Age-Friendly Funding Reminders: Shared Streets and Spaces Program, Community Compact Best Practices, Community Transit Grant, Cultural Facilities Fund

Oct 18, 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.

  • 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.

Managed in collaboration with MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund provides major improvement grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, in recognition of their profound economic impact on communities across Massachusetts. Since 2006, the Fund has encouraged sound growth, supported important development projects, played a crucial role in the growth of local tourism, created thousands of jobs, and driven millions of dollars in private investment.

More information is available 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.