The Urban Renewal Program is a statutory program that allows municipalities - through their urban renewal agencies - to revitalize substandard, decadent or blighted open areas for residential, commercial, industrial, business, governmental, recreational, educational, hospital or other purposes. Urban renewal projects help municipalities redevelop deteriorated areas by providing the economic environment needed to attract and support private investment. The Department of Community Services helps communities establish and strengthen urban renewal agencies and provides technical assistance in the development and implementation of urban renewal plans.
In accordance with an urban renewal plan approved by DHCD, an urban renewal agency may undertake urban renewal activities, including.
- 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
- Receipt of grants and loans
These actions facilitate the public and private redevelopment needed to revitalize communities and stimulate sound growth.
Under M.G.L. c. 121B, DHCD may award Urban Revitalization Development Grant Program funding for the implementation of approved Urban Renewal Plans. For more information refer to the DHCD publication "Urban Revitalization Development Grant Program Application Guidelines ".
In order to approve a proposed Urban Renewal Plan, DHCD must determine that: without public involvement, the project/site would not be developed; the project will promote desired private investment; the plan for financing the project is sound; the project area is a decadent, substandard or blighted open area; the Urban Renewal Plan is complete; and the Urban Renewal Plan includes an approved Relocation Plan. For more information refer to the attached DHCD publication Urban Renewal Plan Preparation Guide.
How To Apply
Urban renewal agencies must obtain approval from DHCD before implementing an Urban Renewal Plan. Please refer to the DHCD publication Urban Renewal Plan Preparation Guide, for specific application instructions.
Additional Program Information
Workshops, Presentations and Training
Fitchburg: a Case Study of Revitalization Success file size 7MB
For additional information, please call the Division of Community Services at 617-573-1400.