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One Stop for Growth Development Continuum

All grant programs within the Community One Stop for Growth will fall into the Continuum.

Table of Contents


The Community One Stop for Growth is a single application portal and collaborative review process of grant programs that make targeted investments based on a Development Continuum:

Preparing for Growth

Grants to support activities and initial steps by community-based actors to attract and guide private investment in a community.

  • Community Capacity Building
  • Planning & Zoning
  • Site Preparation

Catalyzing Specific Projects

Grants to support private, commercial, industrial, and residential investment projects that further the community vision.

  • Predevelopment & Permitting
  • Buildings (vertical)
  • Infrastructure (horizontal)

Continuum Detail – Community Capacity Building

Projects may focus on a geographic area (district, community, or region) or a target population. Preference for projects that demonstrate a clear vision and a leadership group that is effective and stable. For projects with a target population, preference for those with involvement of, or impact on, Black and Latino populations. Projects may fund consultants or, in certain cases, staff time.

Projects in the Community Capacity Building section of the Development Continuum include:

  • Technical Assistance for Improving a Downtown or Commercial Center
  • Early Stage Strategy Development
  • Strategy Implementation by an Existing Cross-Sector Consortiums or Coalition

Grant Type: Technical assistance or Implementation Grants. Projects may fund consultants or staff.

Grant Sizes: Potential for $25,000 to $100,000 awards. Downtown technical assistance grants will not exceed $25,000.

Programs: Urban Agenda and Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI)

Example Projects:

  • Request by a business association representing a consortium of building owners to explore the feasibility of developing a Business Improvement District.
  • A request from a community coalition to fund English language training and other prerequisite trainings, including coverage for child care and transportation, to prepare low-income residents for new jobs available in the region due to the expansion of a major employer.

Continuum Detail – Planning and Zoning

Planning and Zoning grants may be used for a variety of activities related to land use, but not limited to development. Activities may include the development of a Master Plan, Housing Production Plan, Zoning Review and Updates, Urban Renewal Plan, Land Use Plan, Downtown Plan, Parking Management Plan, Feasibility Study, or Other Strategic Plan.

Applications for projects in the Planning and Zoning bucket represent an early-stage project that requires a guiding plan, study, or assessment of project needs, prior to any construction or site preparation. These are planning grants and projects must produce a planning document with the funds.

Grant Type: Planning Grants

Grant Size: Potential for $25,000 - $75,000 awards

Programs Included: Planning and Zoning Grants, Mass Downtown Initiative

Example Projects:

  • Create a housing production plan to better understand housing needs of the community and identify strategies to reduce gaps in existing housing relative to identified needs.
  • Study the area with a ½ mile of a commuter rail station and create strategies to intensify development in that area.
  • Prepare a corridor study of a commercial area that runs through multiple towns and seeks land use alternatives to promote multi-modal access, introduce mixed-use and achieve more compact commercial development.
  • Review current zoning to identify and remove language that excludes certain housing types.
  • Develop 40R Smart Growth or Starter Home zoning districts.

Continuum Detail – Site Preparation

This category includes funding for an applicant working to progress a key site toward development; a final developer or end use is not necessarily identified at this phase. Projects must have an identified site. All applications in the category can indicate their desire to have a site considered for expedited permitting from the state through M.G.L. c. 43D.

Projects in the Site Preparation section of the Development Continuum include:

  • Site Concept Plan
  • Site Market Study
  • Site Acquisition, related tasks
  • Demolition & Construction of Site-Related Upgrades
  • Brownfields Site Assessment
  • Brownfields Remediation

Grant Type: Planning or Implementation Grants.

Grant Sizes: Potential for $50,000 to $1,000,000 awards

Programs: Brownfields, Site Readiness

Example Projects:

  • The acquisition of land in an industrial zone to allow for business expansion.
  • The remediation of a brownfield site to prepare it for the development of a new industrial complex for businesses

Continuum Detail – Pre-Development and Permitting

These grants are for projects that result in studies or reports that help to progress a project. Private development does not need to be identified at the time of application. However, the project must have an identified site. Grants will prioritize projects with clear envisioned end use of the site and the impact of that end use, as well as community support.

Projects in the Pre-Development and Permitting section of the Development Continuum include:

Pre-Development - Buildings:

  • Building Condition Study
  • Structural Engineering Reports
  • Code Compliance Studies
  • Development Feasibility Studies
  • Indoor Survey
  • Seismic Code Assessments

Pre-Development - Site/Infrastructure:

  • Engineering Documents
  • Pre-Permitting and Permitting
  • Pro-Forma Development
  • Due Diligence

Grant Type: Grants must produce studies or reports.

Grant Sizes: Potential for $25,000 to $100,000 awards

Programs: MassWorks, Site Readiness, Underutilized Properties

Example Projects:

  • Pre-permitting a large industrial site through the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) process.
  • A request to produce a site specific market study to determine the viability of a proposed development.
  • A request to develop architectural drawings for a new facility on a cleaned up former brownfield site.

Continuum Detail – Buildings (Vertical)

Funding is available for capital improvements that are essential to the occupancy of a blighted, abandoned, vacant or underutilized property. Funding in this category is limited to projects with a strong public purpose and benefit. These are capital grants for construction ready projects.

Projects in this category must be ready for construction, and have the building secured with building and/or site control, an identified end use, and a clear public purpose.

Grant Type: Implementation grants for shovel-ready projects.

Grant SizePotential for $250,000 - $2,000,000 awards

Programs: Underutilized Properties

Example Projects:

  • A request to fit-out an incubator within a property that was previously vacant.
  • A request to install an elevator in a city-owned property to open up second floor space for space for a new housing development.

Continuum Detail – Infrastructure (Horizontal)

Funding to support improvements to public land and infrastructure that leverages and supports private investment in the community. These are implementation grants for shovel ready projects that propose to improve public infrastructure such as roadways, streets, bridges, culverts, water/sewer, other public utilities, etc. and are at least 75% designed. Investments will be targeted to projects that require the infrastructure improvements or expansion to support and/or facilitate new growth or address road safety issues. (If a project does not have 75% design completed, we encourage applicants to submit under the Predevelopment and Permitting section, which focuses on getting projects shovel ready.)

Projects in the Infrastructure (Horizontal) section of the Development Continuum may include:

  • Design, Engineering, Permitting
  • Bidding
  • Construction/Construction Admin

Grant Type: Implementation grants for shovel-ready projects.

Grant Size: Potential for $500,000 - $5,000,000 awards

Programs: MassWorks

Example Projects:

  • A request for water and sewer upgrades to a previously used site that will now be made into market rate housing.
  • A request to update a culvert under a road way leading to new private development for mixed use that creates new industrial space and rental housing.
  • A request to repair at-risk municipal bridges that affect evacuation routes and/or access to commercial centers or transportation nodes.

Continuum Detail – Housing Choice and Rural/Small Town

Addressing the housing crisis in Massachusetts is one of the explicit focuses of the Baker-Polito Administration. The Administration also understands that many of our Rural and Small Towns in Massachusetts work at a smaller scale for economic development. Therefore, the One Stop provides additional opportunities only for Housing Choice Communities and Rural and/or Small Towns.

  • All Housing Choice and Rural and/or Small Town Communities are encouraged to submit projects through any of the appropriate categories in the Development Continuum, and will continue to receive priority consideration, including for set-aside capital funds and already established bonus points in various grant programs.
  • Any Housing Choice Community or Rural and/or Small Town Community that has a capital project need that may not fall within one of the categories outlined in the One Stop is allowed to submit a project proposal for special consideration. Eligible communities are invited to complete the related “Other: Special Project” section of the full application to outline the proposed scope of work and answer the required additional questions.

Grant Type: Implementation grants.

Grant Size: Potential for $50,000 - $400,000 awards

Programs: Housing Choice Capital Grants; Rural and Small Town Development Fund

Eligible Applicants: Housing Choice Designated Communities; Rural and Small Towns with populations less than 7,000 or with a population density of less than 500 persons per square mile (measured by the latest US Census population count).

Example Projects - Housing Choice Capital Grant Communities:

  • Design of sidewalks connecting residential development to commercial activities to promote walkability.
  • Funding an innovative septic system for a small-scale residential project on municipal land that may be a model for other communities.

Example Projects - Rural/Small Town:

  • Rehabilitation of an underutilized property in a rural community to bring housing back onto the market.
  • Design or construction of a new water line connection to an adjacent town for an area served only by wells.