Age-Friendly Funding Alerts: MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces, Community Transit Grant Program Coming Soon

Sep 27, 2023

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is excited to share two significant funding opportunities – one currently available and one coming soon – that support healthy aging with a focus on transportation and accessible, inclusive community spaces:

The Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The program provides funding to municipalities and public transit authorities to quickly implement improvements to plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas, and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility, and strengthened commerce.

More importantly for communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly, the program continues to prioritize “projects that support safe routes for seniors, including safe walking and bicycling facilities within one mile of senior centers, housing for elders, and travel corridors used by seniors.” The program’s resource library also has “dementia friendly” design considerations included.

MassDOT is pleased to announce that the Fiscal Year 2024 grant round of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program will officially open on September 5th. Applications are due October 31, 2023. Only municipalities and public transit authorities are eligible to apply. Applications are submitted via an online form. For more details on how to apply, visit the How to Apply Page or learn more information by clicking here.

  • Coming Soon: Community Transit Grant Program “Vehicle Cycle” – MassDOT (application process opens Nov. 28)

The FY24 Community Transit Grant Program vehicle cycle will open Tuesday, November 28. Applications will be due by Friday, December 22.

MassDOT will host two virtual application training sessions: Tuesday, November 28 from 10-noon, or Thursday, November 30 from 1-3pm. They will cover the same material, so choose whichever works better for your schedule. Training is required for new applicants and recommended for all. Mark your calendars and register.

This cycle, MassDOT will be using an online application. On November 28, the links and forms will be posted to our website.

MassDOT anticipates making award announcements in spring 2024, with vehicles delivered by June 30, 2025.

Funding Opportunity REMINDERS:

  • Service Incentive Grant (SIG) Program – Mass Councils on Aging (deadline November 9)

With the restoration of Service Incentive Grant (SIG) Funding by the Mass State Legislature, Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA) is seeking RFPs (Requests For Proposals) from local councils on aging (COAs) for the FY24 SIG Grant Field Demonstration Projects and anticipate awarding grants totaling more than $500,000 for initiatives prioritized by our Membership and approved by EOEA in the following areas.

  1. Age and Dementia Friendly Capacity Building (up to $10,000 each)
  2. Memory Café Innovations and start-ups (up to $5,000 each)
  3. Nutrition Innovation and/or Expansion (up to $20,000 each)
  4. Senior Center Modernization (up to $25,000 each)
  5. Public Health Connections (up to $5,000 each)
  6. Development and implementation of Outreach and Marketing of your COA to older adults and caregivers (up to $10,000 each)
  7. Capacity-Building for Caregiver Respite Services or financial aid to enable Caregiver Respite Financial Assistance (up to $10,000 each)
  8. Provision of Transportation Services to support older adults in maintaining their independence (up to $25,000 each)

This RFP was released September 18, 2023. All work must be completed by June 30, 2024.

Applications are due by 4 PM on Thursday, November 9, 2023, and award notifications will be made by Thursday, November 30, 2023.

You can access the full RFP here. The full RFP also contains the schedule, including Bidders’ Conference and other important instructions

The Community Compact IT Grant Program (different from the Best Practices Program below) is a competitive grant program focused on driving innovation and transformation at the local level via investments in technology. Communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly have accessed this funding to improve digital equity among older adults.

Grants of up to $200,000 support the implementation of innovative IT projects by funding related one-time capital needs such as technology infrastructure or software. Incidental or one-time costs related to the capital purchase such as planning, design, installation, implementation and initial training are eligible.

The FY24 program will open on September 11, 2023 and close on October 13, 2023 at Noon.

  • Community Compact Best Practice Program (Commonwealth of Mass., awards made on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted)

Several communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly have received support through the state’s Community Compact Best Practice Program. The funding program is a voluntary, mutual agreement entered into between the Healey-Driscoll Administration and individual cities and towns of the Commonwealth.

In a Community Compact, a community will agree to implement at least one best practice that they select from across a variety of areas. The community’s chosen best practice(s) will be reviewed between the Commonwealth and the municipality to ensure that the best practice(s) chosen are unique to the municipality and reflect needed areas of improvement.

Age- and Dementia Friendly Best Practices are among the list of options from which communities can choose.

The program opened on August 21st and remains open until funding runs out. Municipal leadership was notified via email from Lieutenant Governor Driscoll with the link to apply to the program. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages age- and dementia friendly community stakeholders to work with their local leaders to apply.

Mass Cultural Council funds and manages a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) across the state, representing every city and town in the Commonwealth. Each council awards money based on individual community cultural needs, assessed and set by LCC members. Applicants apply directly to local councils.

Age- and dementia friendly community stakeholders can find more info here.