Boston approves first funding for Community Preservation Act projects

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the city’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) recommended 35 projects, totaling more than $8 million, for inclusion in the first-ever funding round for the Community Preservation Act (CPA). A public hearing on the appropriation of funds for these projects was held on Monday, followed by an unanimous vote from the Boston City Council on Wednesday.

“The Community Preservation Act is a new tool that will help take our work on affordable housing, historic preservation and open space to the next level,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud to recommend these important projects for funding approval, which represent a wide range of needs and will build strong neighborhoods throughout our city.”

“After a hugely successful campaign, winning with 74% of the vote citywide, and thoughtful implementation from the Community Preservation Committee and CPA staff, Boston’s Community Preservation Act funds are going out the door to incredibly worthwhile and exciting projects”, said Alison Frazee of the Boston Preservation Alliance and co-chair of Yes for a Better Boston.

Cortina Vann of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance and co-chair of YBB added, “Yes for a Better Boston has been there every step of the way. As a broad and diverse coalition of advocates representing affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space organizations, we have been a vocal supporter of CPA and helped guide the implementation process.”

“Through common goals we have learned the value of each of our areas of passion towards retention of the unique character of Boston’s neighborhoods”, stated Liz Vizza of the Friends of the Public Garden and co-chair of YBB. “More so than ever before, affordable housing activists appreciate historic buildings and seek their rehabilitation instead of demolition. Historical Societies recognize the importance of affordable housing for neighborhood vibrancy. Park projects include restoration of historic landscapes. Through our cooperative effort we have fostered dialogue and built relationships that result in better projects and stronger communities.”

We support the Committee’s encouragement of blended projects. When applicants collaborate towards a common goal, we can assure that every dollar of CPA money, our money, crosses barriers and goes as far as possible for the betterment of Boston.

Boston CPA first round by the numbers: 35 projects funded in 18 different neighborhoods; 39% of funding is going to projects in Roxbury and Dorchester supporting YBB’s goals of using CPA to address racial and economical disparities; 34% of funding went to historic preservation projects; 30% to open space; 19% to affordable housing; and 17% to “blended” projects. Round 2 funding is expected to open in August.