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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.

Last updated: 8/11/19
Step
1

Affordable housing projects

Boston DND (Department of Neighborhood Development) will determine the best projects for CPA funds that meet the state Community Preservation law. Applicants are asked to respond to DND's recently released request for proposals (RFP) for affordable housing projects in lieu of the CPA application. To request CPA support, affordable housing applicants must:

  • complete the full Neighborhood Development application, and
  • work with a project manager in their 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 a 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. CPA supports Boston’s Acquisition Opportunity Program, helping responsible developers buy rental housing to remove it from the speculative market so tenants can stay 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.
  • CPA-funded housing must serve residents who are under 100% AMI - Area Median Income.
  • Are you a first-time homebuyer? Depending on your income, you may qualify for CPA-funded mortgage or downpayment help through Boston’s Home Center.
Step
2

Submit a letter of intent

Before submitting an application, we recommend completing a letter of intent by Friday, August 23, 2019, at 4 p.m. The letter must state:

  • 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 or deliver your letter to:

Christine O’Keefe, Senior Development Officer
Neighborhood Development, 8th Floor
26 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108
christine.okeefe@boston.gov

Step
3

Complete a request for proposal

Please follow all instructions in Neighborhood Development’s request for proposal. Your application is due no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019. You can drop off your application and materials to:

Bid Counter, 10th Floor
Department of Neighborhood Development
26 Court Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Keep in Mind

Neighborhood Development is holding an applicant’s conference on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 10 a.m. in the Winter Chambers located on the 1st Floor at 26 Court Street. We'll review the requirements of the RFP and answer any questions about the application process.

We’re also holding an optional Zero Emissions Design Workshop for architects, engineers, and development project managers. That event will take place on Thursday, August 22, 2019, from 1:30  - 3 p.m. in the Winter Chambers located on the 1st Floor at 26 Court Street.

Step
1

Parks and open space projects

Boston Community Preservation funds support public parks, playing fields, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, urban farms and community gardens, pocket parks, and 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,
  • plant trees, and
  • more!

Community Preservation 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 cannot be added to parks with CPA 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. Eligibility forms are due by Friday, September 6, 2019, at 4 p.m.

Eligibility Form

We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and direct you to 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 to Allyson Quinn at allyson.quinn@boston.gov and we will 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 and implement the project, with community involvement. Public CPA funds used on public land must follow City laws and regulations. We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and direct you to the full application.

Fill out the PROJECT Interest Form

 

Step
4

Complete your application

FULL APPLICATION

Please read the application instructions before you begin. 

The application is a google questionnaire. You will not be able to save and come back to it. 

We recommend viewing the application outline and questions on this google doc and doing your answers offline. You can then cut and paste your responses into the google application. The document also lists the uploads needed so you can prepare.

The CPA Budget Form includes options for two tiers; where possible, the Committee will try to fund your complete project.

  • First Tier: Your highest priority and the most urgent work. This amount should enable you to complete what is most needed.

  • Second Tier:  The full project amount for your open space or historic preservation project (with an upper limit in the $500,000 range).

Please download the CPA Budget Form and save it to your hard drive before you begin!

CPA Parks and Open Space Application

CPA budget form

The application deadline is Friday, September 27, 2019, at 4 p.m.

Keep in Mind

We’re holding application info sessions in August and September at 26 Court Street in downtown Boston. At these sessions, we’ll review application materials and our overall process. Come with your questions! 

Please RSVP to Thadine.Brown@boston.gov with your email in case dates or times change.

INFO SESSION dates:
  • Thursday, August 22, 2019, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 26 Court Street
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6 - 8 p.m., 26 Court Street
Step
1

Historic preservation projects

Boston will be 400 years old in 2030! Over the next decade, we hope Community Preservation 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 forms are due by Friday, September 6, 2019, at 4 p.m.

Eligibility Form

We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and direct you to the full application.

Step
3

Is your project on the MA Register of Historic Places?

By state law, your CPA project must be on the Massachusetts Historic Register or located in a national, state, or local historic district. You can look up your property on MACRIS, the state database of historic resources. If you have trouble with MACRIS, contact Allyson Quinn at allyson.quinn@boston.gov who can help.

If your project is not on the Register, we created a process for you to apply to the Boston Landmarks Commission to establish CPA eligibility. 

We will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and direct you to the full application.

Apply for historic determination

Step
4

Complete your application

 

Please read the application instructions before you begin. 

The application is a google questionnaire. You will not be able to save and come back to it. 

We recommend viewing the application outline and questions on this google doc and doing your answers offline. You can then cut and paste your responses into the google application. This document also lists the uploads needed so you can prepare.

The CPA Budget Form includes options for two tiers; where possible, the Committee will try to fund your complete project.

  • First Tier: Your highest priority and the most urgent work. This amount should enable you to complete what is most needed.
  • Second Tier: The full project amount for your open space or historic preservation project (with an upper limit in the $500,000 range).
  • Please download the CPA Budget Form and save it to your hard drive before you begin. 

Historic Preservation Application

CPA budget form

The application deadline is Friday, September 27, 2019, at 4 p.m.

Keep in Mind

We’re holding application info sessions in August and September at 26 Court Street in downtown Boston. At these sessions, we’ll review application materials and our overall process.

Please RSVP to Thadine.Brown@boston.gov with your email address in case their are date or time changes.

INFO SESSION dates:
  • Thursday, August 22, 2019, 6 - 8 p.m., 26 Court Street
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 26 Court Street
Step
1

CPA Grant Agreement

If you are awarded a CPA grant you enter into an agreement, like a contract, with the City of Boston. Here's a template of the Grant Agreement.

Every CPA project is a little different. The conditions of this agreement may not apply to your project. Together with the City's Law Department we will craft language that reflects your work and anticipated outcome. 

You'll get these instructions prior to signing the CPA Agreement that walk you through the steps involved.

When you sign the Agreement, we'll give you a CPA construction sign to post outside your site.

Step
2

City of Boston Contract Forms

Once you are ready to sign the CPA Agreement, there are several forms you will complete. Please don't worry about these until you are awarded funds! CPA staff will walk you through the details and interpret the forms for you. They include:

CM-06: Certificate of Authority naming the person who will sign the agreement forms.

CM-09: Contractor Certification naming your organization as the contractor with the City of Boston. 

CM-10: Standard Contract Form that you sign to execute the Agreement.

CM-15A: CORI Compliance and CM-15B CORI Standards 

CM-16: Wage Theft Prevention

Step
3

Receiving Funds

As noted in the CPA Agreement, you will start by submitting an invoice for the first 1/3 of your grant amount. 

For a second installment you will send documentation that you've spent the first amount. This can be an invoice from your contractor, canceled check, or even credit card statement showing that payment has gone out. Again, you submit an invoice for the next payment. This can be for smaller amounts as needed, or for the remainder of the grant minus 10% that we hold until the project is complete. These instructions will guide you through the process.

Step
4

Reporting

CPA has created short reports you will send at three different stages of your project, each should be accompanied by a budget report similar to the form you submitted with your application.

In addition, CPA staff may call or visit to learn about your progress. We'd love to see photos and encourage you to invite us to any events that celebrate the work!

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

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