Beginning January 2021, ten programs are administered through the Community One Stop for Growth, one of which is offered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and focuses on Community Planning grants. Access to this new grant program is exclusively available through the One Stop and will allow municipalities to apply for funding for technical assistance on planning and zoning projects. All Massachusetts municipalities are eligible. The maximum award is $75,000.
Prospective applicants will be able to submit an Expression of Interest through April 2021, outlining priority projects, to receive feedback and suggestions on the best path for submitting a Full Application for consideration. Full Applications will be due by the end of June 2021.
Community Planning grants may be used for a variety of activities related to land use. 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. These are planning grants and projects must use the funds to produce a planning document.
Grant proposals will be scored on the following criteria:
- Achievable project scope
- Ability to execute and leadership
- Achievable timeline
- Reasonable budget, showing commitment
- Outcomes and impact
- Progress to date, showing commitment
- Ability to implement
- Project’s support for the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles
Program information and guidelines for fiscal year 2022 can be found online: https://www.mass.gov/doc/planning-fy-22-guidelines/download