Community Preservation Act (CPA)

The CPA is a state law that allows a community to create a dedicated fund to support community development projects. In 2016, Chelsea voters adopted the CPA and authorized the city to collect a 1.5% surcharge from real estate property taxes for the CPA fund. The state also contributes to the fund through an annual match. A local Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meets regularly and establishes CPA goals and priorities based upon community input.

Community Preservation Plan FY2021-2025

How to Apply

Who Can Apply
  • Individuals
  • Community Groups/Associations
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • City Government
Application Period
During an open solicitation period, anyone can submit an application to request funds for projects in one or more of the following areas:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Open Space & Recreation
  • Historic Preservation
Project Eligibility Form
The form is required and it helps determine whether or not projects are eligible for CPA funding.
Please refer to the Community Preservation Plan when filling out this form.

No funding application will be accepted unless this form has been submitted and approved by the CPC.

Community Preservation Projects Report

Project name
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.

Project name
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,

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

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
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.”