Community Development Office

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The Community Development Division of the Department of Planning & Development is responsible for a number of government funded programs, including housing rehabilitation, downtown sign and facade rehabilitation, planning for particular special projects, and infrastructure improvements.

What are we currently working on...

2015 CDBG CDF-1 Grant - We got the Grant!!

Ayer’s Office of Community Development is very excited to learn and announce that their competitive Community Development Block Grant application for $900,000 to the State Department of Housing and Community Development had been chosen as one of the finalist. The last time the Town submitted a grant application was 2011 and was successful with that grant being one of only three funded by the State in our demographic category. This new 2015/2016 grant featured total infrastructure improvements to Pond Street, which is the gateway street to Ayer’s Affordable Housing complex and funds for rehab which included work on over eighteen homes here in Ayer. The Ayer Office of Community Development, as they had done in 2011, procured the help and support of the noted Communities Opportunities Group, who had successfully written other grants for the Town in the past. Once started, COG and the Ayer Community Development office, completed the grant in its submission in less than ten weeks which was a much expedited amount of time for a grant of this magnitude and complexity. Ayer’s Office of Community Development was very active in the local activities and information gathering that was needed to complete the grant.

Housing Rehabilitation Program

The Town of Ayer’s Housing Rehabilitation Program is grant funded and is designed to provide funding assistance for income-eligible owners to improve their property. In most cases, the funds do not need to be paid back unless the property is sold or transferred within fifteen (15) years of project completion. Grant regulations require certain items be addressed first (i.e., building and sanitary code compliance, lead abatement, serious maintenance problems, etc.). Local Program staff is in place to help identify the work to be done, secure the contractor, and inspect the work to ensure quality. Please contact the Program Director at 978-772-8206 or for more information.

Since the beginning of 2014, the Office of Community Development had begun to see a trend of former housing projects from the late eighties and nineties, that were now being sold due to the owner moving or passing away and with any remaining time left against the fifteen year lien that is included as part of the grant, this money would then become a local source of revolving funds that could be used to rehabilitate additional Ayer’s Housing stock.

The Office has identified two qualified candidates and at this time has finished one large reconstruction project and is preparing to begin another in the former military housing at Devenscrest. These recycled funds have been very beneficial to not only provide funds for rehabbing homes, outside of the Town’s usual affordable census track area, but also provided additional administrative funds to support the work of the Community Development office and staff.

Want to be on our Home Rehab List?

Do you have much needed repairs or upgrades that need to be done to your home, especially better windows and doors, more efficient heating and air equipment, your roof is really aged then contact Ms. Hersey and we’ll send you the proper paperwork to see if you qualify and can be added to our Housing Rehab list of people who have qualified for us to do this kind of “future” work.

The Department of Planning and Development welcomes your ideas and suggestions for enriching Ayer's community: contact Alicia Hersey at 978-772-8221.