The Baker-Polito Administration announced the official opening of the Full Application for the Fiscal Year 2023 Community One Stop for Growth, which allows communities and entities seeking funding from a variety of grant programs to begin work on their applications.
The initial announcement was made on Friday, Jan. 21, by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show. Full Applications must be submitted for consideration between May 2, and June 3, 2022.
Launched in January 2021, the Community One Stop for Growth is a streamlined application process that makes it easier for communities and entities to access the Commonwealth’s numerous grant programs. In its first year, 360 project proposals were submitted from 177 communities across the Commonwealth, with over $300 million in requests. It resulted in 196 grant awards to projects across 122 communities, with over $88.6 million in community and economic development grant funds being awarded – including over $28.8 million to Gateway Cities and $21.7 million to rural and small towns. The One Stop process not only helped to make grants programs more accessible to all communities, large and small – a principle in the Administration’s Partnerships for Growth plan – but also ensured the equitable distribution of resources across all regions of the Commonwealth.
“In only its first year, the One Stop has transformed how the state can work together with municipalities to support local plans for economic development, job creation and housing production,”said Governor Charlie Baker. “With the opening of the Full Application for this round, we look forward to building on the One Stop’s success from last year and to provide additional opportunities to communities across Massachusetts.”
“The opening of the Full Application for the One Stop brings is a major step in our continuing efforts to provide critical support for communities’ efforts to catalyze local economic development,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “With the addition of three new programs in the One Stop, we are now able to broaden our support through our streamlined, simplified process even further to cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
In the One Stop’s first year, two-thirds of projects supported an increase in equitable opportunities, nearly 60 percent led to environmental benefits and/or built on a community’s climate resiliency, and 62 percent will result in new housing or the preservation of existing affordable housing. Additionally, of the 196 projects awarded, 31 percent were located in a community identified as a Rural Town, Small Town, or both; 45 percent were located in a Housing Choice Community; and 31 percent were located in a Gateway City.
“In the One Stop’s first year, we saw clear proof of the success the platform had in expanding opportunities for funding to a greater number of communities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “With the Full Application now open, I look forward to continuing that momentum in year two of the One Stop by supporting projects that will leverage private investment, create needed housing, and help revitalize our downtowns and main streets across the Commonwealth.”
As a reminder, the One Stop allows for prospective applications to submit Expressions of Interest, which opened on Dec. 15, 2021, providing applicants with an opportunity to receive guidance on potential economic development projects prior to submitting a Full Application to the One Stop. Submitting an Expression of Interest is a highly recommended component of the process and is meant to guide prospective applicants to the most appropriate grant programs in the One Stop and/or to provide referrals to dozens of the Commonwealth’s grant programs outside of the One Stop.
The Expression of Interest period will remain open through March 18, 2022, and is available to municipalities, public entities, community non-profits, and private companies. While each organization is limited to one EOI, the EOI form allows applicants to seek feedback on up to two project ideas (or up to five project ideas, if submitted by Feb. 4, 2022).
In addition, a series of webinars have been scheduled:
- Webinar 1: One Stop Overview Webinar – Tuesday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.
- Webinar 2: One Stop Application Guidance Webinar – Thursday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.
- Webinar 3: Technology Webinar – Recording to be posted on Tuesday, Feb. 8
For more information on the One Stop and the Full Application, please visit www.mass.gov/onestop.