Urban Agenda Grants will be awarded to eligible communities on a competitive basis. The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes that urban centers face unique economic and quality-of-life challenges, and that the path to success lies in tapping into the unique local assets they already possess, rather than in one-size-fits-all directives from government. The Commonwealth’s Urban Agenda program is focused on promoting economic vitality and cultivating stronger urban neighborhoods across Massachusetts.
Urban Agenda Guidelines
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is pleased to announce the availability of funds for a Fiscal Year 2019 round of the Urban Agenda program. The program is seeking proposals for projects and programming located within eligible municipalities that entail community-driven responses to community-defined economic opportunities, and that build leadership, collaboration, and capacity at the local level.
The Urban Agenda program offers flexible grant funding for local partnerships to implement projects and programming that are based on creative collaborative work models with the goal of urban communities achieving economic progress. Projects and programming leverage existing economic assets to respond to and deliver on defined economic development and quality of life goals.
The purpose of this program is to support community economic development that is grounded in collaboration and local leadership development. Priority will be given to communities that have proven track records in economic, housing, and/or workforce development.
Urban communities that meet certain household income benchmarks (median household income less than 90 percent of the state’s average income) are eligible to apply. EOHED has designed the grant program to serve both Gateway and non-Gateway cities, of varying sizes.
Maximum award - $100,000
Total grant funds available - $500,000
Grant use - General operating support for innovative and collaborative community economic development project
Project duration - Six to 12 months, starting January 2019. Timeline should be at least 6 months (January to June 2019), but no more than 12 months (January to December 2019).
Project focus examples - Targeted workforce development, innovative vocational education activities, Main Street and small business supports, Mentorship for adult and/or youth entrepreneurs, development and training support for women-, veteran-, and/or minority-owned businesses
Eligible communities - Gateway cities, urban centers, and MAPC-defined inner core cities with median household incomes below 90 percent of the state average income (53 communities have been determined as eligible. See list below.)
Eligible lead applicant - Municipality or a community-based organization
Eligible project partners - Municipality, community-based organizations, schools, local businesses, chambers of commerce, private sector partners, neighborhood associations, etc.
Review criteria - Clarity of vision and alignment with community goals, strength of community partnerships, defined target population and economic need, demonstrated significance of economic opportunity, proven track record, capacity to execute and succeed
Application opens - Sept. 24, 2018
Bidder’s conference call - Oct. 2, 2018
Application deadline - Oct. 25, 2018 at 5 p.m.
Awards announced/contracts - Mid-January 2019 Anticipated contract start - January 2019 – Exact timeline and funding schedule to be negotiated during contracting phase.