Grant Alert

DHCD has a total of $600,000 in PATH funds available to assist municipalities to identify and implement strategies that will increase the production of multi-family housing.  

Program Description

In November 2012, Governor Patrick announced a Statewide Housing Production Goal of 10,000 multi-family housing units per year through 2020.   The goal of PATH is to increase the supply of multi-family housing across the Commonwealth for a range of incomes by encouraging community-based planning activities that will lead directly to housing production.  It will be administered by DHCD in consultation with MassHousing, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, MassDevelopment, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The PATH program supports multi-family housing proximate to existing infrastructure, community services and public transportation, as well as projects containing ancillary commercial facilities that are secondary to the residential use of properties.  Priority for funding will be given to applications that: (1) support the creation of as-of-right multi-family zoning districts for DHCD approval and/or (2) encourage new multi-family housing production in new or existing mixed-use districts (e.g., within city or town centers or transit-oriented development areas).  Applications must be consistent with the Commonwealth Sustainable Development Principles and reflect DHCD’s Fair Housing Principles.

The amount of PATH funds awarded will be commensurate with the proposed deliverable and the anticipated impact of proposed activities on housing production.  Grants will generally not exceed $25,000.  However, larger funding awards will be considered for projects of exceptional merit and complexity and for joint applications.  DHCD will consider “follow-up” grants for Grantees that show, after satisfactory completion of the initial grant, that additional funding is necessary to continue along the path toward housing production.  

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants consist of cities and towns within the Commonwealth.  Only municipalities will be allowed to enter into contracts with DHCD as grantees under this program.  Joint applications involving two or more communities within a region or with similar housing challenges are strongly encouraged as a way to leverage resources.  Regional Planning Agencies (RPA) may submit joint applications on behalf of two or more communities within a region.  However, under this NOFA RPAs are considered consultants. 

Eligible Activities

Funding is available for a broad range of community-based planning activities leading to the production of multi-family housing within a three-year period following grant completion.  Eligible activities include:

Community initiated activities such as education and outreach efforts that support the production of multi-family housing, including:

  • Efforts to build local consensus on housing production, such as presentations, charrettes, visioning sessions, and other outreach
  • Neighborhood or regional strategic plans that address local or regional housing needs

Planning associated with specific geographic areas, so long as multi-family housing is a significant element, including:

  • Planning for housing/mixed-use development as part of regional, sub-regional or corridor plans
  • Planning for housing/mixed-use development as part of an urban renewal plan, master plan or neighborhood plan

Activities associated with the production of multi-family housing on municipally owned/controlled sites, including:

  • Gaining site control, site analysis, financial feasibility analysis, preliminary architectural and engineering studies, and legal review
  • Development of a Request for Proposal for land disposition

Zoning Activities, including:

  • Planning, outreach and adoption of smart growth zoning overlay districts under M.G.L. Chapter 40R and as-of-right zoning that qualifies under the Compact Neighborhoods policy
  • Planning, outreach and adoption of other high impact up-zoning approaches that increase unit-per-acre zoning regulations within:  city/town centers and/or near transit, employment, retail, services, and other appropriate areas to facilitate more compact, vital development areas, including other types of as-of-right zoning districts for DHCD approval
  • Planning, outreach and adoption of expedited permitting under the 43D program, provided that zoning in the designated development areas allow for housing

Other activities leading toward housing production, including:

  • Preparation, update or renewal of HPPs under M.G.L. Chapter 40B and 760 CMR 56.03(4); funding for preparation of new HPPs is limited to up to $15,000, and up to $10,000 for renewals and updates   
  • Implementation of strategies for the production of affordable housing identified in DHCD-approved HPPs

Application Process

  1. Communities are encouraged to meet with DHCD staff to discuss their proposed funding requests/activities prior to application submission. To schedule a meeting or to seek assistance, please contact Miryam Bobadilla, Senior Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1356 or Miryam.Bobadilla@state.ma.us.
  2. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  3. Submit an electronic copy of the application to Miryam.Bobadilla@state.ma.us.  The application is available as a word document at www.mass.gov/dhcd; search: PATH.
  4. Submit one hard copy of the application with the CEO’s original signature by mail to:
        Attention:  Miryam Bobadilla
         DHCD
        Office of Sustainable Communities - PATH       
        100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300
        Boston, MA  02114
  5. Fax copies of the application will not be accepted.
  6. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that its application is received by DHCD.
  7. All applications will be logged as to date and time received and kept on file as public record.
  8. DHCD reserves the right to request additional information from the applicant or external sources as may be necessary in order to complete the application review.

Contact:  Miryam Bobadilla, Senior Technical Assistance Coordinator, Office of Sustainable Communities, (617) 573-1356 or Miryam.Bobadilla@state.ma.us.