City Decides First Projects for CPA Funds

Funding supports 35 projects totaling $8M in 19 neighborhoods

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) completed its Pilot Round for 2018 and recommended a slate of thirty-five projects to the Mayor and City Council. The CPC received fifty-five eligible projects, and fully or partially approved funding for thirty-five projects in nineteen neighborhoods, totaling $8.0M or 71% of the requested funding. Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds received in FY18 as of June 30th (unaudited) totaled $20.5M. The remaining funds will be used for a second funding round expected to be initiated in August. The first state matching funds will not be available until November 2018.

The Pilot Round was limited to projects that were “shovel-ready” and did not exceed $500,000 to fully fund a project or close a funding gap. The goal of this round was to support projects (detail) that will have a visible impact in the neighborhoods in the CPA areas of affordable housing, open space and historic preservation. Taxpayers have been paying the CPA surcharge on their property tax since July/August 2017. The CPC used the Pilot Round to test the application process and determine if revisions in the process should be made before the next round of funding.

Of the CPA categories, historic preservation received the most funding at 41.8% of the total funds approved, followed by open space at 39.5% and affordable housing at 18.7%. This follows expected patterns for the Pilot Round since affordable housing projects are more complex and generally not “shovel-ready.” The number of historic preservation projects reflects the limited funds available for this purpose from other sources. The CPC categorized some projects as “Blended” or projects that fall under two categories. The Research Bureau allocated the funds in these projects to the appropriate CPA category, since “Blended” is not recognized by CPA law and does not meet state reporting requirements.

CPA Funding by Category
Category Projects Amount %  
Affordable Housing 3 $1,500,000 18.7%
Historic Preservation 16 3,360,345 41.8%
Open Space 16 3,174,710 39.5%
Total 35 $8,035,055 100.0%

During the process of reviewing the Pilot projects submitted, the CPC staff was assisted by officials in city departments, such as Parks, Neighborhood Development, Landmarks Commission and Law, to ensure that projects complied with CPA requirements and aligned with Imagine Boston 2030 goals.

The Mayor and City Council have the power to approve, reduce or reject funding for a project recommended by the CPC, but they cannot increase the funding for a project or add a new project not first recommended by the CPC. For this Pilot Round, the Mayor and City Council both approved the CPC’s recommended 35 projects unchanged.

The four neighborhoods that received the most funding are Roxbury at 19.9%, followed by Dorchester at 19.1%, Jamaica Plain at 10.6% and Back Bay at 9.1%. All Boston neighborhoods are represented except for Charlestown, Mattapan and Mission Hill.  No projects were received from Charlestown or Mattapan for the Pilot Round.

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