Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy briefed municipal CEOs and local officials this morning on the new Community One Stop for Growth program, which was announced by Polito at the MMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 21.
Polito said the new unified grant application portal is designed to simplify access to 10 of the most popular economic development-related grant programs across several state entities. Applicants can save time and effort by having their application considered for multiple grant programs simultaneously.
“It is more important than ever to coordinate across programs to best support communities as they recover from the pandemic,” Kennealy said.
Community One Stop for Growth was an outcome of the administration’s year-long Economic Development Planning Process in 2019. It complements the Community Compact Connector grant finder tool that was launched last year, and is similar to the earlier consolidation of infrastructure grants under MassWorks. Another feature is that it aligns the application and review timeframes for an array of programs, Kennealy said.
Community One Stop provides access to the following grant programs offered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Department of Housing and Community Development, and MassDevelopment:
• Urban Agenda
• 43D Expedited Permitting
• Community Planning Grants (new)
• Rural Development Fund (new)
• Housing Choice Capital Grants
• Massachusetts Downtown Initiative
• Site Readiness
• Underutilized Properties (new)
The process starts with an optional but highly recommended Expression of Interest, giving applicants the opportunity to submit brief summaries for up to five project ideas they’re contemplating. The Expression of Interest period runs through April 2. Polito said teams from a range of state agencies will provide feedback to help strengthen the proposals and offer guidance for completing full applications.
“We are a consulting team for you,” she said.
Even if a community isn’t prepared to apply for a specific grant, she said, the Expression of Interest will help them “be ready for opportunities.” Kennealy called the Expression of Interest “a different and better way to start the dialogue with us” and said it will help state agencies understand the community’s overall vision. He said state officials can also use it to provide referrals to relevant grants outside of the One Stop program.
The grant application round will be open in May and June, and the Expression of Interest will reopen for interested municipalities in the fall.
Kennealy noted that the eligibility requirements for the programs under One Stop have not changed.
For the briefing, Lt. Gov. Polito and Secretary Kennealy were joined by Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba; Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega; and Assistant Secretary for Program and Performance Management Helena Fruscio-Altsman. Nearly 180 local officials took part, with many expressing their appreciation for the new program.
For complete information on Community One Stop, visit www.mass.gov/onestop, where interested local officials may sign up for webinars that will walk them through the One Stop process. Recordings of the webinars will also be posted.
• Community One Stop For Growth presentation (1.5M PDF)