2017 Technical Assistance Application

2016 Massachusetts Technical Assistance Grantees

  • Auburn will create design guidelines for its village center.
  • Agawam will implement a downtown retail retention program.
  • Beverly will implement a downtown parking inventory and management plan.
  • Essex will implement a parking management plan for the village center.
  • Holliston will draft conceptual designs, and recommendations, for a downtown complete streets plan.
  • Hudson will implement a Business Improvement District feasibility plan for the downtown.
  • Middleborough will conduct a downtown market analysis.
  • Saugus will conduct a market analysis of Cliftondale Square.
  • Stoneham will implement a downtown complete streets study.
  • Stoughton will conduct market analysis and space inventory related to downtown restaurant uses.
  • Sturbridge will conduct a feasibility study for seasonal trolley service.
  • Wellesley will implement a wayfinding plan for the downtown.
  • Woburn will implement a wayfinding plan for Woburn Square.

2015 Massachusetts Technical Assistance Grantees

2014 Massachusetts Technical Assistance Grantees:

Program Description

DHCD's Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) offers a range of services and assistance to communities seeking help on how to revitalize their downtowns. The primary mission of the MDI is to make downtown revitalization an integral part of community development in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. MDI's guiding principles are that the most effective approach to downtown revitalization is a holistic one; that it addresses economic and community development needs; and that it provides a framework of interrelated activities that promote positive change in a downtown to keep it healthy and prosperous.

Successful downtown revitalization is comprehensive and includes a well-balanced community strategy composed of seven downtown building blocks:

* Encouraging Community Involvement & Ownership;
* Preserving & Enhancing Downtown Character;
* Ensuring Economic Vitality;
* Promoting Downtown Assets;
* Getting Into & Around Downtown;
* Living Downtown; and,
* Keeping Downtown Safe.


Currently, MDI provides assistance through the following components:

  • Desktop Technical Assistance
  • Ongoing technical assistance on downtown-related issues is provided by staff via telephone, fax, and written materials based on requests from communities as well as referrals from DHCD staff. Recent requests have included how to develop business recruitment programs, upper story spaces, and downtown organizational bylaws.

Education and Training

MDI is charged with development of downtown education and training opportunities that meet the needs of communities at various stages of downtown revitalization. A series of workshops is held each year on topics such as business recruitment and retention, design issues, creating a business improvement district, or upper-story housing.

MDI Parking Benefit Workshop  docx format of MDI Parking Benefit Workshop

Eligible Applicants

Eligibility requirements vary among program components and restrictions may apply. The TA Site Visit Program is restricted to non-entitlement CDBG communities.


For more information contact Emmy Hahn, Program Coordinator/MDI, at 617-573-1364 or elizabeth.hahn@state.ma.us .