The Boston Foundation honored for innovative housing and community development partnership

September 10, 2012

HUD announces recipients of Inaugural Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations


Boston – The Boston Foundation has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, as one of 10 recipients of the first annual Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations. The award honors community foundations for their innovative public-philanthropic collaborations designed to address housing and community development challenges.

The awards were announced today during the Council’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in New Orleans. The Boston Foundation was recognized for its leading role in the establishment of the Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund, in which the Boston Foundation served as a convening sponsor and which to date has financed 468 housing units through more than 30 lending partners.

“In 2008, as the foreclosure crisis began sweeping the across the nation and into New England, the Boston Foundation joined with partners to identify problems and determine the ways that a coalition of public, private and nonprofit groups could have a meaningful impact keeping families in their homes,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This award recognizes the unique power of collaboration to develop real solutions.”

HUD and the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative developed the award to recognize community foundations for enhancing the quality of life for low-income and moderate-income families. The projects addressed issues concerning housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability and economic development. An expert panel selected one award recipient from each of HUD’s 10 regions.

In early 2008, the Boston Foundation funded a Task Force convened by the Urban Land Institute, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and Massachusetts Association of CDCs to address the crisis and its destabilizing effect on Massachusetts communities. Noting the exceptional distress of neighborhoods with high concentrations of clustered foreclosures, including increased violence, vandalism and prostitution, the Task Force zeroed in on treating fragile streets and foreclosure hotspots as key to preventing neighborhood blight.

The Boston Foundation followed up on its funding of the task force by contributing $2 million in Program Related Investments, the first money on the table, towards creating the $22 million Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund (NSLF). The Fund was announced by Gov. Deval Patrick on July 1, 2008 – just four months after the initial task force meeting. A five-year public, private and philanthropic partnership, NSLF provides financing for the acquisition and rehabilitation of foreclosed properties in distressed urban areas with concentrations of foreclosures throughout Massachusetts.

“By turning foreclosed homes into affordable housing, The Boston Foundation is creating lasting and positive change in Boston,” said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator.

“The Boston Foundation and the other honorees are shining examples of foundations at their best, demonstrating leadership, vision, partnership, and investment,” said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “While leaders will continue facing challenges in years to come, we should be heartened by the philanthropic spirit community foundations exemplify as they innovate, take risks, and make a positive impact for the people they serve.”

Community foundations in America administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds in more than 725 communities and regions throughout the country.

Learn more about the award recipients and the HUD Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of $850 million.  In 2011, the Foundation and its donors made almost $78 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $81 million. The Foundation is made up of some 850 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges.

In 2012, the Boston Foundation and The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) merged, with TPI operating as a distinct unit of the Boston Foundation.  TPI pioneered the field of strategic philanthropic advising over 20 years ago and remains a national leader today. Through its consulting services and its work to advance the broader field of strategic philanthropy, TPI has influenced billions of dollars of giving worldwide. TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy promotes international giving from the U.S. and indigenous philanthropy abroad.

For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.

The Council on Foundations is a national nonprofit association of more than 1,800 grantmaking foundations and corporations. As the leading advocate for philanthropy, we strive to increase the effectiveness, stewardship, and accountability of our sector while providing our members with the services and support they need to advance the common good. More information is available on Twitter at @COF_ and Facebook at

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers, meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life, build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of discrimination should contact HUD at 800-669-9777 (voice) or 800-927-9275 (TTY). More information about HUD and its programs is available at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.