Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $4 Million in Awards to Support Downtowns and Housing Production

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox were joined by state and local officials from Barnstable to announce more than $4 million in awards to 39 communities through two grant programs that support downtown revitalization efforts and local capital projects in communities that have received the Housing Choice designation.  The Massachusetts Downtown Initiative and the Housing Choice Community Grant Program awards were made through the Community One Stop for Growth platform, a single application portal and collaborative review process for multiple grant programs launched in January 2021 to make targeted investments based on a development continuum.

 As a grant recipient of both programs, Barnstable was awarded $25,000 through the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative to assist with the development of a Downtown Hyannis Parking Wayfinding Plan that will raise local and visitor awareness of parking locations and encourage a more pedestrian focused orientation in the downtown area.  As a designated Housing Choice community, Barnstable was also awarded $250,000 to fund the design of a replacement sewer pump station currently located at 720 Main Street.  The new pump station will address capacity issues within the Hyannis Growth Incentive Zone, which is necessary to enable future downtown development.

 “For communities like Barnstable, taking full advantage of the One Stop means significant support for infrastructure upgrades that will lead to new housing as well as assistance to enhance the vibrancy of their downtown,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Thanks to this new, simplified process, communities have the chance to layer funding in pursuit of high-impact efforts that, like Barnstable, will attract private investment, create more housing, and relight the spark in our downtowns, main streets, and village centers.”

 “Local downtowns are the heart of our communities and are built on the restaurants, businesses, and amenities that make our hometowns great places to live,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s awards will help municipalities begin important projects that will improve the lives of residents and keep communities welcoming places for families to put down roots.”

The Massachusetts Downtown Initiative’s mission is to make downtown revitalization an integral part of community development in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. In this round, $25,000 grants, for a combined total of $325,000, were awarded to 13 communities to support the development of plans for priorities such as wayfinding, district management, and parking management.

 The Housing Choice Capital Grant Program is available for communities that received a Housing Choice designation for their commitment to increasing housing production and planning for future growth.

Housing Choice Capital funding enables communities to pursue vital local infrastructure projects, property acquisition, long-lived equipment purchases, or feasibility or impact designs for projects. This year, 28 communities are receiving funding, totaling roughly $3.7 million. 

 In One Stop’s first year, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 267 Expressions of Interest from 178 communities through the new, simplified process.  For this year’s awards, 196 grant applications received a total of $88.7 million for projects in 122 communities.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City. 

 “We created the One Stop to offer access to a wide variety of programs through a single, streamlined process that ensures that valuable funds can be directed more effectively, to more communities, in less time,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “The One Stop gives communities the opportunity to work collaboratively with us, to pursue multiple projects simultaneously and to meet their economic development goals.  Barnstable has demonstrated how communities can be creative with grant funding to maximize the impact of their investments in public infrastructure.  While the first year of the One Stop has shown tremendous promise, the demand for our programs demonstrates that we can do more.”

Learn more about the programs that are part of the Community One Stop for Growth application process.

 “We are proud to offer a variety of programming to help municipal leaders navigate options and plan for long-term success at the local level,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “Our team is dedicated to providing municipalities with all the tools they need, including MDI, planning services, Housing Choice, and more to create thriving, resilient neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth.”

 “I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their focus on the resiliency of downtowns throughout the pandemic,” said Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells.  “Matching investments in housing and main street revitalization through the Community One Stop for Growth program will help places like downtown Hyannis maintain vibrancy, add support for our small businesses, and contribute to a livable, walkable year-round community.”

“I am thrilled the Town of Barnstable has received two state grants through the Housing Choice Capital Grant Program and the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative,” said State Senator Julian Cyr.  “Barnstable will utilize this funding to help improve our wastewater infrastructure in Hyannis and strengthen awareness of parking options in the town – both projects will greatly serve the residents of Barnstable.”

“Thanks to the $250,000 and $25,000 awards from the Housing Choice Capital Grant Program and Massachusetts Downton Initiative, we can address the local needs of pedestrian access to Downtown Hyannis and over-capacity sewer pump stations,” said Representative Steven G. Xiarhos.  “Combined, these grants present our community with a wonderful opportunity to increase the support for our local businesses, and invest in our future development.”

 “The design and construction of a new Main Street sewer pump will be a critical step towards redevelopment plans in the Hyannis downtown area, and I am very pleased and encouraged that the Baker-Polito Administration will be providing this funding as the project moves forward,” said Representative Kip Diggs.  “Additionally, the funding for a new parking plan design will help downtown traffic, alleviate congestion, and allow for more pedestrian mobility.”

“We deeply appreciate the continued support our Cape Cod community receives from the Baker-Polito Administration and we look forward to continuing our work advocating for the needs of municipal government and the citizens we serve,” said Representative Timothy Whelan.

Chelsea received:

FY 2021 Housing Choice Community Capital Grants for $250,000.

The City of Chelsea will use funding for a proposed capital project focused on pedestrian enhancements along Orange Street, directly adjacent to a new, neighborhood scale housing opportunity on two City owned parcels and to an existing Chelsea Housing Authority complex and other dense, residential dwellings.

FY 2022 Housing Choice Community Capital Grants for $75,000.

The City of Chelsea will conduct an economic development study of West Chelsea to rethink the role that the area plays in local and regional economies and to better understand the potential uses for parcels in the area and how to better brand and market the area for development.

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