Community Preservation Act

Approved by City
Actively Engaged

42.360406, -71.057993

In November 2016, 74% of Boston voters approved the Community Preservation Act to raise funds for affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space. An expected $20 million will be raised annually through a 1% surcharge on real estate taxes. Applicants can submit project proposals to the Community Preservation Committee who make  determinations in spring and fall funding rounds.


Learn more about CPA and find links to projects, forms, and more here


Our Position:

The Alliance worked with statewide and local advocates, especially the Yes for a Better Boston campaign, to bring the Community Preservation Act to Boston. The Alliance’s Director of Advocacy serves as Chair of the Preservation Community Advisory Group which serves to assist applicants through the process and provide feedback to the Community Preservation Committee. As Boston largest single source of funding for historic preservation needs, the Alliance feels that the CPA is a crucial tool to protect, promote, and preserve the city’s historic character. 


The Fall 2019 Funding Round is now open. Click here to learn how to apply for CPA funds. 


Application Information Sessions for the Fall 2019 Funding Round:


Thursday, August 22
6:00-8:00 pm — Historic Preservation Applicants
26 Court Street, 1st floor
Review application materials and process


Thursday, September 10
6:00-8:00 pm — Historic Preservation Applicants
26 Court Street, 1st floor
Review application materials and process


RSVP for these sessions or get more information here


Highlights from our activity log:


•    August 1, 2019
The application for funding this fall is released and available here. The deadline to submit the application is 4:00 pm on September 27, 2019. If you are applying for a historic preservation project and the property is not listed on the State Historic Register, contact CPA staff for guidance before applying. If your property is not a designated local Landmark or within a local Landmark district, you will be asked to participate in the Boston Landmark Commission’s Design Review process. Contact CPA staff for assistance at 617-635-0277. 


•    June 15, 2019
The eligibility form for applying for funding in the fall is released and available here. The deadline to submit the eligibility form is September 6, 2019. If you are applying for a historic preservation project and the property is not listed on the State Historic Register, contact CPA staff for guidance before applying. If your property is not a designated local Landmark or within a local Landmark district, you will be asked to participate in the Boston Landmark Commission’s Design Review process. Contact CPA staff for assistance at 617-635-0277. 


•    May 21, 2019
Alliance staff gives a presentation to the Community Preservation Committee about preservation trends and priorities. Boston Landmarks Commission also provides information about the local Landmark districts and processes. 


•    March 6, 2019
Boston City Council votes unanimously to approve 56 CPA projects for a total of $35 million. See the full list of projects here


•    February 21, 2019
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee approve a list of recommended projects for funding from the Fall 2018 round. The list includes 56 projects for a total of over $34 million. The slate will be submitted to the Boston City Council for approval with an anticipated vote in March.


•    December 4, 2018
The Fall 2018 funding round is underway. The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is reviewing applications now. There are 31 historic preservation projects this round with a total request of $21,945,572. With affordable housing and parks/open space applications, there are a total of 86 final applications with a combined request of over $57M. The CPC will discuss preservation applications in detail on Tuesday, January 8 (11:00-1:00) if time permits, and/or Tuesday, January 15 (11:00-1:00) in the first floor conference room at 26 Court Street. The public is encouraged to attend. The final deliberation and vote for all projects is expected to take place on Monday, January 28 at 6:00 pm at 26 Court Street, if the schedule stays on track. 

In order to incorporate the feedback from the first two rounds of funding, the CPC and CPA staff have decided to skip the Spring 2019 round. Therefore, the next round of funding will be the Fall 2019 round, which will be announced over the summer. 

Application materials and more information can be found at:

The Alliance is happy to assist if you have questions about CPA or a potential project. Please contact Alison Frazee at 617-367-2458 x204.


•    July 30, 2018
Applicants who are considering applying for funding in the Fall 2018 round should complete the required Eligibility & Information form now. That form is due on September 7 and is required before completing the full application which will be released August 15 and due no later than September 28, 2018. Forms and more information found here


•    July 18, 2018
The FY19 state budget is released from the Conference Committee and does not include language to increase funding for the CPA Trust Fund, which would have increased the state match amount for all CPA communities. The Community Preservation Coalition continues to advocate for its inclusion before the end of the legislative session on July 31st. 


•    June 20, 2018
City Council unanimously approves Docket #0914, the recommended slate of projects which total $8,035,055. This includes 35 projects in 18 Boston neighborhoods: 12 historic preservation, 3 affordable housing, 13 open space/parks, and 7 blended, meaning more than one category. All of these projects are shovel-ready and should begin soon. The fall funding round is set to open on August 15 with applications due September 30. 


•    June 19, 2018
The following letter is submitted to the Boston Globe by Alliance Director of Advocacy, Alison Frazee, who also serves as co-chair of Yes for a Better Boston:

Yes for a Better Boston Supports Blended CPA Projects

After a hugely successful campaign, winning by 74%, and thoughtful implementation from the Community Preservation Committee and CPA staff, Boston’s Community Preservation Act funds are going out the door to incredibly worthwhile and exciting projects. Yes for a Better Boston has been there every step of the way. As a broad and diverse coalition of advocates representing affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space organizations, we have been a vocal supporter of CPA and helped guide the implementation process.

Through common goals we have learned the value of each of our areas of passion towards retention of the unique character of Boston’s neighborhoods. More so than ever before, affordable housing activists appreciate historic buildings and seek their rehabilitation instead of demolition. Historical Societies recognize the importance of affordable housing for neighborhood vibrancy. Park projects include restoration of historic landscapes. Through our cooperative effort we have fostered dialogue and built relationships that result in better projects and stronger communities. 

We support the Committee’s encouragement of blended projects. When applicants collaborate towards a common goal, we can assure that every dollar of CPA money, our money, crosses barriers and goes as far as possible for the betterment of Boston. 

-Yes for a Better Boston co-chairs, Alison Frazee, Cortina Vann, and Liz Vizza


•    June 18, 2018
City Council hears presentations from applicants whose projects have been recommended for funding by the Community Preservation Committee. Applicants provide visuals and give brief statements about their projects. 


•    June 13, 2018
Update from the Community Preservation Office: Boston City Council will hold a public meeting on Monday, June 18 to discuss the slate of projects that the Community Preservation Committee has proposed for funding in the pilot round. Applicants are invited to give brief presentations about their projects, answer questions from the Council, and provide visuals for public viewing. The public is invited to attend and speak. The hearing will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Iannella Chambers on the 5th floor of Boston City Hall. 

•    June 1, 2018
Alliance staff sends request to Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Sanchez asking for support for the Senate’s amendment in the reconciled FY19 budget. 

•    May 22 and 31, 2018
Alliance staff attends the public Community Preservation Committee meetings to better understand the goals and priorities of the committee.

Senate Budget Amendment #3 (Community Preservation Act) is unanimously adopted. The amendment calls for a $30 increase to the recording fees at the State’s Registries of Deeds, providing a higher state match to all CPA communities in November 2019. Though still preliminary, estimates indicate a 30% match for first round distributions. Because this revenue was not included in the House budget, a six-member conference committee will be charged with reconciling the differences and will have to agree to include it in the final budget. The report is expected by the end of June.  

•    May 18, 2018
The Alliance sends request to State Senators asking for their support of Budget Amendment #3 that would raise revenue for the state match. 

•    April 2018
Applications are due for CPA’s pilot round in Boston. Alliance staff guides potential applicants and continues to have conversations with Community Preservation staff, Boston Landmarks Commission staff, and the preservation community. 

•    2017
YBB moves from campaigning to supporting the development of the CPA in Boston, working with statewide partners to outline an appropriate process for Boston.

•    2016
Boston City Council ordered to place CPA on the fall ballot. The advocacy coalition raises funds and hires a campaign manager and the group is assumes the name of Yes for a Better Boston (YBB) as they campaign across the city. The Alliance encourages supporters to contact their councilors in support of CPA; staff speaks in favor at City Council hearing. The ballot question passes by 74%. 

•    2015
Advocate group conducts polling of likely 2016 voters to gather data. Alliance works with others to gauge level of support from Boston residents, business owners, and City officials and to meet with City Councilors to promote the CPA. 

•    2014
Advocates meet to discuss a CPA campaign, ultimately deciding to wait until the 2016 elections. Executive Director, Greg Galer, joins coalition of CPA advocates. 

•    2001
The Alliance advocates for the Community Preservation Act but the measure fails at the ballot box. 


In the News

September 7: Deadline for eligibility forms for Fall 2018 Community Preservation Funds

Boston has an estimated $20 million in annual funds to support capital projects in historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and green spaces.

City Council Awards First Batch of Boston Community Preservation Funds

Boston City Council voted on Thursday, June 21, to approve the first batch of Boston Community Preservation funding requests.

Community Preservation Act funds affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and green spaces.
Thank you to all our corporate members, including: