Resources that facilitate and/or support the establishment, sitting, rehabilitation and/or expansion of development that encourages transit use and/or some combination of residential with commercial, industrial, office, public, and/or institutional uses.

Primary Resources (see summaries below)

  • Chapter 40R (Smart Growth Zoning Act)
  • Chapter 43D (Expedited Permitting)
  • Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program
  • Community Development Block Grant
  • District Improvement Financing
  • Economic Development Fund
  • Economic Development Incentive Program
  • Housing Development Incentive Program
  • I-Cubed
  • MassWorks Infrastructure Program
  • Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing Program
  • Urban Renewal Program

Secondary Resources (see summaries below)

  • State-Subsidized Environmental Insurance
  • Brownfields Redevelopment Fund
  • Citizen Planner Training Collaborative
  • Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program
  • Relocation Assistance Program
  • Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit

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Primary Resources: Summaries

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Program: Chapter 40R (Smart Growth Zoning Act)
Purpose: To substantially increase the supply of housing and enable municipalities to create Smart Growth Zoning Overlay Districts for the production of compact/high density housing. It targets the shortfall in housing for low- and moderate-income households, by requiring the inclusion of affordable units. 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All MA cities and towns may apply.
  • Development must include housing:
    • In an area of concentrated development such as town centers, or
    • Near transit stations, or
    • Be in a highly suitable location
  • 20% of housing units must be affordable.
  • Municipality must adopt a 40R zoning district.
  • Minimum residential densities of 8 units/acre for single family; 12 units/acre for 2-3 family; and 20 units/acre for multi-family

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Incentive payments of up to $600,000 (plus a one time density bonus payment of $3000 for each unit) for construction of new housing, substantial rehabilitation of existing buildings, or conversion to residential use
  • 40R projects are eligible for payment under Chapter 40S which reimburses for some of the net increase in the cost of educating students living in new housing in smart growth districts. This funding is available starting in FY2008

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Program: Chapter 43D (Expedited Local Permitting) 
Purpose:
To streamline state and local permitting processes in order that a permit for commercial or industrial development (on a site identified as a Priority Development Site) can be issued within 180 days 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The local governing authority approves the use of Chapter 43D for projects.
  • A locally approved project then requires approval by the State Interagency Permitting Board.
  • Priority Development sites must:
    • be zoned for commercial or industrial development
    • involve the development or redevelopment of a building of at least 50,000 square feet of gross floor area (may include existing structures and contiguous buildings)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by the Interagency Permitting Board
  • Priority consideration for state infrastructure grants and other financing through quasi-public organizations.

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Program: Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program (CATNHP)
Purpose: To support first-time homebuyer housing through new construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of housing developments, of 24 units or less, within neighborhood commercial areas and in proximity to public transit nodes

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All MA Cities and towns
  • Non-profit developers
  • For-profit developers
  • Housing development must be within neighborhood commercial areas and in proximity to public transit nodes.
  • Not less than 51% of the units assisted by the program must benefit persons earning not more than 80% of the area median income.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • A state funded bond program
  • The total amount of CATNHP funds requested per eligible project may not exceed $750,000 or $50,000 per unit.

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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

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Program: District Improvement Financing (DIF) 
Purpose:

  • To enable municipalities to fund public works and infrastructure projects by allocating future incremental tax revenues collected from a predefined district
  • To stimulate private investment, which in turn increases the taxable value of property and generates the incremental taxes

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All cities and towns
  • DIF Plan required
  • Approval by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development
  • Incremental revenues can either pay for the municipal improvements (from year-to-year) or,
  • Can be estimated and pledged in advance toward repayment of bonds to be issued to pay for the municipal improvements

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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

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Program: Economic Development Incentive Program 
Purpose:

  • To stimulate business growth and foster job creation
  • To attract and retain businesses in Economic Target Areas

Key Eligibility Criteria:

Businesses within an Economic Opportunity Area that are creating permanent new jobs and:

  • Expanding existing operations
  • Relocating operations
  • Building new facilities

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development
  • State tax incentives:
  • Investment Tax Credit
  • Abandoned Building Tax Deduction
  • Municipal tax incentive:
    • Special tax assessment - a phased-in assessment of the total value of the project property, or

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) - a five- to 20- year property tax exemption based on the increased value of the project property due to new construction or significant improvements

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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

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Program: I-Cubed (Infrastructure Investment Incentive Program )
Purpose: To support, through public infrastructure investment, certified economic development projects that will result in new jobs and increases in property values, real estate tax revenue, and tax revenue to the Commonwealth 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The project would not happen or would not achieve the contemplated level of development or other economic activity without the public infrastructure improvements financed under I-Cubed.
  • The project must be approved by the related Municipality, the Secretary of Administration and Finance and MassDevelopment in order to be "certified" as eligible for funding.
  • The cost of the public infrastructure improvements financed under I-Cubed may not exceed $50 million and may not be less than $10 million.
  • The projected annual new state tax revenues from each occupied project component must be at least 1.5 times greater than the projected annual debt service on the related bonds.
  • Not more than one other economic development project in the municipality may have been approved for financing under I-Cubed.
  • The project must be financially feasible and the developer must demonstrate sufficient resources to carry out the project.
  • The project must be consistent with sustainable development principles.
  • The project may not receive public assistance under certain other state programs.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Bonds issued by MassDevelopment
  • Investment in public infrastructure improvements in support of certified economic development projects

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Program: MassWorks Infrastructure Program 
Purpose: To provide public infrastructure funding to support economic development. MassWorks consolidates these six grant programs into one office to streamline the grant process:

  • Community Development Action Grant (CDAG)
  • Growth District Initiative (GDI) Grants
  • Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion Program (MORE)
  • Public Works Economic Development (PWED) Grants
  • Small Town Rural Assistance Program (STRAP)
  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program

Key Eligibility Criteria

  • Please see the MassWorks Infrastructure web page for further information.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Please see the MassWorks Infrastructure web page for further information.

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Program : Urban Center Housing - Tax Increment Financing (UCH-TIF) 
Purpose:
To promote multi-unit housing and commercial development, including affordable housing, in commercial centers through tax increment financing. Such development must be primarily residential 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • .All cities and towns having designated commercial centers with a need for multi-unit housing
  • Development must be primarily residential, and 25% of housing units produced must be affordable.
  • A participating city or town must adopt an Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing Plan ("UCH-TIF Plan") for a designated commercial area (the "UCH-TIF Zone").
  • The UCH-TIF Plan must include development plans for proposed public and private projects in the UCH-TIF Zone and executed agreement(s) with property owners undertaking new development who will be receiving tax increment exemptions ("UCH-TIF Agreements") on these projects.
  • Before submitting an application for approval of a UCH-TIF Zone and a UCH-TIF Plan to the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), a municipality must implement a local review and approval process.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • DHCD provides no direct funding.
  • Cities and towns may grant a real estate tax exemption up to 20 years on all or part of the increased value of improved real estate due to new construction or significant improvements.
  • Tax increment financing may be combined with grants and loans from local, state and federal development programs.
  • Multi-unit housing in designated commercial centers with 25% of units affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income
  • Primarily residential development

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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

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Secondary Resources: Summaries

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Program: State-Subsidized Environmental Insurance
Purpose: To encourage private sector lending on contaminated sites by utilizing environmental insurance to safeguard parties involved in redevelopment from the risk of environmental liabilities associated with Brownfields

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Cities and towns
  • Any individual or entity borrowing from participating Massachusetts lenders to cleanup any contaminated site in Massachusetts

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by BDC Capital
  • Program is supported by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the Brownfields Redevelopment Access to Capital (BRAC) Fund
  • BRAC Fund backs private sector loans with environmental insurance
  • Payment of up to 50% of the premium for environmental insurance

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Program: Brownfields Redevelopment Fund (BRF) 
Purpose:
To provide low-interest loans and grants for site assessment and cleanup

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Cities and towns
  • Redevelopment authorities and agencies
  • Economic Development and Industrial Corporations
  • Community Development Corporations
  • Within Economically Distressed Areas, and:
    • Significant economic results - i.e. new jobs, or
    • Contributing to economic or physical revitalization
  • MassDevelopment may designate "Priority Projects" though the BRF. Eligibility for priority project designation is determined on a case by case basis by MassDevelopment.
  • The BRF assistance must be necessary to make the project financially feasible

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Administered by MassDevelopment

  • Grants
  • Loans
    • The applicant must provide matching funds.

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Program: Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC)  
Purpose:
To provide technical assistance for planning and zoning to cities and towns 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • City or town officials, including Selectmen, Building Inspectors, and members of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal, etc.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Trainees pay nominal fees for annual workshops and conferences, including:

  • Comprehensive Permit - MGL 40B
  • How to Hold A Perfect Public Hearing
  • Introduction to the Subdivision Control Law and ANR
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Planning & Zoning Boards

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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.

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Program: Relocation Assistance Program 
Purpose:
To provide advice, assistance and approvals for and to public agencies that cause businesses and individuals to move as a result of real estate acquisitions (voluntary or involuntary) or takings

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Any residential or business occupant displaced by a public or private entity using public funds

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Fair and reasonable relocation payments to displaced persons and businesses must be made under MGL Chapter 79A by any agency or person that is acquiring real property or issuing an order to vacate real property for purposes of rehabilitation or other improvement or for demolition purposes.
  • Actions include:
    • Taking of real property by eminent domain
    • Negotiated sale
    • Rehabilitation or other improvement
  • Demolition

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Program: Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit 
Purpose:

  • To provide easy access to information on twelve different planning , zoning and subdivision techniques
  • To increase understanding of smart growth tools and how to customize the techniques to local circumstances

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The Toolkit is designed to be both an educational guide and a reference document

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

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Contact

DHCD Community Services at 617-573-1400