Program Overview

CDFA’s Community Center Investment Program will provide resources to nonprofits and municipalities to support infrastructure improvements to community spaces across New Hampshire. This investment of approximately $20 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF), administered in coordination with the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief & Recovery (GOFERR), will deploy significant resources into our communities.

The Community Center Investment Program is an opportunity to make deeper impacts within New Hampshire communities through one-time, strategic investments in community-based infrastructure. Community centers are incredibly important for the health and vibrancy of New Hampshire’s communities. They provide opportunities for residents to be active, receive essential services, and engage with fellow residents in civic activities. Community centers are inclusive, open to the public, and foster a culture of health and wellbeing in the communities they serve.

The program will focus on supporting facilities owned and/or managed by municipalities and nonprofits with limited resources and a demonstrated need to invest in their physical infrastructure to be viable for decades to come. The program is a competitive, community economic development investment program and seeks to advance community projects that show a high degree of community support, build partnerships, and leverage other resources.

Awards will be to:

  • Develop a new center *;
  • Rehabilitate the community center including outdoor space;
  • Expand the center;
  • Improve heating and cooling, air quality and/or ventilation;
  • Improve energy efficiency of the building or space; and/or
  • Improve the health, safety, and comfort of the center.

*All applicants proposing a new facility must complete and submit a New Facility Analysis with the application as justification for the project. The requirements of that analysis, which is needed to support eligibility, can be found within the application and will be part of the program FAQ’s.

CDFA developed this program guidance with input from partners, in adherence with Federal and State regulations and policy and based on our 35-year history of investment in public infrastructure. The Community Center Investment Program anticipates accepting a second round of applications in the late fall, the program guidance will evolve with the benefit of additional experience and input.

Program Objectives

In order to support ARPA SFRF eligibility, CDFA will prioritize applications for the following activities:

  • Projects that serve target populations, show the greatest need and are likely to have significant impact on the community.
  • Projects that reinvest in the public physical infrastructure and revitalize target areas.
  • Projects that encourage the development of effective and durable collaborations among multiple organizations to fundamentally impact communities and strengthen the community.
  • Projects that advance significant energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability elements, and,
  • Projects are ready and proposed by applicants that have the capacity to carry out the proposed project.

Applications for the following activities may be given a lower priority:

  • Organizations possessing the financial capacity to complete a proposed project without an investment.
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