Community Development

The Office for Community Development (OCD) administers the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program Grant (HOME)  received by the City from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The CDBG funds may be used for a wide range of activities that improve housing, the living environment and economic opportunities, primarily for persons of low to moderate income. The HOME funds can be used for housing (rehab, new construction, homebuyer) only.

Please explore the Community Development webpages for information on homeownership, fair housing, historic resources, and CDBG-funded public services available to Holyoke residents and businesses.



Zaida Cutler - Bookkeeper


Jennifer J. Martins - Office Manager


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Community Development Block Grant Application for July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015

Mayor Alex B. Morse is pleased to announce that the FFY2014 Community Development Block Grant application cycle opened on Monday December 2, 2013.  Grant applications for Housing, Public Facilities, Infrastructure, Economic Development and Public Services will be available from the Office for Community Development upon request and due by January 10, 2014.  The Community Development Block Grant Program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs primarily to serve low and moderate income residents.  Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one the longest continuously run programs at HUD.  The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.   In 2013, the City of Holyoke received approximately $1.1 million to fund a variety of projects including construction of the Pulaski Park Skateboard Park, renovation of Library Park, enhancements at the Senior Center and a variety of Public Services like homeownership assistance, day care, summer camp, food pantry and educational services.   Interested organizations should call the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development at 413-322-5610 to request a copy of the FFY2014 CDBG Grant Application.  Funding is not available to individuals; individuals in need of services may call the Office for Community Development for referrals.



The Office for Community Development welcomes public input and participation in its public hearings. Public hearings and meeting notices are posted here and outside the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall. Check back often and feel free to attend!

Environmental Assessments

There are no Environmental Assessments available for public comment at this time.

Notice of Intent to Request the Release of HOME funds

On or about August 12, 2014 the Office for Community Development  will request the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for the release of HOME Investment Partnership funds for Acquisition and construction of 2 duplexes on Oak Street and construction of a single family home on Pine Street.



FY2014-2015 Annual Action Plan – Allocations

The FFY2014 Allocation Process is in progress.  Here is the current FY 2014 Spreadsheet with the funding recommendations from the Office for Community Development, Citizens Advisory Council, and Redevelopment Committee, City Council and Mayor Alex Morse.  There was  a Public Hearing  March 19, 2014 to discuss and open a thirty day comment period  on the 2014 Draft Annual Plan  Please see the Consolidated Plan Schedule 2014 for full details on the Consolidated Planning process. 

On March 19, 2014, HUD released its yearly funding allocations to entitlement communities.  Holyoke will receive $1,099,157 in Community Development Block Grant funds and $797,977 in HOME funds for use by the Holyoke-Chicopee-Westfield HOME Consortium.  FY2014 allocations are slightly less than last year.    Mayor Morse has issued a second set of recommended funding allocations based upon the actual FY2014 allocations as released by HUD.  These amounts are shown on the Allocation Spreadsheet as Mayor #2.

A thirty day public comment period on the draft FY2014 Annual Plan opened on March 19, 2014 and will close at 4:30 pm on April 19, 2014.  Written comments may be submitted to the Office for Community Development, City Hall Annex Room 400, Holyoke, MA 01040 or via email by clicking on a staff person’s email contact.  Please contact the office at 413-322-5610 to verify receipt of your email.


HOME Investment Partnerships Program- Request for Proposals

The City of Holyoke is accepting Proposals for its HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds. The amount of HOME funds expected to be awarded may be up to $1,500,000, which may include up to $100,000, specifically designated for direct homebuyer assistance. Funding may be in the form of grants, loans or deferred payment loans, the amount and terms of which will be determined by the City. Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) and Section 3 Businesses in good standing are encouraged to apply.

The City’s 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan housing priorities are as follows:

  1. Increase availability of housing stock for purchase and occupancy by low and moderate income persons in Holyoke.
  2. Preserve and improve the existing owner-occupied housing stock in Holyoke by moderate rehabilitation through home improvement programs.
  3. Facilitate homeownership for low and moderate income persons in Holyoke by providing assistance with downpayment and closing costs.
  4. Increase availability of elderly units in Holyoke for low and moderate income persons.
  5. Preserve and improve the rental housing stock by rehabilitation of rental properties.

The City is seeking HOME proposals for Priorities 1, 3, or 5 at this time. The general purpose of the HOME program is to expand the supply of decent and affordable housing for low and moderate income residents.

 HOME is authorized under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended. Program regulations are at 24 CFR Part 92. HOME program regulations and standards contain property value and sale price limits, completion deadlines, rent limits, household income limits, developer capacity and experience requirements, firm financial commitments, reasonable costs, current market demand analysis, site and neighborhood requirements, development team fiscal soundness and experience criteria as well as other requirements and stipulations. HOME also requires enforceable provisions to ensure housing affordability.   Interested parties are encouraged to review the HOME Program prior to submitting a Proposal.  Additional information about the HOME Program can be reviewed at

Proposal Packets may be obtained from the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development starting on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  The Proposal Packets will be distributed in electronic form and only upon request.  Please contact the Office for Community Development at (413) 322-5610 to request a copy.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 4:00 PM, on Monday, June 2, 2014.

Questions about the process, submittals, or HOME Program must be submitted in writing to or by fax to (413)322-5611 until May 23, 2014.  Written responses will be provided to the Applicant and posted at the Office for Community Development webpage,

Date of Notice:  April 10, 2014

The following question was asked regarding the HOME RFP:

“Are the vacant lots on Walnut Street, offered through a prior municipal auction, available at the auction on April 29, 2014 or through this HOME RFP?”

Response from the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development

“The properties available at the April 29, 2014 auction can be viewed at     The Office for Community Development has no control over the auction list.  
No specific properties are offered with this HOME RFP.   Applicants are reminded that acquisition costs incurred before an HOME award are not eligible project expenses.
The Office for Community Development is reviewing the use of a combination RFP with vacant lots and HOME funds bundled together similar to the City of Springfield  RFP process for an August 2014 HOME RFP.  
Nothing definitive has been set at this time.  “


Fair Housing Commission

Meeting Notice

 Tuesday May 6, 2014

5:00 pm

City Hall Annex

Fourth Floor Conference Room


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Review of Proposed Housing Activities (Allocation Spreadsheet)
  3. Review of Fair Housing Commission Role in next Five Year Consolidated Plan
  4. Public Comment
  5. Other Questions/Comments


FY2013 Hampden County Continuum of Care Allocations

The FY13 Hampden County Continuum of Care Allocations are used to help prevent homelessness, to quickly re-house homeless individuals and families , promote access to mainstream programs for homeless individuals and families and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.




Disclosure Notices

This notice is to provide disclosure that a City employee has requested Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in the Housing Category from the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) administered by the Olde Holyoke Development Corp.

Disclosure Notice – 440 Hillside Ave.0001

Fair Housing Meetings

You are invited to participate in one of two informational meetings, which are being conducted to review and accept comment on the Knowledge Corridor Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA).  Please feel free to share this notice with others who might be interested in attending.  This topic was introduced at the September 10th Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Consortium Meeting.  

  The meetings will be held as follows:

·         Friday, September 26, 2014, 10 a.m. to Noon at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) offices, 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA, and

·         Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, CT.


You can read and download a copy of the draft FHEA and FHEA Executive Summary at this link:

The purpose of the Knowledge Corridor Fair Housing and Equity Assessment is to analyze issues that impact access to opportunity for the people living in the bi-state region, and to identify strategies to address identified issues.  Opportunity is defined as access to quality transportation, employment, education, housing, and healthy environments.  The FHEA promotes both overcoming barriers that limit access to areas of higher opportunity, and improving quality of life in lower opportunity areas.

Please contact Mary Ellen Kowalewski or Catherine Ratté if you have any questions prior to the meeting.  We hope that many of you will be able to join us for this fuller discussion of the FHEA.

Mary Ellen Kowalewski, AICP, Director of Policy and Planning

Capitol Region Council of Governments

241 Main Street

Hartford, CT  06106

860.522.2217 x 222 |

 Catherine Ratté, Principal Planner/Manager

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

60 Congress Street 1st Floor

Springfield MA 01103

413/781-6045 /




Resources for Property Owners, Businesses and Residents 

The Office for Community Development funds several programs offering assistance to homeowners, rental property owners, small businesses and developers. Check here for a program that may help you.


Is assistance available to HOMEOWNERS for improvements?

Yes! The Neighborhood Improvement Program(NIP) administered by Olde Holyoke Development Corp. provides up to 60% rebates for home improvement of one-to-four unit, owner occupied properties. Program eligibility and the rebate percentage are based upon family size and income. Homeowners must be current on city property taxes and utilities.

Funded improvements include, but are not limited to:

New siding, new wiring, new plumbing, insulation, storm windows and doors, new driveways, lead-based paint removal, asbestos removal, roof repair, chimney repair, porch replacement, ceiling replacement, foundation repair, bathroom expansion for ADA accessibility, gutter and downspout replacements and smoke/heat detection systems.

Improvements must meet all NIP Program, OHDC, OCD, and HUD requirements including Safe Lead Practices, asbestos requirements, and Massachusetts Historic Commission approval, as applicable.

Homeowners must apply and be approved prior to starting work. All applications are subject to a home inspection and eligibility verification.

Funding is subject to the City receiving CDBG funds and funds being awarded to the NIP during the CDBG allocation process.

Please contact Olde Holyoke Development Corp. at 533-7101 for additional information.


Is assistance available to RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS for improvements?

 Yes! The Rental Neighborhood Improvement Program (RNIP) administered by Olde Holyoke Development Corp. provides low interest loans for multi-family (3+ units) property improvements.

Priority consideration is given to those projects that bring occupied buildings into compliance with applicable codes. Refinancing of existing debt is not allowed. Loans up to $21,500/unit, depending on building equity and projected income.

Projects must meet all RNIP Program, OHDC, OCD, and HUD requirements including Safe Lead Practices, asbestos requirements, procurement, Section 3, federal wage rates and Massachusetts Historic Commission approval, as applicable. Property owners must be current on City of Holyoke property taxes and utilities. Tenant income requirements must be met and will be verified.

Property owners must apply and be approved prior to starting work. All applications are subject to property inspections and eligibility verification.

Funding is from the RNIP Revolving Loan Fund. RNIP is now open. Please contact Olde Holyoke Development Corp. at 533-7101 for additional information.


Is assistance available to BUSINESS OWNERS?

Is assistance available for SMALL BUSINESS development?

The Small Loan Program Pamphlet may be able to help by providing loan guarantees to businesses.

The Holyoke Chamber of Commerce offers business advocacy, education and training and job placement assistance.


Is assistance available to DEVELOPERS?

 At least once a year, the OCD issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for housing development under the federal HOME program. HOME provides direct funding for new construction and rehabilitation of housing. If you are interested in knowing more about HOME program funding or the RFP, please contact our office.

The HOME Program Request for Proposals is now open and is available under the Announcements section.


Are you or your family in need of educational services, summer camp, child care, food,

employment training or other services?

The Community Development Block Grant Program funds a variety of public services for the Holyoke community. Please see the 2013 Public Services for additional information about available services funded through our office.  For additional services we are happy to provide you with the Community Resource Guide 2014.

The Fair Housing Commission works to eliminate discrimination and increase access to housing through investigation and enforcement, affirmative marketing, and interagency coordination.

Fair Housing Commission

Mr. Marcos Marrero, Director, Planning and Economic Development

Mr. Matthew Mainville, Director, Holyoke Housing Authority

Ms. Nilka Ortiz, Executive Assistant to the Mayor

Mr. Gregory Virgilio, Virgilio Property Management

Ms. Gladys Lebron-Martinez, City Councilor

Ms. Alicia Zoeller, Administrator, Office for Community Development

Mr. Richard Romboletti, Community Member

Ms. Betsy Misch, Community Member



May 6, 2014 – 5:00 pm

City Hall Annex Conference Room – 4th Floor

             Welcome and Introductions

             Review of Proposed Housing Activities (2014 Spreadsheet )            

             Review of Fair Housing Commission Role in Next Five Year in next Five Year Consolidated Plan

             Public Comment

             Other Questions/Comments


Choosing where you live is a right.   Here are some excellent resources if you have questions about Fair Housing-

MA Fair Housing Center

MA Justice Project

HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity


The following links may be disabled.  Please be patient as we rebuild our webpage!

Have you found Closed Doors When Looking for Housing? English & Spanish

Fair Housing Domestic Violence Victims

Fair Housing Sexual Orientation

Fair Housing HIV-AIDS

Vivienda justa para individuos con VIH/SIDA

Fair Housing Physical Disabilities

Vivienda justa para individuos con discapacidades fisicas

Fair Housing Mental Disabilities

Fair Housing Mental Disabilities Espanol

Fair Housing Families with Children

Discriminacion contra familias con ninos

Fair Housing for Individuals Receiving Public or Housing Assistance

Fair Housing Public or Housing Assistance Espanol






The City of Holyoke is an Entitlement Community for the Community Development Block Grant and is the Lead City in the Holyoke-Chicopee-Westfield HOME Consortium. These grants are awarded directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The Community Development Block Grant Program



What agencies/programs were funded for July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)?

2013 Spreadsheet


How are CDBG Funds allocated?

Allocation of the CDBG funds is done through a competitive multi-step grant process whereby interested agencies and others submit proposals to provide public services benefiting low and moderate income persons in Holyoke .  For more information on the process schedule, please see the Consolidated Plan Schedule 2014.  The FY2014 funding cycle will begin in early October;  applications will be released in early-mid December.

 OCD staff, the Citizens Advisory Council (CAC), the Mayor and the City Council review the proposals and make funding recommendations. The Mayor makes all final award decisions and submits the allocation plan to HUD by May 15, 2014 for activities beginning on July 1, 2014.

Proposals must meet HUD regulatory eligibility criteria and be able to demonstrate performance objectives and outcomes.


How can the public participate in the CDBG allocation process?


The public is invited to attend CAC and City Council meetings to observe allocation discussions and to attend public hearings regarding annual plans and re-programming requests.  The Consolidated Plan Schedule 2014  lists all public meetings and hearings.  Please confirm dates, times, and locations with OCD or the City Clerk.


How are the City of Holyoke’s needs and priorities determined?


Every five years, OCD prepares a five-year Consolidated Plan with specific annual updates detailing the projects to be undertaken in that program year.

The 2010-2014 Strategic Consolidated Plan presents an overview of the City’s priorities for the next five years.  The Annual Plan details the activities to be funded by CDBG and HOME for that year.

Consolidated Strategic Plan 2010-2014.pdf

Five Year Appendices.pdf   

2014 Draft Annual Plan


How is progress of funded activities monitored?


OCD conducts fiscal and performance monitoring of each funded agency to ensure that all programs and projects are in compliance with OCD and HUD regulations.

By September 30th of each year, OCD must prepare a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) to report on the progress of funded projects.  The CAPER is then submitted to HUD.


Below is the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for the period ending June 30, 2013.  Due to the size of the full CAPER if you would like to view any of the 2012 CAPER Attachments, please contact our office.

2012 CAPER


HOME Investment Partnerships Program


HOME funds are allocated via a separate Request for Proposals procurement process . 


CHDO Certification


The City of Holyoke, on behalf of the Chicopee-Westfield-Holyoke Consortium, conducts Community Home Development Organization (CHDO) certification for the Consortium’s HOME program.  At least 15% of the Consortium’s HOME allocation must be awarded to qualified CHDO’s.


Currently certified CHDO’s for the Consortium are:  Chicopee Neighborhood Development Corporation, Domus, Inc.


All new and existing CHDO’s must become familiar with CHDO Policies and Procedures.  All new CHDO’s must complete the CHDO application.  A Recertification Application will not be accepted for initial certification.  Deadline for certification submittal is November 30th for CHDO status eligibility December 1st- December 1st.  Recertifications for existing CHDO’s will be due annually on November 1st.


CHDO Policies & Procedures

CHDO Application

CHDO Recertification

What’s the history of my home- is it on the Historic Inventory?  

 Detailed information about historical development of Holyoke is available in the 1982 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report.


The Holyoke Historic Inventory of individual property addresses is available here.  Historic property information may be available online from the MA Cultural Resources Information System (MACRIS).

If you are using HUD funds (like the CDBG or RNIP programs) for the rehab work, the Massachusetts Historical Commission must approve your work before you begin.  Rehab and renovation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  The Office for Community Development will coordinate MHC review for you as part of the Environmental Review Process.


How do I renovate in an historically sensitive manner?*

Holyoke Historical Commission

Preservation Mass

Preservation Mass Consultant Directory

New England Window Restoration Alliance

Secretary of the Interior Standards

*Please note that OCD provides these links for public information

purposes only and in no way endorses, recommends or suggests 

any specific service, contractor or advertiser.

Thinking of Buying a Home in Holyoke?

Check out Buy Holyoke Now 

Buy Holyoke Now is an initiative that establishes a collaboration of public, nonprofit and private-sector organizations to preserve and promote homeownership opportunities throughout the City of Holyoke.


Need to Know More About the Homebuying Process?  Be an Educated Homebuyer!

The Holyoke Housing Authority and HAP, Inc. offer first time home buyer education classes. Topics include money management, securing a mortgage, avoiding scams, understanding credit, and creating individual financial plans and timelines.  Classes are required for those income-eligible persons seeking down payment assistance.


Need Homebuyer Downpayment Assistance?

The Holyoke Housing Authority also offers first time home buyer financial assistance. Recipients of first time home buyer funds must meet HHA, HUD and OCD eligibility criteria and complete a first time home buyer education class


Ready to Buy? The City of Holyoke Has Home Ownership Opportunities

OCD has provided funds for the construction of two owner-occupied duplexes available to income eligible home buyers.  One duplex is being constructed by Viva Development on Hampden Street and the second duplex has been constructed by Olde Holyoke Development Corp. on Chestnut Street.



 Equal Housing Opportunity

For information on lead paint removal/abatement loans, visit MA Get the Lead Out.  The local lender for Hampden County is HAP in Springfield (413-233-1500).

Information of deleading, the MA laws, and searchable databases, visit MA Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Center

If your agency receives Community Development Block Grant funds, this page is just for you!

Sub-Recipient Manual

Monthly Monitoring Report Form

Monthly Activity Funding Update Form

Sub-Recipient Training Program


OCD staff will be contacting each agency to schedule Performance and Fiscal Monitoring.  Here are the Performance Monitoring Checklist and Fiscal Monitoring Checklists for your reference.  Please have all documentation ready and accessible for the monitoring visit.


Please Note:  Contractor’s doing any type of construction work using Federal funds must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) formerly Central Contractor Registry (CCR).  SAM Quick Start Guide
For questions or for further information, contact our office 413-322-5610.

Department Head

Alicia Zoeller

Alicia Zoeller


Office Address

City Hall Annex- Room 400 Holyoke MA 01040 Map

Contact Info


413-322-5611 (fax)

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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Posted on November 27, 2012 by