Resources that support the identification, evaluation, and/or protection of important historical and archaeological assets of the Commonwealth.

Primary Resources (see summaries below)

  • Community Preservation Act
  • Housing Development Incentive Program
  • Mass Cultural Facilities Fund
  • Mass Historical Commission Survey & Planning Grants
  • Mass Preservation Projects Fund

Secondary Resources (see summaries below)

  • Community Development Block Grant
  • Economic Development Fund
  • Mass Downtown Initiative
  • Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program
  • Urban Renewal Program

_____________________________________

Primary Resources: Summaries

_____________________________________

Program : Community Preservation Act (CPF)  (M.G.L. c.44B) 
Purpose:

  • To allow cities and towns to exercise control over local planning decisions
  • To allow cities and towns to create a CPF by assessing a surcharge on annual real estate taxes, which can be used to address three core community concerns:
    • Acquisition and preservation of open space
    • Creation and support of affordable housing
    • Acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes

Key Eligibility Criteria: Voters must approve establishment of a CPF by vote in an annual municipal or state election.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • A minimum of 10% of the annual revenues of the CPF must be used for each of the three core community concerns.
  • The remaining 70% can be allocated for any combination of the allowed uses, or for land for recreational use.

_____________________________________

Program: Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP)
Purpose:
To increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing stock, support economic development, and promote neighborhood stabilization in designated Housing Development Zones in Gateway municipalities by providing two tax incentives to developers to support market rate housing for sale or lease.

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Designated Gateway municipalities as defined under Chapter 23A Section 3A are eligible:
    • A population greater than 35,000 and less than 250,000
    • Median household income below state average
    • Rate of educational attainment of bachelor's degree or above that is below the state average

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Two tax incentives to developers:
    • Local option property tax exemption
    • State tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenses
  • Up to $5M available each year for the Housing Development Tax Credit
  • Multi-unit residential development for sale or lease as market-rate housing
  • Substantial rehabilitation of an existing property
  • May be mixed-use, including commercial

_____________________________________

Program : Mass Cultural Facilities Fund 
Purpose:
To increase investments from both the public sector and the private sector to support the sound planning and development of cultural facilities in Massachusetts 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nonprofit cultural organizations; and
  • Subject to some limitations:
    • Municipalities
    • Institutions of higher education that own cultural facilities

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Capital Grants
  • Feasibility Grants
  • Technical Assistance Grants
  • All grants must be matched with cash contributions from the private or public sector.
  • Eligible uses include:
    • Acquisition
    • Design
    • Repair
    • Rehabilitation
    • Renovation
    • Expansion
    • Or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities

_____________________________________

Program : Mass Historical Commission Survey and Planning Grants 
Purpose:
To preserve and rehabilitate historic properties 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are:

  • Local historical commissions
  • Certified Local Governments
  • Local and state agencies
  • Educational institutions, and
  • Private organizations

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by the Massachusetts Historical Commission
  • 50% matching federal funds
  • Preparation of community surveys
  • Preservation plans
  • Preparation of historic district studies and legislation
  • Archaeological surveys
  • Nominations to the National Register, and
  • Educational preservation programs

_____________________________________

Program : Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF ) 
Purpose:

  • To ensure the continued use and integrity of historic cultural resources by supporting the restoration rehabilitation, stabilization, and documentation of historic and archaeological properties, landscapes, and sites listed in the State Register of Historic Places
  • To ensure that government actions are studied in consultation with interested parties, and
  • To ensure that proposed actions be modified, if feasible, so that public funds are not used in ways that cause needless destruction to our heritage

Key Eligibility Criteria:

Historic and archaeological properties listed on the State Register of Historic Places and owned by:

  • Cities
  • Towns
  • Non-profit organizations

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by the Massachusetts Historical Commission
  • 50% matching grants are available for qualifying properties listed on the State Register to ensure their physical preservation.
  • Applicants have the option to apply for up to 75% of the total project cost if they are willing to commit an additional 25% toward an endowment fund for long-range preservation and maintenance of the property.
  • Studies necessary to enable future development or protection of a State Register-listed property
  • Construction activities including stabilization, protection, rehabilitation, and restoration
  • Costs of material and labor necessary to ensure the preservation, safety, and accessibility of historic cultural resources
  • Universal access development is allowable as part of a larger project.
  • Overall building preservation, building code compliance, and barrier-free access where historic fabric is directly involved
  • Acquisition of State Register-listed properties that are imminently threatened with inappropriate alteration or destruction
  • The acquisition of endangered properties
  • The restoration of historic building
  • Research projects such as:
    • Historic structures reports
    • Archaeological data recovery projects, or
    • Study of innovative preservation techniques

_____________________________________

Secondary Resources: Summaries

_____________________________________

Program: Community Development Block Grant

Purpose: To help cities and towns implement housing, community, and economic development projects that assist low and moderate-income residents, or that revitalize areas of slum or blight

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • MA cities and towns with populations over 50,000 receive CDBG funds directly from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • MA cities and towns with populations under 50,000 that do not receive CDBG funds directly from HUD are eligible to receive CDBG funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Eligible CDBG projects include but are not limited to:

  • housing rehabilitation or development
  • micro-enterprise or other business assistance
  • infrastructure
  • community/public facilities
  • public social services
  • planning
  • removal of architectural barriers, and
  • downtown or area revitalization

_____________________________________

Program: Economic Development Fund 
Purpose:
To finance industrial, commercial, service, real estate and mixed-use projects and programs that:

  • create and/or retain jobs
  • improve the local and/or regional tax base, or
  • enhance the quality of life in the community

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All cities or towns not designated as "entitlement communities" by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Eligible activities include but are not limited to:
  • Pre-development planning studies
  • Acquisition
  • Micro and small business technical assistance programs
  • Regional revolving loan funds
  • Business technical assistance
  • Public social services related to economic development, and
  • Infrastructure and public facilities projects in support of economic development
  • Direct business assistance for:
    • Purchase of equipment
    • Acquisition of real estate
    • New construction and rehabilitation
    • Working capital, and
    • (In some cases) refinancing

_____________________________________

Program : Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI ) 
Purpose:
To promote the revitalization and the preservation of downtowns by:

  • Encouraging community involvement & ownership
  • Preserving & enhancing downtown character
  • Ensuring economic vitality
  • Promoting downtown assets
  • Improving parking management and traffic conditions
  • Increasing downtown housing

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All cities and towns are eligible.
  • Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
  • For Downtown Technical Assistance Site Visit Program only non-entitlement Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) cities and towns (i.e., less than 50,000 population) are eligible

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Federal CBDG funds
  • The MDI Technical Assistance Site Visit Program provides assistance to cities and towns targeting specific downtown revitalization issues including, but not limited to:
    • Economic development
    • Organizational development, including the start-up of a Business Improvement District
    • Design
    • Housing Development
    • Promotion and marketing
    • Parking

_____________________________________

Program : Peer - to - Peer Technical Assistance Program 
Purpose:
To provide small grants to municipalities for short-term problem solving or technical assistance projects. Municipalities may apply for grants of up to $1,000 to employ appointed or elected municipal officials from other communities to provide technical assistance related to community development and/or capacity building at the local level.

Key Eligibility Criteria:

MA cities and towns with populations of under 50,000 that do not receive CDBG funds directly from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • CDBG Technical Assistance Funds provide for grants of up to $1,000.
  • Exclusively for technical assistance related to community development and/or capacity building related to community development at the local level
  • Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 30 hours ($900) of technical assistance and up to $100 for reimbursement of travel, photocopying and/or the cost of incidental materials.
  • A maximum of 10 eligible applications are funded yearly on a first-come, first-served basis.

_____________________________________

Program : Urban Renewal Program (UR) 
Purpose:

  • To redevelop deteriorated areas (substandard, decadent or blighted open areas) by providing the economic environment needed to attract and support private investment for residential, commercial, industrial, business, governmental, recreational, educational, hospital or other purposes
  • To help cities and towns establish and strengthen urban renewal agencies
  • To provide technical assistance in the development and implementation of urban renewal plans

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All MA cities and towns
  • Urban Renewal Agencies (Redevelopment Authorities and Consolidated Departments of Community Development)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Funding: Urban Revitalization Development Grant Program (Requires separate application)

Eligible Uses:

  • Planning
  • Establishment of design and rehabilitation standards
  • Acquisition of land, including taking of land by eminent domain
  • Assembly of land into developable parcels and disposition for private redevelopment
  • Relocation of businesses and residential occupants
  • Demolition or rehabilitation of structures
  • Improvements to infrastructure
  • Issuance of bonds and borrowing of money

_____________________________________

Contact

DHCD Community Services at 617-573-1400