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FY14 DHCD Peer-to-Peer Grants Available pdf format of peertopergrants.pdf


Program Description

DHCD awards small grants to CDBG non-entitlement communities to hire Peer Consultants for short-term problem solving or technical assistance projects that support local community development activities.  Municipalities may apply for grants of $1,000 to pay for up to 30 hours ($900) of Peer Consultant assistance and up to $100 for reimbursement of travel, photocopying and the cost of incidental materials.

All non-entitlement communities are encouraged to apply for funding, as described below. However, because applications are accepted on a rolling basis and funds are limited, applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis. The Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program is funded with Massachusetts CDBG technical assistance funds.

FY14 Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program Memo pdf format of peermemo.pdf

Peer Consultant Application doc format of peerapp.doc


Application Process for Municipality

  • A municipality's Board of Selectmen or chief executive submits a written request for Peer Consultant assistance, describing a problem or issue that can be addressed by the short-term assistance of an elected or appointed municipal official or employee from another community.
  • A board, commission or department may also submit a request for assistance.  Such a request must include a vote of the Board of Selectmen or letter of support from the Mayor or City Manager approving the request.
  • A municipality may request a specific individual to serve as its Peer Consultant or ask DHCD's assistance in finding an appropriate Peer.
  • The request letter and as appropriate, the required vote or letter of support, should be sent by mail delivery to:

Attn:  Karl McLaurin
Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program
DHCD
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA  02114


DHCD's Review Process

1.  The request is reviewed to ensure that it meets the following requirements:

a. The proposed project/activity is eligible and does not give an unfair advantage to one municipality over another in a competitive situation (i.e., preparing a grant application or recruiting a specific business); and
b. The proposed Peer is eligible to serve as a Peer Consultant.  

2. If the letter requests a specific Peer, DHCD will review its current list of qualified Peer Consultants to see if this Peer is included on the list.  If the Peer is not already qualified, DHCD will contact the proposed Peer to see if she/he is interested in completing an application to serve as a Peer Consultant.  If no Peer is requested, DHCD will identify an appropriate Peer from its list of qualified Peers.
3. DHCD will discuss the proposed project with both the requesting municipality and the Peer to ensure that they are willing to work together and that the project, as described, can be completed for the available funding and within the proposed timeline.
4. All eligible requests will be funded provided funding is available and there is sufficient time between the award date and the end of the fiscal year to complete the project.  
5. Once an award is made, a grant contract between DHCD and the municipality will be executed.  The grant contract will include a scope of services based on the request letter that directs the municipality to hire the designated Peer Consultant to undertake the proposed project as described.


Municipal Responsibilities

  • Designate a contract manager.
  • Sign and return the Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program contract to DHCD.
  • Wait until a fully executed copy of the contract is returned from DHCD before implementing the project.  
  • Execute a separate contract with the Peer Consultant that includes a scope of services and timeline for the Peer Consultant assistance.     
  • Request an amendment to the contract with DHCD if modifications are needed in the scope of services.
  • Implement the Peer project.
  • Upon project completion, the Peer Consultant prepares a final report for the municipality and submits an invoice that details the number of hours worked and incidental expenses incurred.
  • Submit a copy of the Peer Consultant report, a copy of the invoice, a Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program Evaluation Form, and a letter requesting payment to DHCD.  
  • DHCD will forward payment to the municipality when all required information and reporting is submitted and complete.
  • The municipality forwards payment to the Peer Consultant.
    Sample Projects Include:
  • Starting up of CDBG grant and record keeping processes
  • Developing guidelines for housing rehabilitation programs
  • Developing guidelines for commercial rehabilitation programs
  • Expanding downtown revitalization activities
  • Establishing micro-enterprise assistance programs
  • Preparing GIS needs assessment
  • Developing policies for economic development, septic system betterment programs, revolving loan funds, etc.
  • Preparing community development-related management capacity study
  • Supporting local historic preservation


Sample Projects Include:

  • Starting up of CDBG grant and record keeping processes
  • Developing guidelines for housing rehabilitation programs
  • Developing guidelines for commercial rehabilitation programs
  • Expanding downtown revitalization activities
  • Establishing micro-enterprise assistance programs
  • Preparing GIS needs assessment
  • Developing policies for economic development, septic system betterment programs, revolving loan funds, etc.
  • Preparing community development-related management capacity study
  • Supporting local historic preservation


Grants Awarded to Communities


Contact

If you have any questions about the Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program, would like to discuss a proposed application, or are a locally elected/appointed official or municipal staff with expertise you could share as a Peer Consultant, contact:  Karl McLaurin, Manager, Community Partnerships, at (617) 573-1358 or Karl.McLaurin@state.ma.us.