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New York Department of State Announces Availability of Over $26 Million in Grant Funding to Further New York's Community Revitalization, Environmental, Stewardship & Government Efficiency Efforts

May 24, 2023

Smart Growth, Waterfront Revitalization, Brownfield Redevelopment & Resiliency Planning Funds Available to Spark Community Growth and Development 

Local Government Efficiency Funds Available to Develop and Implement New Opportunities for Financial Savings and Operational Efficiencies  

The New York Department of State today announced over $26 million in available funding through five programs – Smart Growth Community Planning and Zoning, Countywide Resiliency Planning, Brownfield Opportunity Area, Local Waterfront Revitalization and Local Government Efficiency. Applications for this funding are being solicited through the State’s Consolidated Funding Application, the single application for State resources which is designed to give project applicants expedited and streamlined access to a combined pool of grant funds and tax credits from dozens of existing programs.

“New York State offers an unparalleled suite of programs that have proven to be key to our state’s economic and social resurgence after the pandemic,” Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “These five programs administered by the Department of State will provide critical funding to municipalities and local governments so they can continue to grow and improve, putting us on a path to a safer, greener and more business-friendly New York." 

Smart Growth Planning and Zoning Grant Program ($2 Million)
The Smart Growth Planning and Zoning Grant Program is offering $2 million for communities to develop comprehensive municipal-wide plans and zoning ordinances, as well as targeted area plans and zoning, such as downtowns, central business districts and transit-orient development districts. Communities must commit to incorporating the principles of Smart Growth into their planning and zoning. Smart Growth principles include walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly streetscapes; compact, mixed-use community design; vibrant downtowns and other municipal centers; a diversity of housing options for all incomes, ages and abilities; safe, accessible public spaces; ample parks and outdoor recreational opportunities; green buildings; and sustainable and equitable infrastructure, among others. Over the past two years of the program, DOS has awarded over $3.9 million to 58 communities in the State. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.

Smart Growth Countywide Resiliency Planning Program ($2 million)
This program provides funding to counties to develop countywide plans that address climate change resiliency, risks and vulnerabilities and identify strategies for planning and implementing projects in a socially, environmentally, fiscally and economically sustainable way. This is the second round of the program; in round one, the DOS funded resiliency plans in five Upstate counties – Albany, Genesee, Orange, Sullivan and Tompkins. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.

Brownfield Opportunity Area Program ($2 million)
The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) program transforms brownfield sites—i.e., areas with real or perceived contamination—from liabilities to community assets, which in turn generate and support new businesses, jobs, housing and public amenities. The program provides grants for BOA plans which, once completed, are submitted to the New York State Secretary of State for approval or "designation." Such designated BOA plans then entitle projects that are consistent with the plan to priority funding among certain state programs and an additional 5 percent brownfield developer tax credit. The BOA program also provides grants for phase II environmental site assessments and pre-development activities in State-designated BOAs, such as environmental, housing and economic studies, infrastructure analyses, marketing strategies, public engagement and zoning and regulatory updates, among others. There are currently 69 designated BOAs in New York State. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.

Local Waterfront Revitalization Program ($16.3 million)
The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) provides grants to communities to develop a community-driven plan with a vision for their waterfront, guided by several environmental policies that ensure that projects work in harmony with waterfront natural resources and ecosystems. Once an LWRP is approved by the Secretary of State and adopted by a local community, or is substantially complete, the community can apply for implementation funds for projects that support the plan. There are currently 93 fully approved LWRPs, representing 113 municipalities in New York State. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.

These four programs are administered by the DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure and funded through the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which Governor Hochul increased from $300 million to $400 million in 2022. In conjunction with the DOS Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward (NYF), these programs form the cornerstone of the State’s economic and community revitalization efforts aimed at fostering innovative, sustainable and equitable growth and development throughout the State. Many DRI and NYF communities have a history of community engaged planning as past BOA and LWRP award recipients.

Local Government Efficiency Grant Program ($4 million)
The Local Government Efficiency (LGE) Grant program is intended to incentivize new actions between local governments that will reduce the cost of municipal operations and modernize the delivery of local services, thereby limiting growth in property taxes. Applicants must illustrate significant commitment to project completion and clearly demonstrate, through financial estimates and performance measures, the long-term benefit to New York taxpayers. Approximately $4 million is being made available for awards. Of that amount, approximately $3.6 million will be awarded for implementation projects, and approximately $400,000 will be awarded for planning projects. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.

The Local Government Efficiency Grant program is administered by the Division of Local Government Services within the Department of State. The Division provides technical assistance and competitive grants to local governments.

About the Consolidated Funding Application
The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way State resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple State funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.