An information session about the Community Preservation Act was held earlier this week at the Nazzaro Center where a group of residents learned about the act’s mission, the eligibility criteria and how to apply.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) provides funds for acquisition, creation, preservation and enhancement of open space, historic resources and affordable housing in Boston. The City of Boston voted in favor of the act in 2016 with 74 percent of residents voting for CPA. This allows the city to charge an additional 1 percent property tax to create a $20 million fund annually for local projects that meet the guidelines.
Any resident can apply for a project that they think meets CPA guidelines. Projects are judged by the CPA committee, made up of nine members from various city departments. The fall application period is now open. A required eligibility and project information form is due September 7. Eligible projects will receive an application that will be due Friday, September 28.
“This is about preserving and caring about our neighborhoods,” said Community Preservation Director Christine Poff.
Rev. Steve Ayres plans on applying for a CPA grant on behalf of Old North Church. They want to restore the crypt under the church and make it handicap accessible for tours. They have already gone ahead with design plans and have two major grants for the project. They are hoping to receive the CPA grant to help fund the handicap accessible portion of their plan.
“We are shovel ready,” he said.
Karen Johnson of Charter Realty also plans on applying for a grant and wants to create a new park between Hanover and Salem Street. The space at the Cross Street plaza would be in front of the space proposed to be a Starbucks, before it was withdrawn.
Resident Mary Ann D’Amato said she would like to see projects in the North End get chosen that help residents. “We are overwhelmed with tourists,” she said. “We would love to have stuff just for residents and not bring any more tourists.”
Poff said they would like projects to have community support and all applications need a letter of support from their city councilor.
Last spring, 35 out of 58 projects received grants totaling $8 million as part of a pilot program. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground was one of the projects to receive funding for gravestone restoration.
Learn more at boston.gov/community-preservation.