​Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) Notice of Funding Availability

​​​​​​​​Community Safety Works: Business District Improvements

Purpose

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is administering two separate Community Safety Works grant opportunities – one for FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS and one for community-wide BUSINESS DISTRICT IMPROVEMENTS. Funding will encourage the implementation of crime prevention strategies through physical design improvements and community vigilance and maintenance.

This Community Safety Works NOFA pertains to funding for BUSINESS DISTRICT IMPROVEMENTS and provides a preview of the application which is projected to be available online on Friday, January 7 at 12:00 pm.

A separate NOFA for Community Safety Works: ​Facility Improvements​ is also available from DHCD.

Eligibility Criteria

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvements Grant Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Must be an IRS determined nonprofit organization or the local government sponsor of one the state’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland communities
  • Must be an IRS determined nonprofit organization of one of Baltimore City’s 8 designated Main Street neighborhoods
  • Must be an IRS determined nonprofit organization whose mission and work substantially contributes to the economic development of the local business district and whose programs and activities support the small businesses within the district

To be eligible to apply, a nonprofit applicant must also meet both of these criteria:

  • Must be registered and in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).
  • Must be based in Maryland and serve Maryland communities and populations

Funding Criteria

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvements Grant Funding Criteria:

Grant requests for community-related/district-related safety requests may be up to a maximum of $100,000.

  • Only applications that are fully complete at submission will be considered for funding.
  • Eligible requests will be for projects and activities that implement their business district’s plan for making public and private spaces safer and more defensible. These can include but are not limited to:
    • Auto and pedestrian circulation improvements, slowing traffic so that streets are walkable and pedestrian friendly. The expansion of restaurants to exterior sidewalks and roadway is one example of how business districts have improved exterior spaces for patrons and pedestrians. Alley gating is another example of how communities are separating what is public from what is private space.
    • Improving opportunities for “eyes on the street,” removing barriers to site lines, opening up closed off spaces, renovating public spaces/playgrounds to draw regular visitors and family activity. These are just a few examples of projects that bring more “sets of eyes” to public spaces and contribute to community safety.
    • Reinforcing community ownership, solidarity and pride, through clean and beautified streets, sidewalks, signage and parks. Removing blight and signals of blight (trash) and replacing them with well-maintained “markers” of community pride and ownership such as neighborhood signs, gardens, plantings and parks.
    • Official surveillance tools such as lighting, cameras, organized local resident “dog walker” patrols or staffed security patrols. Community policing initiatives organized and in consultation with local law enforcement.
  • Funding requests will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, it is to the applicant’s advantage to submit an application sooner rather than later due to limited available funding.
  • Individual grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests, if demand exceeds available funding.
  • Applicants must be ready to utilize funding in a timely manner and not later than December 31, 2022

Application Process

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvements Grant Application Process:

  • NOFA release: Friday, December 17
  • Sample application will be posted by Wednesday, December 22.
  • On-line application portal projected to open by: 12:00 noon, Friday, January 7 CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES
  • Application portal closes: 5:00 pm, Wednesday, February 9 at the latest; the portal may close sooner if or when grant requests exceed available funding.
  • Funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis.
  • Dates may be subject to change; check the website periodically for updates

Applicants will be required to register with the Maryland OneStop Portal​. OneStop is the central hub for Maryland State licenses, forms, certificates, permits, applications, and registrations.

Application Requirements

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvements Grant Application Requirements:

In addition to basic information about the applicant, such as the applicant’s official mission and principal activities etc., it is anticipated that the following information and attachments will be required in the on-line application. Space to answer will be limited; it is recommended that applicants prepare answers and gather required attachments in advance of the January 7 opening of the on-line application.

1. Organizational Summary: A brief description of the applicant’s (a) recent accomplishments in the past year, (b) current financial condition and ability to continue operations and (c) how your mission and programs specifically support the local business district and the small businesses within the district.

2. Community Safety: A brief summary of (a) the need to deter crime and promote community safety citing specific problem areas and/or incidents within the busin​ess district and (b) how the applicant would utilize any awarded for the business district or businesses in order to improve both resident and visitor safety and sustain those efforts moving forward. The summary should include specific dollar amounts/costs for items and activities as well as a timeframe for implementing the proposed project activities and utilizing any awarded funds within the prescribed timeframes.

3. ​Budget/Use of Funds: A simple budget form will be provided in the on-line application in which the applicant will individually list each proposed use(s) of requested funds.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Required Business District Improvements Grant Application Attachments:

The following attachments will be required in the on-line application in order for an application from a nonprofit organization to be considered complete:

  • IRS Determination Letter of tax-exempt status
  • Online verification of Good Standing status from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation
  • Signed and dated IRS W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

Questions?

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For quickest response, please email questions to dhcd.communitysafety@maryland.gov

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