About the Community Preservation Committee’s Application Process

Those interested in applying for a grant from the CPC for Open Space and Recreation, Community Housing, and/or Historic Preservation projects in Chelsea must first submit a Project Eligibility Form during the pre-application period, JULY 1ST TO AUGUST 31st. Project Eligibility Forms are available to download or in person in room 101 of Chelsea City Hall. You must submit your form via email to CommunityPreservation@chelseama.gov or in person to Housing and Community Preservation Manager, Bianca Mercado. No project eligibility forms will be accepted or reviewed outside of the pre-application period, July 1st to August 31st, 2024.

Project Eligibility Form (PDF)

The CPC will consider a limited number of project proposals for CPA funds. All those who submitted Project Eligibility Forms will be notified via email or mail of their project’s status following the end of the pre-application period. Finalists selected to move forward will be required to submit a comprehensive application describing in detail the anticipated use of CPA funds by OCTOBER 8, 2024. Only finalists will be allowed to submit a final application to the committee for further consideration.

Finalists will also be invited to give a brief presentation on their project proposal to the CPC. The presentation is not required, but will aid your project’s chance in being selected to receive CPA funds. More information about project presentations will be determined and shared in the weeks leading up to the final application deadline (October 8, 2024).

The CPC will then make final recommendations to City Council for the release of CPA funds by December, 2024. Only City Council has final authority on the release of CPA funds. CPA funds are anticipated to be released sometime in the early new year, 2025. Please ensure you plan your project timeline accordingly.

If you have questions about the CPC Application Timeline, please contact Bianca Mercado, bmercado@chelseama.gov, (617) 466-4185.

CPA Fund Eligibility
Eligible applicants are individuals, community groups and associations, non-profit organizations, and City Government.

First-Time Applicant Workshops
Several First-Time Applicant Workshops will be held throughout the July-August pre-application period for those in need of personalized support. More information about First-Time Applicant Workshops will be determined and shared in the weeks leading up to the pre-application period, July 1st - August 31st, 2024.

Community Preservation Projects Report

2020
Project name
Description
Emergency Rental
Assistance Program

Fund a project of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide emergency rental assistance to households impacted by Covid-19 pandemic.

Assistance is for up to 3 months rent and a maximum of $5000.

Eligible applicants will have household incomes at or below 50% AMI and be residents of Chelsea.

Rehabilitation of City
Hall Clock Tower

The Chelsea City Hall clock tower is badly deteriorated and in overall poor condition.

Several times each year during storms water penetrates the building through the tower and damages the conference room below it. This project would address all deferred maintenance issues and correct all known deficiencies.

2019
Project name
Description
Civil War Monument 

The Bellingham Square Historic District, where the Civil War Soldier and Monument is located, is a critical part of the City’s rehabilitation strategy for downtown Broadway.

Proper restoration of the Civil War Soldier and Monument will provide a beautiful monument and gathering place in one of the most trafficked areas in Chelsea.

Restoration of the monument falls within the Community Preservation Plan’s Historic Preservation Goal 2: “improve outdoor public historic places and public monuments.”

Congregation Agudath Sholom Museum

The 110-year-old building that houses the Congregation Agudath Sholom of Chelsea and Chelsea Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is in need of repairs to address structural water damage (interior leakage).

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is the oldest of three surviving synagogues from the nineteenth-century— when Chelsea was home to a diverse group of Eastern European immigrants.

Marlborough St Community Garden

Over the last year, the gardeners of Marlborough Street Community Garden have begun work to transform an empty and ill-use lot at the curve of Willow and
Marlborough Streets, loaned to them by The Neighborhood Developers (TND).

The space will provide people with an inclusive place to meet and work together to provide for their families, a place to educate adults and youth about gardening, and an oasis in the midst of a busy city.

The garden will be accessible and plots available to all Chelsea residents.

This project is supported by many individuals, neighbors, and community groups, including GreenRoots, Chelsea Community Connections, Healthy Chelsea, The Wednesday Walking Group, The Neighborhood Developers, and the City of Chelsea. The Marlborough Street Community Garden Project fulfills multiple goals within the Community Preservation Plan, including:

  • Open Space and Recreation Goal 3: “Improve public access to and safety in existing parks, playgrounds, and other open space.”
    Open Space and Recreation Goal 4: “Integrate green infrastructure and open space into the City’s neighborhoods.”
  • Housing Goal 3: “Mix housing with parks, playgrounds, and other green space—and integrate sustainability and energy-efficiency efforts.”
Housing Specialist,
AHTF

The two-year Housing Specialist position will advance the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF)’s priority programs, including housing rehabilitation, down payment
assistance, nonprofit and private developer loan agreements, and direct buy-down assistance.

The Housing Specialist will be responsible in designing and implementing these programs as outlined in the Trust’s 2018 Strategic Plan.

Programs will be designed to respond to community needs that are not currently being addressed through existing programs and housing-oriented organizations.

The Housing Specialist will also foster public private partnerships with affordable housing developers, while building community capacity for affordable housing creation and management in other sectors.

All programs will be for income qualified households, specifically targeting households at or below Chelsea’s median household income. The Housing Specialist position is a contract position estimated to work approximately 20 per week. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund plans to fund the second year of the position—also a $50,000 position.

The Housing Specialist positions falls within the Community Preservation Plan’s Housing Goal 5: “support CPA-eligible initiatives of existing housing-oriented organizations.”

It also fulfills multiple secondary goals under Housing, including:

  • Goal 1 “Increase the city’s homeownership rate for low-income households.”
  • Goal 2 “Create and preserve affordable units for— and provide support to —Chelsea residents who have extremely  low and low-income and residents with special needs.”
  • Goal 4 “Utilize existing housing stock to create permanent affordable units for Chelsea residents that in the  process improves conditions of Chelsea’s housing stock.”
Garden Cemetery
Rehabilitation

The Garden Cemetery Master Plan is a phased rehabilitation with the aim of opening the historic property from dawn to dusk for
residents of the city to enjoy before the celebration of the city’s quadricentennial, the 400th anniversary of its settlement by  Europeans. The garden cemetery will provide much needed open space in the city’s most densely populated neighborhood. Phase 1 of the rehabilitation consists of several notable and highlyvisible
improvements, including the replacement of the collapsing retaining wall along Shawmut Street
near Central Avenue.

This wall has continued to erode and is a threat to the public right-ofway (should it collapse). Phase 1 of the Garden Cemetery Rehabilitation Project falls within the
Community Preservation Plan’s Historic Preservation Goal 2: “improve outdoor public historic places and public monuments.” It also fulfills multiple secondary goals under Open Space and Recreation, including:

  • Goal 1 “Improve and maintain existing parks, playgrounds, and other open space facilities.”
  • Goal 3 “Improve public access to and safety in existing parks, playgrounds, and other open space.”
  • Goal 4 “Integrate green infrastructure and open space into the City’s neighborhoods.”
Governor Bellingham-
Cary House Envelope
Repairs
This project address the structural and building envelope failures of a section of the Governor Bellingham-Cary House. Thirty-year-old
roofing and roof drainage system, and century-old wooden sills and stone/brick foundation have deteriorated beyond the scope of routine
maintenance. Built in 1659, local, state, and national agencies have identified the building as being “the city’s only surviving dwelling from this time.”
2021
Project name
Description
Temple Emmanuel

Temple Emmanuel is a significant historical asset for the Chelsea community and a critical element of the Cary Square neighborhood's built environment. As a result, Chelsea residents and community events increasingly utilize Temple Emmanuel's building and grounds as gathering places. In addition to the historic and architectural significance of the exterior of the building itself, in one corner of the Temple's courtyard are two granite monuments bearing the names of Chelsea's Jewish soldiers killed in World Wars One and Two, alongside a flagpole for use in memorial ceremonies. The project’s ultimate maintenance plan will include the preservation of the monuments and flagpole. In addition, realigning the hedges and chain link fencing at the Cary Ave.-Gardner St. corner will significantly improve the monuments' public visibility and make them much more accessible for inclusion in Chelsea's Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies. Temple Emmanuel seeks support for an on-site assessment during which historic preservation consultant(s) will examine, investigate, and analyze all areas of its building's external envelope, including decorative elements such as exterior trim, wood window frames, front and side entrance doors, and masonry front stairs; thoroughly document these elements' existing conditions and identify envelope deficits through photographs, architectural drawings, and overlay mappings as appropriate; and recommend next steps for stabilization, rehabilitation/restoration, preservation, and maintenance of this significant historical resource, including projects sequencing, budgets, and schedules.

88 Clinton St. 

Tucked in the Mill Hill Neighborhood, 88 Clinton Street is a vacant, underutilized parcel, comprising approximately 27,000 square feet. Overlooking Mill Creek, a cherished natural resource, the parcel is situated within a densely developed Environmental Justice neighborhood with a scarcity of parks and playgrounds, especially waterfront open space. Historic land use patterns, coupled with development activity, have contributed to significant water quality impairments in Mill Creek. Erosion, untreated stormwater runoff, and polluted sites continue to degrade the natural salt marsh habitat, while land use patterns inhibit public access to this environmental asset. The City, in collaboration with the Mystic River Watershed Association and GreenRoots, has embarked upon key restoration activities and open space planning initiatives. The City, through the Department of Housing and Community Development, seeks Community Preservation Act funding to acquire 88 Clinton St., which is representative of a rare opportunity to purchase an undeveloped site for the purposes of open space, community preservation, and natural resource protection. The project is indicative of the City's strategy of expanding the public open space network to develop inclusive, accessible parks, guided by sustainable development principles, for users with a range of interests, abilities, and needs. Upon acquisition, the City will enact a Conservation Restriction to preserve the site as public open space in perpetuity.

Mace Basketball Court 

The basketball court in Mace has always been a point of unity in this community and has served as a way to engage families in positive activities. The last couple of years these families have seen how the Court has deteriorated with cracked concrete on the basketball courts floor, broken basketball hoop nets and backboards and generally conditions that are not conducive to healthy activities. The reality is that until we can rehabilitate the court and allow our youth and families to own it again, for the use of sports and family engagement activities, these concerns will continue and probably increase especially due to the mental health and substance abuse crisis we are facing after a year of COVID. Once the court is rehabilitated we will measure the success of this project with the number of sport events, community gatherings and activities we are able to host for the neighborhood. The Chelsea Housing Authority will manage the construction of the court’s rehabilitation, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Community Development, while the Department of Housing & Community Development will manage the design and community engagement of the court, in coordination with the Chelsea Housing Authority. The Mace Tenant’s Association will support the design engagement and community programming after rehabilitation.

AHTF Predevelopment 

The Chelsea Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board collects, organizes, and allocates funding for the purposes of furthering affordable housing. More specifically, the Board utilizes this money to advise and assist in the creation of new affordable housing, as well as the preservation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of existing affordable housing The AHTF currently runs programming to rehabilitate the existing housing stock, support home repairs for low-income seniors, and convert existing market rate units into affordable housing. To better assess their next steps in expanding affordable housing in Chelsea, the Board requests funding to complete pre-development planning. Predevelopment costs may include market research, environmental investigations, appraisals, landscape architect & engineering costs; all of which are essential for better understanding the challenges and benefits of a parcel through the lens of affordable development.

2022
Project name
Description
Housing CPC Coordinator (2022)

Grounded in the goals of building capacity to stem displacement, aiding low- and moderate-income residents in the pursuit of housing stability, and delivering inclusive community housing resources, the Housing & Community Preservation Coordinator will assist with various facets of housing and community preservation through planning and coordinating directives related to affordable housing enhancement, preservation, and creation. The purpose of this position is to perform responsible administrative, civic engagement, and public outreach support to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Community Preservation Committee. The role is critical in supporting program development, program management, and program evaluation related to community housing programs, as well as the coordination of affordable housing projects.

Congregation Agudas Sholom of Chelsea/Walnut St Synagogue (2022)

The building that houses Congregation Agudas Sholom/Walnut Street Synagogue, Jewish Museum, and Cultural Center, is a one hundred and thirteen (113) year old structure with exterior and interior water damage which is affecting the building structurally. The project will address: Repairing the pointing and repairing the bulging buttresses. These repairs to the exterior will reduce/eliminate water damage to the inside and the subsequent costly interior repairs inside walls and ceilings. This grant will help sustain this historic building (National Historic Register of Historic Places -1993), the last active Orthodox synagogue remaining in the city.

2023
Project name
Description
Chelsea Forsyth Pocket Park

This project will convert the existing vacant parcel on Forsyth St into a public pocket park that includes a seating area, bike rack, shade trees, and green infrastructure components to improve climate resilience. The construction of the park will require demolishing the existing concrete stairs and walkway, re-grading the space, installing a retaining wall, adding a water infiltration basin, and landscaping the area with planters and trees.

Senior Rental Assistance Program The Senior Rental Assistance Program will provide low-income seniors facing housing instability with rental stipends, over the course of up to twelve months. The program is designed as a pilot program, with the goal of developing a local model to aid in preventing the displacement of low-income senior residents. By coupling forward-looking rental assistance with dedicated support accessing housing and economic resources in the community, the program looks to address the particular barriers that seniors face to maintaining stable housing. The central goal of the program is to develop pathways for seniors to remain safely and stably housed in the community, with the necessary resources in place to do so.
Creekside Commons Skate Spot and Skate Planning  The City of Chelsea, through the departments of Housing and Community Development, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Public Works and the Youth Commission is repurposing the outdoor ice skating rink in the Creekside Commons Park to be used for skateboarding. The lack of dedicated, fit-for-purpose skateboarding space has long been raised as an issue by youth and older residents. The grant will fund the purchase equipment for this location and provide a group of residents organizing around expanding skateboarding opportunities in the city with resources for design and engineering studies of prospective spaces that could be acquired, leased, or repurposed.

Direct Housing Assistance Managed by Housing Families 

These funds will be used for direct financial assistance for low- and moderate-income Chelsea residents in need of rental assistance, security deposits, and first and last month's rent in order to retain or obtain housing. This project will improve the housing stability of Chelsea residents.

Predevelopment Costs for Comunidades Enraizadas/Community Land Trust 

 

This funding will be used for pre-development costs that help assess the viability of acquiring new properties to be placed in the land trust's portfolio to be used for permanently affordable housing. Predevelopment costs include activities such as assessments, environmental reviews, zoning analysis, technical assistance, site plans, and architectural renderings.

First Time Homebuyer Program Led by Chelsea Restoration Corporation 

Chelsea Restoration Corporation seeks funding to continue their First Time Homebuyer Program, with the goal of increasing the homeownership rate for low income households across Chelsea. This program will prepare participants to become homeowners and potential landlords. The grant will prepare 60 low-income Chelsea families to purchase their first home through workshop coordination/presentation and both pre- and post-purchase counseling in both Spanish and English.

Temple Emmanuel Preservation and Courtyard Design 

The applicant requested $246,000 to preserve the Temple to ensure resident's safety when accessing this historic resource. This funding will be used to restore the building envelope, including roof and gutter repairs.