Founded in 1969, RCAP Solutions (then named Rural Housing Improvement or RHI) started as a “delegate agency” under the Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC). Through the work of Representative Silvio Conte and Senator Edward Kennedy, RHI was awarded a $140,000 federal start-up grant and was initially staffed largely with VISTA Volunteers. RHI’s original service area included 7 towns in northern Worcester County.
During its first decade, RHI grew rapidly in size and scope. Within three years, RHI leveraged over $2 million in home mortgage financing, completed and/or helped finance over 160 units of housing, completed and began managing our first multi-family housing development, began providing housing counseling, and began administering federal rental subsidies. By the mid-70’s, RHI’s service area expanded to 60 communities and RHI became the primary administrator of rental subsidies in Central Massachusetts.
In 1978, RHI emerged from beneath MOC’s umbrella to become an independent 501(c)3 and joined forces with 6 other non-profits to create the “Massachusetts Non-Profit Housing Association” (now known as the Regional Housing Network).
Also in 1978, RHI was selected by the “National Demonstration Water Project” to provide training and technical assistance to rural communities in New England. The program was expanded and RHI became 1 of the 6 organizations comprising the RCAP network, expanding our service area to include 9 northeast states and the Caribbean.
In the 1980’s, RHI stayed committed to single family housing by helping families secure USDA and HUD mortgages, pioneered an FHA Self Help Housing program, and initiated the Rural Revolving Loan Fund (which has become the home repair loan program).Â The 80’s also brought a commitment to developing and managing HUD 202 elderly housing developments.
The 1990’s were marked with relative stability and growth of key services including water and wastewater technical assistance, administering rental subsidies, expansion of affordable elderly housing and domestic violence transitional housing.
The following decade brought with it the emergence of a de-leading loan fund and a home modification loan fund which allowed families with elderly or disabled family members make modifications to address accessibility issues. Having evolved from a small affordable housing provider to a multi-state organization leveraging millions for communities, administering millions more in state and federal low income housing subsidies, and with CDFI status, the time seemed right for RHI to reconsider its mission and with that, changed its name to RCAP Solutions in 2003.
RCAP Solutions Financial Services continues to meet the needs of its constituents by adding new business lending programs. In 2011, RCAP was named the “Top Microlender of 2011″ by Massachusetts SBA. Our new team of lenders has extensive experience and is committed to a mission of providing loans to businesses and individuals who may not qualify through the traditional sources.
In 2011, RCAP was selected to be one of the organizations that will administer the State’s HomeBASE program, a homelessness prevention program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. This allows RCAP to further support our mission of improving the quality of life for individuals, especially the many families that have suffered due to loss of income or employment in this difficult economy.
Most recently, RCAP expanded its Worcester office to better service the growing needs in the Central Massachusetts and Southern Worcester county region. The new space incorporates appropriate intake areas along with enhanced classroom and meeting space for training and workshops, computer space for clients along with support services, creating wraparound services for those in need of RCAP’s assistance. With the corporate office remaining in Gardner, the organization continues to focus on servicing the north central Massachusetts region of Worcester County and its rural constituency for the northeast part of the country through the national RCAP program, centered in Washington DC.