The Baker-Polito administration recently announced that the 6th annual round of MassWorks awards is open and available for municipalities to submit applications.
Applications are due between Aug. 22 and Sept. 2, 2016.
How MassWorks Can Help Towns and Cities
Through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) supports housing projects, economic development, and infrastructure improvements throughout the Commonwealth.
MassWorks has helped fund impactful projects throughout the Commonwealth. Since 2011, the program has invested more than $333 million in funding for 181 projects through competitive grant rounds. In the 2015 MassWorks results, a total of $86.5 million was awarded to 49 projects in 46 communities.
What Are MassWorks Grants For?
Grants are awarded to cities and towns or public agencies with the legal right to apply on their behalf. Projects that may be eligible for MassWorks funding fall into four categories, with some overlap:
- Economic development in weak or distressed areas
- Community revitalization to support mixed-use areas, which include residential and commercial developments
- Market-value and affordable multi-family housing developments with at least four units to an acre
- Upgrades to transportation to improve safety in small, rural communities with a population of 7,000 or less
The MassWorks grant generally covers construction costs, but small, rural communities can also apply for design and engineering funding. Larger communities can include design and engineering costs in a grant application if they make up no more than 10 percent of the total funding request.
MassWorks Project Requirements
To be considered for MassWorks funding, a project must meet the minimum requirements described in the program guidelines, which include:
- A timeline that allows for work to begin in the upcoming construction season
- Designs that comply with Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Complete Streets guidelines
- A list of required permits that can be obtained within 120 days
Municipalities and eligible applicants with questions may attend one of the Lunch & Learn sessions hosted by the Massachusetts Permit Regulatory office. Dates and times will be announced soon.
The MassWorks Application Process
Cities and towns can apply for the MassWorks program online and can use the application handbook as a guide. The application period began June 3, 2016, and ends Sept. 2, 2016. Completed applications can be submitted starting Aug. 22. Municipalities that applied for a MassWorks grant and did not receive funding in previous years must reapply to be considered in each cycle.
Once applications have been submitted, EOHED and other representatives from the state government will review them and notify applicants of the results after an eight-week review period in early fall, known as a funding round.
If a project is approved, grant money will be awarded as long as any additional documents the reviewers have requested — including design specifications, specific timetables, and more — are submitted and approved.
Check the MassWorks website or contact the MassWorks team directly at MassWorks@state.ma.us for updates on the 2016 application process.
Comment below or tweet @MassGov with any questions about MassWorks.
Tags: city and town infrastructure, economic development, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, finance, funding, grants, HED, infrastructure, Massachusetts Works, MassWorks, municipal grants, municipalities
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