General Process Questions
Q: Where do I find the EOI and Full Application deadline dates?
A: Please refer to the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for all important dates related to the One Stop. Note: The EOI deadline is 11:59 PM on March 17, 2023. Applicants may submit the Full Application(s) anytime between May 1, 2023 and June 2, 2023. The final deadline to submit Full Applications is 11:59 PM on June 2, 2023.
Q: Where do I submit the EOI and Full Application?
A: The One Stop EOI and Full Application are submitted via the IGX Platform. Templates of both the EOI and Full Application are also available on the One Stop website, however the templates are for draft purposes only.
Q: Does the online form allow an applicant to start the application and save work in progress?
A: Yes, up until the posted deadlines, users will be able to log in and out of the system at any time to work, and save the progress, on their application(s). Applicants are encouraged to save their work often, as the system will generate alerts indicating any errors on a form that may need to be addressed before each section can be marked as complete.
Q: Does the referral process get my project any special consideration for programs outside of the One Stop?
A: No, a One Stop referral does not give the project any special consideration or guarantee of funding from other sources. The One Stop team will provide information about the other program(s) and alert the program staff of the referral. However, it will be up to the applicant to follow and comply with the application process and guidelines provided by the grant programs outside of the One Stop.
Q: How does the Zoning Act’s requirements for MBTA communities impact a community’s ability to receive funding from the State?
A: Section 3A of the Zoning Act requires all MBTA communities to have at least one zoning district in which multifamily uses are allowed as of right. The Department of Housing and Community Development has issued detailed compliance guidelines that provide for a phased compliance schedule and pathway to achieve interim compliance before the zoning district is adopted. MBTA Communities that are non-compliant with Section 3A are ineligible to receive funding from (i) the Housing Choice Initiative as described by the governor in a message to the general court dated December 11, 2017; (ii) the Local Capital Projects Fund established in section 2EEEE of chapter 29; or (iii) the MassWorks infrastructure program established in section 63 of chapter 23A. In recent years, the Local Capital Projects Fund has been used to support a portion of the operating subsidy for local housing authorities in the annual budget.
Q: How do I know if my One Stop application be impacted by the new Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities?
A: Please visit www.mass.gov/mbtacommunities for all information related to the Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities.
Q: Why is Chapter 43D Expedited Local Permitting no longer listed as a One Stop program?
A: The 43D Expedited Local Permitting is no longer listed as a One Stop program because it is not a grant program. However, eligible applicants can still indicate their interest in pursuing 43D designation when completing Section 2 of the Full Application. Please visit the Chapter 43D - Expedited Local Permitting webpage for more information on 43D designation.
Q: Is there an opportunity for two organizations to submit a single joint application?
A: Yes! Collaboration is highly encouraged within the One Stop. When completing the Full Application, all applicants will be asked whether they are submitting a formal joint application between two or more entities. If the answer to this question is “Yes”, the applicant will have the opportunity to list all partner entities.
Q: Are different departments within a municipality considered different organizations that can submit separate Expressions of Interest and Full Applications?
A: No, departments within a municipality are considered part of the same entity. And each entity may only submit one Expression of Interest. While different departments, such as planning or public works, can help in preparing applications for different projects, the EOI and/or Full Application(s) should be submitted by the legal entity that would be the grant recipient on behalf of the whole organization.
Q: Is a non-profit a public entity?
A: No, non-profit organizations are considered private entities.
Q: We are a Rural & Small Town designated community, are we therefore ineligible for Housing Choice Designation?
A: No. It is possible for a community to be both a Rural/Small Town and a Housing Choice Community. Rural/Small Town is an automatic designation that is based on the municipality’s population figures. The Housing Choice designation is available to any community that meets certain requirements and seeks that designation through an application process directly with DHCD. Communities that would like to apply for Housing Choice designation should visit the Housing Choice Designation Application webpage.
Q: Is funding available for program support as well as capital support?
A: In some cases, yes. Each program in the One Stop varies in terms of allowable use of funds. Some programs provide grants to support program operations, while others solely support capital projects. Applicants should review program guidelines to understand what is considered an allowable expense.
Using the IGX Online Platform
Q: My organization is new to the One Stop – how do I register a new organization?
A: If your organization is new to IGX, the CEO or Authorized Official (AO) for your municipality or organization must register the organization. To begin, click the “New Organization? Register Here” link and follow the prompts. Once the CEO or AO registers your organization, they will receive an email notification from the system confirming the designation as a Grant Administrator.
Q: We submitted a One Stop EOI in a past round but did not submit a Full Application. Are we still registered in IGX and if so, how to find our ID info?
A: Yes, if your organization participated in past rounds of the One Stop, it will still be registered in the IGX system. If you do not know the username or password associated with your account, you should select the “Forgot Username/Password” link on the IGX login page.
Q: Is a SAM number required in order to access funding through the One Stop?
A: No, One Stop applicants are not required to have a SAM (System for Award Management) number in order to register an organization in IGX or to access state funding through the One Stop.
Q: Who should be the Grant Administrator?
A: The Grant Administrator(s) for each organization should be the lead person(s) in the organization that is/are authorized to submit applications on behalf of the organization, and if awarded, is in a position to manage the contracting. At least one of the Grant Administrators should be the authorized signatory of the organization or a designee acting on behalf of the authorized signatory.
Q: How long should it take to receive a response after registering a new organization in the IGX system?
A: New organizations should be verified and approved by One Stop staff within 3 business days.
Q: I am a consultant and will be working on applications for multiple organizations. Do I need to create multiple accounts?
A: No, you should only have one account in the IGX system, however each organization that you are assisting will need to be registered within IGX. The organization’s Grant Administrator can add consultants to their organization. Consultants will be able to work on EOI and Full Applications, however they will not be able to create or submit a new form on behalf of the applicant organization.
Q: What happens if the blue column on the left does not appear after logging in?
A: Applicants should always see a blue menu on the left side of the screen when an Expression of Interest or Full Application is open. If you do not see the blue menu, please contact email@example.com. Please note that you will only see the blue menu when a document is open; this menu is not shown on the IGX Dashboard.
Q: The auto filled table at the top of Section 1 says that our town is not an MVP community, but we are. How can I get that changed please?
A: If the designation table in Section 1 of the Full Application and/or Expression of Interest is not accurate for your community, report the issue to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I am not sure where my project falls within the Development Continuum. What are the best resources to help me understand where to apply within the Full Application?
A: If you are unsure, the best way to understand where your project falls on the Development Continuum is by submitting an Expression of Interest. The EOI review team will provide feedback on your projects, including where they fall within the continuum and which programs best align with the funding needs. You can also visit the One Stop Development Continuum webpage for details on each section of the Development Continuum. Finally, Virtual Session 2: One Stop Application Guidance Webinar walks through a series of application scenarios meant to help you understand where your project fits within the Full Application.
Q: Is there funding available in the Building category for facade improvements?
A: The Building category is mainly supported by the Underutilized Properties Program and the Collaborative Workspace Program. Generally, projects focused on building façade improvements would not be funded by these programs. Please review each program’s guidelines for more information.
Q: Where do predevelopment projects fall within the Development Continuum?
A: Predevelopment & Permitting is no longer a standalone Development Continuum category. Applicants may now request funding for predevelopment and permitting activities directly within the Site Preparation, Buildings, and Infrastructure sections of the application.
Q: Are projects to install broadband allowed within the Infrastructure category?
A: At this time, projects to install broadband are not supported by any of the programs within the One Stop.
Q: Does the One Stop provide funding for projects related to tourism?
A: The programs within the One Stop generally do not support projects specifically related to growing tourism. Applicants interested in seeking support for enhancing tourism in their communities should explore the grant programs offered by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
Q: How can municipalities access funds to implement placemaking projects?
A: Municipalities may now apply for funding through Commonwealth Places Program. Please review the program guidelines to learn about the types of projects that are eligible under this program as well as information about the program’s match requirements, which have recently changed.
Q: Could a municipality submit an Infrastructure focused application for utility work and a private entity submit a Building Predevelopment focused application related to the same project?
A: Yes, large community development projects often require collaboration from multiple community actors for different project components that may be eligible for funding through the One Stop. However, each entity must submit their own application based on their eligibility for programs in the One Stop.
Q: Are nonprofits eligible to apply for projects in the Building category?
A: Yes, all entity types can submit applications through the Building category. Both the Underutilized Property Program and Collaborative Workspace Program may consider funding projects submitted by all organization types within the One Stop.
Q: Can a nonprofit organization apply for a site plan design within the Site Predevelopment category?
A: Yes, Site Plan Design is an option under the Preparing for Site Improvement Construction Project Focus category within the Site Preparation Development Continuum category. Preparing for Site Improvement Construction can be accessed by public organizations, non-profits, and community development corporations.
Q: Are non-profits, such as resident owned manufactured housing communities, eligible for funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades?
A: Yes. Non-profit entities are eligible to apply for funding for site related upgrades through the Site Preparation category, and more specifically are eligible for funding by the Site Readiness Program. Please be aware that a project that does not result in new development would likely not be competitive.
Q: Would engineering and design for a sidewalks/culverts project fall under the site preparation or infrastructure category on the development continuum?
A: If the sidewalk and culverts are located on public property, including the public right of way, this would be considered an Infrastructure project. However, if the improvements were being made on a privately owned site, this would likely be a Site Preparation project.
Q: If we are pursuing funding through the Building category, do we need to own the building?
A: This depends on the type of project being proposed. If the project is to repair an underutilized or blighted building the property, the applicant must either demonstrate ownership or control of the building. If ownership is not yet established, applicant would need to provide the timeline and steps to ownership. If the project is to fit-out a collaborative workspace, applicant could be a collaborative workspace operator leasing the property.
Q: We would like to rehab an underutilized building. To occupy the building, we need to first remediate basement moisture and asbestos, plus shore up some of the structure that is unsound. Do these repairs qualify for Pre-Development funds?
A: No, this would be a Building Construction project. Predevelopment funds generally supports design, engineering and/or feasibility studies.
Q: Would an Infrastructure project to support existing homes and/or businesses, protecting the existing developments from potential infrastructure failure, be competitive in the One Stop?
A: Generally, Infrastructure projects are meant to support new development. Grants made from the Housing Choice Grant Program and the Rural and Small Towns Development Fund may, in certain circumstances, be used to support existing housing or commercial uses.
Q: Would a nonprofit community based hospital be eligible to apply for a construction project that will create local jobs and improve health of community?
A: Non-Profit Organizations can access construction funding in the Site Preparation and Building development continuum categories, specifically through the Site Readiness Program, Underutilized Properties Program and Collaborative Workspaces Program.
Q: I understand that MassWorks Infrastructure projects should generally be tied to a new development. How is new development defined? Would as the construction of a new high school count or does it need to be a private development? How close should that development be to the project site?
A: MassWorks Infrastructure funding is intended to support new development that results in new housing or create new jobs to the community. Generally, a project to support a new public facility would not be competitive.
Q: Are non-profits required to partner with a government entity in order to receive funding from the Urban Agenda program?
A: While there is not a requirement to partner with a government entity, the Urban Agenda grant program does look for coordination with and support from the local community when evaluating an application.
Q: What level of commitment from a private developer is needed to qualify for the Infrastructure Construction category? Is an approved site plan required?
A: Infrastructure projects that will serve one or more shovel-ready projects will be the most competitive for funding through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. There is no specific requirement for how far along the private development must be, however reviewers will consider the level of design, whether final permits and approvals have been secured, whether the development has financing commitments in place, and whether the developer is making a financial contribution to the infrastructure project.
Q: We would like to install a fire sprinkler system in an underutilized building. We also would like to make kitchen upgrades and install a restroom vent system. Would these projects all be in the same Development Continuum category?
A: Yes, the activities described would all fall under the “Rehabilitation of a Blighted or Underutilized Property” project focus within the Building category. If these activities are happening within the same building, they would likely be considered components of one project and could be submitted through a single Full Application.
Q: Our municipality has a property and intends to secure a developer to build affordable housing. If hazardous material remediation is needed, is it better to apply for a grant to remediate before securing the developer or can the municipality get a grant and use the funding to enable the private developer to remediate before proceeding with demolition and development?
A: Brownfield Redevelopment Fund awards made through the One Stop are intended to make a site marketable for future private development. Applicants with a brownfield project for which there is an identified end user of the site should not apply through the Community One Stop for Growth. These applicants should instead contact MassDevelopment directly to discuss alternative brownfield funding opportunities. Furthermore, a municipality may not act as a “pass through” of funds to a private developer.
Q: What is the best way to address design and construction of streetscape and complete streets improvements within a State Highway layout - is this a One Stop process?
A: Generally, improvements to state highways and/or stand-alone complete streets projects, not directly tied to economic development, are managed through the MassDOT capital improvements process and grant programs. The Infrastructure category in the One Stop is where applicants can apply for design/construction funding to improve local roads, streets, and infrastructure.
Expression of Interest
Q: How do I create a new Expression of Interest in the IGX system?
A: To create a new Expression of Interest, applicants must click “Expression of Interest” on the “My Opportunities” panel on the IGX dashboard. Please note that only users with a Grant Administrator role can create and submit an Expression of Interest. Applicants can watch Webinar 3: Technology Webinar for more information.
Q: Who can submit an Expressions of Interest? Is it only allowed to be submitted by municipalities or can a developer submit? Can a municipality delineate possible private projects?
A: Any entity, including a private developer, may submit an Expression of Interest. Generally, it should be submitted by the entity that is the project proponent. That said, a municipality may submit project applications that delineate related and/or directly leveraged private projects in their town. In this case, it is expected that the municipal applicants will coordinate with its partners for the submission.
Q: When can we expect to receive our EOI feedback?
A: Once submitted, Expression of Interest forms are reviewed weekly, in batches, in the order they are received. Generally, but depending on the volume of EOIs each week, feedback reports will be posted within 3 to 6 weeks. All EOIs submitted will receive their report prior to the opening of the Full Application submission period in May.
Q: If an Expression of Interest is submitted earlier than the March 17 deadline, will the review start earlier?
A: Yes. Expressions of Interest will be reviewed on a weekly basis in the order they are received. Applicants will receive a single response representing the input from all agencies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit Expressions of Interest as early as possible.
Q: Is it true that an Expression of Interest (EOI) containing multiple projects must be submitted by February 3, 2023?
A: For the FY24 Round, all EOIs submitted by the March 17, 2023 deadline may contain up to two (2) project proposals. However, EOIs submitted by February 3, 2023 may include up to five (5) projects.
Q: Our organization would like to submit an EOI with three project ideas. Is it possible to submit an EOI with three projects after the February 3rd deadline?
A: No, beginning on February 4, the IGX system will not allow the Expression of Interest form to include more than two projects. Organizations with multiple projects are advised to prioritize and submit the projects for which they most need feedback.
Q: If I don’t submit an EOI can I still submit a full application?
A: Yes. Although it is highly encouraged, the EOI is an optional step in the One Stop process and is not required to submit a Full Application.
Q: Can I apply for projects that were not included on my EOI?
A: Yes! It is also important to note that applicants that do submit an EOI are not bound by the projects that they propose. Applicants may choose not to move forward with certain projects and/or may choose to submit a Full Application for projects that were not included on their EOI.
Q: If I submit an EOI, is that enough to be considered for funding?
A: No, the EOI is a tool for applicants to get feedback on their projects before starting their Full Applications. Applicants must complete a Full Application in order to be considered for funding through the One Stop.
Q: Can I upload documents into the EOI?
A: No, it is not necessary to include attachments in the EOI. The EOI form allows applicants to briefly describe their projects’ scopes, timelines, and other basic information. The Full Application is where applicants will have the opportunity to get into the details of their projects and will be asked to upload attachments.
Q: Can an Expression of Interest be submitted jointly by a municipality and its private partner or does each entity need to submit its own EOI?
A: The Expression of Interest cannot be submitted jointly with another organization. Each entity that intends to seek funding through a Full Application, can and should submit their own EOI to receive feedback that is specific to their entity type. However, applicants can certainly mention any potential partners in the EOI narrative description, for reference purposes.
Q: We are a city that plans on submitting an application in partnership with a local nonprofit. Should the non-profit submit an EOI separate from the city’s EOI?
A: It is only necessary for one of the partner organizations to propose a joint project on an EOI. As there is a limit to the number of projects proposed per EOI, partner organizations should coordinate to make sure they are getting the most out of their EOI feedback.
Q: If a private organization within a community submits an EOI, do the project ideas included count against the total number of project ideas that the municipality can submit?
A: No, the limit is one (1) Expression of Interest per organization. However, the number of projects submitted by one organization does not impact the number of projects that can be submitted by any other organizations within that community.
Q: We have a privately owned and operated public water system that is going through the process of transferring to a public water district. This process may take time. Can the new public water district apply the EOI at this stage?
A: Yes, if the public water district is an existing entity, they may submit an EOI asking for feedback about a potential project. The applicant should explain the circumstances and timing related to the transfer so that the EOI Review Team can provide the best possible guidance.
Q: Does the basic applicant information get auto-populated from last year's application?
A: No, applicant information will not transfer from applications submitted in the last round. However, applicants that submit an EOI during the current round will see that Section 1 of the Full Application is auto-populated with the information entered in Section 1 of the EOI.
Q: If we submit an EOI and Section 1 of the Full Application auto-populates, will we be able to edit that information?
A: Yes, any information in Section 1 that is auto-populated from the EOI can be edited in the Full Application.
Q: If a private organization in a community submits a Full Application, does that hurt the municipality’s chances of getting its application(s) funded?
A: No, each Full Application is reviewed independently on its own merits. In past rounds, there have been several examples of multiple projects being funded in the same community. While applications submitted within the same category do technically compete against each other, applications are considered for funding based on the strength of the project, regardless of location.
Q: A community wants assistance first, developing a mixed-use overlay zoning district for its downtown and second, developing a town-wide workforce housing bylaw. Are these 2 projects or 1?
A: This would be two projects and would require two separate Full Applications.
Q: My community owns a site that we would like to prepare to attract private development. We need to complete site preparation work but also will have to make enhancements to public infrastructure to serve the future development. Should we apply to both the Site Preparation and Infrastructure categories in this round?
A: The Development Continuum is a linear scale designed to identify that status of a project within the development lifecycle. Almost every project will fit into a single Development Continuum category. In this case, site preparation needs to be completed before the municipality can go to market to solicit private development. They should be focused on applying through the Site Preparation category in this round of the One Stop. Once the site work is done and the municipality have identified a developer and end use for the site, they should then return to apply for Infrastructure funding in a future round.
Q: We are considering submitting two applications for projects that fall within the same Development Continuum category. Is this allowed?
A: There is no limit to the number of applications that an organization can submit, however applicants should be aware that similar projects will naturally compete against each other if reviewed by the same program(s). In this case, applicants should consider prioritizing their projects and submitting the top priority project.
Q: Is completion of the RMAT Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool required for all applications?
A: This year, completion of the RMAT Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool is only required for applicants submitting projects within the Infrastructure section of the application.
Q: Where can we find information on how much funding to request?
A: Each program within the One Stop has its own source of funding, and each program has a different amount of funding available. Applicants should review the program guidelines for information on funding limits and/or average award amounts.
Q: Which of the programs in the One Stop require a project match?
A: A budget match is only required for projects submitted to the Collaborative Workspace Program and Commonwealth Places Program. However, in most cases, providing a budget match in any of the programs will make an application more competitive.
Q: I don't see the opportunity to submit multiple projects within the Full Application. Are applicants only allowed to submit one project?
A: There is no limit to the number of Full Applications that an organization can submit. However, applicants should only include one project per application, therefore an applicant may create multiple applications in the One Stop to submit additional projects for consideration. We recommend tracking the unique application number for each application (ex. FULL-FY23-Project Location-Organization-00001). A great resource to understand how to navigate the Full Application is Virtual Session 2: One Stop Application Guidance Webinar.
Q: I am working on a Full Application and cannot find the “Submit” button. Why am I not able to submit?
A: There are two reasons why a user may not see the “Submit” button in the Full Application:
- The user may be working on the application outside of the Full Application submission period. Although applicants were able to open and work on Full Applications beginning in January, Full Applications may only be submitted between May 1 and June 2, 2023.
- The user may be registered as “Grantee Staff” within their organization. Users with the Grantee Staff role are allowed to work on the Expression of Interest and/or Full Application but may not submit. If the user is an Authorized Official within their organization, meaning they have the authority to submit an application on behalf of the organization, they should contact a Grant Administrator within their organization to upgrade their role to “Grant Administrator.”
Q: Can letters of support be included in the "other documents" uploads?
A: Yes, Form 5. Other/Optional Attachments exists for applicants to attach any documents to support their application that are not requested in the Full Application. Depending on the type of project proposed, the applicant may be asked to attach a letter of support when completing the Development Continuum questions.
Application Review and Award
Q: Are all projects evaluated at one time, competing for a limited pool of funding?
A: The One Stop is a portal that allows applicants to access multiple funding sources through a single application, however each grant within the One Stop still exists independently. All applications will be reviewed by the programs that best align with the project’s funding needs. Although the review is coordinated and collaborative, each program will make their own award decisions based on their program budgets and evaluation criteria.
Q: How long does the review process take and when can I expect to receive a notice of funding decision?
A: The Collaborative Review process begins immediately following the Full Application deadline. Programs will review applications over the course of the summer and are expected to issue funding decisions in the fall of 2023.
Q: If awarded a grant, do funds need to be expended by the end of the calendar or fiscal year or can they cross additional fiscal years as needed?
A: The length of contract terms and/or spending requirements will vary by program. Applicants are advised to consult the guidelines of the programs within the categories of funding. Please reference the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for more information.
Q: Are funds disbursed on a reimbursement basis and what is the timing for allowable expenses to be included within an application budget? Can funds be provided to other entities as subcontractors?
A: Disbursement policies will vary by program. Grantees should discuss disbursement with the program manager during contracting. Please reference the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for more information.
Q: What are the reporting requirements associated with One Stop grant awards?
A: Reporting requirements vary by program. Applicants are advised to consult the guidelines of the programs within the categories of funding. Please reference the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for more information.
Q: What happens if our project timeline changes after being awarded a grant?
A: We understand that unforeseen changes to timelines may occur as a project unfolds. Grantees will work with contract managers from the program providing the grant to address any changes that occur, but any change to the project schedule will be approved at the discretion of the awarding agency. Your application should include a realistic schedule that you are confident you can meet.
Q: If we have to start the project before the grants are awarded, would we still receive grant awards or is it only for projects that have not started yet?
A: Generally, the programs within the One Stop are not able to reimburse for any expenses incurred for work performed prior to the full execution of a state contract. Applicants should review program guidelines to understand allowable expenses for each program.
Q: Do the grant funds trigger prevailing wage?
A: The Massachusetts prevailing wage law (G.L. c. 149, §§ 26-27) establishes minimum wage rates for workers on “public works” construction projects. In general, the contractors hired by a public entity for a construction project are required to pay prevailing wages. The prevailing wage law does not apply to private projects, and the receipt of a grant or other state financial assistance does not turn a private construction project into a public one. However, if a private entity undertakes a public project on behalf of a municipality or other public entity, the contractors performing that work must pay prevailing wages. There are many factors that determine whether a project nominally undertaken by a private entity is, in fact, “public work” being undertaken for a public entity. Private applicants who plan to partner with a public entity on a project funded through the One Stop should consult with their legal counsel for guidance about whether the prevailing wage law might apply.
|Date published:||February 11, 2021|
|Last updated:||March 6, 2023|