- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Housing and Community Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Hosts Downtown Summit in Lowell
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
LOWELL — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration hosted the 2018 Massachusetts Downtown Summit, which brought together local officials, technical experts and stakeholders to share best practices related to downtown revitalization and development. The Department of Housing and Community Development designed the summit, which featured numerous workshops and panels, including a keynote address by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and remarks by Lowell Mayor William Samaras and City Manager Eileen Donoghue.
The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to thriving downtown districts, as they represent an important economic driver for regional economies. The Administration supports downtown growth through MDI, the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, affordable housing awards, collaborative workspaces and more.
“Welcoming, successful downtown districts drive regional economies, and make Massachusetts cities and towns an attractive place to live, work and thrive,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Throughout the Commonwealth, we’ve sat down with small business leaders, residents and local stakeholders to better understand how we can assist our municipalities to create new opportunities and support residents’ entrepreneurial efforts.
Lt. Governor Polito announced the opening of the next award round of the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI), which enables municipalities to access specialized expertise to support downtown revitalization efforts, and augment capacity at the local level. With funding, communities are able to obtain technical assistance to address local obstacles to downtown district success, such as parking issues, vacant storefronts, wayfinding and branding and accessibility.
“Vibrant and walkable downtowns are essential to local economic strength and quality of life. The Massachusetts Downtown Initiative provides high-impact grants that enable municipalities to access specialized technical assistance to tackle local obstacles and engage in long-term planning efforts, and I’m pleased to announce this year’s application is now open,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration looks forward to continue working closely with communities on how we can best support their vision for vibrant, walkable and lively downtown districts that will attract new businesses, create new jobs, and invite visitors and residents.”
“I’m proud of our work across the Baker-Polito Administration to encourage comprehensive downtown revitalization strategies, and today’s summit highlighted a number of inspiring efforts going on in communities across Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We are here to seed catalytic projects and shovel-ready transformative development to strengthen communities, enliven neighborhoods and ensure Massachusetts remains an amazing place to raise a family and put down roots.”
“Today’s summit brought together a record number of leaders from throughout the Commonwealth to share their on-the-ground experiences with each other, and learn from experts on innovative nuts and bolts ways to use housing, public art and creative district management to create and sustain vibrant downtowns,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan." Today's summit is one way DHCD partners and supports municipalities, and we remain a resource throughout the year with additional technical assistance to local leaders and on high-impact projects in their communities.”
In March, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $285,000 to 19 communities in Massachusetts through the MDI technical assistance program. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $700,000 in MDI grants across the Commonwealth.
Applications are available online and all submissions are due November 9, 2018.