Support for Local Housing Available through CHAPA Municipal Engagement Initiative

May 10, 2023

Believing that housing is at the center of the hub of work needed to create healthy, equitable, affordable, and vibrant communities, the Municipal Engagement Initiative (MEI) from the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) works with residents on the ground to change the conversation and support existing local efforts in favor of more affordable housing.

CHAPA is currently seeking new communities under their Municipal Engagement Initiative.

MEI brings together diverse coalitions, provides education and resources, helps residents build consensus, bridges any gaps between a general lack of understanding about affordable housing and potential solutions, and changes local conversations about affordable housing to be more positive.

CHAPA will continue to accept MEI Lite Program applications on a rolling basis. Municipal governments and community organizations throughout the Commonwealth are encouraged to submit an application.

Applicants must submit an electronic copy of the application to Monica C. Keel, Municipal Engagement Program Associate, at by 12 PM on Friday, June 16, 2023. 

In addition to meeting the required criteria outlined below, all applications should align with CHAPA’s mission to encourage the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low and moderate income families and individuals and to foster diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:


  1. Market Conditions to support Housing Production and Affordable Housing
  2. Additional Conditions needed to build support. Examples of conditions that indicate need may include, but are not limited to:
    • Municipal staff seeking assistance to engage community around housing production and affordable housing,
    • Local advocacy or community group seeking assistance to engage community,
    • No existing coalition,
    • High level of organized opposition preventing municipality from moving forward with efforts to produce housing,
    • Close votes on zoning and development proposals, or
    • Missed opportunities identified
  3. Welcomed by Municipality at some level (Mayor, Town Manager, ZBA, Planning Staff, Fair Housing Commission, etc.)

Additional Considerations:

  1. Trigger: New Zoning proposal, specific site changing hands, public site available for affordable housing, new leadership, new regulation or policy being explored
  2. Past Effort: Consideration will be given to past efforts, barriers, challenges, and potential for impact
  3. Collaboration with other Technical Assistance efforts: The MEI seeks to coordinate efforts with other technical assistance providers to maximize impact.

Both Municipal Governments and Community Groups may apply.