CDBG Advisory Committee

INTRODUCTION

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has designated the Town of Amherst a Mini-Entitlement Community that is eligible to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Each year the Town can apply to receive federal funds administered by the DHCD, which are awarded primarily to projects, programs, and services that improve the lives of Amherst's low and moderate income residents (defined as individuals or families whose annual income does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income as determined by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD), and be located in an identified neighborhood or target area.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Amherst must apply each year to DHCD to receive the funding with applications typically due in  March. The CDBG Advisory Committee, with assistance from Town staff, oversees the public input process by holding Public Hearings and Public Meetings so that Amherst residents and Boards & Committees have an opportunity to discuss priorities and target areas. The CDBG Advisory Committee also solicits proposals from the community to help determine which projects receive funding. These proposals can be submitted by various parties, including but not limited to a single individual (i.e. a developer), a Town Board / Committee, or a non-profit organization. Those interested in making a funding request are encouraged to contact Town staff.

During the application process, Amherst residents have an opportunity to discuss the following components of the Town's application to DHCD:

  1. Community Priorities: A summary of community development goals that will have a positive impact in Amherst, especially low and moderate income residents. 
  2. Map of Target Areas: A map that identifies areas in Town that are a priority to receive funding.
  3. Project Proposals: Proposals are submitted to the CDBG Advisory Committee for review and prioritization as part of the Town's CDBG application.  

PROJECT PROPOSAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

National Objective: All projects social service activities receiving CDBG funds are required to serve a majority low and moderate income population.

  • Location: Non-social service activities are required to be located in a Target Area
  • Detailed Budget: An itemized budget for the project including total budget and all other sources of funding.
  • Feasibility: A project timeline showing that the project can be completed within 24 months
  • Project Description: A narrative description that summarizes the project
  • Project Need: A statement that clearly outlines the need for the project
  • Project Impact: Description of positive impact of project on identified needs of community
  • Community Involvement: Demonstrate the support of other Amherst Town Boards and Committees with responsibility over relevant public interest 
  • Demonstrate consistency with the Community Priorities
  • Demonstrate consistency with Amherst's Master Plan
  • Provide supporting documentation as necessary  

2022-2023 Application Process
2022 Non-Social Service Priority

To continue meeting the goals of the community’s Master Plan, Community Development Strategy, and Community Priorities by focusing efforts on target areas (areas in which 51% or more of residents are low- and moderate-income) including the Town Center, East Amherst Village Center, and the East Hadley Road/Pomeroy Village Center. Non-social services include infrastructure, buildings, housing rehabilitation, and small business assistance. 


2022 SOCIAL SERVICE PRIORITIES:

Community priorities for social services are to maintain a balanced approach among:
  • household (family and individual) stabilization;
  • support services for those experiencing homelessness;
  • youth development;
  • services that help develop economic self-sufficiency (adult education & job training);
  • food and nutrition programs;
  • low-cost accessible comprehensive health services/insurance navigation;
  • support services for seniors; and
  • transportation services.


Survey results for CDBG community priorities:  

www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/4861

Amherst Community Development Strategy
https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/63050/Amherst-2022-Community-Development-Strategy





   2022-2023 APPLICATION TIMELINE
August 31, 2022
Public hearing of CDBG Advisory Committee to hear community input on social services, non-social services, target areas, and the Community Development Strategy. 
September 30, 2022 RFP is issued - posted on CDBG website and emailed to agencies and Department Heads. 
November 4, 2022 Funding applications are due to Ben Breger, Planner at noon. 
November 18, 2022 CDBG Committee sends questions back to agencies
 December 9, 2022 Applicants respond to questions via email
 January 12, 2022 Public meeting of CDBG Advisory Committee to review applications and make recommendations
 January 19, 2022 Public hearing of CDBG Advisory Committee for the public to  comment on recommended activities
 March 3, 2022 Application packaged is due to MA Department of Housing and Community Development


More information on 2022-2023 Application process

The MA Department of Housing and Community Development has released the One-Year Action Plan for the 2022-2023 CDBG round: see document here

Here is a summary of draft changes:
  • 24-month implementation timeline for grants, roughly from July 1, 2023 - july 1, 2025
  • Twice as much money available (around $330,000 for social services and $1 million for non-social services)
  • up to 5 social service activities and 3 non-social service activities allowed

Member
Year Appointed
Term Expires
Gregory Bascomb
2022
2024
Rika Clement
2020
2024
Lucas Hanscom
2020
 2025
Vacancy - 1


Nathanael Larson
2018
2023
Becky Michaels, Chair
2020
2023
Suzanne Schilling
2022
2024