Lowell Neighborhood Innovation Grant Program
What is the Lowell Neighborhood Innovation Grant Program?
Lowell’s residents and neighborhoods are some of the city’s greatest assets. The Lowell Neighborhood Innovation Grant Program, administered by the Department of Planning and Development, provides small-scale funds of up to $2,000 per project to help resident and community leaders improve the quality of life in the places where they live and work. The program is intended to support community-driven, grassroots projects and to foster a strong sense of community by building collaborations between and among different organizations across the city. The rationale for the program is that neighborhoods whose residents are actively involved in shaping the city’s future are most likely to attract other residents and investments. The Neighborhood Innovation Grant Program is funded by the City of Lowell through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which aims to improve the quality of life in low-to-moderate income communities.
Neighborhood groups and other community stakeholders are encouraged to think creatively in determining the types of projects that best address their unique assets and needs. To ensure that CDBG eligibility requirements are met and key City of Lowell priorities are fulfilled, however, a set of selection criteria has been established. Projects could include (but are not limited to): community gardening initiatives, playground enhancements, community festivals, educational workshops, and neighborhood newsletters.
2011-2012 AWARD RECIPIENTS
Who is Eligible?
-All projects must provide physical, environmental, aesthetic, economic, educational, and/or social benefit to one or more of Lowell’s CDBG eligible neighborhoods, in which at least 51% of the households are considered low or moderate income. Projects that provide a public service must document how they will benefit households earning less than or equal to 80% of the AMI ($91,700). Please see the CDBG eligible areas map for details.
-All projects must benefit and be accessible to the general public.
-All projects must involve collaborations of 2 or more groups within Lowell (501(c)(3) status not required) and a minimum of 10 community participants.
- -All projects must be able to be completed within the designated program timeline.
How Do I Apply?
2. Attend the recommended Information Session, September 25th from Noon - 1 PM in the Mayor's Reception Room at City Hall, to learn more about the Neighborhood Innovation Grant Program and hear from past grant recipients about their projects.
3. Set up a Phone Interview with Allegra Williams, Neighborhood Planner, by October 15th to discuss your proposed project and learn what additional steps may be required for your application. Allegra can be reached at (978) 674-1473.
4. Send in your application, W-9 form, photos and other supporting documentation to Allegra Williams by mail at 50 Arcand Drive, Lowell, MA 01852 or by email at Awilliams@lowellma.gov by October 31st at 5 PM.
What is the Program Timeline?
Information Session with Past Awardees September 25th, 2012, Noon - 1, 2nd Floor, City Hall
Phone Interviews Complete October 15th, 2012
Applications Due October 31st, 2012
Awards Announced December 15th, 2012
Funds Awarded January 15th, 2013
Projects and Evaluations Complete August 15th, 2013
Groups seeking project partners may find the Merrimack Valley Hub to be a useful networking resource. MVHUB is a directory of community services within the Merrimack Valley. Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact Allegra Williams, Neighborhood Planner, to discuss their potential project ideas.
Department of Planning and Development
Phone: (978) 674-1473