We're excited to announce the inaugural Community Preservation Pilot projects for Boston!
The next round of funding will start on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. You will be able to find the application, guidelines, and requirements on this page. The deadline will be Friday, September 28, 2018. An eligibility form will be required and available before the application is released.
The pilot program sought applications that were shovel-ready and needed no more than $500,000 to complete. This will not be the case in the fall. You may submit applications for planning and designs, as well as larger amounts, especially for affordable housing.
The spring 2018 Pilot funded ready-to-go affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space projects. Those funded needed no more than $500,000 to fill a budget gap in order to start and complete construction. The Pilot had two goals:
- to show Boston residents the difference Community Preservation funds can make in their neighborhoods, and
- to help us test application materials and the review process before we begin a larger round of funding in fall 2018.
A diverse collection of 35 projects totaling $8 million were funded. You can see the list here.
Boston will have $20 million every year to fund transformative projects! The next application for Fall 2018 will be released Wednesday, August 15 with a deadline of Friday, September 28, 2018. An eligibility form will be required this time and available on the website by mid-July. We don't want you to spend time on the full application if your project does not meet the eligibility requirements as established in the state CPA law.QUESTIONS?
Check out our eligibility table. Funds can only support capital projects for affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space. It can't be used for operations, maintenance, or programming.APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
You'll find funding priorities outlined in the Community Preservation Plan. Although the Pilot has ended, the guidelines outlined in this first application will help you understand the intention of CPA funds. For the fall round we will accept planning and design applications. An upper limit of what you can apply for has not yet been set.A few things to keep in mind:
The Community Preservation Committee seeks projects where:
- the applicant has site control of the proposed project parcel or involvement of the site owner.
- community support for the project is demonstrated from elected officials, abutters, user groups, civic associations, and community organizations.
- applicants can demonstrate their capacity to implement their project and have a plan for ongoing maintenance and stewardship.
- Projects on private space include some public access.
A request for a historic house of worship must be for publicly visible facade work or structural support only that does not include religious imagery.
The Massachusetts legislature passed the Community Preservation Act in 2000. The law gave individual cities and towns a chance to mount a ballot campaign to add a surcharge on real estate taxes. The money raised supports three program areas for local communities:
- historic preservation
- affordable housing, and
- parks and open space, including outdoor recreation facilities.
A statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund gives cities and towns that passed the act a “match.” Real estate transfer fees from across the state provide money for the Trust Fund. When a property changes hands anywhere in Massachusetts, a $20 fee is rolled into the closing costs.Boston joins
Many cities and towns passed the Community Preservation Act soon after the law was enacted. They've received millions for affordable housing, preservation, and parks and conservation land. Boston is now among the other 171 communities that have passed the act. We start reaping the benefits in 2018.
- Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030
- Boston's Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda
- City of Boston Open Space and Recreation Plan: 2015-2021
- Climate Ready Boston
The City hired Christine Poff, the program’s director, in the summer of 2017. She’s begun the work of building Boston's Community Preservation Act program. Her team may grow as the project review process gets underway.Community Preservation Committee
A nine-member committee approves an administrative budget and annual Community Preservation Plan. They review all applications and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council for funding. By law, five members represent City commissions and boards. The City Council chooses four at-large members from the general public.
All members must be Boston residents for the duration of their three-year term. Members may serve for a maximum of two terms.
We hope to announce an application for funds twice annually for small and large projects. At least 10% must be spent in each of the three areas: affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space. Groups who can apply for funding of capital projects include:
- community organizations
- housing developers
- park friends groups
- historical societies, and
- City agencies.
Start thinking about how these funds could help your neighborhood! We can connect you with community organizations and resources for help developing a proposal.
All projects must be capital projects involving building or restoration. These funds can’t be used for maintenance or programming. You can view a table of allowable uses for Community Preservation funds.Transparency
We’ll work to be as transparent as possible in our work. We plan to update this website regularly. Our meetings will be open to the public. We’ll also offer technical support to project applicants, where needed. This is YOUR program, Boston!
The committee is made up of nine Boston residents. They make decisions about Community Preservation funding priorities. Members meet monthly — or more often — as needed. The committee’s responsibilities include:
VOTING on an annual administrative budget. Five percent of funds may be spent on staff and expenses for the committee and program. Administration funds may also go towards planning, for example:
- a design for an affordable housing site
- a survey of a neighborhood’s historic sites, or
- a park renovation plan.
The City must spend at least 10 percent in each of the three program areas.
DEVELOPING an annual Community Preservation Plan with several possible features, including:
- needs assessment
- principles and goals
- guidelines and requirements for projects, and
- priority project areas.
REVIEWING projects to recommend to the Mayor and City Council for final approval.
Experts from the City of Boston will help the committee review projects. City staff that will help evaluate applications include:
Community Preservation Committee members serve three-year terms, with the possibility of serving a total of two terms. Staggered appointments make sure that all members do not rotate off at once. All members must be residents of Boston for the duration of their term.
The City Council selects four at-large members to serve on the committee. More than 115 people applied for seats on the inaugural committee, representing nearly every neighborhood and the diversity of Boston. City law requires:
- one from the business community
- one with expertise in one or more of the three areas, and
- two with civic engagement experience.
State law requires that five members be selected from Boston's boards, commissions, and authorities. They represent: