July 11, 2018 Round One: $8 Million in CPA Funds Distributed to 35 Boston Projects
Sixteen historic preservation projects received 41% of the total funds distributed in the first competitive round for CPA funding in Boston recently. HBI is pleased to report that its project at the 1912 Upham’s Corner Comfort Station in Dorchester received a $365,000 grant in this round, but we are also very exciting to see the full list of preservation, open space and affordable housing projects that benefitted from the CPA program.
Almost every Boston neighborhood was represented in this initial round across the three work areas. However, only 10 Boston neighborhoods received funds for a preservation project, and no CPA funds were granted to Mission Hill, Charlestown and Mattapan. In fact, no applications were received from Charlestown or Mattapan projects.
The Boston Municipal Research Bureau provided an early analysis of this pilot round of CPA funding. A description of the process and successful applicants can be found here.
Another application round for funding is coming in up September 2018 and it is expected that considerably more funding will be released of the roughly $20 million in annual investment available in CPA funds. The September round is also expected to focus more funds on affordable housing projects.
The Community Preservation Act is a program authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature and adopted by municipalities in the Commonwealth through a local referendum. 173 of Massachusetts’ 351 municipalities have adopted CPA. Boston voters accepted the provision by a wide margin in 2016, authorizing an annual 1% surcharge on property taxes that would be devoted strictly to affordable housing, open space and historic preservation projects in the city. Of the anticipated $20 million in annual grant funds and State matching funds, a minimum of 10% of all funds raised must go to each of the three CPA work areas each year. The balance, or 70% of the funds available, are directed at the discretion of municipal priorities. A Community Preservation Commission was appointed by the Mayor and the City Council and oversees program priorities and disposition of funds along with CPA staff.