The online application is available for the 2019 round to designate Housing Choice Communities.

The Housing Choice Initiative provides incentives, rewards, technical assistance and targeted legislative reform to encourage and empower municipalities to plan and build the diverse housing stock that the Commonwealth needs to continue to thrive.

The application must be submitted using the online form, found at www.mass.gov/forms/form-apply-for-the-housing-choice-designation.

The application period has been extended and will close at 3 p.m. on March 28.

The online application contains detailed information about the criteria for designation and submittal requirements.

A Housing Choice Designation rewards communities that are producing new housing and have adopted best practices to promote sustainable housing development.

The designation provides exclusive access to Housing Choice Capital Grants – communities received $4 million for capital projects in fiscal 2019 – and bonus points or other considerations for certain Commonwealth funding programs (such as Clean Water Trust loans, MassWorks, Seaport Council Grants, Complete Streets, MassDOT capital projects, Energy and Environmental Affairs Planning, LAND and PARC grants).

Because small towns face different challenges, the Housing Choice Initiative will set aside funding for a competitive capital grant program exclusively for towns with population under 7,000. The program awarded $1 million in capital grants to small towns for capital projects. Small towns can also apply for Housing Choice Designation. (In 2018, five Housing Choice Communities had populations under 7,000.)

To help municipalities achieve Housing Choice status, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Choice program director coordinates existing technical assistance and provides “one-stop shopping” for information about technical assistance grants for local governments.

For more information about the program, visit www.mass.gov/housingchoice.

Housing Choice Initiative Summary Sheet (2M PDF)