Image is a photo of different regional maps on white 8x10 paper all on a light green wall.
District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA)

District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) directly funds much-needed technical assistance for cities and towns. DLTA planning dollars help cities and towns take on necessary projects that they don’t have the staff capacity to address on their own, and to partner with neighboring communities to tackle shared projects with reduced administrative burden.

DLTA funds can be spent on a wide variety of planning and implementation projects: zoning, housing production, economic development, conservation planning, and much more. It also helps cities and towns improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local services, and to work with their neighbors on planning, procurement, and services. DLTA Fact Sheet

Looking for information on MAPC's Technical Assistance Program? Visit the TAP page!

Questions? Contact MAPC Director of Government Affairs Leah Robins at

District Local Technical Assistance gives cities and towns the capacity to do projects around land use, zoning, clean energy, public health, community engagement, tranasportation, data services, procurement, environment, economic development, housing, and more.

FY23 Budget

MAPC is incredible grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for the work put into assembling the budget, and we look forward to working to ensure it supports resident in all cities and towns in the Commonwealth! 

Contact your legislator today and ask them to ensure that DLTA is included in the budget and funded at $4.5 million.

Statewide Impact

DLTA dollars are distributed between Massachusetts' 13 regional planning agencies (RPAs). Nearly half of Massachusetts communities, including both cities and towns, don’t have professional planners to help shape their future economic development, transportation, housing, green spaces, and town facilities. RPAs help Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns with these essential tasks, providing technical assistance on everything from updating stormwater guidelines to managing data to preparing economic development plans. The technical assistance work of most of these RPAs is funded almost entirely by DLTA.

Each year, MAPC and the other RPAs work with the Legislature to make sure that DLTA is adequately funded in the Massachusetts budget.

MARPA Map@4x

Unlocking Opportunities

With DLTA funding, cities and towns can plan for the long term and have the details of shovel-ready, shovel-worthy projects ready when federal competitive funding is available.

Communities can also use DLTA to unlock state funding opportunities and respond to state programs. This year, DLTA has helped municipalities:

  • Work toward Roadmap Law emissions targets with climate action
    plans, electric vehicle strategies, and municipal aggregation plans
  • Build local public health capacity in alignment with the SAPHE Act
  • Develop a toolkit to support remote and hybrid meeting engagement
  • Help municipalities implement economic development recommendations from Local Rapid Recovery Plans
  • Revise zoning codes to comply with the Legislature’s MBTA Multifamily Zoning provision and respond to priorities in the Housing Choice Law

State Funds Go Even Further with DLTA

For every DLTA project a regional planning agency works on, it provides a 10 percent funding match - meaning that funding DLTA at $4.5 million will support at least $4.95 million of technical assistance work.

Many of the 13 regional planning agencies leverage this funding even more with outside funding and grant assistance, as much as doubling the amount of money the state provides. In FY21, MAPC secured more than five times the required match for DLTA-funded projects.

Real Project Examples

DLTA helps cities and towns take action. Through DLTA, cities and towns can:

  • Create housing production plans
  • Rewrite zoning codes
  • Expedite permitting
  • Establish development conservation districts
  • Develop design guidelines
  • Improve regional service delivery
  • Procure goods and services
  • Collect data collection and conduct data analysis
  • Create economic development plans
  • Conduct public health planning
  • Improve public safety and emergency response
  • Create energy and climate resiliency plans
  • Write stormwater guidelines
  • Create open space and recreation plans
  • ...and more!

The blog posts below catalog some real-life project examples that MAPC has worked on.

keep cool somerville fountain

DLTA Spotlight: Keep Cool Somerville

March 3, 2021

Photo Credit: Atais Ribeiro, Keep Cool Somerville Photovoice Participant DLTA Spotlight: Keep Cool Somerville Written by Operations Specialist Rachel Marx […]

Union Street, Rockland, MA

DLTA Spotlight: Rockland Master Plan 2030

February 2, 2021

DLTA Spotlight: Rockland Master Plan 2030 Creating a Roadmap for the Future of Rockland  District Local Technical Assistance, or “DLTA” […]

DLTA Spotlight: COVID-19 Small Business Support

January 7, 2021

DLTA Spotlight: COVID-19 Small Business Support Advancing Small Businesses in Arlington, Medford, Salem, Newton and Needham District Local Technical Assistance, […]