Mayor Michelle Wu announced the availability of eligibility forms for applications for the upcoming round of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding. For Fiscal Year 2023, the City of Boston has made nearly $39 million available for CPA projects under three categories consistent with statewide guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space or recreation. Applicants interested in funding for historic preservation or open space or recreation projects must complete eligibility forms by August 31, 2022, which will then be reviewed by the City’s Community Preservation Act Office. Candidates deemed eligible by the CPA Office will be invited to submit an application for their proposed projects. Once approved, applications will open on October 5, 2022 by invitation only and close on November 9, 2022. The Mayor’s Office of Housing will release a joint request for an RFP for CPA funding for affordable housing in August.
“The Community Preservation Act empowers residents and local organizations by investing in community-driven developments and preservation efforts across the city,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I encourage everyone to begin the process of applying for funding to join our citywide work to further our city’s goals of affordable housing, historic preservation and open space and recreation.”
“Some of the most exciting and creative projects in our ever-changing City–innovative affordable housing projects, parks, and historic preservation projects– are the result of resident and community driven CPA proposals,” said Councilor Michael Flaherty, Chair of the Council’s Community Preservation Committee. “I am so thankful for the vision and partnership of the many leaders that helped us get the ballot measure passed years ago and continue to be thankful for the partnership with Mayor Wu and the Community Preservation Committee. I am confident that the nearly $39 million allocation in CPA funds will allow for significant community-driven, transformational change in every corner of our neighborhoods and look forward to another exciting round of applications.”
“With the leadership of the parishioners of Eliot Congregational Church and me, we continue to nurture and cultivate partnerships with architects Menders, Torrey and Spencer and the Wentworth Institute of Technology in the hopes of developing alternative use spaces within and around Eliot Church to benefit a wide variety of racial and socioeconomic groups,” said Rev. Dr. Evan C. Hines, Senior Pastor for Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury. “With the support of the CPA, the Eliot Church could serve as a prototype for other stewards of historic properties that are striving to preserve legacy, protect open space and address the need for affordable housing.”
Applicants who would like to apply for affordable housing projects will need to respond to the joint request for proposals (RFP) released by the City of Boston Community Preservation Program and the Mayor’s Office of Housing. This joint RFP must be submitted by Friday, September 30, 2002.
After the end of the application period, the Community Preservation Committee will review applications by January 2023 and vote on a list of proposals in February to recommend to the Mayor. The Mayor will then make a recommendation on the slate of CPA projects to be voted on by the Boston City Council.
The last round of CPA awards in February 2022 funded over $27 million to 52 projects across the city, including affordable housing developments, open space and recreation, and historic preservation projects consistent with statewide guidelines. Examples of community projects that benefited from this investment include preserving archaeological sites from climate change-induced erosion on the Boston Harbor Islands, creating a new community garden in Mattapan on a vacant lot, rehabilitation and restoration roof repair of the historic 1873 Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury and creating a 96-unit affordable housing building in Jamaica Plain.
The Community Preservation Fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017 after Boston voters adopted the measure on a ballot question in November 2016.
The City of Boston Community Preservation Act Program has awarded over $119 million to support 242 projects across the City since 2018. Community Preservation Act-funded projects can be found in every neighborhood across Boston. Of those supported since its creation, there have been 37 affordable housing projects, 97 open space and recreation projects, and 108 historic preservation projects. The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is committed to broad community participation, supporting accessible and visible projects that have a positive impact on neighborhoods and residents. CPA staff has been hosting virtual meet and greets, community meetings, and workshops to explain the eligibility requirements and the application process to residents and organizations interested in applying for funding.