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How to apply for Community Preservation funds

We use funds to support historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space. Click on your project category to see the application steps and access application materials.

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Step
1

Review affordable housing information

The Department of Neighborhood Development will help determine the best projects for funds. You should plan to respond to Neighborhood Development's request for proposals (RFP) for affordable housing projects. That RFP is released every August. To request funds, affordable housing applicants must:

  • complete the full application, and
  • work with a project manager on the Neighborhood Housing Development team.

Nonprofit and for-profit developers are eligible for affordable housing funds to increase the number of affordable units and deepen affordability in new construction projects.

  • Renovation of existing affordable housing is NOT allowed, unless it is to protect the integrity of the building (for example, the roof, exterior, or fire sprinklers).
  • Preservation of affordability is allowed. Funds support Boston’s Acquisition Opportunity Program. This program helps responsible developers buy rental housing to remove it from the speculative market and keep tenants in their homes.
Please keep in mind:
  • Affordable housing awards are about $1,000,000. Together with your Neighborhood Development project manager, you will determine what’s needed to bring your project to life.
  • Funded housing projects must serve residents who are under 100 percent of the Area Median Income.
  • Are you a first-time homebuyer? Depending on your income, you may qualify for mortgage or down payment help through Boston’s Home Center.
Step
2

Submit a letter of intent

Before submitting an application, we recommend completing a letter of intent with these details:

  • the name and address of the proposed project
  • the total unit count of the project and the number of affordable units in the proposal
  • whether or not the subject real estate has been occupied by residential or non-residential occupants during the past six months
  • contact information for the applicant
  • the approximate amount of funding you will apply for, and
  • the funding sources that have been identified.

You can email your letter to Christine O’Keefe, acting Assistant Director for Development and Finance. Her email is christine.okeefe@boston.gov.

Step
3

Complete a request for proposal

Applicants must follow all instructions in Neighborhood Development's request for proposal. Your application will be due in late September.

Step
1

Learn about parks and open space projects

Community Preservation funds may support public parks and fields, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, community gardens, and much more. With these funds, you can:

  • buy land for permanent open space
  • create a new park or garden
  • renovate existing outdoor spaces
  • add park features
  • build playgrounds
  • repave paths, and
  • plant trees.

Funds can’t be used for artificial turf on athletic fields. Streetscapes are not allowed  only spaces that can be preserved as parkland. Public art also cannot be added to parks through Community Preservation funds.

Step
2

Submit an eligibility form

Please complete our online eligibility form to ensure your project is eligible under the state Community Preservation law. These can be submitted at any time throughout the year. We'd like to start working with you to bring an improvement to your neighborhood!

Eligibility Form

We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and get you ready for the full application.

Step
3

Using public land? Complete a project interest form

Please complete the project interest form to communicate with the public agency that owns or manages the open space. You'll need this for the:

  • Boston Parks and Recreation Department
  • Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • Boston Public Schools (BPS)
  • Boston Public Library (BPL)
  • Boston Department of Neighborhood Development (DND)
  • Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPRD)
  • Boston Public Works (DPW), BTD or MA DOT (Transportation), and
  • any other federal, state, or City property.

Don’t know if the land is owned or managed by a public agency? Reach out and we'll help you find the owner. 

Please note:

It is critical to have the full support of the property owner. The public agency involved will work with you if the project fits their goals and they have the staff to manage the work. If awarded, funds will go to the public agency who will oversee the project, with community involvement. Funds used on public land must follow City laws and regulations.

Fill out the PROJECT Interest Form

Step
4

Complete your application

Please read the application guide before you begin. The Community Preservation Act application is a Google Form. You will not be able to save and come back to the application. 

We recommend viewing the application questions on this Google document before you begin your application online. We encourage you to complete the Google document first, then copy and paste your answers into the Google application form online. This document will also list the required documents you will need to upload.   

Your application will include the Community Preservation Act Budget Form for a detailed project budget with revenue sources and expenses. Please download the budget form, give it a new name, and save it to your hard drive before you complete it. 

Community Preservation Act 2021 Application:

Please do not complete the 2021 application for Parks, Opens Space, and Recreation unless you have:

  • completed an eligibility form, and
  • received an invitation from the City's Community Preservation staff notifying your neighborhood group or organization that your project is eligible for funding under the state Community Preservation Act. 

To be considered for our 2021 funding round you must submit your eligibility form by October 16, 2020.

Complete the application

The deadline to submit this application is November 13, 2020, at 4 p.m.   

Our next application for our 2022 funding round will be released next fall in 2021. For more information, please contact our staff and complete our rolling eligibility form.

Step
1

Learn about historic preservation projects

Boston will be 400 years old in 2030! Over the next decade, we hope funds will help restore neighborhood resources and historic features for the City’s anniversary. The Community Preservation Committee prioritizes projects that have:

  • a conditions assessment from a preservationist or architect
  • public access and serve the community
  • exterior or structural needs, and
  • historic significance.

When preparing your final application, it’s helpful to include solid costs from an experienced preservation architect or contractor.

Step
2

Submit an eligibility form

Please complete our online eligibility form to ensure your project is eligible under the state Community Preservation law. 

Eligibility Form

We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility to help you prepare to complete the full application.

Step
3

Is your project on the MA State Register of Historic Places?

If your project is not on the Register, Community Preservation staff will work with the Boston Landmarks Commission to establish its eligibility.
 
Contact our staff if you have additional questions.

Step
4

Complete your application

Please read the application guide before you begin. The Community Preservation Act application is a Google Form. You will not be able to save and come back to the application. 

We recommend viewing the application questions on this Google document before you begin your application online. We encourage you to complete the Google document first, then copy and paste your answers into the Google application form online. This document will also list the required documents you will need to upload.   

Your application will include the Community Preservation Act Budget Form for a detailed project budget with revenue sources and expenses. Please download the budget form, give it a new name, and save it to your hard drive before you complete it. 

Community Preservation Act 2021 Application:

Please do not complete the 2021 application for Historic Preservation unless you have:

  • completed an eligibility form, and
  • received an invitation from the City's Community Preservation staff notifying your neighborhood group or organization that your project is eligible for funding under the state Community Preservation Act.

To be considered for our 2021 funding round you must submit your eligibility form by October 16, 2020

Complete the application

The deadline to submit this application is November 13, 2020, at 4 p.m.   

Our next application for our 2022 funding round will be released next fall in 2021. For more information, please contact our staff and complete our rolling eligibility form.

Have questions?

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you're unsure of your eligibility or have any questions. We encourage a conversation before you apply!

Read the plan

Check out the first-year priorities for Boston in the 2018-19 Community Preservation Plan.

Community Preservation

We use funds to support historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space.

Learn about Community Preservation

If you are funded

GRANT AGREEMENTs

If you are awarded funds, you will have to complete a Community Preservation Grant Agreement. This is a contract with the City of Boston. The City's Law Department will craft language that reflects your work and anticipated outcome. You will work closely with our staff before signing the Community Preservation Grant Agreement.

You can preview our Grant Agreement template.

CITY OF BOSTON CONTRACT FORM

You will also need to complete a CM-06: Certificate of Authority form. This form allows your organization's Board of Directors to name an authorized individual to sign a grant agreement entering into a contract with the City of Boston. Our Contracts and Operations Manager will work closely with you on all the required documents.

RECEIVING FUNDS and COMMUNITY PRESERVATION REPORTING

To access your initial Community Preservation Act disbursement:

  1. Submit an invoice for the first third of your grant amount. 
  2. Submit a Pre-Construction report form noting any changes to your plans.
  3. Complete a budget report with any budget updates or changes.

For your second installment, you will need to submit your mid-construction report and budget. You will also need to provide detailed documents outlining how you spent your first disbursement. This can be:

  • an invoice from a contractor
  • a canceled check showing payment for equipment or services
  • a detailed credit card statement with Community Preservation charges highlighted, and
  • a report from your accounting system. 

Your last check of 10 percent may be requested after the project is complete.

Monitoring and reporting Forms:

Monitoring and reporting forms and updated budgets will be required at three stages of your project. You will need to complete and submit a:

  • pre-construction report
  • mid-construction report, and
  • final reports.

At each of these stages, you will also need to submit a budget form, similar to the form you submitted with your application.

Certificate of Completion

Your project liaison will call and visit your site to review your progress. We will also do a final site visit to inspect your project and complete your Certificate of Completion.

We'd love to see photos and encourage you to invite us to any events that celebrate your project!

Suggested Content

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