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Funding Opportunities

MAPC

Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning

MAPC Technical Assistance Program (TAP)

The MAPC Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is a funding program that enable and assist municipalities in implementing projects that are beneficial to the community. Municipalities are invited to submit project concepts for work to be undertaken by MAPC through our Technical Assistance Program (TAP).

What's New: Spring 2017 Call for Concepts

Through our Spring 2017 Call for Project Concepts, we are soliciting ideas for projects that will commence in summer or fall 2017. At this time, due to funds generously granted to MAPC by the Barr Foundation, we are particularly able to address project ideas in the following categories. However, municipalities should feel free to suggest projects that meet other needs as well.

Arts and Cultural Planning and Creative Placemaking

Project ideas that engage arts, culture, and creativity to advance municipal and regional planning objectives - revitalizing neighborhoods, downtowns, village centers, or old industrial sites. These projects should also have a focus on making the community more sustainable and resilient by advancing clean energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions or adapting to climate change, improving public health outcomes, improving mobility.

Projects can include creative placemaking, creative community development, cultural asset mapping, cultural planning, arts and cultural data collection and analysis, arts and cultural policy, and projects advancing equity and inclusion, including those that use creative approaches to engaging constituencies that are traditionally under-represented in the planning process. For examples of current projects, please click here.

Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

Projects that focus on redevelopment opportunities around subway, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, or key bus routes. The projects must include an emphasis on affordable or mixed-income housing, mixed-use development (residential along with commercial or industrial), and/or economic development in smart growth areas with the option to request market analyses for the study area. These planning processes generally include meaningful community engagement especially in under-represented populations; along with focuses in public health, minimizing displacement and/or clean energy improvements.

Planning Assistance Grants

The Planning Assistance Grants is an imminent technical assistance opportunity provided by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEEA). This RFR should be released over the next few weeks with funds that can be used for implementing smart growth recommendations such as housing bylaws and ordinances, climate adaptation recommendations, zoning for land preservation, and other smart growth land use practices.

Remember that MAPC can be a technical assistance provider to your community on these grants, so you may want to discuss a concept with us if you plan to use MAPC services later. MAPC may also be able to provide additional funds to augment the state and local funds if a project scope exceeds the amount available from those sources.

Submit an Application

MAPC issues direct calls for applications twice a year in the fall and spring. Applications are also accepted on a rolling basis. Awards are made on a rolling basis pending the availability of funding, with a batch of awards often made in the late fall and early spring.


Read the most recent June 2017 Call for Projects


Criteria for Project Selection

At MAPC we try our best to fund as many projects that are in accordance with the guidelines as possible through our technical assistance resources or state grant programs. Projects that align with MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston region and involves the advancement of regional land use, policy plans, equity within the region and municipal collaboration usually have a higher chance of being selected.

After concepts are submitted, we will work with the applicant to determine the best funding source(s) based on the specific ideas you present and the timetable and criteria of the funding sources that are best suited for the work.

Approved projects are awarded a funding allocation that is based on an assessment of anticipated tasks. If MAPC cannot fully fund the project, we will work with the municipality (or municipalities) to achieve additional funding from other sources. Most awards will draw upon a variety of funding sources – including DLTA, PMTA, grants from private foundations, leveraged grants from state programs, and fee-for-service contributions.

Selected projects are assigned to a Project Manager, who works with municipalities to develop detailed scopes of work.


Questions?

Contact Mark Racicot if you have questions about the application process and the status of your submittal. Feel free to reach out to the subregional coordinator serving your municipality or MAPC department and division managers and directors to discuss a potential project.


 

Technical assistance program (TAP)

Funding Priorities

MAPC sees our Technical Assistance Program as a means to help cities, towns, and the Commonwealth to implement local, regional, and state goals. Generally speaking, we give preference to projects that advance the regional land use and policy plan, MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region and the planning priorities identified in the agency’s current Strategic Plan. We also give preference to projects that align with the state priorities.

 

TAP Funding Sources

The District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) Program funded annually by the Legislature and the Governor through a state appropriation. The program is administered by each of the state’s 13 Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs), which together cover the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns. In 2016, MAPC partnered with the Baker Administration to give a portion of funds towards projects aligning with Community Compact Best Practices. DLTA projects run through the calendar year (January – December).

The Planning for MetroFuture Technical Assistance (PMTA) Program administered by MAPC and is funded by municipal assessments. It serves the 101 cities and towns in our region and aims to advance the implementation of projects that align with the goals and objectives in the MetroFuture regional plan and the priorities identified in the MAPC Strategic Plan. PMTA projects run through the fiscal year (July – June).

The Community Compact Cabinet (CCC)* is made possible through the Baker’s Administration’s Best Practices Program, the Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program, and the Information Technology Grant Program. This program reflects the Baker Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns. The Cabinet gages municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies to develop mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities. *Cities and towns apply directly to the Baker Administration for CCC funding and can engage MAPC as a technical assistance provider.

The Barr Foundation has provided generous funding and support in several project areas, including arts and culture, equitable transit-oriented development (E-TOD), mobility, and climate adaptation.

MAPC utilizes all of these sources of funding and actively fund raise - in addition to municipal fee-for-service contributions, in-kind resources from municipalities and partners, and grant funding - to enable our staff to provide technical assistance to municipalities on a variety of planning, procurement, and shared services projects.

Funding Opportunities

MAPC Technical Assistance Programs – Funded Projects

A selection of recently funded projects grouped by topic is provided below. To view a comprehensive list of projects from a variety of practice areas, browse the DLTA project summary reports that MAPC delivers to the Department of Housing and Community Development on an annual basis.

Funded Projects by Practice Area

FAQs

Application questions

Does my project concept need to align with local, regional, AND state goals?

The strongest concepts will align with regional and state goals and project alignment with local goals is also a priority because in the TAP project concept application, we ask that communities let us know how the proposed project will also help implement local plans.

The MetroFuture Regional Plan consists of 65 goals, and it is highly likely that your concept will align with at least one or more of the goals and objectives in the plan.

Do i need to specify the funding source(s) for my TAP request?

No, you do not need to specify the funding source in your request for technical assistance. MAPC will work with you to determine the best funding source or sources for each project, based on the specific ideas you present and the timetable and criteria of the funding sources that are best suited to fund the work.

What is the general funding amount and scale of technical assistance awarded?

Approved projects include those in which the community needs only a small amount of assistance to achieve the implementation of a local regulatory change (which may take less than 150 hours of technical assistance) to larger multi-community projects that require hundreds of hours of community outreach and engagement, coordination, research, plan-writing, and bylaw/ordinance drafting. Most projects are funded in the $25,000 - $60,000 range. Projects approved at the higher end are made possible through a combination of funding sources that often includes grant funding and municipal contributions.

Regional Priorities

What is MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region?

MetroFuture is a plan that aims to better the lives of the people who live and work in Metropolitan Boston between now and 2030. MetroFuture is more than a land use plan with maps and charts. It includes a detailed vision for the future; specific goals and objectives to assess whether the region is moving in that direction; and detailed implementation strategies that will serve as a roadmap for policy, advocacy, planning, and development decisions. It is based in an understanding that Metro Boston is an interconnected system: regional trends shape local conditions, and every local decision has a broader impact on our regional well-being.

What is Planning for MetroFuture Technical Assistance (PMTA)?

MAPC’s PMTA program serves the 101 cities and towns in our region and aims to advance the implementation of projects that align with the goals and objectives in the MetroFuture regional plan and the priorities identified in the MAPC Strategic Plan. PMTA projects run through the fiscal year (July – June).

As of September 2016, MAPC's PMTA resources are enhanced through a grant from the Barr Foundation. The grant is focused on advancing equitable transit-oriented development (e-TOD), climate adaptation planning, and policy education and research focused on advancing a sustainable, climate-friendly region. MAPC is actively looking to create a pipeline of projects particularly in the area e-TOD. Elements could include any of the following activities: visioning, zoning recommendations, drafting zoning language, market analysis, buildout analysis, housing plans, preventing displacement, multimodal recommendations, parking analyses, public health implications, and more.

What are MAPC’s priorities in its 2015 - 2020 Strategic Plan?

MAPC adopted a five-year strategic plan in October 2014. Project concepts that advance one of more of the four strategic priorities will be given special consideration.

  1. Encourage development and preservation consistent with smart growth principles, focusing on these three elements
    • Expanding the supply of housing, with an emphasis on multi-family housing, smaller single-family homes, and homes that are affordable to a wide range of incomes
    • Promoting innovative transportation strategies, including congestion mitigation, shared and appropriately-priced parking, streets that work for all users, and transit solutions for both cities and suburbs
    • Encouraging both residential and economic development that is oriented to take advantage of its proximity to existing or planned subway and light rail stops, commuter rail stations, and key bus stops (transit-oriented development)
  2. Partner with our cities and towns to promote regional collaboration, enhance effectiveness, and increase efficiency
  3. Play a leading role in helping the region to achieve greater equity
  4. Help the region reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the physical, environmental, and social impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

State Priorities

What is District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA)?

Established by Chapter 205 of the Acts of 2006, DLTA enables Regional Planning Agency (RPA) staff to provide technical assistance to communities for “any subject within regional planning expertise.” DLTA projects run through the calendar year (January – December.) The DLTA funding priorities are established annually by the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA) in concert with the current Administration.

In calendar year 2016, the DLTA contract directed RPAs to allocate DLTA funds between two general categories: 1) “Planning Ahead for Housing” (or to help reach the Statewide Housing Production Goal) or “Planning Ahead for Growth” and 2) Community Compact Activities. At least 30% of DLTA funding was allocated to projects advancing these state goals. The state also asked RPAs to both to encourage communities to enter into Community Compacts with the state, and also to use at least 30% of our DLTA funds to assist communities in implementing state priorities, including the Community Compact Cabinet Best Practices that are within our expertise.

What are the funding priorities of the Community Compact Cabinet (CCC)?

The Baker Administration’s Community Compact Cabinet aims to champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities. The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners. Learn more here.

As of September 2016, the Community Compact Cabinet is administering three grant programs. The Best Practices Program; the Efficiency & Regionalization Grant Program; and the Information Technology Grant Program. The Best Practices Program has outlined the following practice areas: education; energy and environment; financial management; housing and economic development; human resources; information technology; public accessibility; public safety; regionalization/shared services; and transportation/public works. MAPC is available to consult with municipalities that are considering signing on to the Community Compact Cabinet and which are in the process of identifying CCC best practices. MAPC TAP funding may be available to augment CCC-funded project work that aligns with our areas of expertise. View the full list of CCC Best Practices here.

Is a municipality required to provide a match for TAP funding?

A successful application does not require a local match. That said, municipal cash or in-kind matches allow MAPC to maximize TAP resources, and sources of funding are an important consideration in our TAP project selection process.

If a proposed project exceeds available funding, MAPC will often engage project proponent(s) in a strategic discussion to identify adjustments that will allow us to proceed with work. These adjustments may include a) reducing the project scope to meet the limited funding capacity or b) securing a local contribution (or funding from another source) to more fully support the proposed scope of the project.

In addition to the requirements of each funding source, are there other factors that MAPC considers when determining which projects to fund?

MAPC will also consider the following factors when considering project concepts:

  • Regional Collaboration: The project will encourage collaboration in the land use field or in municipal service delivery among multiple municipalities.
  • Replicability: The project could be a model or template for use in other municipalities or groups of municipalities.
  • Impact: The project will, when implemented, have a significant impact on the region, either in itself, or through the potential for replicability throughout other areas of the region.
  • Equity: The project addresses regional equity issues by enhancing the quality of life for low-income households, minorities, people with disabilities or other disadvantaged groups, as identified in MetroFuture and the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.
  • Civic Engagement: The project concept suggests an appropriate level of civic engagement that aligns with the deliverables and outcomes of the project.
  •  Readiness for Implementation: The project is likely to result in near-term “changes on the ground” (e.g., new construction, approved zoning changes, inter-municipal collaboration on service delivery). The community has a stated goal and timeline for implementation.
  • Local Capacity: The applicant community has demonstrated they have the capacity to adopt and implement smart growth measures or successfully collaborate with neighboring municipalities to share services or conduct joint purchasing.