Last week, Governor Baker and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash unveiled the first round of Urban Agenda Grant winners at a series of meetings in Boston and Framingham. The inaugural awards from this new program – a total of $3 million awarded to fund 16 separate economic development, planning and housing initiatives from New Bedford to North Adams – will entrust municipal officials and community organizations to forge collaborative partnerships and craft unique, specific solutions to meet locally-identified needs that satisfy a range of economic development and housing opportunities.
MACDC is proud to have several member organizations lead and partner in 7 of the 16 program initiatives that received more than half ($ 1.6 million) of the grant funds in this first round. All told, the grant program made awards in three categories of community development: economic development implementation, economic development planning, and housing development. State agency officials received 54 applications, requesting a total of $12.7 million in funding, from communities across the Commonealth. With this level of interest, a successful program launch can build greater support to fund successful community-driven projects through Urban Agenda grants in the years to come.