Can CPA funds be used for private projects in Framingham?

The Community Preservation Act does not prohibit use of CPA funds for projects on privately- owned property. However, the Anti-aid Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution DOES prohibit the use of public funds to private entities for private purposes. Public funds are generally prohibited from being used for private purposes. It is possible in some situations to grant of public money to private organizations, including CPA funds. Any expenditure of public funds must be used to advance a public purpose. A variety of federal and state programs provide historic preservation grants to private non-profit organizations, but typically the public purpose is served by the acquisition of a historic preservation restriction.


  1. The CPC may require a historic preservation restriction as a condition of funding preservation projects on private properties to satisfy the Anti-aid Amendment. The deed restriction transfers to the new owner should the private entity sell the building, protecting the public investment in the property.
  2. A project may also require written agreement that guarantees public access to a building or that the CPA investment to be repaid should the private building be sold.
  3. CPC would consider seeking a written legal opinion on CPA funding for any private projects before making a recommendation.

CPA funds may be able to fund a project on private property, but only if the project is advancing a public purpose, such as the municipality acquiring a deed restriction, providing public access to the property where there was none before, or some other public benefit recommended by municipal counsel.

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1. What is the Community Preservation Act (CPA)?
2. How are CPA funds allocated?
3. When was the Community Preservation Act adopted in Framingham?
4. What is the Community Preservation Committee (CPC)?
5. When does the CPC meet?
6. Can I ask to join the Community Preservation Committee?
7. Does the CPC have a Facebook page or Twitter account that I can follow?
8. How can I contact Community Preservation Committee with questions or feedback?
9. Where does the CPA money to fund projects come from?
10. What is the CPA Surcharge and how is it shown on the tax Bill?
11. What are Exemptions for the surcharge?
12. What is the Community Preservation Plan (CPP)?
13. What sort of projects are eligible for CPA funding?
14. Can CPA funds be used for any public project in Framingham?
15. Can CPA funds be used for private projects in Framingham?
16. Do any committees in Framingham automatically get awarded any CPA funds?
17. Can Community Preservation Committee members create or submit CPA projects?
18. When can I submit a project to request CPA funding be submitted?
19. What are the steps for submitting a Framingham CPA project?
20. Where do I find the Eligibility and Application forms?
21. Will the Eligibility and Application forms be available in other languages?
22. Will paper Eligibility and Application forms be available?
23. If my project is rejected or not recommended for funding, can I resubmit it?
24. When can I submit Eligibility forms?
25. When can I submit the full application form?
26. Who gives the final approval for CPA project funding requests?
27. What actions does the City Council take with the CPC recommended projects?
28. Will there be a Community Forum for public feedback on the CPP & Application Process?