagency Permitting Board • 16 new Priority Development Sites added this quarter • In FY09, $420,000 in Chapter 43D Technical Assistance Funds have been granted to municipalities • Since its inception in January 2007, MPRO has awarded $ 5,691,342 to communities

Chapter 43D Districts by Region

Berkshire Boston Central Metro West Northeast Pioneer Valley Southeast

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Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
Expedited Permitting Program - Chapter 43D Comparison Chart
1st Quarter FY 08 Total Number of Communities That Have Adopted One or More Priority Development Sites 5 FY 08 Total 30 1st Quarter FY 09 7 Totals for Chapter 43D to Date FY07, FY08, 1st Quarter FY09 51

Total Number of Priority Development Sites Ratified by Interagency Permitting Board Grant Funds Awarded

12

49

16

85

$ 834,425

$ 3,211,712

$ 420,000

$ 5,691,342

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Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
State Permit Tracking
• MPRO instituted a state permit tracking system for commercial and housing projects entering the

MEPA process (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act), and results are published on the state web site. This is the first time that the Commonwealth has systematically monitored and publicly reported its permit issuance performance.
• The project tracking list consists of projects that filed an Environmental Notification Form (ENF)

with MEPA beginning January 1, 2007. The list includes all commercial, industrial, and mixed use development projects, and housing projects developing more than 50 new units and with a density of at least 4 units per acre. • The project tracking list has 111 projects meeting the above criteria. As of September 30, 2008, 51% of projects have completed state permitting within six months or less. 13

Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
State Permit Tracking

1st Quarter

FY 08

FY 08 Total

1st Quarter

FY 09

Total # of Projects Projects Permitted 6 months or less

20 52%

101 46%

16 51%

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Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
Key Points of Note this Quarter
Growth Districts: The Governor visited communities to announce the majority of designated growth districts as part of our Growth Districts Initiative (GDI). Sixteen locations representing all regions across the state will be announced. EOHED will partner with municipalities that have identified one or more areas within their communities as being appropriate locations for significant new growth, whether commercial, residential or mixed-use. Within those identified ―growth districts‖, EOHED will work with the community and property owners to make the district truly ―development ready‖ with respect to local permitting, state permitting, site preparation (including brownfields remediation), infrastructure improvements, and marketing.

Growth Districts and their designation date: 1. Innovation Square at WPI in Worcester, February 26, 2008 2. Downtown Haverhill, April 9, 2008 3. Chicopee River Business Park, April 12, 2008 4. Devens, February 26, 2008 5. SouthField in Weymouth, April 24, 2008 6. Attleboro Industrial & Business Park, May 8, 2008 7. Hicks Logan Sawyer District in New Bedford, May 8, 2008 8. Pittsfield Urban Center, May 16, 2008 9. Waterfront Square at Revere Beach, May 20, 2008 10. Springfield Downtown Revitalization, July 7, 2008 11. Hamilton Canal at Lowell, September 3, 2008

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Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office
Key Points of Note this Quarter
Zoning Reform: MPRO has convened a Zoning Reform Task Force to examine the current zoning and planning system in the State and to work with the Legislature to develop amendments that would improve zoning and planning in Massachusetts. • The Task Force represents a broad base of constituencies and meets twice-monthly. • Ten regional meetings were hosted across the State to engage municipalities and local interest groups in the discussion. • The objective of the Task Force is to file zoning reform legislation in December 2008 that represents consensus among the various stakeholders. Regional Planning: MPRO has begun to pilot a regional planning process of working with multiple neighboring municipalities on shared objectives. • Coordinating among five communities along the newly expanded Route 3 (Burlington, Bedford, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Lowell) to investigate regional infrastructure shortfalls, desired growth patterns, and branding of a new technology corridor. • Coordinating with the Cities of Leominster, Fitchburg and Gardner, and the surrounding communities in addressing the opportunities and challenges of maintaining a robust manufacturing sector in this region.

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DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Greg Bialecki, Undersecretary
The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Business Development (DBD) is to promote economic growth by assisting in-state, out-ofstate, and international businesses of all sizes
1 Ashburton Place, Suite 2101 Boston, MA 02108 617-788-3670 greg.bialecki@state.ma.us

in creating new jobs and expanding their presence in Massachusetts; to make it easier for minority and women owned businesses to succeed, and to increase the number of domestic and international tourists visiting the Commonwealth.

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Business Development - Domestic Operations
The Massachusetts Business Resource Team (BRT), which is coordinated by MOBD,
acts as a single point of contact for all of the resources and incentives available to businesses. Through the BRT, firms can engage over 25 state and quasi-public organizations offering: • Site selection assistance • Workforce training grants •Tax incentives and financing options

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Business Development - Domestic Operations
1st Quarter FY 08 Jobs to be Created* Jobs to be Retained* Private Investment* Total Project Wins MOBD Sales Force Economic Multiplier** 453 3,849 $69,228,000 17 134:1 Closed Deals Jobs Pipeline FY 08 Total 8,974 26,567 $1,972,051,615 160 625:1 1st Quarter FY 09 1,870 6,826 $131,810,068 30 202:1
*As estimated by firms **Economic Multiplier based upon expenditures of $619,765 (FY08 Q1), $3,150,269 (FY08 total), and $649,308 (FY09 Q1). Formula=(benefits-costs)/costs

Jobs Pipeline Sector Breakdown (82,269 Jobs)

26%
60,000 50,000 30,000

6% 1% 4%

Creative Economy

8%

Financial Services Information Technology Life Sciences

36,732

45,537

Manufacturing

20,000
10,000 0

12% 6% 37%

Renewable Energy Services/Retail Other

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Jobs to be Created*

Jobs to be Retained*

Business Development - Domestic Operations
Key Points of Note this Quarter
Glynn Electric Glynn Electric, Inc was started in 1984, incorporated in 1986, and they have been in the town of Plymouth since 2004. Their company is an electrical contractor specializing in commercial and residential construction. Their work area covers Cape Cod & Islands, north along the coast up into Southern New Hampshire, and as far west as Worcester. In an effort to gain a competitive advantage, Glynn Electric started a new division within their business for pre-fabricating assemblies that they use on their projects. They purchased a dilapidated facility at the Plymouth Airport on South Meadow Road and converted it into a warehouse, and assembly and distribution center. Their plans call for an expansion in two phases, they immediately invested $30,000, and will spend a total of $2,500,000 in total construction expense over the course of the project, and create 5 full-time jobs. Paratek Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Boston, MA, which is engaged in the discovery and commercialization of new therapeutics that treat life threatening infectious diseases. They recently made a decision to move and expand to One Harbor Street in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park. The expansion is driven in part by the progress of the projects Paratek has in the development pipeline. They currently have 61 employees and plan to hire 50 new employees over the next two years. The private investment for the build-out of the new location is $24 million. The new facility is in Boston’s Empowerment Zone. The company plans to hire as many qualified individuals that currently reside in the zone as possible. New England Precision Grinding New England Precision Grinding (NEPG) is a manufacturer of precision instruments for the medical industry based in Holliston. They recently acquired a company called Accumet laser in Cranston, RI and were looking to combine both companies in a single location, with an eye on further growth and expansion. They considered both MA and RI as possibilities, and eventually found a suitable location in Franklin. The town of Franklin and MOBD all worked together quickly and efficiently to provide NEPG with local tax increment financing and seal the decision to stay in MA. They were approved as a certified project on September 25, 2008 and are looking to move in the first quarter of 2009. They will be bringing 54 jobs from Rhode Island to MA, will retain the 99 jobs they already have here, and plan on adding 164 new jobs to the Commonwealth over the next ten years.

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Business Development - International Operations

The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) is charged with marketing the state’s businesses internationally, through focused export promotion, attracting foreign companies to invest in Massachusetts and handling protocol as it relates to trade and investment. MOITI has continued to

attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and has increased its tradeshow presence,
which has allowed for more local firms to expand their global exposure.

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Business Development - International Operations
Jobs to be Created* Jobs Pipeline FDI to Occur* # of projects Pipeline Jobs: Sector Breakdown (579 Jobs) (>50% Probability) Closed Deals

Europe Asia Americas

105 369 81

$6.1 million $286.25 million $0.6 million

9 7 6

1st Quarter FY 08

FY 08 Total

1st Quarter FY 09

Closed Deals Jobs: Sector Breakdown (180 Jobs)

Jobs to be created* Private Investment* Total Project Wins Economic Multiplier**

90 $15 million 1 117:1

497 $75.25 million 14 146:1

180 $20.1 million 2 127:1 22

*As estimated by firms ** Economic Multiplier based upon expenditures of $127,158 for FY08 Q1, $508,632 for FY08 total, and $156,250 for FY09 Q1. Formula=(benefits-costs)/costs

Business Development - International Operations
Key Points of Note this Quarter
China: Secretary Cohen and MOITI attended the CPN China Week Conference mid-July. The trip arranged by MOITI also included meetings with the Department of American & Oceania Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and the China Investment Corporation. MOITI had a speaking role at the Annual China International Fair for Investment & Trade held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, as well as a physical presence in the US Pavilion. Beijing Office Opening: Exclusively dedicated to Massachusetts, the opening of the Beijing office will create more opportunities for Massachusetts’ companies with the rapidly growing Chinese economy, while promoting relations with Chinese government officials. MOITI will continue to be the main contact for business development between Massachusetts and China. Tradeshows: The Massachusetts pavilion at MEDICA, scheduled for November 19-22 in Dusseldorf, Germany, is sold out. MOITI is currently in the recruitment process for upcoming shows in the winter and spring tradeshow season including CeBit, Arab Health and Energy. 23

Business Development - Small Business Operations
The Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) administers the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant (SBTAG) Program to provide grants to community development corporations, community development financial institutions and non-profit community-based organizations in order to provide technical assistance or training programs to businesses with 20 employees or fewer.
In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Department of Business Development, and a consortium of higher educational institutions led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst ,the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides statewide in- depth advising, training and capital access contributing to the entrepreneurial growth of small businesses throughout the Commonwealth. The State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) is charged with promoting the development of business enterprises and non-profit organizations owned or operated by minorities and women.

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Business Development - Small Business Operations
State Office of Minority & Women Business Assistance
1st Quarter FY 08 FY 08 Total 1st Quarter FY 09

New State Certifications New Federal Certifications Total Renewals Processed % of Certifications Completed Within 30 Days

56 14 425 62.1%

206 68 1616 47.4%

69 23 364 47.8%

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Business Development - Small Business Operations
Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program
1st Quarter FY 08
# of Companies 1:1 counseled* $ Amt Loans Secured* Jobs to be Created w/ loans* Jobs to be Retained w/ loans* $ Amt of State Grants Awarded ROI – Grant Award vs. Loans Secured N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

FY 08 Total
4,575 $25,460,068 1,021 4,985 $991,175 25.7:1

1st Quarter FY 09
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

*Self-reported by grant recipients **There were no grants awarded or measured in both FY08 Q1 and FY09 Q1

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Business Development - Small Business Operations
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Small Business Development Centers (6 Centers + 41 Outreach Sites)
# of Companies 1:1 Counseled New Business Started $ Amt Loans Secured Jobs to be Created w/loans Jobs to be Retained w/loans State Appropriation ROI - $ Loans Secured vs. $ Appropriated

1st Quarter
FY 08 811 84 $9.0 million 86 228 $221,407** 40.6:1

FY 08 Total
3763 193 $85.7 million 582 640 $904,286 94.8:1

1st Quarter
FY 09* 868 22 $2.58 million 16 41 $150,714** 17:1

*Because of federal reporting deadlines, MSBDC figures through September 2008 are not yet complete. Loans and job creation and retention figures are certified by Companies. Figures reflect activity through 8/31/08. **This figure represents actual expenditures through August 31st of the respective fiscal year.

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Business Development - Small Business Operations and Minority & Woman Owned Enterprises
Key Points of Note this Quarter
• The FY08 Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program concluded at the end of this quarter. With a smaller appropriation than the previous year, we were still able to fund 29 programs across the state. We had an increase over last year in each of our success measurements. We will continue to watch these figures and expand our measurements of success and best practices with this program. • At SOMWBA, the agency continues to align public and private sector partners to increase the economic value of certification. Although certification is the primary function of the Agency, it has successful developed partnerships with private sector firms to advance business opportunities for minority and women owned. The intake of new business continued to remain at target levels as the Agency’s efforts are focused on targeting specific businesses to fill industry and geographical gaps.

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Business Development - Travel & Tourism Operations

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth’s friendly, family-oriented environment set in the midst of a rich historical and cultural tradition. Tourism ranks as one of our largest economic sectors, contributing direct spending of $15.1 billion and supporting over 127,800 jobs. In recent years, MOTT’s available funds for advertising, provided by the Legislature, have been steadily increasing, as have the returns on those advertising dollars. With its continued increase in funding, we expect MOTT’s advertising expenditures to assist in expanding the tourism industry throughout the Commonwealth.

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Business Development - Travel & Tourism Operations *
Through August 2008 Room Tax Collections Lodging Room Revenue FY 08 Q1 July-August $35.7 million $524.2 million FY 08 Total $174.2 million $ 2.5 Billion FY 09 Q1 July-August $37.0 million $545.1 million

Room Demand (booked)
Average Room Rate REVPAR

3.65 million
$143.49 $108.24

17.6 million
$139.03 $88.60

3.69 million
$147.90 $110.20

Occupancy Rate

75.4%

62.8%

74.5%

Massvacation.com visitors July,August,September
.

207,736

941,876

258,397

REVPAR (Hotel Revenue per Available Room) and Average Room Rate are not directly impacted by government, but provide useful guidance for the health of the industry. *September lodging results not yet available.

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Business Development - Travel & Tourism Operations
•Key Points of Note this Quarter (July – August)
MOTT’s metrics reflect the seasonality of tourism. However, overall numbers are up significantly and compare favorably to U.S. averages. Some highlights from FY09 through August, 2008 compared to same period in prior fiscal year: • Room Tax Collections up 3.5% • Room Revenue up 4.0% • Room Demand up 1.0% • Room Rate up 3.1% • Occupancy Rate down 1.2%% • RevPar up 1.0% MOTT recently received the CY2007 Economic Impact report which showed that total direct spending by travelers to MA increased by 6.6% to $15.1 billion. A traveler is one who travels 50 or more miles one way to a destination or who stays overnight.

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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Tina Brooks, Undersecretary
The mission of DHCD is to strengthen cities, towns and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents. To accomplish our mission, we will provide leadership, professional assistance and financial resources to promote safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities, the economic vitality of communities and sound municipal management. We will forge partnerships with regional and local governments, public agencies, community-based organizations and the business community to achieve our common goals and objectives. In all of these efforts, we will recognize and respect the diverse needs, circumstances and characteristics of individuals and communities.

100 Cambridge St. Suite 300 Boston, MA 02114 617-573-1100 tina.brooks@state.ma.us

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Community Assistance
The Community Assistance Unit was created to renew and strengthen the Patrick Administration’s partnership with municipalities by providing a wide range of technical assistance and training to communities in the areas of municipal governance, planning, land use and zoning, and community development.
This assistance will result in an increase in the Commonwealth’s affordable housing stock, the adoption of smart growth initiatives, and downtown and city/town center revitalization. Technical assistance and training includes one-on-one staff assistance, professional and peer consultants, written materials, desktop assistance, and formal presentations (e.g., PowerPoint). Workshops include topics such as 40B and planning for affordable housing; land use and zoning (in conjunction with the Citizen Planners Training Collaborative); and the economics of downtowns, recruitment and retention of businesses, design, promotion and marketing, parking, and Business Improvement Districts (through DHCD’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative). 33

Community Assistance
Community Assistance by the Numbers
Description 1st Quarter FY 08 FY 08 Total 1st Quarter FY 09

Number of Communities Provided Training and Assistance
Number of Workshops Held Number of Communities that have increased their affordable housing stock (as measured by the Subsidized Housing Inventory) Number of Communities with approved Housing Production Plans Number of Communities awarded Priority Development Fund grants

188 3

770 23

155 4

17

66

15

2
5

6
8

0
0

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Community Assistance
Smart Growth/40R Related Projects by the Numbers

Description

1st Quarter FY 08

FY 08 Total

1st Quarter FY 09

Number of Communities that have locally adopted 40R Districts Number of Communities with proposed 40R Districts Number of new housing units authorized in 40R Districts Number of housing units issued building permits

0 2 225 0

9 10 3,468 305

2 0 546 0

DHCD only receives building permit information in conjunction with requests for bonus payments or as part of annual 40R reporting requirements. As such, depending on the time of year, building permit information provided in this report may not fully reflect all 40R permits that have been issued.

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Community Assistance
Key Points of Note this Quarter
The Community Assistance Unit (CAU) designed the Gateway Plus Action Grant, providing up to $2 million to communities to support local planning efforts to expand housing opportunities, build and sustain civic engagement, and support the revitalization of mixed-income neighborhoods. The ―Notice of Funding Availability‖ was issued on 9/17/08 and applications are due on 10/17/08. Grants up to $75,000 are available to communities that meet the following criteria: population greater than 35,000; median household income less than the state’s average; per capita income less than the state’s average; and educational attainment rates less than the state’s average. 40R/40S workshops were held in Leominster and Southborough, while presentations on Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) were made to Wakefield and Reading representatives. A 40B presentation was held in Barnstable for Zoning Board of Appeal members from Yarmouth, Barnstable, Dennis, Sandwich, Falmouth, Truro, Orleans, Provincetown, Wellfleet, Chatham, Brewster, Eastham and Bourne. The Cape Cod Commission was also represented. The CAU assisted communities interested in examining and improving their local government structures, including Hamilton, North Attleboro, Palmer, Sharon, and Uxbridge. The CAU also acted as a resource to charter commissions elected in Barnstable and Saugus and a task force looking to better coordinate government functions appointed by Somerville’s Mayor Curtatone. This quarter, two 40R districts were locally approved: Lowell’s 250-unit district in the Jackson/Appleton/Middlesex urban renewal area and Pittsfield’s 296 unit-district in its downtown.

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Community Assistance
•Key Points of Note this Quarter (continued)
The price of home heating oil continued to climb to record highs throughout the FY08 heating season. The FY08 LIHEAP benefit purchased only one tank of heating oil and supported up to 50% of an average household’s heating cost, whereas two years ago the program was able to support up to 80% of a low income household’s average heating bill. The combined state and federal allocation in FY08 was $141,441,624. With the availability of carryover funds, federal contingency and leveraging funds, the program provided a maximum benefit of $1,165 for deliverable fuel (Oil, Propane, Kerosene) and $1,085 for utility clients. At the height of summer, Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, and House Speaker DiMasi launched the Winter Energy Costs Task Force in response to record home heating oil prices and the looming energy burden facing Massachusetts residents. The task force convened public hearings in Springfield, Fall River, Haverhill, and Boston. The testimony received raised public awareness and will produce recommendations that will assist and help all residents, particularly elderly and low-income during the upcoming heating season. As a result of intense federal lobbying by the Patrick administration and Congressional delegation, the FY09 LIHEAP program was funded by Congress at the fully authorized appropriation of $5.1 billion for the first time. Massachusetts’ share is $163,137,000. Also, in response to this crisis the MA Legislature approved an additional $10 million in funding. The Weatherization Program will also double its funding from DOE to $13 million in FY09. As a result of DPU legislation, the utility low income discount rate will be increased and will result in a $300 to $500 savings during the heating season for these households. 37

Homelessness
The Commonwealth’s approach to reducing homelessness is designed as a continuum of services provided through a partnership of DHCD and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). DHCD works to ensure that a network of services leading to greater self-sufficiency and continuum of housing opportunities are in place for those presently homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. Strategies focus on the key stages in the cycle of homelessness: • early intervention programs help to prevent households from becoming homeless • improved coordination across services enhances enrollment into benefit programs for homeless people • permanent supportive housing improves the care and quality of life for the chronic homeless, many of whom are unable to live independently without significant assistance EOHHS is primarily responsible for the emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless persons and families and for providing housing search services, while DHCD aims to provide these persons and families with permanent, affordable housing options – whether it be public housing, rental assistance or homeownership. Undersecretary Brooks co-chaired of a special commission in 2007 convened for the purpose of devising a statewide strategy to end homelessness in the Commonwealth. The commission coordinated state agencies with the goal of improving the current systems of shelter and support for homeless families and individuals and implementing a coordinated and consolidated plan for permanent solutions to homelessness involving not just housing, but economic development and job creation as well. The Commission’s work has now been passed on to the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray, which is working to coordinate all government agencies in our effort to end homelessness.

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Homelessness
Success of Families and Individuals in Asset-Building Programs: Homeownership and Asset Growth 1st Quarter FY 08 Families/Individuals in FSS Program that purchase first home Average Escrow Payout for FSS graduates Families/Individuals in IDA Program that purchase first home Families/Individuals in IDA Program that transition from state subsidized housing and purchase first home 11 n/a 3 2 FY 08 Total 5 $11,3222 12 6 1st Quarter FY 09 0 $11, 0583 12 2

Note: It generally takes some time after enrolling in a program such the IDA program for a participant to purchase a home.
1 2 3

August Home Purchase reported in the fourth quarter. Represents a total of $283,057.03 divided by 25 payments made in FY08 to date Represents a total of $283,502.06 divided by 26 payments made in FY09 to date

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Homelessness
Number of Families/Individuals in Asset Building Programs 1st Quarter FY 09 626 250

1st Quarter FY 08

FY 08 Total 6011 5972 1442

Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Individual Development Account (IDA): total number enrolled IDA: number enrolled that currently reside in state subsidized housing

5761 0

0

33

1 This is a ―point in time‖ number that does not change much month to month, so a quarterly number is not applicable. 2 The data reflects total enrollment for both the FY07 and FY08 programs. Also, data was underreported in the last quarter. The numbers have been corrected in this report.

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Homelessness
Number of Families/Individuals who received assistance through prevention programs and special initiatives
1st Quarter FY 08 Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCEC) Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP)* Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) 5,237 59 73 FY 08 Total 16,981 2952 2,291 1st Quarter FY 09 5,2501 94 Data not available – program opened 9/1/08 Data not available – program opened 9/1/08

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT): Number of Homeless Families Served Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Number of households that received assistance Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP): Mobile Special Populations Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP): Project Based Special Populations
114%

03

260

0

144,8464

0
5325

266

528

30

33

505

of HCEC clients are identified as homeless. 26% identify as at-risk of homelessness. 19% of clients are seeking help for evictions. Requests for information about homeless services and shelters increased 90% this quarter from the same time last year.
2Data

only available through May 31, 2008. opened 9/17/07 – no data available.

3Program 4 FY08

Total adjusted from last quarter – 4,396 additional households received payments after the reporting period. Applications for the FY09 LIHEAP program year will begin to be accepted on 11/1/08.
5As

41

of 9/1/08.

Homelessness
Number of Families/Individuals who received permanent housing through specialized housing programs initiatives % of Total Allocation Used, FY09 to date

1st

Quarter FY 08

FY 08 Total

% of Total Allocation Used, FY08

1st Quarter FY 09

Local Housing Authority Transitional Housing Program (LHATHP) Housing First Program McKinney Shelter Plus Care (Total Allocation: 255) McKinney Homeless SRO (Total Allocation: 172)
1Shelter 2This

18 1 381

90 34 298

n/a n/a 117%

23 8 293

n/a n/a 115%

n/a

1462

85%

150

87%

Plus Care has a baseline of 255 and can fluctuate at various levels of use above 255.

is a ―point in time‖ number that does not experience significant change month to month, so a quarterly number is not appropriate.

42

Homelessness
•Key Points of Note this Quarter
DHCD has agreed to set aside up to 100 Section 8 vouchers in CY 2009 to be used as an expansion of our welfare-towork JOBLink program. In 1999, Congress appropriated funds to support 50,000 welfare-to-work vouchers and DHCD received 2000 of them, the largest increment awarded in the country. JOBLink helps families to make a successful transition from welfare to work by providing tenant-based rental assistance to meet their critical housing needs in exchange for the head of household (and/or spouse) committing to seek and maintain employment, and take active steps to seek re-employment if they lose their job as a condition of continued eligibility. Massachusetts’ program started in 2000. Initially, DTA supported the costs for case management services for the program but had to withdraw this support after the first few years because of lack of funds. DHCD and DTA are currently in discussion about reenergizing this program, targeting its expansion to homeless families in shelter who meet the JOBLink criteria. If all the details can be satisfactorily addressed, we expect to begin the expansion by late 2008/early 2009. In an effort to better track how state public housing is playing a pro-active role in re-housing homeless families in the Commonwealth, DHCD began collecting weekly data about how many homeless families are being placed in state public housing units on September 18. In the second-half of September alone, housing authorities placed 69 shelter families in subsidized housing, including 32 in state-aided public housing, 33 in federal public housing, and 4 with Section 8 vouchers.

43

Housing Development
The Division of Housing Development manages the state resources available to support the production and preservation of privately-owned affordable housing. The key resources are the federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, tax-exempt bonds, the federal HOME program, and multiple state bond programs in support of rental and ownership projects. The division’s resources are substantial. In 2009, the division will oversee the allocation of federal and state credits capable of generating almost $250 million in equity for affordable rental projects in the capital markets. In addition, the division will oversee the allocation of over $90 million in subsidy funds available through HOME and the state bond programs in support of affordable rental and ownership projects. Although the resources are substantial, demand always exceeds the available supply of funds. The division’s annual funding competitions – two for rental projects, one for ownership – are always oversubscribed, with demand often exceeding available funds by a factor of 3 to 1. In a given year, the division supports the production or preservation of 2000 to 2500 rental and ownership units in privately-owned projects. Current priorities include greater and greater emphasis on ―green‖ development, on projects located near transit, on projects that provide a significant set-aside of units for homeless families or individuals. The production of workforce housing – housing for families earning between 80% and 120% of area median income – is also a priority. Working directly with the Undersecretary, the division also is promoting employer-assisted housing in key regions of the state, including Cape Cod, the Springfield metropolitan area, and Boston metro.

44

Housing Development
Housing Development by the Numbers

1st Quarter FY 08 Number of New Housing Starts, increase in overall housing stock 3,445

FY 08 Total 11,125

1st Quarter FY 09 1,172

The number of new housing starts is defined as the number of new building permits issued. This information is only available in the aggregate (i.e. not identified by community) through August 31, 2008.

45

Housing Development
Housing Development in Detail
Number Produced Number Preserved

1st Quarter FY 08
Workforce Housing Units Employer Assisted Housing Units Special Needs Rental Units Other Needs ownership Units Other Low-Mod Housing Rental Units 1121

FY 08 Total
350

1st Quarter FY 09
7

1st Quarter FY 08
--

FY 08 Total
--

1st Quarter FY 09
0

n/a

2

1

--

--

2

22

456

59

n/a

3

26

0

23

4

--

--

0

n/a

1,710

142

n/a

56

26

Other Low-Mod Housing Ownership Units
1Four

27

183

58

--

--

4

additional Local Initiative projects were approved during FY08Q4 on which the market-rate units were being sold at workforce prices (under $300,000).

46

Housing Development
Key Points of Note this Quarter
• Through two annual funding competitions for rental development, the Department of Housing and Community Development provides low-income housing tax credits, HOME funds, and state bond funds from six programs to support the development or preservation of rental housing with affordable components. The first rental funding competition of 2008 began on March 20, when DHCD received 88 applications for various resources, including 53 applications for the low-income housing tax credit (9% credit). The demand for resources significantly exceeds the funding available. The funding awards were released in August 2008 and will support 1,218 units with $84 million in private leveraged funding and $70 million in state subsidies and tax credit financing.

47

Public Housing
Public housing provides a safe, secure home for more than 100,000 of the Commonwealth’s residents. Residents pay ~30% of their income for rent; the government makes up the difference between rent collected and the cost of operating the housing. Public housing is administered through 242 local housing authorities (LHAs) whose knowledge of and relationship to their local communities assures that the resource is used in a locally-appropriate way. In Massachusetts, not only do our LHAs administer federally-supported public housing, they provide 50,000 units of state-aided housing - Massachusetts is one of only four states in the nation to have its own public housing. Much of this housing is in a state of extreme disrepair due to past investment decisions. We have launched a serious effort to bring all the units back to a sustainable, maintainable level through direct capital investments and management initiatives.

48

Public Housing
Public Housing By the Numbers
Family 1st Quarter FY 08 FY 08 Total 1st Quarter FY 09 1st Quarter FY 08 Elderly FY 08 Total 1st Quarter FY 09

Public Housing Units Under Restoration* LHA Initiative Projects Underway*

1,289

3,547

1,360

1,759

7,977

1,450

11

92

12

16

128

19

*The number of units under restoration varies per quarter as the type and location of projects varies. The LHA Initiative projects will increase as DHCD announces and publicizes new initiatives. Part of the overall increase is due to the Governor’s steadfastness in raising the bond cap for public housing. Public Housing Units Under Restoration: The total number of units in the developments where construction work is actually underway. Local Initiative Projects: The number of construction funded under special initiatives for local housing authorities.

49

Public Housing
Public Housing By the Numbers

Local Housing Authorities 1st Quarter FY 08 Bureau of Housing Development & Construction* Bureau of Housing Management 44 46 FY 08 Total 245 295 1st Quarter FY 09 38 101

number represents the total number of Requests for Services produced in response to local housing authorities’ procurement request.

*This

50

Public Housing
Key Points of Note this Quarter
• The Patrick administration's commitment to public housing was nowhere clearer than in the allocation of a 50% increase in bond spending cap for FY 08. That increase represented a real challenge, since most typical state modernization projects have lead times longer than a year. DHCD rose to this challenge, with everyone working together to keep projects on target and on time. We fully utilized this cap, while still maintaining a very low change order rate (8%) for our construction projects. • The first complete draft Capital Improvement Plan was produced by the Bureau of Housing Development and Construction's innovative web-based Capital Planning System (CPS) in September of 2008. The CPS includes both a comprehensive inventory of major building components and systems for the entire portfolio of state-aided public housing -- including the condition of each component or system -plus a complete 10-year Capital Improvement Project plan and budget. The plan was for the Watertown Housing Authority, our pilot community. Watertown has a portfolio of 9 developments with a total of 539 dwelling units. Plans for every Housing Authority in the Commonwealth should be completed within a year. At that point we will have a much better sense of the need for capital improvements as well as a very accurate mechanism for allocating scarce resources to areas with the most urgent needs. • DHCD staff participated in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services "Senior Benefits Expo" in Pittsfield, Lowell, and Peabody. In October staff will participate in Boston, Taunton, Springfield, and Worcester. These important events allow staff to reach out to seniors, people with disabilities, caregivers, family and friends across the state about accessing state-aided housing resources. Applications of state-aided public housing were distributed as well as booklets on "How to Obtain Housing," which describes available housing programs and options available throughout the Commonwealth.

51

Public Housing
Key Points of Note this Quarter
• DHCD and its consultant, Conservation Service Group, substantially completed its $50,000 Solar /Green Affordable Housing study,
funded by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The study developed "solar readiness" criteria for roof repair and construction projects and identified several dozen suitable housing developments with recently completed or planned roof replacements. Some exciting highlights of the study include: *DHCD initiated legal reviews for advancing ―third party" solar developments on public housing, pending tax credit reauthorization in late fall or early 2009. *DHCD, Leominster Housing Authority, and Westwood-based Acumentrics completed a grant application to US Department of Energy for funding of a fuel cell demonstration project at the new 1,600 square foot community center at the Allencrest state-aided public housing development. The community center will be used during the school year for homework enrichment programs, and the building will be built by local vocational education students. The Acumentrics fuel cell is an innovative combined heat and power system powered by natural gas that will provide the facility with electricity and heat, thus reducing its total energy costs and emissions. The facility will also have solar panels installed.

• DHCD's public housing division was involved in the statewide Winter Energy Costs Task Force and took the lead on several work groups
addressing fuel assistance & oil heat, community outreach, and energy efficiency.

52

Rental Assistance
Rental subsidies provide a flexible way to meet the housing needs of low income families and

individuals. A housing voucher allows its recipient to find suitable housing in the private market—
the government pays the portion of the rent the family/individual cannot afford. We administer these vouchers through a combination of regional non profit housing agencies and local housing authorities. At DHCD, we monitor housing conditions, rent obligations and leasing rates as well as providing

the funding (sometimes as a conduit for federal funding, sometimes through the state budget) for
the vouchers. While the vouchers for the most part allow holders to find their own housing, a portion of vouchers are ―project-based‖, meaning we commit the stream of voucher payments to a property owner that then designates specific units as permanently reserved for people who are eligible for the vouchers.

53

Rental Assistance
Public Housing By the Numbers
Total Vouchers Leased As of 6/30/08 Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) Mass Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) - Mobile MRVP – Project-Based Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program - Mobile Section 8 – Project-Based
1 AHVP

Total Vouchers Allocated

Percent of Total Vouchers Allocated as of 6/30/08 120%1 100.04%4 100% 100% n/a7

Total Vouchers Leased As of 9/30/08 458 1,6435 2,9605 19,028 7618

Total Vouchers Allocated

Percent of Total Vouchers Allocated as of 9/30/08 109%2 81%5 85%5 100% n/a7

496 1,6373 2,9473 19,045 761

$3.5m1 9.6m 20.3m 18,9966 n/a7

$3.5m2 2,0205 3,4925 18,996 n/a7

has been in a voucher freeze since April 2007. At the average SubPum of $705 over the entire 12 (12) months of FY 08, the program could annually support up to 414 Vouchers. Comparing the expenditure of resources to date to a corresponding pro-ration of the $3.5 million appropriation yields a % utilized as of 6-30-08 at 120%. Overall, the FY appropriation, $3.5M for both FY2007 and FY2008 is a more accurate measure of the program. 2 AHVP has been in a voucher freeze since April 2007. At the current average SubPum of $694 over the first three (3) months of FY 09, the programs could annually support up to 420 Vouchers. Comparing the expenditure of resources to date to a corresponding pro-ration of the $3.5 million appropriation yields a % utilized as of 9-30-08 at 109%. Overall, the FY appropriation, $3.5M for FY2007, FY2008 and FY2009 is a more accurate measure of the program. 3As of 6/1/2008. 4Program vouchers were overcommitted in relation to funds available creating a small deficit at FY08 year end. 5As of 9/1/08. 6HUD measures HCVP leasing success based on "unit month" (UM) utilization each CY. Currently, DHCD has 277,952 UMs. Each month one unit is leased equals "one UM." In order to be eligible for full funding in CY 2009 (assuming adequate Congressional appropriation for the HCVP), a housing agency must lease all of its UMs by the end of the CY 2008. At different points-in-time during the CY, UM usage will fluctuate because of the many rental market variables that affect a successful housing search by an eligible voucher recipient, along with fluctuations in tenant turnover. DHCD continues to be on track to be 100% utilized by the end of CY 2008. 7Congress does not make specific PBV allocation. DHCD allocates up to 200 vouchers annually from its HCVP portfolio for ―development‖ projects and also accepts PBV applications for ―existing‖ (ready to occupy) housing for a narrow window each year. The total leased includes vouchers currently under contract. 8 No new projects were put under contract this quarter.

54

Rental Assistance
Key Points of Note this Quarter
• Last quarter we reported that our 70-unit Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (VASH) program, which serves veterans who are chronically homeless and in need of treatment for a substance abuse or mental illness, got off to a good start with seven referrals from the Bedford VAMC having received a DHCD VASH voucher. This quarter we are thrilled to report that five VASH veterans are now leased and another 12 have been issued vouchers. Our relationship with the Bedford VAMC continues to strengthen, especially in the area of sharing information and referral resources. The Bedford VA hopes to hire an additional VASH case manager before the end of the year, at which time they expect to be able to process even more clients into the program. • DHCD’s Section 8 Inspection Manager organized and facilitated a two-day training program on pre-code fire egress considerations for 35 of our regional agency Section 8 managers and their key staff in different parts of the Commonwealth, working closely with Fire Escape Services, Inc (FES). FES is a nationally recognized consultant/expert on the inspection and repair of fire escapes, as well as a training resources for fire officials, code writers, and enforcers. In the interest of public safety, they offered their services to DHCD for free. Many of the housing units leased by our voucher participants are located in structures constructed before the late 1930's and incorporate metal fire escapes. The training included inspection protocols and acceptable documentation of compliance with the law, designed exclusively for our inspectors so that they can educate our property owners and assure that all feasible steps are taken to protect tenant and fire fighter safety. During the next two fiscal quarters, this training will be provided to all regional housing agency inspection staff.

55

DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND BUSINESS REGULATION
Dan Crane, Undersecretary
The mission of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) is to empower Massachusetts consumers through education and outreach and maintain a fair and competitive

Contact Info

Ten Park Plaza, marketplace. Suite 5170 Boston, MA 02116 (617) 973-8700 dan.crane@state.ma.us

56

Division of Insurance
Division of Insurance •
Resolve all new product applications within 60 days of complete submission Review Cycle Time Property Casualty
# of Fillings % of Total

9/30/07

Total FY08

9/30/08

80%
Life and Annuity
# of Fillings % of Total

90%
Accident and Sickness
# of Fillings % of Total

92%
Combined Average
%of Total

<= 60 Days > 60 Days

1501 53

97% 3%

1206 154

89% 11%

131 44

75% 25%

92% 8%

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
The Commissioner and the Division’s Financial Surveillance unit are closely monitoring the condition of the financial markets and their effect on companies offering products to Massachusetts policyholders. This extensive monitoring of all insurance companies will ensure that companies remain healthy and solvent to pay any and all policyholder claims. On September 19th, the Division of Insurance released two reports commissioned to look at historical factors that have contributed to rate increases in the Massachusetts insured health care market. The reports look at trends in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) claims as well as the administrative expenses. The Division undertook these studies through its Health Care Access Bureau as a part of its responsibility under health care reform to monitor the affordability of health care premiums.

57

Division of Insurance
Key Points of Note this Quarter
In August, the Division of Insurance sponsored the 10th Annual Roxbury Film Festival to educate consumers about the state's new managed competition auto insurance system. Staff members were on-site and available to show consumers ways they can shop and save in the new market at Northeastern University's Cabral Center.

On August 25th, Commissioner of Insurance Nonnie S. Burnes unveiled a new web site of
resources for Massachusetts insurance consumers. Available at www.mass.gov/doi, the site is designed to better assist consumers as they seek information and make decisions about health, auto, home and other lines of insurance.

58

Division of Banks
Division of Banks
Edit and issue completed reports of
examination of financial institutions within 30 days of submission to Division.

9/30/07

Total FY08

9/30/08

74%

71%

63%

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
During the third quarter of 2008, the Division of Banks issued 56 formal or informal enforcement actions against licensed mortgage lenders and brokers and another 9 formal or informal actions against banks, credit unions, or other non-bank licensees. On September 24, the Division of Banks announced the issuance of four cease and desist orders against licensed mortgage lenders and brokers. Each case involved reverse products which were made in violation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ reverse mortgage statute. In three cases, a licensed mortgage lender made reverse mortgage loans without the required approval. In another case, a licensed mortgage broker engaged in unfair and deceptive advertising by promoting a reverse mortgage product as a government benefit.

59

Division of Banks
Key Points of Note this Quarter
The Division held a public hearing on proposed new regulations to extend Community Reinvestment Act-like requirements to certain mortgage lenders. These first in the nation regulations require the Division to evaluate these lenders for their efforts in meeting the mortgage credit needs in the Commonwealth and to issue a public rating and report. On September 5, the new Mortgage Lender Community Investment regulations (209 CMR 54.00 et seq.) became effective and the Division will begin to examine mortgage

lenders for compliance with the new requirements in 2009.
On August 15, the Division, together with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) launched a new web site, www.mass.gov/reversemortgage, to provide information and guidance to seniors about reverse mortgage products that enable senior homeowners to convert the equity in their home into income.

60

Division of Standards
Division of Standards
Resolve all consumer complaints
within 5 days of receipt.

9/30/07

Total FY08

YTD 9/30/08

72%

84%

90%

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
The Division, in conjunction with the State Police Auto Fraud Division and local police, conducted surprise inspections of suspected illegal auto body repair shops in Lawrence and Lowell during

August. Two unlicensed repair shops were issued ―Stop Work‖ orders as they were unlicensed to
perform auto damage repair work.

Key Points of Note this Quarter:
The Division conducted training at the Mass Weights and Measures Annual Training Conference held in Marlboro. Eighty state and local inspectors received instruction in new motor fuel dispenser

technology. The Division also conducted training in fraudulent pricing practices in retail motor fuel
sales outlets pertaining to street/dispenser price signs, firewood sales, and fuel oil delivery inspections.

61

Division of Professional Licensure
Division of Professional Licensure
Conduct inspections of all locations applying
for new business licenses within 10 days of receipt of the complete application. Conduct inspections at 4500 licensed businesses each year. * Reflects calendar year to date results

Total FY08

C-YTD 9/30/08

94% 72%*

93% 110%

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
The Division of Professional Licensure assisted the Board of Massage Therapy in promulgating emergency regulations that enable the Board to begin state licensing of massage therapy facilities for the first time in the Commonwealth. The Division also contributed to writing legislation that was enacted that will require sheet metal workers to be licensed for the first time in the Commonwealth.

Key Points of Note this Quarter:
The Division continued its Student Career Outreach Program with an event at Revere High School on September 18th to provide information about licensed professional careers . Additional events are scheduled at high schools throughout Massachusetts.

62

State Racing Commission
State Racing Commission
Hear all appeals for ejection notices within
10 business days of receiving an appeal. Hold all other hearings within 20 days of receiving an appeal.

9/30/07

Total FY08

9/30/08

100%
100%

100%
100%

100%
100%

Key Points of Note this Quarter:
During the quarter, the Commission conducted five ejections from the race tracks and had 85 total ruling by track stewards/judges. In addition, there were 5 drug positive incidents. In September, license applications for 2009 racing were received from: Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC (Suffolk Downs); Ourway Realty, LLC (Plainridge Racecourse); Wonderland Greyhound Park, Inc. (Wonderland); Massasoit Greyhound Association, Inc. and Taunton Dog Track, Inc. (Raynham/Taunton).

63

Department of Telecommunications and Cable
Department of Communications & Cable
Respond to consumer slamming complaints within
ten (10) calendar days of receipt of filing.

9/30/07

Total FY08

9/30/08

97%

97%

100%

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
The Department investigated 1984 consumer complaints resulting in refunds of $19,323.62 to Telecommunications and Cable consumers and $42,043.82 to Electric, Gas and Water consumers. The Department also handled 2594

consumer inquiries and 9535 consumer referrals to utilities. During the quarter, the Department resolved regulatory
cases including two Cable Rate Orders and an Order regarding service quality in the town of Middlefield.

Key Points of Note this Quarter:
The Department supported formation of new Mass Broadband Institute established by the passage of the Governor’s Broadband Legislation creating c. 231 of the Acts of 2008, which was signed into law on August 4,

2008.
In September, the Department met with seniors to discuss the Digital TV Transition in the town of Dedham and worked closely with Cable operators to gather information about the migration of their networks from analog to digital format.

64

Consumer Hot Line Services
Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation

Report Card
January – June 2008 59

Live Chat

Walk-In

120 7,873

Mail

2,080
E-mail

74,611
Phone

65
0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000

OCA Consumer Dispute Resolution Services
OCA has established goals for the time it takes to process Home Improvement and Lemon Law claims

and will measure what percentage is completed within the goal.

Home Improvement
Schedule all hearings within 90 days of acceptance of the application.

9/30/07

Total FY08

9/30/08

96%
9/30/07

93%
Total FY08

100%
9/30/08

Lemon Law
Schedule all arbitration hearings within 35 days of acceptance of application.

100%

98%

97%

66

Office of Consumer Affairs

Key Regulatory and Enforcement Actions:
The Office of Consumer Affairs issued final data security regulations as a provision of Chapter 82 of the Acts of 2007 ―An Act Relative to Security Freezes and Notification of Data Breaches‖, enacted to protect consumers from identity theft. These comprehensive regulations establish standards for how businesses protect and store consumers’ personal information and will become effective on January 1, 2009.

67

Outreach and Education
Bi-Monthly Consumer Newsletter
Each quarter, increase the electronic distribution of the bi-monthly consumer newsletter:
The issue published in August, 2008 was distributed electronically to 1,967 subscribers. This represents a 68% increase compared to the first publication in June 2007.

Outreach Events
At least three events each quarter, including at least one event outside of Route 128 (*): July 1, 2008 Loan Acquisition Fund Announcement, Chelsea

July 16, 2008
July 17, 2008 July 17, 2008 August 12, 2008 August 14, 2008 September 5, 2008

Worcester Foreclosure Prevention Workshop *
CHAPA Housing Forum, Suffolk Law School, Boston Lawrence Foreclosure Prevention Workshop * Gillette Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, Foxboro * HUD Forum, Avoiding Predatory Lending and Foreclosure, Boston Mass Bankers Association Mortgage Lending Industry Summit, Framingham*

September 8, 2008
September 12

Western Massachusetts Foreclosure Prevention Center, Pittsfield*
Senior Benefits Expo, Lowell Senior Center, Lowell*

September 24, 2008 Massachusetts Weights & Measures Annual Conference, Marlborough *

68


								
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