At the MMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 21, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the opening of the full application for fiscal 2023 for numerous state grant programs under Community One Stop for Growth, a centralized portal and streamlined application process for communities and other entities.

Full applications must be submitted between May 2 and June 3.

Twelve programs will be administered through the Community One Stop for Growth for fiscal 2023, including MassWorks, Urban Agenda, Housing Choice Community Grants, Massachusetts Downtown Initiative, Community Planning Grants, Rural Development Fund, MassDevelopment, Brownfields, Site Readiness, and Underutilized Properties. New this year are the Collaborative Workspace Program, Real Estate Services, and Commonwealth Places.

Polito announced the launch of Community One Stop for Growth a year ago at the 2021 MMA Annual Meeting. In its first year, 360 project proposals were submitted from 177 communities, and 196 grants were awarded to projects in 122 communities. More than $88.6 million in community and economic development grant funds were awarded, including $28.8 million to Gateway Cities and $21.7 million to rural and small towns.

The One Stop process helps to make grants programs more accessible to all communities, and ensures the equitable distribution of resources across all regions of the Commonwealth, according to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. In its first year, two-thirds of projects supported an increase in equitable opportunities, nearly 60% led to environmental benefits and/or built on a community’s climate resiliency, and 62% will result in new housing or the preservation of existing affordable housing. Of the 196 projects awarded, 31% were located in a community identified as a rural town, small town, or both; 45% were located in a Housing Choice Community; and 31% were located in a Gateway City.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said One Stop supports projects “that will leverage private investment, create needed housing, and help revitalize our downtowns and main streets across the Commonwealth.”

Kennealy recommends that prospective applications submit Expressions of Interest, which opened on Dec. 15, 2021, through One Stop. The Expressions of Interest process provides an opportunity to receive guidance on potential economic development projects prior to submitting a full application, helping prospective applicants connect to the most appropriate grant programs in the One Stop portfolio and providing referrals to dozens of the Commonwealth’s grant programs outside of One Stop.

The Expression of Interest period will remain open through March 18, and is available to municipalities, public entities, community nonprofits, and private companies. While each organization is limited to one Expression of Interest, the form allows applicants to seek feedback on up to two project ideas (or up to five project ideas, if submitted by Feb. 4).

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is hosting the following webinars about Community One Stop for Growth:
• One Stop Overview Webinar: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.
• One Stop Application Guidance Webinar: Thursday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.
• Technology Webinar – Recording to be posted on Tuesday, Feb. 8

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